From Kodaikanal to Munnar

Mountain range in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India
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From Kodaikanal to Munnar

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The Western Ghats are located on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India. The heights of the mountains are small, a little more than 2000 m. The highest point of the Western Ghats is 2637 m.
The cool mountain climate attracts a large number of vacationers, tired of the hot southern sun. Mostly Hindus.
Unfortunately, mountain tourism is not developed in India. Not only descriptions and route markings are missing, but also any maps. Not finding the right information online, we decided to find our way around. Arriving in Kodaikanal, we immediately went to the tourist information center, where nothing useful, except for primitive route schemes in the vicinity of the town, was found. After talking to an employee of the center, we realized that to pass the route on their own will be very problematic. He called an acquaintance of the guide, who kindly agreed for a fee ($ 200), to take us on mountain trails from Kodaikanal to Munnar. The amount seemed high enough for India, but we had no other options but to travel around the mountains to Kerala by bus. Because we were already tired of many days of bus travel around the cities of Tamil Nadu. And we wanted to enjoy the coolness of the mountains and beautiful views, then we had to agree.

At half past eight in the morning we go with our guide, in his minibus to the Grreenlands Youth Hostel, with a beautiful view of the surrounding hills, where he leaves his bass and the walking part of the route begins.
вначале трекинга. рядом с Гринландс хостелом
вначале трекинга. рядом с Гринландс хостелом
наш гид
наш гид
From Greenland we continue on the asphalt road St. Mary's Rd. On the left side of the road there will be a cutting footpath, which will then lead to the road again. We walk 30-40 minutes, past the TV tower to the Jewish settlement on the right. On the downhill slope we turn off the road to the left, onto a well-trodden path. The landmark is a tee house with computers and even wifi. We drink seagulls and move on along the trail.
Ти-хаус возле поворота на тропу
Ти-хаус возле поворота на тропу
Сплетение корней - это начало тропы
Сплетение корней - это начало тропы
100_7383 (Small).JPG (290.29 KiB) Viewed 2743 times
Есть чем перекусить
Есть чем перекусить
такими цветами нас приветствует таинственный лес в Западных гхатах
такими цветами нас приветствует таинственный лес в Западных гхатах
утренний таинственный лес
утренний таинственный лес
The trail leads through the woods, with strange fragrant plants. Although there are no signs, it is difficult to get off track. There are one or two shops selling drinks and small snacks, such as sneakers and chips. Gradually descending the trail leads us to the protruding rocks called "Dolphin Nose". This is a great viewing platform. This is where one of the local routes around Kodaikanal ends.
Около Носа дельфина
Около Носа дельфина
тропа магик
тропа магик
Our path continues.
We met trees with glossy leaves that smelled of lemon, and cocoa beans, and jack-fuck, and lime. And many, many other plants, birds and people creating an amazing atmosphere along the way.
ничего лучшего в мире, чем лесные тропы
ничего лучшего в мире, чем лесные тропы
заросли лантаны
заросли лантаны
гигантские цветущие травы
гигантские цветущие травы
отдых в Vellagevi
отдых в Vellagevi
На земле сушится кофе. Нам из его зерен готовят ароматный напиток, вкус волшебный, как и все нас окружающее.
На земле сушится кофе. Нам из его зерен готовят ароматный напиток, вкус волшебный, как и все нас окружающее.
Отдых в лесной деревне Vellagevi.
Отдых в лесной деревне Vellagevi.
We walked 7 hours that day, all the time down.
треккинговые палочки не помешали бы
треккинговые палочки не помешали бы
With the loss of altitude it became hotter. The coolness of the mountain was replaced by 30-degree heat. We were constantly asked if it is so hot now (in the first days of January), what is being done here at other times of the year. It was getting harder to walk.
After the wildlife went mango garden. The trail went to the site where there were several rickshaws waiting for tourists. That was the end of the pedestrian part of our route that day. Then the rickshaw took us to the bus station in Periyakulam. Without waiting long, we boarded the bus. And in about an hour we reached Theni. There we moved to the next local bus (no windows, no doors) and in about an hour we reached Bodinayakanur. This is the end of our first day of travel.
The guide accommodated us in the dirtiest, most muddy gesture we have ever seen. The heat, the unpleasant smell, the spinning fan, you can't open the window, because all the noise and all the dust will come to us, the bed creaking from the slightest touch, covered with his sleeping bag - such was our night.

Map of the descent

Map of relocations

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From Kodaikanal to Munnar. Second day

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In the morning we got up at 5. Actually, I didn't sleep at all. As now I see the room of this guest house in front of me, I feel those smells and sounds. Maybe it was such a special trash-room, where Indian guides of European tourists lodge... We packed our belongings and made our way to the bus station, which is nearby. We drank tea from a street food vendor. We plunged into the bus and drove further towards Bodi Hill North to the small village of Kuragani, or another unofficial name of Bottom station. The bus meandered along the night road, climbing higher and higher into the mountains. As we climbed it got colder. We began to get warm things out of our backpacks, and as soon as we were well insulated, we arrived at the place. Asphalt is over. It is still dark, but we immediately begin to climb the path, stumbling over stones. Our guide says it's about to start getting light. And indeed, as you rise, the contours of the mountains begin to be guessed, and then the first rays of the sun begin to color the opposite slope of the gorge.
Beginning of the ascent
Beginning of the ascent
Old english road
Old english road
Views of the surrounding mountains
Views of the surrounding mountains
After yesterday's endless descent, my legs hurt a lot. It's good that today you have to go up all the time - other muscles of the legs are working.
Very beautiful, extensive thickets of fragrant lemongrass, interspersed with flowering lantana. Gradually, the old stone English road begins to appear. Below it is quite ruined (perhaps the Indians used stones to build their dwellings), but as it rises it becomes good. Well made, for the ages.
lanthanum
lanthanum
The only mode of transport plodding through thickets of fragrant lemongrass
The only mode of transport plodding through thickets of fragrant lemongrass
Admiring, enjoying and suffering at the same time, we reach the village half way. This is the former central station of the cable car. It was also built by the British (rather Indians under the leadership of the British) and ran from below to the central station and further to the top to the upper station. The cable car was used to transport tea from the Munnar plantation to Tamil Nadu. Now only the names remain from this dog: Central Station Kotagudi Ropeway, Top Station View Point.
Here we sit down with a good-natured hostess. We drink lemon tea, chat, relax. The guide tells the history of the area. In addition to the story about the lift, we learn that at the beginning of the last century there was a narrow gauge railway from Top Station to Munnar and a small train ran. Now there is no train or railroad. In the photo near the shack you can see a piece of rail.
Middle of the way. Cable car central station
Middle of the way. Cable car central station
Cable car central station
Cable car central station
Above the mist
Above the mist
But it's not the top yet
But it's not the top yet
Further only the path
Further only the path
We rise further. The fog gradually hides the beauty of the surrounding mountains. We go to the observation hill Top Station. On which people are taken from Munar - to admire the mountains. There is a good paved road nearby. We are back in civilization. The ascent took about 7 hours.
We sit in a cafe, around the tea plantations. We drink tea again and wait for the bus to Munar. The bus arrived on schedule, which is surprising for India.
On top of a great road
On top of a great road
As you can see on the maps, in two days we traveled more than we passed. But it was a unique experience. We plunged not only into the nature of the Western Ghats, but also into the Indian life of villages and cities very rarely visited by Europeans. From our guide we learned a lot about the life of ordinary people in South India and the surrounding nature.
Route. Blue - tracking. Red - moving by motor transport.
Route. Blue - tracking. Red - moving by motor transport.
Rise Map
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