It was due time to escape the heat; I have been immersed in it for over 6 weeks! Like all Indians do in the summer time (and as the British Raj used to do) we also headed to Kodaikanal, a hill station close to the Kerela border, 2000 and a bit more feet above sea level which took the bus over 2 hours to reach the top.
You can notice the change in temperature instantly! The air is fresh and hills are filled with clearing mist, especially in the morning. We felt this was a good place to splurge so we stayed at a resort right on the tip of Coacker’s Walk, which is on the very edge of the hill, with panoramic views of the towns below.
Kodaikanal is another town filled with tourists, domestic and international, even though Lonely Planet claims it to be one of the quieter hill stations to escape the heat. There is a very international vibe in this place due to its international school community from which the town has grown over the years. It’s almost like you are in another world due to this atmosphere of cool weather, international cuisine and the numerous languages that are spoken here.
It’s the perfect place to come to do nothing at all but soak in the beautiful views of green India while feeling like you are on the top of the world, literally!
David and I also gave into doing a day tour because the hills are quite windy with one way streets which means no autos (believe it or not!) and expensive taxis (minimum 60 rupees). Within 5 minutes of getting on to our tour bus/truck we realized the mistake we had made. It took our tour guide/driver over an hour just to pick up all the passengers!! We got 20 minutes in each spot and half way through there was a downpour which left us all soaking and muddy, but the tour must go on. For $6 (for 2 people) we got to see all the sights (Bear Chola falls, suicide point, Guna caves, Coacker’s Walk, Kurinji temple, Bryant Park, the lake) with every single other person in Kodaikanal!
Through backpacking (although these days it seems more like we are flashpacking with all these nice hotel rooms) I have learned the skill of killing time by doing nothing at all. This is due to the long gaps of waiting for things – buses, trains, planes, boats, people to meet/pick you up. David and I had 8 hours to kill before catching our bus to Cochin so we decided to walk around Kodaikanal lake, about 6 kilometeres, something I would never do with a conscious mind. Somewhere along the way we danced with cows, peed in the bushes and came to the realization that we missed the heat, a lot. The 2 days of rain weren’t helping with our travel plans although the cool down was much needed. But I was in layers in Kodaikanal, and this is summer! It was basically like being in Toronto but with better views and misty skies.