Owner of a Resort near Coimbatore wanted us to make their website. So, I fixed a meeting with him on 5-Aug-2018. I searched the web and found that Kodaikanal was relatively close to Coimbatore, though Ooty was closer. As we had gone to Ooty less than a year back and we had never been to Kodaikanal, I planned that we would go to Kodaikanal during this trip. Deepshree agreed to join.
Initially I planned that we would drive to Coimbatore from Bangalore. However, I realised that it would take us minimum 10 hours to reach Coimbatore from Bangalore in our car. Then we would not have enough time to go to Kodaikanal. So, I booked train tickets through IRCTC web site. I booked in AC First Class. However, our tickers were Waitlist number 2 and 3. As we had 1 week to travel, I took the chance. I also booked the return tickets by train in AC First Class. Again, it was Waitlist number 2 and 3.
On 1-Aug-2018, I found that our onward journey ticket status had moved to Waitlist number 1 and 2 and our chances of getting confirmed tickets were 94% and 92% respectively. On 3-Aug-2018 morning, I got message that our onward journey tickets were confirmed. Our return journey tickets were still Waitlist number 2 & 3 and the chances of confirmation were 72% & 68%. Our train was scheduled to depart from Bangalore Cantonment at 10:10 PM on 3-Aug-2018. The train name was Kurla Express and it started from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai.
We reached Bangalore Cantonment Station, which is very close to our house (about 7 KM) by 9:20 PM. We found that the train was delayed by about 1 hour. We waited in the station. I had 2 cups of Coffee in the mean time. At 10:20 PM, Kurla Express arrived at Bangalore Cantonment. However, it was to go to Bangalore City station and then return to pick us up. So, we waited and I had one more cup of Coffee. Ultimately, the train arrived at 11:20 PM. We got into the train. Our berths were in Cabin A. To my surprise I found that there was no one else in the 4 berth cabin. In fact, the train was quite empty. Anyway, once the Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) had checked our tickets, we locked the cabin and slept.
Next morning, I woke up at 5 AM. I checked the IRCTC App on my mobile to find that our train was about 20 minutes behind schedule. However, I did not trust that too much as the Railway staff do not update the statuses regularly. Nevertheless, at about 6:15 AM, a man from the train’s pantry came with Tea. I bought one Tea for Rs. 10. They gave 2 biscuits along with that. I could not buy Tea for Deepshree as he did not have Sugarless Tea. At 6:30 AM, I received a call from the Chauffeur that Taj, Coimbatore had sent to pick us up. He told us that we should come to the Back Door Parking after getting down from the train.
Our train arrived at Coimbatore Junction at 7:20 AM, which was 5 minutes behind schedule.
Our compartment was right at the end. So, we had to walk the whole length of the train to reach the subway that led to the Back Door Parking. The moment we got down the stairs, we found the chauffeur, Mr. Richard, waiting for us. He took our bag (which was the only luggage we were carrying), and guided us to the Innova.
We got into the Innova and soon we were at Taj, Coimbatore which is about 1 KM from the Coimbatore Junction Railway Station. We checked into Taj. However, I did not take our room as we would have to pay half day charges for early check in. Instead, we went to the restaurant and had breakfast.
At 9:00 AM, we were ready and thus called Richard. He told us that it would take 4 hours to reach Kodaikanal. So, we started immediately. We drove through Coimbatore town to soon reach the highway. However, this highway is under construction and thus only one side is currently in use for traffic from both sides. This made the progress slow.
After driving for about 1 hour, we reached a place called Pollachi. We stopped here to freshen up at a Restaurant. Then we continued. After another 1 hour drive, we reached a place called Pallani. Here we stopped at a Restaurant called Gowri Krishna. It was a 100% Vegetarian Restaurant. I had a cup of Coffee. Deepshree had one plate of Poori. After we had finished, we started once again.
From Pallani, the climb to Kodaikanal starts. So, soon we were driving through the hills. The road is good. However, it is narrow and there are lots of hair pin bends. So, progress is slow on this road.
I took us 2 hours drive to reach Kodaikanal from Pallani. The first place we stopped was Silver Cascade Falls. There were lots of tourists here.
I bought a Corn on Cobs and Deepshree bought a plate of Pakodas. I found that the prices here were much higher than normal.
We kept driving uphill. Soon, we were in Kodaikanal town. The first place Richard took us was to the famous Kodaikanal Lake. However, we did not stop here as we had to have lunch. Deepshree has to maintain her meal timings as she is Diabetic Type II. I am also Diabetic. However, I am Diabetic Type I and thus do not need to take as much care as Deepshree.
So, Richard drove us to Hotel Astoria. It is a 100% Vegetarian Restaurant. Here Deepshree had Sambar Rice. I did not have anything as I was not hungry.
After having lunch, we started on our way to exploring Kodaikanal. Now, there is one straight road in Kodaikanal along which all the Tourist Spots are located. There are lots of Tourist spots and the scene is beautiful from all the spots. However, the day we were in Kodaikanal, it was heavily overcast and throughout the way, it was drizzling. So, most of what we saw was covered by clouds.
The first spot we went to was Cocker’s Walk. We had to buy tickets for Rs. 30 each and Rs. 30 for carrying our camera. Richard dropped us at one end of the Cocker’s Walk and told us that he would wait for us at the other end.
We were back in our car. Then Richard drove us to another View Point which oversaw the Kodaikanal Lake.
We drove from here to another view point called Moir’s View Point. However, as the day was overcast, nothing was visible. So, we drove further to the Pine Forest. Pine Forest is full of Pine Trees. We got down here and went inside the Pine Forest.
Then we drove to Guna Caves. This place is called Guna Caves because a movie of Kamal Hassan titled Guna was shot here.
There are lots of monkeys here. I bought a raw mango for Rs. 20. As I was having it, many monkeys approached me and wanted to grab the mango. Though people tried to shoo them away, they kept advancing. I gave 2 pieces to 2 monkeys. As I was having another piece, another 2 monkeys advanced towards me. I managed to have 3 pieces and the rest I gave it the the monkeys.
We soon found that actually there is no cave at Guna Caves. It is another view point.
At each of the View Points, there is decent facilities for Toilets.
Richard told us that there was one more View Point. However, we told us to return to Coimbatore. This was because it had started to rain a bit heavily. So, we started our descent from Kodaikanal.
We drove down to Pallani and again stopped at Hotel Gowri Krishna. It was 6:30 PM at that time. We all had Coffee here. Then, we drove towards Coimbatore.
On the way, I checked the status of our return tickets. I found that it was still Waiting List number 2 and 3. So, I checked with www.redbus.in to check the options. I found one schedule for a AC Multi-Axle Bus at 4:00 PM which would reach Bangalore by 11:30 PM. Our train was at 11:30 PM from Coimbatore scheduled to reach Bangalore at 7:30 AM the next day. The bus option seemed much better as Deepshree had to be in office next day by 11:00 AM. So, I booked our seats in the bus operated by Orange Transport Company. Then I cancelled our Train Tickets.
We reached Taj at 9:30 PM. We went to our room. We ordered dinner for ourselves. Then we freshened up taking bath for the first time in that day. After dinner, we slept.
Next day, after breakfast, I went to meet our Customer. We had a good meeting. On the way back, we bought 3 Coimbatore Cotton Sarees. We also had lunch on the way. We then checked out and went to the Bus Stand. The bus arrived on time.
We reached Bangalore at 11:00 PM. From the bus stand, we booked a Uber Cab. We were home by 12:30 AM.