I love traveling and traveling on road-less travelled is my favourite. Wherever I go I look for places beyond the regular and I find it more exciting than what has been explored by many. Though many perhaps like taking such travels but don’t give much thought as it keeps them away from the comfort. But I am someone always like adventure and try to venture places that not many chose to travel or ready to lookout for. During my stay at Thandikudi, near Kodaikanal, I explored a route that was less travelled or abandoned since alternate and more comfort roads was developed. Though it was the first road to Kodaikanal many unknown about it.
The road that slides before Perumal Malai on the main road to the Kodaikanal, leads to the mango city Periyakulam via Adukkam village and Kumbakkarai waterfalls at the foothills. From the time I know about this road, a short route to Kodaikanal when going by Periyakulam or Theni, I want to explore it and travel as much possible. I learned the road up to Adukkam village (half on the mountain) was travelable though the road wasn’t good and worst beyond that, we tied our best and it was possible only because of our Scorpio (SUV). For the most part of the road was unpaved or washed away as it wasn’t relayed after it was originally laid by the British. And the road is narrow which means facing a vehicle would make either take reverse or adjust space for the opposite to pass.
|The view of narrow winding road from the Adukkam village towards Kumbakkarai falls, which we didn't take.|
The road wasn’t narrow but also potholed for large that any car would get bottom hurt unless it was an SUV or height ground clearance vehicle. The people from one of the vehicles (Hyundai Santro) that was coming up from Periyakulam warned us not to go further or beyond Adukkam as the road was in bad shape but still we managed up to Adukkam and turned back thinking it was our limit. Though few jeep drivers encouraged that we can go all the way to Kumbakkarai, as the villagers have cleared the road lately, we didn’t mind to go beyond and since it was late afternoon we don’t want to take risk and turned away with the view of winding lane down the hills.
|The pristine mountains and valleys... you could see a lone house (in white color) at a distance|
|Awesome view of mountains and ridges across the valley|
This road beholds views that are pristine and most part of the valley and mountains seem untouched by many. Being an initial and pretty old road to Kodaikanal, which seems to be laid in late 1800s or early 1900s, continue to hold the charm as most part of the route was undamaged by the tourism cottages or buildings. But I got to see few beautiful farm houses and bungalows and a stretch of coffee and orange plantations en route to the Adukkam, from there till the foothill is quite wild forest. Adukkam isn’t a big village and it comes to view few kms before on road resembling a small nest on the laps of mountains.
|Here's a view on the Adukkam village nestled in the valley and below is a close up on the same|
|The village is surrounded by hill banana plantation|
I heard bullock carts were the first vehicles to take this road and we could see the roadside stone barriers and milestones still exists along with good patch of tar road at some places truly exhibits the quality of roads laid then. The day was sunny when we venture this route in early summer, though the weather doesn’t bother much as we continue to stay on mountains I couldn’t take more photos due to sun glares and reflection of windows many went dark images. Interestingly we met an old woman, when we stopped to take photos on the red coffee beans, scold us not to take photos on her coffee plants. She told her plants weren’t flourishing well already and you taking photos may get evil eye! lol
|The red coffee beans, what the old woman said no to capture!|