The final bell rang and a loud voice echoed across the room ” Pens down please!!!”. The 2nd grade final exams had come to an end and the best three months in the life of children across the world had commenced, summer vacations were here. I stayed on an extra few hours playing cricket with class mates and finally took the rickshaw ride back home. The first few weeks rolled by riddled with getting up late, gulping down the glass of milk ,out to play cricket followed by lunch, cricket again and finally dinner. One evening while drinking lemonade , my mom pulled me to the side and announced that my dad was going to take us on a trip to a hill station called Kodai Kanal. Hill stations are left behind legacies of colonial rule and served as escapes from the dusty and balmy plains to the clean air , water and cooler locales offered by higher altitudes.
With the packing complete we left Bangalore early in the morning and I was all ears as my dad described each spot we drove by and his history at those places , all thanks to the gift of travel given to him by my grandfather. Time flew by and we made a pit stop in Erode. Here we switched vehicles and were given an all wheel drive vehicle by my dad’s friend in Erode. Many twists, turns, overtaking maneuvers and hairpin bends later , we were greeted by the sight of the lovely Silver Cascade Falls.
We stopped for a few moments to enjoy the fine mist spraying onto our faces and sampling fresh carrots purchased from local vendors setup around the area. We hopped back in headed to the hotel, had a quick shower, a refreshing meal and off to bed .
The next day as advised by a few of my dad’s friends we rose early, showered and after a quick continental breakfast headed to Kodai Lake. We did this to beat the mad rush for boats and an opportunity to enjoy the serenity and awesome experience of boating in the light fog rising off of the surface of the lake. We rented a pedal boat and with me seated in between and my parents pedaling on either side we set off. Eventually, my dad let me navigate and even pedal with my tiny feet resting on his feet. It was magical !!!!. We drifted around for a few hours , pulled ashore and headed off to lunch. Kodai lake is located in the middle of Kodai Kanal and is also called Star Lake as it has five-pointed ends .
After lunch we headed off to Bear Shola falls. Located close to main bus depot they are named after the Shola forests which bring rainfall to the area . These are seasonal waterfalls and we were very lucky as major rainfall a couple of days earlier had created conditions to see these majestic falls.
After the routine of a quick evening shower and meal we headed off to bed with new adventures looming over the horizon. The next morning we rose early, showered ,packed and after breakfast headed out by road to Berrijam Lake. Created as a water source and located on the Kerala Tamil Nadu border, this pristine lake with crystal clear water and the opportunity to view wildlife such as elephants , bison ,leopards and spotted deer looked like the page out of Encyclopedia Britannica :). No boating is allowed as it is a drinking water source.
After admiring nature at it’s finest we headed off to Erode to return cars and we drove by Kodai lake and Silver Cascade falls and it finally dawned on me that the vacation was over. This was my first but not last trip to this magic locale. As we headed back home from Erode I was all ears again listening to the wisdom of my dad and once we got back the routine of gulping milk, cricket, lunch and cricket again resumed for a couple more months.
My next post will chronicle my next visit and why Kodai Kanal is called the “Princess of Hill stations”.
As always looking forward to suggestions, comments and recommendations.