A Weekend At The Hill Station - Kodaikanal Trip & Places To Visit
It was in the month of May that I realized I completed 3 months of "Married" status as per my Facebook account. My heart was beati...
During our ticket booking process, we realized that the quickest way to reach Kodaikanal from Bangalore is by bus. I was little apprehensive as I am not fond of Indian buses, but I was so willing to take this break that I went ahead anyway. It is shocking to realize that India has grown and flourished in so many ways when it comes to technology and fashion but our infrastructure and roads remain the same. Even beautiful locations like Kodaikanal are not well connected. Somewhere during my final year MBA research, I learned that India is ranked below economically challenged African countries when it comes to roads and infrastructure area. I hope this improves soon. For now, let's check out my most awaited Kodaikanal trip details.
We got our tickets in a KSRTC bus. The ticket price was 1800 INR per person for a round trip. We planned a 3 days trip and started to Kodaikanal on Friday evening. We reached Kodaikanal after a 12 hour journey on Saturday morning. Kodaikanal is nestled 7200 feet above sea level in upper Palani hills of the Western Ghats near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. It is nick named as "Princess of Hill Stations" as it offers every ounce of beauty for eyes. Our not so comfortable journey became worth it just at the moment we reached there.
The hotel chosen by me was Kodai Resort which was in a convenient location. It costed around 4000 INR with taxes per night but I got it for 3315 INR through Ibibo. It is a beautiful resort and I was happy that I chose this one. We got our room on the lower level. Though the view was good, we had to climb a number of steep steps each time we had to come out. Our luxurious suite was very comfortable inside and I loved it. There was a beautiful garden area outside and the view from our suite was stunning. There were ostriches, ducks and other birds with a variety of flowers in the garden area. The swings in the children area made it all the more worthwhile. It was peaceful and relaxing to just be there and enjoy the location. The breakfast was available at the resort itself and the spread was very good. We had both South Indian and North Indian food varieties available and it tasted decent.
However, there were few things which bothered me about our stay. There was no 24 hour hot water service, no carpets and rugs in such cold place and food was costly with an average quality. In addition to this, one thing which bothered me about our stay there was that the people over there were much laid back and miss Do Not Disturb door signs.
This resort had its own pros and cons but we did visit a good number of places in Kodaikanal and it was a beautiful experience.
Places To Visit In Kodaikanal:
The same evening we reached in Kodaikanal we started exploring near by places by walking. We were pleasantly surprised that one of the tourist attractions Coakers Walk was just in front of our resort. It is a long walk with breath taking views. The misty and cloudy weather was giving an impression of walking in another world altogether. But of course hawkers, various photographers and memento shops were present in the side path. Sunset view was amazing from this place and I was elated to be capturing all these moments in my camera and heart.
Next we walked till the star shaped Lake of Kodaikanal and loved the sight it offered. It was mostly like a Bollywood movie location and there were boating clubs aligned. We had a short peddle boat ride for 50 INR for 20 mins. There was Shikara ride available as well. The lake looked mesmerising till it was cloudy and drizzling but as sun started shining the water became a little smelly. However our boat peddling turned out a good exercise and we were amazed to see so many honeymoon couples were there at this beautiful lake.
Silent Valley(Echo Point):
Silent Valley was the first to be seen in our packaged tour which costs around 1000 INR by a private car. It was typically a half day tour and I was excited like a child when we started. It was mainly misty and clouds were floating around when we reached there. But we could not enjoy much as we could see nothing but white clouds and fog from the cliff.
It is another panorama view point where we had a brief halt as it was too crowded in that season.
Caps Fly Valley:
The view from this point was mesmerising. We could see hills aligned and our driver demonstrated us that true to its name, leaves, caps and lighter things would fly if thrown in the valley. It looked like a magic and it was an awesome feeling to be able to see all of it.
Berijam Lake View:
Then we have the Berijam Lake which looked very beautiful from a distance. It was the same location where "Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar" movie scene was shot. It looked spectacular amidst lush green forest and sparkled like a jewel.
Our last day included our visit to the Berijam Lake. It was extremely crowded that day especially because it was a weekend. Our driver cum guide informed that water level has eventually reduced in this lake. He also added that many waterfalls have dried up due to scarcity of water. Being a nature lover, it was sad to know about water scarcity in such an amazing holiday spot. However, when we walked towards the lake the splendour of the location just swept me off my feet. This is one location which competes with holiday destinations abroad. I loved the sceneries and the lake sparkled like a jewel.
The last stop we made was at the Fairy Falls which was absolutely dry at that point of time. Fairy Falls is famous for having whole sale and authenticated natural products for skin and hair, spices, mouth fresheners, homemade chocolates, tea and coffee. Being a beauty geek I picked up a face cream, a cleanser and an Aloe Vera gel. I was tempted to buy the miraculous looking natural oil but I skipped it as I rarely oil my hair. But we did buy a huge bag of spices and some homemade chocolates. With this our 3 days journey came to an end although we had to wait really long to get back to our hotel as there was a lot of traffic that particular day.
My Views On Kodaikanal Trip:
I loved Kodaikanal and it was indeed a memorable trip. The fresh air, the scenic spots, smiling newly wed faces and the gorgeous weather; all of it makes a perfect vacation spot. Did I mention it was pretty clean as well? I only wish it was better connected from Bangalore.
If you are looking for a mini honeymoon or a quiet romantic time, avoid going on weekends. It is extremely crowded on Saturday and Sunday and the vehicles create a traffic mess. Do buy spices form here, they are fresh and wonderful but skip the natural cosmetics part as they are just fine. May be you can just try a small amount(ranges between 85 INR - 130 INR) as the products are not costly at all. It is definitely a must visit heaven in the hills.
Contributed By: Amrita Priyadarsini