If you haven’t yet read the first part of this travel-story, you should head over there first – My search for so(u)litude – Part 1.
After hitting our hotel, we spent the first three days simply sitting in the garden of the main building, soaking in all the sun we could. The irony was we came here to escape from the sweltering sun of Bangalore. But the chilly weather here made us want the sunlight even more.
The hotel property was super lovely. Almost giving you the feeling of living in an isolated jungle. The best part was the abundant flora and fauna all around us. Each day I spotted dozens of new species of birds which I hadn’t seen before. Listening to them sing every day was beyond comforting. I sat there for hours reading books or just staring at the trees. Somehow it felt like the best use of our time instead of rushing to some tourist spots. The hotel guys thought that was weird. It wasn’t common for them to see the guests arrive at the hotel and spend their days just idling in the gardens. They’re blissful ignorants who don’t know what it’s like to like in concrete jungles.
It was one of the best stays I’ve enjoyed till now and would definitely recommend you to give it a try when you’re in Kodaikanal. You can read more about the stay here.
When we finally decided to hit the road and explore the area, we got caught up with unending traffic due to the peak holiday season. After facing the crowd and traffic woes, we decided to ditch the popular tourist spots of Kodaikanal and go somewhere where we could have some quiet time and actually enjoy the beautiful scenery that was all around us. We decided to go to a place called “Poombrai village”. And boy! were we happy that we made that decision!
Poombrai is a small village which is at a few hours drive from Kodaikanal. It was a pretty cute village with colourful houses presenting a view of mosaic mishmash of small hutments from the top. And it seemed pretty small as well. From the top, it looked like some fewer than 100 households.
We stopped at a cliff to get an unhindered view of the village. While we were busy gazing at the beautiful mountainside and the village, a few village women crossed us. We watched the women as they carried off chopped wood from the mountain top tracing their walking trail through the woods. The driver told us that this was the routine for many village women. The villagers still relied entirely on burning of firewood for their primary source of energy.
He also told us that the Government had offered the villagers free LPG gas connection for each house. But the villagers had refused! Because they thought LPG was dangerous and it causes explosions. Sigh! And so the women continue to carry the wood each day to fulfil all their household needs! Sometimes ignorance is really not a bliss!
Also read: My search for so(u)litude – Part 1
Exploring more sereneness
From there we headed towards a place called Mannavanur. For the most part of the journey, we didn’t encounter another vehicle!
The road was so empty that I kept wondering if we were going to some really strange place. But the destination was everything I could ask for!
It was super hazy and super beautiful. At one turn, we stopped by to take a good look at our destination.
Mannavanur looked exactly like the kind of place we were looking for. Away from the crowds, untouched and full of amazing green horizons.
Although there were a few people and tourists here as well, compared to Kodaikanal, from where we just came, this place was almost devoid of humans!
On our way to the lake, we noticed a few huts covered with special leaves. We realized that those were eucalyptus leaves and the huts were used to produce Eucalyptus oil by the villagers. We had already seen the oil extraction process on our SriLanka trip. But we were curious about the methods followed in this part of the country so we decided to visit one of the huts.
The setup was very similar to the ones we had seen before. We did not miss to buy some handmade oil from the owner.
By the time we reached the place, showers had increased. So we took shelter to grab a quick bite.
For some reason, Maggi tastes magically more delicious in the rains, doesn’t it?
When the rains stopped we made our way to the lake.
It was one of the most beautiful sights I’d seen. The silence there was deafening. These few peaceful moments made our vacation meaningful and the whole trip worthwhile. I hope the place stays that way for at least some more time.
If you liked this article, do subscribe to my blog to read more such stories.