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How I Made My Diwali Special: By Going for a Road Trip in an Audi

From Pune to Kodaikanal in an Audi A6 and Audi Q5, to find the common ground between Diwali, Kodiakanal and Audi.

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What do Audi, Diwali and Kodaikanal have in common?

We drove out from Pune on an epic journey this November to find common ground between the three that traces its history back to over a century ago.

Sometimes things that happen aren’t really by chance or coincidence. Somewhere down the line, the effects of those events line up and start to make perfect sense – it may not even be obvious at first, but it does happen.

Something like this brought three completely independent entities together this November when MotorScribes embarked on a road trip in an Audi A6 Matrix and a Q5 to celebrate the festival of lights.

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From Pune to Kodaikanal in an Audi A6 and Audi Q5, to find the common ground between Diwali, Kodiakanal and Audi.
From Pune to Kodaikanal in two beautiful Audis. (Photo: MotorScribes)

The destination was Kodaikanal – the princess of hill stations and the three entities that aligned to make it an epic tale had absolutely no connection otherwise, till now.

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From Pune to Kodaikanal in an Audi A6 and Audi Q5, to find the common ground between Diwali, Kodiakanal and Audi.
The perfect weather to drive the Audi Q5. (Photo: MotorScribes)
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To understand this common ground, we’re going to have to rewind to over a century ago. The year was 1901 and in Europe, August Horch had just made his first ever automobile. Horch may not be a well-known name today, but it spawned automotive history like no other.

Over the next few years, August Horch went through a phase of losing his company to his partners and then eventually starting a new one by the name of Audi. Halfway around the globe in Tamil Nadu, India, Kodaikanal was a sprawling hill station set up by American missionaries and British bureaucrats to escape the immense heat in the plains below.

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It became the centre for mass appeal and as the foreign population grew, the need to educate the next generation sprung up, which is when the Kodaikanal International School first started taking in students in the exact same year as Horch made his first automobile.

The geographical location of Kodaikanal holds many advantages. Not only does it allow for a much cooler climate owing to its altitude that supports a varied variety of flora and fauna, but it also makes for a great place to set up the infrastructure for celestial observations. It was 1901 when the Kodaikanal Observatory became fully operational and over the years has contributed to the study of the Sun globally including the discovery of Sun Spots.

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From Pune to Kodaikanal in an Audi A6 and Audi Q5, to find the common ground between Diwali, Kodiakanal and Audi.
The Karnataka State Assembly building is quite a sight. (Photo: MotorScribes)
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It was these three events in 1901 that prompted us to take the Audi A6 Matrix and the Q5 to Kodaikanal from Pune as an ode to the study of light. It was quite the setting as the Audis – probably the pinnacle of automotive lighting technology – made their pilgrimage to the Kodaikanal Observatory that studies the brightest light in our sky on the day that the world celebrated the festival of lights.

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From Pune to Kodaikanal in an Audi A6 and Audi Q5, to find the common ground between Diwali, Kodiakanal and Audi.
The road trip from to Kodaikanal was an experience to remember. (Photo: MotorScribes)
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Of course, there was a whole lot of sightseeing along the way and even if you’re making the trip up the Kodai hill in any other car, it is one awesome drive that has to be done if you love driving. For us, it was more about the technology – both on the headlights of the A6 and under the bonnet with those powerful and frugal engines that took us there. It turned out to be a journey we won’t forget.

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(Muntaser Mirkar is one of India’s renowned automotive journalists and the Co-Founder of MotorScribes. He can be reached on Twitter: @Bullspeech)

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