Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal

Tripoto
Day 2

Exploring Vattakanal

Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

Trek to the hilltop

Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

Hilltop

Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave
Day 1

Clouds! Greenery! Valley! These words are synonymous with Vattakanal. Also known as the Little Israel of India, Vattakanal is a small village close to it's more popular counterpart, Kodaikanal.

Vattakanal is a tiny place but the major chunk of our "Kodaikanal experience" was thanks to this place. Experience utmost peace and tranquility at this heavenly hill station where even your mobile network won't disturb you. Embrace nature and kick all your stress away on your trip to Vattakanal. It is a great place to bond with nature and your loved ones.

Vattakanal Valley

Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

The first waterfalls

Photo of Vattakanal Water Falls, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

Second Waterfalls

Photo of Vattakanal Water Falls, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

The Final Waterfalls

Photo of Vattakanal Water Falls, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

Stream flowing through the canopy

Photo of Vattakanal Water Falls, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India by Tasmai Dave

We began our trip to Vattakanal early in the morning and our first stop was the Vattakanal Falls.

Vattakanal Falls: This is not one waterfall but a total of five waterfalls spread across a long distance. That makes it a great place to trek as well. You can walk right next to the stream of water that flows from the first waterfall until the very last one. This easy trek can be completed in about an hour and the walk is fairly pleasant throughout the year as the complete area is canopied. The best part about the entire trek is the sound of water trickling right next to you!

For bird and nature lovers, the gentle creatures can be found in the trees all around! You might even be lucky to spot a few butterflies and dragonflies here.

Post this, we reached Vattakanal. The area itself is sparsely populated and is mostly covered with hotels. You can get stunning views of the valley right from your rooms. For better views, you can sit back on the loungers on the viewing decks. The hotels here are fairly affordable and a night stay costs about Rs. 2000/-. Post our check-in, we headed out to explore some of the other points of interest in Vattakanal.

View from hotel gallery

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Dolphin's Nose: Dolphin's Nose is a place that is not meant for the faint-hearted. The trek to this spot is arduous and is about an hour of descent. However, it has its moments as well; the numerous viewpoints and the pine trees hovering high above your head make this trek a pleasant affair.

The final stretch of the trek to the Dolphin's nose is rocky and there isn't a proper path to reach there. One mistake and you risk tumbling down into the valley.

The rock itself is shaped like a dolphin's nose and extends over a valley. You can choose to look at the valley below from far away or take a sneak-peek by walking right to the edge of the rock and get your adrenaline levels rushing!

Route to Dolphin's Nose

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Dolphin's Nose

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Dolphin's Nose

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

You can get panoramic views of the valley from this point but if that isn't enough for you, head over to the Echo Rock that shows you a completely different part of the valley.

Echo Rock: As the name suggests, you can hear your echo very clearly from this point. It's a circular rock that is perched on the edge of the cliff and is as scary to climb onto as the Dolphin's Nose. However, the views from here are absolutely worth it, especially during the sunset period.

Route to Echo Rock

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Sun rays cutting through the mountains during sunset at Echo Rock, Vattakanal

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Valley at Echo Rock

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Both, the Echo Rock and Dolphin's Nose close post-sunset time as it is dangerous to walk in this region after it gets dark. The trek back up is pretty steep and taxing too. You may need to take a few breaks before you can reach Vattakanal so make sure that you keep some time in hand and start the return journey before it gets too dark.

The trek back from Dolphin's Nose

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

The best part about Vattakanal is the peace you get here. It becomes extremely quiet by 8-9 PM. The peace is such that words spoken even softly can be heard more than 50 meters away!

The street lights too are few and this gives you a chance to see the spectacular star-studded sky from here. Even with your naked eye, you can get a glimpse of the Milky Way from here. If you're a shutterbug who loves to click star trails, this is the spot for you.

Starry sky with city lights

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

Starry Night

Photo of Living at the Edge of a Valley- Vattakanal by Tasmai Dave

The next day, we decided to explore the surrounding village. The village primarily consists of huge villas that are built on pretty steep slopes. It's quite a trek to reach these villas and the villagers, on the other hand, find it pretty easy! If you walk further from the village, the trail leads you to a flat hilltop which is almost the size of a football ground. From here, you can see the complete Vattakanal valley unfold in front of your eyes. You can even find various species of birds and butterflies here which are sure to excite any nature photographer.

Every hotel in the village has its own in-house restaurant and bar where you can gorge on some fine preparations throughout the day. For an even more indulgent experience, dine on the viewing deck in the cold climate.

PS: Some hotels may need your dining orders to be placed in advance, so do inquire about the same while checking in.

Apart from the in-house restaurants, there is only one restaurant in the town, which is called "Althaf Cafe". For all those of you who wish to experience a different side of Vattakanal, this is the place to visit. The restaurant is bustling with activity throughout the day and is the perfect place to socialize while feasting on some fine Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. Be it Hummus, Aloo Parathas, Ginger Lemon Tea or Pancakes, you can get everything here to satiate your hunger pangs. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating areas which give you stunning views of the valley. The soothing trance music that plays here is a cherry on the icing.

A journey to Vattakanal is a great way to unwind and relax away from the hustle-bustlte of the city without shelling out too much. The entire tour cost us just over Rs.4000/person from Chennai.

PS: For those of you who have motion sickness, it might be a good idea to keep some medicines handy. The road is full of turns and is pretty steep.

Have you been to Vattakanal before? If so, do let me know how your experience was, in the comments section below!