Tucked away amidst the lush green hills of Western Ghats in Tamilnadu, 20 kms away from the Kodaikanal town, is this small yet peaceful village named Poombarai. During my recent visit to Kodai, I spend 2 nights visiting all the usual sightseeing spots in Kodaikanal, but to be honest, I did not feel the Kodaikanal vibe I came looking for until I visited this village “Poombarai”. Maybe it is because I do not like too much crowd. I love and visit hills for some secluded and peaceful time of my own. In all those places which my driver took me, I found nothing but the so-called “Tourists” and lots of plastics and wastes littered all around, which pretty much cut the whole ambience of the place totally.
I asked my driver Babu whether there is any place far away from the town, where I can sit and relax for some time, somewhere more scenic and off-beat. He thought for a moment and said: “There is a small village away from the town, you would definitely like it sir, but it is at least 20 km away and there are no specific sightseeing places there, just a small village.”
I nodded yes, let’s go. I was looking for a spot just like he described, a small village by the hills and no tourists. The road to Poombarai from Kodaikanal is ecstatic for any traveller. At first, it seemed 20 km is pretty far, but once we started the drive, it was pure fun and I wished the road never end. We drove past through thick sholas and pine forests on both sides, vividly coloured trees and mind-blowing scenes of lined up hills at a distance.
We stopped at a viewpoint on the way to get hold of a cup of Coffee. It was freezing outside and the Weather demanded something hot. I reached the tea shop few steps from where we stopped and was exposed to this panoramic view of the hills. I grabbed my cup of Coffee and stood there catching the cool breeze brushing my face off. Now, this is was something I loved during the visit. No crowd, no sound. Beautiful!
Poombarai was just 4 kms from this very viewpoint. Babu told me Poombarai is even more beautiful. I said let’s see and we resumed our journey. I started getting distant glimpses of the Poomparai Village already. Lush green vegetable farms surrounded by huge mountains, colourful residential buildings dot the landscape, Poombarai already seemed to be something interesting to see.
Finally, Babu took a downhill hairpin bend and I saw a board written “Poombarai”. Yes! We reached. As we finished the hairpin turn, AH! There it was, a small colourful village set on top of a hill, amidst other giant mountains of the Western Ghats.
Surrounded by verdant farmlands and beautiful peaks, experiencing pleasant weather all year round, this village is set at a spectacular spot. I felt envious of the villagers here to have got such a peaceful and beautiful place to stay.
No pollution! Salubrious cool air and fresh veggies!!!
While I was exploring this small village on foot, a lady called me begging to buy her carrots. Just like Babu told, many different types of vegetables are grown here. Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for the residents here. I got my hands on few farm fresh organic carrots. I must say it tastes completely different from the carrots we get in cities. This is pure juicy and sweet as well. Thumps Up!
I asked Babu to park the car somewhere and join me. We walked through certain interior routes to explore more of this paradisiacal village. We came across certain spectacular viewpoints which I am sure is unknown to many.
By evening tea time, we had a cup of hot pot tea from the local tea shop and started back to Kodaikanal town. For me, Poombarai was the highlight of the tour.
If I have an option to quit my job right now and plan to settle somewhere peaceful and beautiful, I would not think twice, Poombarai it is. For all travellers out there, if you happen to visit Kodaikanal, do not miss this tranquil village side of Poombarai. I swear you won’t regret.