We move to the south of India on yet another untold journey, and head to vividly bio-diverse hills of Tamil Nadu. With the famed flora-fauna, climactic peculiarity and escape from the heat in mind our queries bring forth whispered travelers’ tales of a tiny village in the clouds.
“This is Vatta!”
The public transport in India is almost always a significant part of the travel experience; seems that it’ll persist as an integral part of our tale as well.
Enter “Disco Bus”
It is 5:30 am. You’re still groggy outside the Kodai Road railway station sipping on some piping hot filter coffee when the first bus to Kodaikanal Town rolls up. You get inside to take your seat and stash your bags. It’s still 5:40 am and there are disco lights in the bus playing to the tune of dhin-chak Tamil music. The décor is garishly colorful with plastic flowers and vines bathed alternatively in pink/purple/blue/green lights. While you laugh and joke about it, the “Disco bus” fills up and starts.
As the dawn breaks you head out to the fields littered with rock. The villages start waking up and people pile on to the disco bus all showered and freshly anointed with strong spiced aromatic hair oils (a slight departure from the expected coconut; I guess this is due to the famously rich soil in these parts where a lot of spices are cultivated).
Feel the Way
As you start to ascend the hills, the forest starts to grow around you; while you’re moving, the forest is growing. It’s a happy and wondrous feeling; unless you’re too much into the horror genre, in which case it’s a creepy feeling. The huge trees everywhere have vines and bushes amongst them.
The shawls and sweaters appear, the windows start shutting; annoyingly, because the air is freshening up! The narrow winding vein of a road climbs about 2000 meters in just 80 kms, pretty steep. It is advisable to closely snuggle up if you’re traveling with someone. Like the dew that doesn’t let the leaves go.
With that warm thought and a tantalizing peek at this whisper of a village we’ll see you soon with more…
By “UcL Wanderers”
(Part 1 of 5)