Pillar Rock Kodaikanal
Three granite boulders each vertically measuring a height of 400 feet stand shoulder to shoulder. It is located 8 Kms from the lake and one the best panoramic view of valley can be enjoyed from this place. The chamber between the two pillars is called Devil's kitchen. I dont know why they call it Devil's Kitchen.
And again Fog plays its roll here.When we reached there we were just disappointed as nothing was visible. Then we just took few snaps in that fog and waited there in a hope that it will clear. Once you go there you will find one guy sitting with few snaps of pillar's rock and other tourist destination, he got 10 pictures and its just 10Rs. of 0.25 cents. At one point we thought of buying it and I thought of I will scan those pictures for updating on VT. Finally our patience paid off and I got these stunning pictures. I just loved these pictures.
At the entrance to this place you will find lot of shops as like other places in Kadaikanal. And on some internet pages so many good things were written about garden at this place. There is nothing called garden here and this place is managed by Indian government and as always its very ill maintained.
This place is on the way from Green Valley point. The route follows
Green Valley view--Pillar Rocks--Guna Caves
Solar Physical Observatory.
Oh my Godddddddddddd I missed this place I was not able to go inside. This place was on top of my list before going to Kodaikanal but the opening hours was nowhere written on internet pages.
So its open only on Fridays that also only in morning for 10-12, so guys keep this in mind, I am writting this here to bring into attention.
Anyways better luck next time. This place is near to upper lake view point so plan in such a way that once you go for this place you cover upper lake view also.
And here come the difficult part of my Trip to Kodaikanal taking photographs during sunrise/sunset. Taking pictures during sunset was not that difficult but for sunrise, taking pictures was not that difficult, getting up early to do so was the most difficult part. All these pictures I took during early morning. Cooled was too much at that time of the day and above that wind was blowing fast that made things worst during taking thiese pictures.
I took this pictures sitting at Hotels lawn, I think Villa Retreat and Hotel Kodai Resort in Kodaikanal are the only two hotel where you can take some good pictures with out covering city buildings and ofcourse Hotel Carlton is best near Lake but same time its very expensive. Anyways enjoy some of my pictures.
Tibetan welfare Association
There are few shops around Kodaikanal lake which sale winter clothing and owned by Tibetan nationals who immigrated from Tibet not just to earn money but to breadth air in freedom. Once we started our uphill journey to kodaikanal city I saw at some places hills were written with SAVE TIBET slogans. I was little amazed at first instance and to my surprise I found shops around lake owned by Tibetan people.
During my stay in Gujarat state of India, I saw these people selling winter clothing during winter in various cities of Gujarat. But to see them here in Kodaikanal it was really surprising. And all these shop people settled in tamilnadu since last 10-15 years. They were all able to speak good Tamil language and talking to them brought some hardship they were facing in their country to live free life and struggle for freedom. And all these facts about Tibet is not hidden from world. I hope some day they will get what they want.
Activities around Kodaikanal Lake
1) WALKING-- Approximately around 5 kms of pavement is available for walking. During morning and evening we can see local and tourist walking around lake on this path. And I think this is best way to enjoy scenery around lake and have some physical activity. It will take time to go around this lake but the path is really good. Carry bottle of water along with you and enjoy lake and shops around this lake.
2) CYCLING-- We can hire cycle for some time for very nominal fee. This is also the best way to move around lake. I did not took bicycle instead I walked around lake and took some good pictures.
3) HORSE RIDING-- Near lake we can find place/stand for Horse riding. Riding horse is not that expensive but Horse keeper will not take us around lake instead he will take us just for 1 kms and come back to stand. Which I think for the money they are charging is less but if you just want to have fun then its alright.
4) SHOPPING--Around lake you will find lot of shops for Eating, Home made chocolates which is very famous in Kodaikanal ( you can have taste of it, its not expensive but not that good ), Local Masala Chai of Kodaikanal. I just loved that Kodaikanal Chai. I hope you will enjoy too. There are few shops that sell winter clothing and this winter cloths sold by Tibetan people is really good quality.
This lake is major attraction of Kodaikanal city and known as "Kodai lake" too. This place is just next to Brayant park and crowded by tourist all the time. To my amazement this lake is man made in the mountain slops. It is the creation of Sir Vere Hendry Levinge in 1863. Who was the Collector of Madurai (1819 -1885). It is spread over an area of 60 acres and surrounded by a circular road of 5 km length.
This lake has several Boat Club and boats can be hired to spend some time here. Cost of Hiring depends upon type of boat. There are boats for two/four people with paddle if you want to indulge in physical activity and for other ( Little lazy ) we can hire boat with person to show us around with little extra cost. I am not including prize here at it varies from time to time. We hired boat for two person with paddle and it was for 1 hour at a cost of 100/- Rs. or 2.5 US$ approximately.
Sir Vere Hendry Levinge brought the first boat from Tuticorin the place where I live right now.. In 1890, a boat club was formed and the members sailed in the boat. To save the environment of Lake motor boats are not used/allowed here. which I think very good idea.In 1910 a new boat house was constructed. From May 1929 few tourist were only permitted to avail boat ride, as temporary members. Then the boat service was extended to the public and tourist in 1932. There are lot of activities around this lake which I will include in my next review with few more pictures.
