We don’t realise but our travelling experience changes with geographical and demographic changes. Most of my journeys have been in Himalayas and I just love it there. However, this time there was South Indian destination on my cards (although a hillstation) and I was thrilled to take this adventure.
To be honest, my experience was not as warm as I usually have in North India. I travelled to Bangalore from Delhi – this is where my best friend lives and we were to take bus to kodaikanal from here. I was all happy and jolly till I realised that it’s not the same here for North Indians. Sadly, I found many unwelcoming and rude men and it was clear how some of them were disgusted to find North Indians in their territory. But I won’t blame them entirely for this coldness, I do realise how South Indians are discriminated by the other part of India.
Nonetheless, it didn’t kill my excitement for Kodaikanal and I am all the more prepared for further exploring this region. We reached safe and hearty at the main bus stand in Kodaikanal and were welcomed by drizzling and cold breeze. On our enitre trip, everyone we interacted with was warm, welcoming and polite. May be people in hospitality sector are taught to be polite or its just the magic of mountains which make people so sweet and humble.
Now, that I am done telling my interesting ordeal it’s time for the stories from this beautiful ‘queen of hills’ of Tamil Nadu – Kodaikanal.
You will find various unnecessary spots ‘to visit’ but I will advice that you skip 15 out of such 20 places and utilise your time visiting places worth your time.
Located at the heart of town, Kodai Lake is spread across perimeter of 4kms. It even could be at walkable distance from your stay! One can rent bicycles but walking under light drizzle is fun as well and if at all cold breeze shivers your bones, grab a cup of strong hot coffee from the small shops nearby. If you are the luxurious kind, you can book your stay at expensive hotel – The Carlton’s situated just across the lake and if it is beyond your budget, you can still have Grilled Chicken Sandwich at their terrace café and enjoy a beautiful view of the lake.
This place is worth the view, the green range of mountains and its hues will leave you mezmerised at this place, which is in the shape of a dolphin’s mouth. The trail itself is beautified by clouds and tall pines and consumes you into that silence. Hope that clouds don’t haze the view of green hills and valleys. To reach Dolphin’s Point, you might want to hire a taxi since its a little spin off and have to walk down a bit. Make sure you wear shoes and no slippers since its all rocky and muddy on the way.
Well, we missed out on this since we didn’t realise that Eid was a major festival there and all the taxi drivers were on the leave and we too had to leave the same day! But from what I have heard and read, it is worth the visit. Hire a taxi or a bus since it is 25kms away from the main city, spend half a day around the lake and just relax! By now you must have understood that kodaikanal is all about admiring beauty and relaxing but hey, isn’t what you need after weeks of 9-5?
Just 6kms from the town there is a low key getaway which takes deeper into the nature and wilderness. People come down here to practically do nothing! To those who know, there is a unique variety of mushrooms, called ‘shrooms’, which are consumed to get good high. You will find it in Kodaikanal as well but it is said that you find the best here.
There are various routes to reach Kodaikanal and frequency of buses and trains are comparatively higher from Bangalore and Chennai – prefer state roadways buses for reasonable fair and safe joruney.
Some may say that monsoon is not the best season to visit but trust me, it is. There are less number of tourists so you might as well find cheaper stay and the continuous drizzling and winds will sooth your mind and soul. Oh! Do remember to carry a raincoat/umbrella and a sweatshirt, it gets colder when it rains.
For your luxurious stay, you can check our The Carlton: http://www.carlton-kodaikanal.com/
For a reasonable and a beautiful stay, check out Apple Valley: http://applevalley.in/