Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair 

Tripoto
14th Dec 2018
Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

I was in Chennai while pursuing my Degree in Psychology. While being there I have explored most of the part of the city life and weekend getaways like Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram. Though these places were satisfactory, deep down I always had this urge to visit mountains again as I use to do back at my home town Delhi.

To be honest in the beginning I was skeptical about mountain ranges in South India because I already was in love to the ranges of Himalayas in North, I was a big-time advocate of those beautiful hills in Uttarakhand and Himachal region.

So… here is my story from Just A Hill Away,

NOTE: The following travel journal was planned on “A low budget” due to traveler’s personal choice, hence minimal luxury but un-compromised safety were essential elements of this trip.

Prior Arrangements:

1. Pre-booked train tickets in a General compartment (As I was going towards the mountains AC was not required). Travel time was almost 9hrs.

2. Pre-booked a verified hotel (3-star) through a third-party booking website. I prefer sharing rooms as it saves expenses.

3. Minimal luggage (depending upon the weather)

Day 1

Day 1: The beginning

Started my journey around the evening to central railway station via public transportation service of the city to catch the Palakkad express. I prefer night travel mostly as sleep-time allows me to skip some monotony of train route without getting tired.

Day 2

Day 2: The arrival

Ticket Booking Counter at Palani Bus-Depot (Bus timings in the background)

Photo of Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Bus Ride to Kodaikanal with Palani Temple View from the front seat

Photo of Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Roads to Kodaikanal

Photo of Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Bus travelling Up-hill

Photo of Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Views from the bus window

Photo of Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

I reached Palani station (destination) by morning 7am, from station I had to walk around 2kms to reach the bus depot to board a direct local-bus to Kodaikanal (bus service is good but has designated time slots) there is a counter to pre-book bus seat (sometimes there can be over crowding). The bus departed at 9am (till then I spent time listening to the music and roaming around munching snacks) and there started the beautiful scenic journey to the "Princess Hill"

Coffee brake while travelling up-hill

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

After breaking for light snacks, it took around 2.5hrs. of scenic bus journey to reach Kodaikanal bus depot.

Time: 12.15pm

Finally, It was the time to inhale the cold mountain air and exhale all the worries. I swear mountain air has some sort of magic to dissolve all the tiredness and stress.

I headed to the hotel which I has already booked and checked-in. The hotel was beautiful with a pretty natural ambience around. I got into my room and took a hot shower first and headed for lunch in the nearby market. The market has a wide variety of pocket friendly cafes and eateries serving most of the common India cuisine, you can also find outlets like Domino's Pizza. I like to eat local foods while travelling because 1. its "LOCAL" 2. its budget friendly.

Places I visited on DAY 2:

Lutheran Church (1932); A Gothic styled architecture

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

The Union Church

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

lake side shops .

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Evening by the Kodai lake

Photo of Kodaikanal Lake, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu by Ayush Chandra
Day 3

DAY 3: The hike

Places I visited on DAY 3:

Suicide point

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

- This is one of the most magical view in Kodaikanal though it's boundaries are covered with large grills for safety purpose. You can try bread-omelette here and light snacks from the local shops

Pillar Rock

Photo of Pillar Rocks Viewpoint, Pillar Rocks Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

- There's a ticket for the entry and a separate ticket for carrying a camera.

Guna Caves

Photo of Guna Caves, Pillar Rocks Road, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

- There is an entry ticket for the venue

- Its a beautiful place to experience a "mist shower" on the face if you go in the right season, although the caves has been restricted now to enter.

Moir View Point

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

- Requires an entry ticket

- Here you can also buy a tourist bus ticket, if you are interested in going further in Kodaikanal hills.

Pine forest

Photo of Kodaikanal Pine Forest, Kodaikanal Ghat Road, Shenbaganur, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

- The forest is amazing in itself, full of pine trees; makes a good photo backdrop, will remind you of "harry potter".

- You can also enjoy horse riding here

Fairy falls

Photo of Fairy Falls, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

- Located on an isolated inner village area

- Offers a good solitude and a rich calming experience

Liril falls

Photo of Liril Falls, Golf Links Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

- This is a natural "movie studio"

- You can stop here to buy natural soaps, oils and other organic products from local shops

Upper lake view point

Photo of Upper Lake View Point, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu by Ayush Chandra

- Experience the whole Kodai in a snapshot from here.

The whole hiking experience was overall great but also requires a moderate level of endurance and stamina, the walk offers magical views with birds chirping sounds, small waterfalls, dogs, birds, aroma of Eucalyptus oil etc.

Most of the spots I mentioned here had local snack points to keep you fill but they all opens only after 10am.

I hiked from Kodaikanal to Moir Point, it took around 3hrs. to reach. While returning back I hitch-hiked half-way back, the roads up-hill is very decent and is well maintained, though early mornings these roads are quite empty and vacant, so one need to also take care of one's safety, on some stretch you may even find it difficult to spot a single person. Although it appeared safe to my experience.

I reached back from the hike at around 2pm and realized it was a Sunday, which in a way is something special for Kodaikanal, there is a weekly market which sets up on the street of Kodaikanal where the merchants sell a range of things from Mobile phone to pickles and spices to "magic mushrooms" ahhmm yes!! you will be approached by the sellers, don't worry.!! but CAUTION!!

Sunday Street Mart

Photo of 7 Roads Junction, Club Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra
Day 4

Day 4

So this was my last day in Kodai, woke up as early as I could and I had already covered most of the places, hence I decided to move on a bit slow pace and enjoy the true essence of the place as if a localite from this place. Roamed around the whole day with my camera, documenting the life in this small town.

Here are few things I did:

Photo of Bryant Park, Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Mistical view with benches

Photo of Bryant Park, Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Boat-house

Photo of Bryant Park, Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Boating in Kodaikanal lake

Photo of Bryant Park, Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Coaker's walk (a walk-way by the mountain edge)

Photo of Bryant Park, Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Highlights of the day:

- Bought some Home-made Chocolates and wine

- Bought organic soaps and eucalyptus oil

Bus timings from Kodaikanal to Palani

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

Road down-hill to Palani

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

Palani railway station

Photo of Palani, Anna Nagar, Palani, Tamil Nadu, India by Ayush Chandra

Snapshots from the eateries during my visit:

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra
Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra
Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra
Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra

Coffee joints are bliss when you in hills

Photo of Kodaikanal: The "Mist-ical" love affair by Ayush Chandra
Day 5

DAY 5: The Return

Reached Chennai early morning and guess what i attended the college same day :)

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