Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal has a man-made lake right in the center of the town. Indeed, the town appears to be built around the lake. I can only assume this was the intention of the original designers of the hill station.

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We pass the lake on our way to the main gate of school from our house, and we pass a main road as well. the main road appears to be a dam — whether the road is built on the dam or extended above it I don’t know, but I believe the former. All I know is on one side of the road is the lake and on the other is a drop-off where many houses are situated. 

Whenever I pass I look down at the houses and think only of the Johnstown Flood.

For those of you who do not know of this event, I will describe it briefly. The owner of a country club, which was situated 17 miles outside and up the mountain from Johnstown PA, neglected to keep the lake’s dam maintained; it burst, and 2 1/2 miles of water came crashing down on Johnstown. This was in 1883 (I think), and it was the biggest tragedy in the history of the United States until 9/11/01, killing more than 2000 people.

I wrote a poem about the Johnstown Flood, and it was published by Zouch Magazine. You can read it here.

The Kodaikanal lake is about 6 kilometers around, and at a fast pace, takes about an hour to walk (I know that because I just did it today). 6 kilometers is 3 3/4 miles. Man, I hope that dam is well maintained.

When I first arrived, we had no Internet connection at our house, so I had to go to school and use the staff computer lounge to check e-mail and finish writing my book-length poem, which was stored on a cloud server. I tended to always go to one workstation because I could crane my neck ever so slightly and get a lovely view of the lake. It kept my company while I pushed through writer’s block, and once the muse had struck, it kept the words flowing.


People who know me know I am not particularly fond of water, especially water I can’t see through. But there is something peaceful about lakes in general, and there is something even more peaceful about knowing there is a lake five minutes away from my house.

When have I ever been able to say that? 

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