Guna Caves of 'Manjummal Boys:' Here's what you should know if planning a trip

Guna Caves, also known as 'Pillar Rocks Cave,' has many narrow passages, deep chambers, low ceilings and an intriguing vibe that can thrill adventure seekers. Photo: Shutterstock/M J Amal

Who is getting trapped in the cave and how? The question has been on everyone's mind after the trailer of the latest Malayalam movie 'Manjummal Boys,' which had a good portion of it shot in Kodaikanal's Guna Caves, was out. Now that the film is out, social media reactions indicate many youngsters are thinking of checking out this beautiful spot for real, just like the film 'Charlie' triggered interest in the tourist spot 'Meesappulimala.' If you are planning a trip to these rock chambers, here are the things you should know before going:

What is special about Guna Caves?
Guna Caves, also known as 'Pillar Rocks Cave,' has many narrow passages, deep chambers, low ceilings and an intriguing vibe that can thrill adventure seekers. While the local people call it 'Devil's Kitchen' as they believe it was once inhabited by demons, the name 'Guna' came about after the famous 1991 Kamal Haasan - Roshni Tamil movie Guna was shot here. The caves have many intriguing rock formations including stalagmites, stalactites and natural pillars. 

Is it dangerous?
A tour to these caves can be a risky trip, if tourists are not cautious. The caves here have many slippery terrains and a few of the passages can be quite narrow. The low ceilings can result in head injuries if not careful, especially with limited lighting in its deeper areas. The cave's interiors have some complex paths. If there is heavy rainfall, certain areas can get flooded.  

How to stay safe?
Hire a local guide and follow the safety guidelines of the authorities. You should also wear appropriate footwear while visiting the caves. Carry flashlights or headlamps if you plan to explore it deep. Tourists who have claustrophobia, fear disorientation, or mobility issues can consider avoiding the trip. Do not venture off marked paths or trails. Also, avoid your trip during inclement weather. 

Where is it located?
The nearest airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai Airport (IXM), which is approximately 120 kilometers away. From Madurai Airport, you can hire a taxi or use other modes of transportation to reach Kodaikanal. The nearest major railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai Road Railway Station (KQN), which is situated about 80 kilometers away. From Kodai Road Railway Station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kodaikanal.

You can also drive to Kodaikanal or take a bus from nearby cities like Madurai, Coimbatore, or Chennai. Once you reach Kodaikanal, you can hire a taxi or use local transportation to get to Guna Caves. They are located at a distance of about 8 kilometers (approximately 5 miles) from Kodaikanal town. They are near the famous Pillar Rocks viewpoint, which is a popular tourist destination in Kodaikanal. You can ask locals or your accommodation for directions to Guna Caves, as they are a well-known attraction in the area. You may need to walk a short distance from the drop-off point to reach the entrance of the caves. 

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