I never imagined that I will visit these kinda of place in South, but I did. 😅
I visited Kodaikanal with my family. It is not very difficult to reach Kodaikanal, as long as you have a strong stomach. You can take a bus or a private taxi or your personal car, doesn't matter. My advice, ‘personal vehicle’. Why? You will have the freedom to start your trip whenever you want, take as much time as you want at a particular place and return whenever you want. And if you don't have the luxury to visit by personal vehicle, like me, ‘hail KSRTC’.
One more advice, never visit popular tourist places on weekends or visit these kind of places in off seasons..
Advantages: less crowd; cheap rates; availablity of hotels and tickets; less traffic on roads(time saver).
Let's start. So as I mentioned above, I don't have the luxury to travel with a personal car, we booked bus tickets. I hope you know how, if not, redBus.in . To save time, travel at night to reach Kodaikanal. We boarded our bus from Bangalore and reached Kodaikanal in the morning around 8am. Unfortunately we didn't book for accommodation prior. So we had to search for accommodation, which is very difficult because most of the hotels and homestays are already booked because of the ‘on season’ and prices will be high.
Again a advice, book your bus tickets and hotels prior.
Advantages: saves time, searching for hotels with luggage is a tedious process in these hilly terrain.
We searched for hotels, and as expected prices were high even for not so good hotels. And we wanted a hotel near to the bus station.
If you travel frequently this paragraph is not for you. Some locals will come and ask you if you need hotels, and yes you do need. But if you say yes, they will stick to you like a chewing gum on your shoe. And unfortunately I said yes. He took me to this hotel, okay hotel, worst service(I didn't know). And as we were tired of the night journey, we booked it (mistake). My sister and father stayed there and then he took me to this travels and tourism place and asked me(kinda forced me) to book a taxi for visiting the places. But this time I played smart and said that I didn't want any taxi for at least today, and if I needed one I will contact him. Then again he dropped me at the hotel and asked for tips to which I replied I had no money on me(basically he would eventually get his cut from that hotel owner). And he left.
‘Rifaya Hotel’. Rating for that hotel (3.5/10). My advice, “Padma Inn”. Once i reached the hotel and unpacked and got fresh, we went out for brunch in a near by hotel. And after our stomachs were full, we visited near by places, Kodaikanal lake, Bryant Park, Coakers walk.
Kodaikanal lake: It's a big and beautiful lake. You can do boating here. Self-paddle boats. We didn't, because of the crowd. We clicked some pictures and went for Bryant park. And obviously, boating is not free if you are wondering. By the way this lake is the dropping point for the taxi drivers. It's crowded.
Bryant park: Again a big and beautiful park with lots of different types of flowers. Great place to take portrait photos.
Rates- 30rs/person and 50rs for the camera (DSLR)
Coakers Walk: it's the most beautiful and breath taking places of all three. It's a walk of nearly 1-1.5km long.
Rates- 20rs/person and 50rs for the camera(DSLR)
After these places were done, we visited a craft shop “Danish Display”. It's near the bus station. I suggest you to visit this shop. You will find antiques and stuff there. After we bought some stuff, we booked a car for the next day, rs2500. You can get these taxis just outside the bus station (advantages of bus station).
Basically there are 3 types to trips you can take, (you can see in the gallery for prices), nearly rs1500-2000/trip. But if you talk to the driver and tell him that you want to visit different places from different trips, he will accept. If not ask another driver. Prices may vary then. My advice, please don't go to the tourism and travels guy.
After we booked our taxi and had our dinner we returned to our hotel and ended our first day at Kodaikanal.