Amazing curves of dots on an Aboriginal mural at the Satyananda Ashram, Mangrove Mountain in Australia…
India is not all sweeping plains and flats. It has some lovely places to visit in the hills too. One such wonderful destination is the hill station of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. It is known as the princess of hill stations because of its beauty and serenity.
Winding up the narrow roads and hairpin bends that lead to Kodaikanal you immediately notice the temperature getting cooler. This is why hill stations have been so popular for years ~ they provide a welcome respite from the heat of the plains. We stayed at Kodaikanal in January and the day would start off sunny and clear but by 2pm the fog would start to roll in and the temperature plummet. We even had to ask for more blankets at our hotel…something we had never had to do before in India.
The town of Kodaikanal centres around the beautiful Kodaikanal Lake. Here you can hire boats to discover and enjoy the lake or bikes to ride right around its circumference. Kodaikanal is also famous for its delicious chocolate and its numerous shops stocking it are hard to resist. There is also a lovely lookout above the town which gives you a perfect view down over the plains.
Do pop the princess of hill stations ~ Kodaikanal on your next itinerary to Tamil Nadu.
How did I meet an aspiring Indian filmmaker? Read my post “We Are Really Rock Stars. . . Action TV Stars” for the details. The students and I were invited to be tourists playing tourists in two episodes of a very popular Indian action TV show called Shapath-Sabe Bado Talaaph. Chandresh Bhatt was the line producer for these episodes. He was in charge of the actors, extras, transportation, food, timing and just about all the details needed to run seamlessly for the shoot to be successful.
Our host decided to dress me up for my birthday. I got an Indian outfit, pearl jewelry, and my hair done with flowers and a braid. We drove to the hills where we were going to see a Jain cave temple.
At the bottom of the hill, a pond is filled with lotus flowers and gigantic fish. Our host explained that it is part of the tradition of visiting holy sites to feed the fish.
Fleeting views from the car in Bangalore, India…
This video is by my lovely friends Edo and Jo featuring their uplifting kirtan song “Shiva”.
For more information on this talented duo visit their fantastic website.
“Why are you two lovely ladies looking so happy?” asked a gentlemen in the breakfast room of our Bangalore hotel.
“We’re off shopping for the day!” exclaimed Padma and I gleefully.
“Shopping? Where do you shop in Bangalore? I have three daughters and a wife back home and I have been here for a month and haven’t been able to find them anything!”
“Ah…you just have to know where to look” said Padma.
With that she took out her notebook and we wrote a page long map with shopping tips for him. The gentleman was so happy and appreciative.
That is the key to a perfect shopping day ~ squirrelling out shops that are interesting, different and fun to be in.
One shop we recommended to him was The Orange Bicycle. We found this cutie on our last trip to Bangalore. We bought perfect and tasteful Indian inspired gifts here to take back to friends and family back home.
You can find the Orange Bicycle at:
The Orange Bicycle
House No : 3353, 5th Cross
12th “A” Main ,HAL 2nd Stage
The store promotes itself as ”… a store for the woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Someone who is always looking for a fresh idea and embraces the same in her life.”
So if you are looking for fresh shopping ideas rush over to the gorgeous Orange Bicycle. Its lovely rooms filled with goodies will make your shopping day perfect.