Bus Service: Sharma travels. Online booking: INR 550. Boarding at: Kalasipalayam (bus stop within Bangalore)
Kodaikanal in Tamil means "Gift of the forest". Most buses leave from Bangalore at 9 in the night and reaches Kodaikanal at 9 in the morning. It's a 12 hours journey. I reach Kalasipalayam and get the boarding pass from the office. i buy biscuits and water from the shop outside. I buy a couple of banana from the shop where they were hanging from the ceiling (common in Bangalore).
It starts raining as the bus leaves. The image on the glass window gets flooded with water. We pass by BBMP sanctioned street art on Lalbagh walls. Slowly the city lights dim and i fall asleep looking at the vanishing concrete buildings. I wake up when the bus stops for Chai. I light up a cigarette for the night.
The non- AC buses are very comfortable and the bus conductors are quite friendly (the driver even smoked up). The morning comes as a wonderful surprise with the twist and turns of the mountain roads. Friendly looking locals washing clothes in the streams of water flowing down the mountain sides. It seems we were going all the way up. I was finally there. The princess of all hill stations. It was 9:30 in the morning when we reached Hotel Shivapriya (the drop off point).
The bus finally stops at Shivapriya hotel (final stop for Sharma Travels) which is on the Convent Road and I disembark.
I meet three guys from Bangalore, who were in the same bus and decide to tag along with them for a while. They were planning to find some cheap room for the next five days while I had a bus to catch the same evening back to Bangalore. I had done a bit of research regarding the place so I suggested that we go to Vattakanal(about 3 kilometres from the main bus stop). we walk down (from the Convent Road), cross the road bridge on the left, take a right from the t- point and towards Croakers Walk. After some discussion we decided to take a cab rather than trek the way to Vattakanal. It cost us 150 bucks for the four of us.
The trekking path would be:
- Croakers walk (near the city centre but opposite to the bus stop)
- TV tower
- take the left route for the trek, the right is for cabs
- La Salette Church
- take a left U-turn once you reach the waterfall
- past the pear and plum orchards
- left down from the shops is the Dolphin Nose
- Echo point