Over the last year, I’ve been to quite a few hill stations. There are numerous weekend getaways around Karnataka; Kodaikanal is one of them. Located in Tamil Nadu, this hill station is quite famous. Here in this Kodaikanal Travelogue, I’ll take you through with me. After Ooty, also located in Tamil Nadu, this definitely is the second-best in the South of India. Although, Chikmagalur isn’t bad either.
A group of 4 from my previous office planned a weekend trip last month; this was supposed to be my farewell trip with those folks. A bus ride at night landed us in the scenic beauty of Kodaikanal. We were glad that our hotel was just around the corner of the Kodaikanal City bus stand. Having refreshed ourselves, we headed off for breakfast before embarking on our schedule.
Right around the bus stop called Astoria was where we started off. One of the softest Idlis I’ve had in a long time. And the variety of chutneys and sambhar makes it even better. You’ll go wow, just when you break those soft Idlis and the moment you dip into those chutneys and savor it in your mouth, your mouth will burst with authentic south Indian flavours. Everything else, the Rawa Dosa and Masala Dosa were good too. If you want an excellent vegetarian breakfast before you head for the trek, Astoria Veg is the place.
Being a tourist place, you’ll have a sea of drivers and tour guides vying for your attention when you’re out of the bus or any restaurant. We decided not to use the guided tours. Instead, We walked and trekked our way to different suggested spots that Kodaikanal offered. Stopping regularly for innumerable photo shoots from time to time.
While heading out to the Pillar Rocks, we even came across several fruit stalls, and couldn’t help ourselves stop eating these, what looked like litchis.
Stopping at various “suicide points” and discussing why they were called that, and then idling around the roads, we thought we would never reach our destination!! But then, the best part about being in a group, how small it may be, is that you always have something to do. And if you don’t, something crazy can always be done. Like I did.
Finally, after walking a lot, we got to see The Gigantic Pillar Rocks!! What a sight it is. My personal view is places like this should be a little less crowded so that people can savor the beauty a little more. The shops lined across the viewpoint add a little congestion to the full view. But then, a tourist town and its people earn their livelihood through this only and is totally justified. We purchased a few Kodaikanal Chocolates to eat to prolong the lunch pangs after the long walk uphill.
Walking back, we decided to take a cab, but it wasn’t easy to get one. So, we had to adjust by taking a lift from one of the mini-buses and finally halfway across, where we had to stop for a little Kodaikanal shopping. Coffee, Dry Fruits and lots of Chocolates, after having tasted a variety of them, we took a can back to our hotel. Cabs don’t come cheap when you hire them. They have a standard rate of Rs 150 no matter how less the distance may be.
We took solace in getting our food from a hotel nearby on our way back and dozed off for a while as we all were exhausted. All of it was a result of our extended walking spree.
We headed out to have dinner at The Tawa; this vegetarian joint was recommended by almost all travel blogs and gorged on the food. Aaloo paranthas laden with Butter, Pav Bhaji, Matar ki sabzi and Shreekand to finish off our dinner. Paranthas were the pick of the lot. A good vegetarian option is what this place is.
The following day, we checked out of the hotel. We had breakfast at the same hotel, Astoria, where we had the amazing Idlis the previous day. I tried out their Rawa Dosa, and then we, after a cup of coffee at the nearby stall, headed towards the lake to hire a bicycle. We took it from the first shop we could lay our eyes on, but I’d recommend you to explore your options before hiring. Our initial plan was to head towards the Water Falls, but we made it to just one of them dry. Expecting the same in other places, we decided to skip hopping waterfalls and head back to the lake area.
We did have fun on the road while cycling, and pictures indicate the fun we had cycling around.
Heading back, we roamed around the lake eating Corn and the local wheat laddoos and indulging in some balloon shootings as well. And yes, this time, we even took the Double-rider cycles, which was a first-time experience as well. The single riders cost us Rs 50/hr, and the Double rider Cycles cost us Rs 100 each.
Once we finished cycling, we headed to a Tibetan place for Lunch. Although the initial plan was to lead to a place called Altaf’s Cafe, for some reason, we headed to this Tibetan joint located inside the market. The ambiance is pretty cramped up and but the food is excellent. We ordered the Beef Fry, Fried cheese Momos, Chicken Noodles, Gobi Manchurian for the veggies on a friend’s recommendation. Liked the Fried cheese Momos and loved the Beef Fry, but the noodles were bland. But, must add, all of it was worth the bucks.
The heavy Lunch required us to head back, and we finally explored the Coakers Walk, a scenic point to check the vast expanse of the Kodaikanal beauty. Many Telescopes are put to view closely, charges Rs 5, and are a perfect waste of your time and money. Stalls are lined around the stretch, and if you’re interested, you can buy a few decorations for your home or even mementos around the lakeside area again.
Roaming around to finally land in one of the antique shops. This store had a lot of stuff, and each of us bought a lot of stuff for ourselves. Most of it is wooden stuff and is comparatively cheaper than all the tourist places I’ve visited. The store’s name is “Danish Display” and would recommend you pay a visit. It is near the Kodaikanal bus stand.
We packed our Dinner Subway Sandwiches and headed back to Bangalore. I must add that the journey back might make you feel nauseous, and precautions should be taken.
To Wrap up this Kodaikanal Travelogue:
Kodaikanal was pleasant. Hill stations are generally quite similar, but this is an excellent place for a short weekend trip. Head out and relax in the surroundings.
Cheers to the amazing Kodaikanal Trip.