“Devil’s Kitchen” – which is locally called as the Guna caves would figure in all the tourist sites as one of the places to visit in Kodaikanal. The caves are bat-infested and are formed by the imposing boulders or pillar rocks in three directions.
This place has been know as “Devil’s kitchen” until Kamal Hassan (one of the legends of Tamil Cinema) chose this place to depict a kidnapping plot in the movie “Guna” in early 1990’s. Prior to this movie this place was not very famous and was a favourite spot for hippies and hikers who were looking for adventure.
The hike to the cave is extremely dangerous and would require you to wade through dense vegetation and hop over boulders and rocks which are very slippery – one wrong step and you end up hundreds of feet below in the thick vegetation. During my college days, we had made several plans to visit this place, but somehow it never materialized. But on the hind-sight, I am thankful that we never did this trek as there have been many accidents at this spot.
You will find a memorial at the entrance to the Shola remembering a trader from Madurai who slipped and fell to his death in one of the crevices in the 1950s. His body was recovered around 500 Feet below after a day. There was another incident where a group of 12 students took the adventurous hike to the caves and never returned back. After these incidents, the forest department has isolated this place and has barricaded this place with huge grills.
Watch this Youtube video of a Song from the Tamil movie “Guna” (the movie which made this place famous) which was shot at Guna caves.
Frankly speaking, there is nothing much to see at this place. I guess this place became famous mainly because of the mystery behind the caves. But, with the access to these caves being cut off, I guess there is nothing much to see at this spot.
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So I was planning to visit this place in this coming monsoon, but according to my study, Pune to Kodaikinal will at least take one hop. Eventually, I have dropped the idea for now. If you have better and cheap route ideas, please share.
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You can take a train.. There are many trains which run between Pune to Madurai (Check trains which go to Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari etc).. They will either stop at Dindigul/Madurai or Kodai road.. From these places, you can hire a cab to Kodaikanal.. The train journey from Pune to Madurai would be around 24hrs and the drive to Kodaikanal around 2.5 to 3 hrs. hope this information helps you.