I've been to vattakanal quite a few times.. Felt the need to write this post, now more than ever.
Reasons to visit
If you're a traveler /stoner /somebody who smokes weed occasionally /somebody who enjoys or wants to try psychedelics shrooms /peace seeker/Honeymooner /family (not really though) .. Vatta is the place to be at.
Best times to visit - September to November (when it rains in TN)
How to get there Bus - get down at kodai bus stand. Get a taxi for 300 to vattakanal. Or walk to vattakanal (highly recommended if you're traveling light, it's amazing) Car - 8hrs from bangalore n chennai
Places to stay Loads of cottages - Edwins, RC, altaf and kodai haven (the posh one)
Edwin's Guesthouse: 09942467612
The Kodai Haven: 09629278674
I stayed at edwins. 800 for an amazing room for two people. 300 for a fireplace. If you're staying for a longer period, you cud get rooms for lower prices. Kodai Haven isn't for families. *Alert*
Places to eat Altaf(middle east and italian), misbah(amazing Indian food and SERVICE.. SAMBAR TO DIE FOR) Both have an amazing view of the mountains from inside. Also, Selva restaurant, and a few Maggi shops.
Things you could do Trek down to mountain view point, dolphin nose, eco point, just enjoy the place, Walk to kodai (amazing one hr walk) Trip near a fire place
How the mushrooms grow here and the story behind it What I've heard from a vatta long-timer : shrooms grow in kodai for its soil & geography and they grow near the excrete of bisons and elephants. Until 5-10 years ago, when vatta and shrooms were not known to a lot of people apart from some hippies, people at vattakanal used to sell amazing shrooms. When it got popular, duplicates from kodai started coming in, some affecting the buyers adversely. Hence the heavy crackdown on shrooms in kodai.
The people at vatta Extremely welcoming people. And extremely adjusting as well (with all the techno n trance blasting all night). Ppl don't care abt you smoking pot n doing shrooms. But, they don't help you with it either. Don't try asking them for places to score stuff. They're not gonna tell you.
Important things to remember
Weed : Bring Yur own weed (heavy restrictions at kodai. Or only shitty ones. You can buy it at vathalagundu, the town right before kodaikanal)
Shrooms : buy them here only 1) if you know your dealer here and if you can trust him 2) IF YU KNOW HOW TO CHECK IF THEY'RE LEGIT. Google it, or, just don't buy. You're DEFINITELY (read 200%) gonna be cheated, and end up with a very bad stomach. 3) If you're ready to risk ₹350-500 for a dozen shrooms. I've heard a lot of people complaining about being duped with bad shrooms that never give you a buzz. Quick tip - Never buy the ones endorsed by taxi drivers(you'll get flocked by them) and the random peddlers. BIG NO.
Shops - don't worry a bit. There are shops to buy all you need. From Soaps, water bottles, cigarettes to rolling papers, roach pads, Nutella etc etc.
Phone signal - it's fun to be not connected to the outside world, but it can be pissing off. Nothing but airtel and bsnl. Hope this helps. Have a nice safe trip!
Edit 1 - Got a lot of messages about the situations with shrooms. One tip, that helped me the first time, is to ask the Israelis (you see a lot of them) for help. But I repeat, never fall for the people who come to you and try to sell them to you. IT'S FAKE