I am so sorry but this is again a long overdue post! You must be wondering how come I am sitting in Holland and updating my India travel stories! Well i always had a blog where i used to write down my travel stories. But somehow i didnt get much time to update it regularly. And now after i moved overseas, i have all the time in the world to write 🙂 (Just kidding!) So i was just reading through my old blog and found this post there. As i was deleting the old one, i thought of migrating a few valuable posts into this space 🙂 I hope you enjoy this post of mine! Happy Reading:)
Mr J and I badly needed a break from our monotonous travel-less life and hence we decided to make a weekend getaway to the scenic Kodai :)This was my Fourth visit to the picturesque hill station also known by the epithet “Princess of Hill Stations”.
This hill station is located 7200 feet above sea level amongst the beautiful Western Ghat mountain ranges. Kodaikanal is a part of the Palani Hill range and is under the control of Dindigul district which is a part of Tamil Nadu. This place is known for its Kurinji flowers which blooms mostly in the month of December once in every twelve years and turns the whole valley into a beautiful blue sea. It had last bloomed in the year 2006 and is expected to blossom next in the year 2018.We did spot a lot of these handloom shops selling sarees which have the kurinji flowers in them. However, we didnt buy any!
Duration of the Trip
We left on Saturday night by train (Tuticorin express) from Bangalore and got down at Kodai Road. Then we rented a taxi to take us to our resort. It was a tiresome 3 hour journey ! I did ask the driver to stop several times thanks to the hairpin curves! Reached our place at 10 am sharp! It was a 3 days and 2 night’s trip.. and returned back to Bangalore on 6:40 am on Wednesday.
What to see
Coakers Walk- is a magnificent gift of Mother Nature to Kodaikanal and its tourists. This 1 km long pedestrian walkway gives the most beautiful views of the mountains and the villages nearby. Best time to visit is Evening 5-7 pm. There is a telescope house in this place. Ticket for the telescope house is Rs. 20/- per person. Entry fees for this place is Rs. 10/- per person, normal camera Rs. 50/- and movie camera Rs. 100/-
Pillar Rocks– three precisely twisted erect huge rocks footing shoulder to shoulder, rising from the abundant valley measuring 122 meters high, a splendid site to gaze at. The view is amazing.During the evening the clouds descend and hence blocks the view. So afternoon is an ideal time .
Bryant Park – is a fantastically maintained botanical garden .The park is situated right next to the Kodai lake. A great place to take pictures. Varied and colorful flowers can be found here! Its a wonderful pollution-free environment 🙂
Pine Forest – My favorite of them all! A very charming forest indeed 🙂 The pine plantations will not fail to mesmerize you by its ambience. The view gets better when the forest is full of fog.So try to go there when it gets foggy 🙂 I really wish i could share pics from my trip but then i am there in all the pictures posing 😛
Devil’s Kitchen – are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic loss of twelve youths there who once got deeper into the cave and never returned. Hold on! Any bells ringing ??? yeah yeah! its the same place where Kamal Haasan’s Guna song was shot… Kanmani Aanbodu…..
La Salieth Church- This beautiful church draws hundreds of devotees towards our Blessed Mother. An imposing French structure with exquisite architecture! The Church celebrates the carnival on 15th of August each year. and that would be the best time to visit.
Kodai Lake is the most popular place in Kodaikanal 🙂 Rowboats and pedal boats are available for hire. The boat charges vary from Rs 50/- to Rs. 100/- .Mr J and i did everything except the boating as our schedule was pretty much packed wit a zillion activities! We really wanted to do this on the last day but i was a tad bit worried if we would miss our train back home! If boating is not your thing, then rent bikes and ride around the lake 🙂 You will love it for sure!
Where we stayed:
Sterling Resorts. One night at Sterling Lakeview and the second at Sterling Valley view (Pallangi Road, Attuvampatti to be more precise ). The former is blessed with a great location- next to the Lake while the latter offers stunning views of the surrounding valley and hills. The room were huge and squeaky clean.
The resort boasts of fun-filled recreational activities such as board games, renting bicycles, nature walks, rope adventures or they end up joining other guests around the bonfire and theme parties during evening. Due to the time constraint, we ended up playing a couple of board games, we rented a cycle ( Rs 59/Hr) , and did an awesome trek in the thick forests where we covered 4 kms in 3 hours and caught a glimpse of the Pamba falls! Our guide, Vadivelu who took us around the forest was a fun person to be with and this made our trek all the more memorable. This one was the first of its kind and for sure will remain well etched in my memory.
Hmmmm… Nothing exceptionally good that i would go back and have. Our dinner was from Carlton, a plush 5 star hotel , Apart from that, we tried the food from Sterling and Annapoorna! Annapoorna is recommended for vegetarians and they are reasonably priced too 🙂
What we loved
- The ubiquitous chocolate shops.This place is a chocolate lover’s paradise with numerous stores which sell homemade chocolate… Don’t immediately buy chocolate at the first shop you see, you will certainly see more. We loved the almond and cashew filled chocos and also the dark chocos. Somehow, i really didn’t like the white chocolates. I would give it a miss, the next time i am offered. But you may want to try it out.
- Cycling around the lake! it was an amazing time to ride in the chilly misty weather 🙂 Hopped onto a cycle after a decade and enjoyed the ride to the fullest. Dont miss it! You can rent them at a lot of places for cheaper rates (10 bucks/hr ), however we got ours from our plush resort for Rs 59/Hr!
- You can also grab some real good Eucalyptus oil from the stores. They are sold in almost every single shop in Kodai and they claim to have the most purest form of the oil which can be used for medical/cosmetic purposes. I picked a couple of them for my folks back home!
- The fruits in Kodai are famous for their freshness and quality. You can binge on plums,pears, lychees, rambootans, avacados and not to forget Mr J’s favorite Purple mangosteen !
- Our Trek with Mr Vadivelu 🙂
Final Verdict- An easy ,inexpensive weekend getaway 🙂