July 25, 2011

A Visit to Kodaikanal

This past week we had our first BCA excursion to Kodaikanal and Madurai. Kodaikanal is a beautiful mountain town located to the South of Chennai. I'll share some pictures with you.

First off, we traveled by an overnight train from Chennai to Kodaikanal. Our train left around 9pm and we arrived around 6am in Kodai (pronounced Cody). This train was sketch, i.e. above sign. 

B, Hannah, and I are SUPER excited to sleep on this train overnight. 

We reach Kodai! Welcome to a few days in cool air and mountainous views!

We visited a gorgeous Zen Bodhi temple, where one can stay for 200 Rs a night or about $5 USD (meals and beautiful views included). We explored a bit, then we were able to do some meditation. 

JJ turned 21! We celebrated his birthday with some Mango Cheescake! It was not like cheesecake you would get in the states, it was much more pastry like. 

We feasted our eyes on a beautifully huge Indian Bison, known as Gower. His name was Biff and he lived in this pear orchard. Gower are much more muscular than American Bison. He was gorgeous, but he didn't get too close because he could gore us to death. 

Our guide, Vijay, a regular Indian mountain man. He was SO knowledgeable! He's even featured in Lonely Planet, I would definitely recommend him if you're ever in Kodai. 

While hiking, we learned that there are only 3 kinds of edible mushrooms in India and only 1 of these are hallucinogenic mushrooms or "Magic Mushrooms." Vijay, our guide, said it takes about 8 to get a buzz and if you eat 12 -"There is nothing like it!" Apparently, it's a big thing eat Magic Mushrooms and then play a round of golf in Kodai!

We traveled to the "Edge of the World" as Vijay would say. Through the clouds we could see 3 large pillars of stone.

This is Bethany (or B) my roommate. She is a delight and hails from Elizabethtown College by way of Boston. 

Bridgewater jumping picture!

 Me and the Mountains. 

I could never get tired of looking at mountains. Ever. 

The Daily Bread had the BEST ice cream! It was the Harvey's of India. For real. I tried mango, jackfruit, and banana during our stay there. It was about 8 Rs for a scoop. This is where JJ's mango cheesecake came from and we also snagged some chocolate donuts for the next leg of our journey.
Also - anytime a beggar was begging outside of this shop a worker from inside would bring them a baked good to eat. They were wonderful people.

This requires a bit of a background explanation. Sometimes we'll refer to JJ as "Heeey! JJ!" just for fun. Well, when at Pick-n-Pack the other day I found a treat called "AJJ" I had no idea what it was and the package didn't give much information, but I bought it for him anyway. 
It ended up tasting really good!

1 comment:

  1. hi katie.glad to hear that u had a gr9 time in kodai.im from chennai but have never got to explore the beauty of kodai.im thinkin of makin a trip to kodai this dec and probably try shrooms over there as well.if u still got ur tour guides contact,do post or mail it to me at karthick.27sa@gmail.com
    other than that if u ve got some tips or contacts,do post them :) cheers