Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kodaikanal: Berijam Lake

Date: 2nd May 2015.

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Berijam lake was one of the most  important tourist attraction in Kodai. Located in the middle of the forest. Need permission from forest department to enter. Enough was written on the net to raise my expectations sky high.

Read more to find if it did meet or spoiled my excitement.
Made Shilpi and Harsh getup at 6 AM and got ready by 6:45. Need to get the permission from forest department and they give only 50 passes everyday.

Reached the check post at 7 AM and ours was the 7th car. Some said checkpost will open at 7:30 but a cab driver behind me said no they open only when they wish. A kid will come at his convenience and open the post. As he rightly said the boy came at 8:35.
The one hour waiting went by fighting with the guys who were trying to come in between :). Formed a gang with other drivers in front and were shouting at people trying to break the queue. Nice fun ;)

All hell broke loose when the post was open and everyone started driving crazy including me ;)

Managed to cross the post and reached the moir point where we get the pass to enter forest.
Made shilpi jump from the car and asked her to go stand in line while i park the car.

She did well to get the 16th spot in line.

After parking car asked them both to sit i car as there was 1 more hour left for the official to come.

Here too formed a gang to fight people trying to cut line. Advantage of knowing language ;)
The security at the gate said they will give pass only for 25 vehicles and asked everyone else to go and not stand in line.

Counted again to make sure i was within 25 and found i have moved to 19th from 16 :)). Now the tension started increasing and the crowd become restless.

The heat was getting the best of everyone and there was no sigh of any officer coming.

Everyone was shouting at finally at 10:30 the officer came and gave everyone a form to fill.

I filled up the form and again to submit the form there was a queue and a fight. Reminded me of movie mannan where Rajini and Goundamani gets ticket to a movie.

So after 3 hrs of standing in various lines i got the pass.

Once you have the pass you can go at what ever time you want.
Its open till 3:30 and permission is valid till whole day.

The drive through the forest was nice with trees and valleys. First point to see i silent valley view (Pic 3 above).

Next is the caps valley (thopi thooki parai).

Throw the cap and the cap will fly back towards you.
I did not have a cap and was waiting to see if someone will come with cap. This gang above came and one uncle had a cap. We all somehow convinced him to give the cap and we tried the experiment and yes the cap came back. We did 5 times and everytime it came back. This was because of some atmospheric pressure in the valley. This was a interesting place.
There was few other view points as see in the pics above it was all beautiful. Finally we reached the lake.

Parked the car again outside the  post and showed the permission slip and walked inside.

This is the view of the lake. This is one place where everyone can stand near the lake and click some pics. There was absolutely nothing to do. Cannot even put your leg in the water. Like everyone else we too took few pics and moved out.

There is no food or drinking water available so we had carried our own.

Sat in a shade and had our food.
It was not all that bad place but only the amount of hype given and the struggle that we went through make me feel 'what the nonsense'. I would definitely not recommend this place to anyone if you need to go through this ridiculous process.

Yes the drive was definitely beautiful but not worth the pain.

At the end it was another experience to remember.
Other Info:

Only 25 cars allowed per day. After that one can take the buses operated by forest dept. Its 150Rs per person. I saw 2 buses but not sure how many trips they make.

Tourist vehicle need to get the pass near moir point and the local cabs to get permission from forest department in town.

Rs 100 per vehicle for permission. You will be asked Rs20 extra ;)

Timing: 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM

No food or drinking water available in forest.

The cab operators will do all these circus of getting pass, if paid extra.

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