I have never been more mesmerized by any other destination than the “Princess of Hills”. My first rendezvous with her was in 2008 and yet to get bored. A city in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, at an elevation of 2100mts along the Palani Hill range. Thick forests, waterfalls, lakes and misty mountains call for a romantic sojourn.
Although this place has a reputation to be a honeymooner’s paradise and if you’re wondering what single boys do here? Let me show you the other side of this magnificent hill station before you conjure some perverted thoughts.
The princess is mystical! Like a scene taken straight out of the TV show “Vikings”. The moment you enter, you witness her wetness!!!
Star attractions within a radius of 8km from her center are: “Kodai Lake” located in the heart of the city, is a man-made lake famous for its boating. “Pillar rocks” situated about 7km from Kodai lake, are mammoth granite boulders standing at a massive 400 feet with a “Devil’s Kitchen” between them known as “Guna Caves” which is now closed due to a movie and those unfortunate followers who perished here. “Moir Point”, “Coaker’s Walk” & “Suicide Point” are my favorite spots to be above the clouds.
In an elusive search for solitude, you might find it at ‘Vattakanal’ which is about 6km from the town (towards ‘Pambarpuram‘). You’re surrounded by pear orchards, pine trees and a mob from Israel munching on Maggi noodles. The trek down to “Dolphin’s Nose” and “Raja’s Seat” are for those who can climb back up, without needing a backup!
While you’re trekking you might bump into “Sonata” a Russian fire dancer. If she decides to showcase her skills, all you gotta do is dance, drink, and eat that fungi that everyone keeps talking about. Spreading those positive vibes all around!!
While I was tending to the bonfire, an animal with white socks sneaked up on me. Much to my horror, the ‘Bison’ was looking straight at me and was just a few feet away. I ran for my life, tripping on everything around.
I was shaken up from those colorful reveries to the sound of my bed sheet caretaker whining about me not exploring enough of the place. I took stock and ventured out.
‘Mannavanur’: A heartland for those elephant dung fungi. 35km from Kodai lake, lies this hamlet of terrace farmers and a magnificent lake. Entry to the lake is guarded and is restricted to everyone but the white socked beasts.
‘Kookal’: A tiny suburb of mist bitten temple lovers. A 6 km deviation to the right en-route to Mannavanur’. A splendid lake to behold while you sing Led Zepp’s ‘Misty Mountain’
My friend “The Coconut” on the other hand had more pressing matters to attend to. The rum we bought from Bangalore was stolen. It was crucial, as the locally available booze was quite horrific. Seeking retribution, the Sherlock in him arose, as he hatched a plan to turn the tables on “John – The Stealer”. We distracted John and in utter stealth mode, broke into his room and got our rum back.
Berijam Lake: A reservoir 21km from the town, located deep within the reserve forests is a source for drinking water. Entry to the lake is restricted by the Tamil Nadu Forest department on the road leading to it, entry permits are required and the number of visitors are limited. The forest department has tours available for a very nominal fee.
It’s been 12 years, the princess and me are still going strong! What started as an infatuation is now a full fledged alliance.
Until next time my love….