KURINJI ANDAVAR TEMPLE
This temple is near to chettiar park and 3 kms from lake and little difficult to locate. This telmple is of Lord Murugan. This temple's name is associated with Kurinji flower and Kurinji means 'hill region' and Andavar means 'God' and thats whe Lord Murugan is referred as 'God of hill'. This temple was built in 1936 by an European Lady, who on coming to India, got faith on Hindu religion and started following it. She changed her name as Leelavathi married Mr. Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan.it is the largest temple in Kodaikanal.
This Kurinji Flower blossoms every 12 years, last time it was in 2006 and next period is 2018
Out side of the temple there are few shops with good collection of gift items but expensive.
Out side of temple on left side we can have look of Palani Temple and on the right side we can see Kodaikanal city. Palani temple is only visible if the weather is great.
LA SALETTE CHURCH
This is the first Roman Catholic Church in Kodaikanal and built in 1866. And this Cathedral painted in Blue and White from the time it built. Festival for this church is during August and people from all over the world.
Holy Mass (in Tamil) Wed 11:30 am; Sat 11:30 am; Sun 7:30 am
Baptism First and Third Sundays of Every Month at 9:00 am
Marriage When permitted by the Parish Priest
Reconciliation Before Eucharistic Celebration
Bryant Park- Flowers pictures - I
This is the place where you can have little fun with your camera, No need to ask people for taking their pictures. These Flowers or trees dont speak.
There are lot of variety of Flowers and plants are available. Even though the time I have visited its not the peak season but still I saw some of the best and beautiful flowers around this garden. At one place/room they have some large variety of flowers but we were not allowed to take pictures in that room. That room had the best of the best flower plants of that garden.
I loved playing with my camera here. I put some pictures here I hope you will love them too.
Bryant Park in Kodaikanal
. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. And this place is just infront of the place where I stayed/ Near to Coaker's Walk.
This place is best to be visited during peak season that is during May-July. When I went there it was nothing special about it. But when I inquired about the Garden it looks great during peak season which I think missed, I missed its best potential looks, I was at the wrong time, I can not blame this Garden.
Bryant park is on the eastern side of Kodaikanal lake.And its house for large variety of flowers and rafts and hybrids plant which are unique and best appreciated for their looks.I just loved them. I am adding Pictures of flowers which I took at Bryant park and many more to follow in my further reviews
Telescope House at Coarker's Walk
Do not expect anything great about this place. This Telescope House provided with Three Telescope to have panoramic view of Kodaikanal city.
With three different telescope we were able to see three different places of Kodaikanal. The sadest part of this place is we were not allowed to touch these Telescope and just because of this we were able to view only three places of Kodaikanal city. These telescope is guarded by a Keeper of this place. We were able to see following places
1) Dolphine Nose
2) One of the school's playground where during morning we were able to see students playing in playground.
3) One of the Cathedral of Kodaikanal.
And its difficult to see through all the Telescope clearly as these telescope is of not that good quality. We need to pay just 3 Rs./ approximately 4 cents as entry fees. And if this place is crowded then its better to avoid as view through this telescope is not that great.
Coaker's Walk is a 1-km paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodaikanal.
I find this walk a bit strange and very touristy. With a gate in both ends, many stalls and the paved road it feels more like an amusement park, it's not my type of walk in the nature.
One of the main attractions for the tourists of Kodaikanal is the Kodai lake which is at a distance of 3kms from the bus stand. In 1863, Vera Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai settled in Kodaikanal after his retirement. He was the man of resource and creative ideas for this lake. By spending his own money he converted the marshy land with several streams of lake by constructing a strong bund and brought boats from Tuticorin. It is reported that the foreign resident's even used to swim in the lake.
The lake is situated at 10 deg 14' n latitude and 77 deg 28' longitude at an elevation of 2285m above sea level and it looks magnificent with star shaped glittering water, in the midst of evergreen lush slopes. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December. The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. The average depth is 3.0m. The boat club provides boats for hire. There are luxury boats also. The famous Carlton hotel is facing the lake and the hotel is having their our boats for their customers.
Today lakhs of tourists walk around, sail on, ride on horses & cycles and admire the lake. Fishing can also be done obtaining permission from Inspector of Fisheries. Pony rides by children and adults walking around the lake are part of Kodai Holiday.
The lake at Kodai is beautifully landscaped and it appears to be de rigueur for Indian families to get out on a boat. Both the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club and Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation hire similar boats for similar prices: Rs. 20 to 40 for a two-seater pedal boat.
The lake in the main town of Kodaikanal is where you can find many tourists and others around.You can rent a bicycle for about Rs.20/hour and go around the lake.Or you could just walk around the lake.It is ideal for morning or evening walks.You will find horses to ride on.There are many kinds of street food available.You will also find many shops selling all kinds of wares around the lake.So besides boating this is a nice place to hang around to spend some time.
Karuna was a barren wasteland, before being transformed into an almost self-sufficient farm. Various alternative methods in Organic farming are being used like composting, mulching, bio-dynamic calendar, garlic & tobacco sprays, companion planting, etc.
The garden produces most of the fruits, vegetables and grains for the community. A cow supplies dairy products and dung. The community prepares various jams, pickles, honey, juices, bread and pasta.
Buildings & Energy:
There are six houses built for residents besides a few cottages for guests. All the houses are built using mostly local materials and aesthetic designs. At Karuna, no electricity is taken from the grid. Solar panels supply electricity. Solar cookers, hot water heaters and efficient wood stoves are used.