Kodaikanal is often described as beautiful and tranquil. It is situated amongst the hill stations in Tamil Nadu, in the Western Ghats, in the midst of the Palani Hills. It is a very lovely spot for tourists who want to explore the Indian subcontinent. In the Tamil language, Kodaikanal means ‘gift of the forest’.
The Traveller’s Paradise
Because of its natural beauty, Kodaikanal is often said to be a paradise among different travellers. This is due to the fact that the area is filled with charisma and charm because of its apt location, which is situated at 2133 meters above sea level altitude. At the same time, you can find the best hotel in Kodaikanal where you can stay and relax while preparing for your activities all throughout your stay. Aside from enjoying the natural wonders and landscape of Kodai, it is also possible to find the best restaurant in Kodaikanal where you can particularly enjoy the local dishes, as well as find food that you can be comfortable with.
There are a lot of activities that you can certainly enjoy while staying in the area. You may enjoy the facilities such as cycling, boating pony riding, playing golf, as well as angling. You may want to see the beautiful Berijam Lake, which is just about 21 km from Kodaikanal. It is considered as one of the best in the Southern part of India. What makes this lake special is that it has a star shape and is very popular because of its clear and clean water. As a matter of fact, it supplies drinking water to the rest of the Periyakulam town.
If you are visiting kodai for other reasons aside from just a tour, perhaps as a volunteer in India, you can certainly find some tranquil moments in the place. For instance, you may want to engage in a trekking activity where you have to traverse the area in the Palani Hills. You may also visit the Dolphin’s Nose, which is just near the Berijam Lake. It is so special because it is a projecting rock from where you can actually have a very good view of the gorge beneath.
If you want to stay in kodaikanal for more than just a temporary traveller, you can find that there are a lot of options if you want to buy a property in Kodaikanal. The process linked when you buy land is easy, and you can even find the best builder in Kodaikanal if you are searching for good providers. This is one of the many reasons why a lot have already decided to settle in this wonderful paradise in the Southern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Kodaikanal is a hill station perched atop the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu. That's all I knew about it before I made my way there in August this year. With open eyes and a curious mind, I set out to explore this colonial hill station and fell madly in love with it. Sylvan beauty, a serene lake, misty mountains and some of the most charming cottages makes Kodaikanal an ideal mountain getaway.
It's a place you go to to relax, connect with nature, head out on biking trails and get beautifully lost in the surrounding forests. Parts of the town still remains quaint and untouched by the spree of tourists, where one can really connect with the surroundings and experience the old world charm of this beautiful place. For wanderers who like a bit of hustle bustle, the town has a few charming eateries and boutique shops where one can spend hours relaxing and exploring.
Happy rowers on Kodaikanal Lake
My stay in Kodaikanal was a charming homestay cottage just a ten minute walk from the main town. The space consists of two individual cottages with 1 bedroom, a living area, a kitchenette and a bathroom. The cottages are surrounded by gardens full of beautiful flowers, a small spa and organic fruits and veggies that the hosts use to prepare delicious meals for their guests.
My usual day in Kodi would be like this - wake up in my quaint cottage to a freshly brewed cup of coffee and spend the morning in the garden with sweet birds and ladybugs.
The peaceful room at the cottage. I slept very well here!
The afternoons were spent working in my room or doodling out in the garden. In the early evening, I would go for a walk around the lake or bike to the forest.
I ended my day in the town, exploring local eateries, cafes and shops before making my way back to the cottage.
My hosts at the cottage were extremely hospitable and sweet. Every time I returned home from my daily wanderings, some local delights like natural fruit ice-cream or freshly baked cakes and pies would be awaiting me in the room :)
One of my favorite things about Kodaikanal were the small, independent run eateries and coffee shops. While walking around town I discovered two such places that were wonderful - Cloud Street and Cafe Cariappa. The former is a restaurant that serves delicious food, from steaks to grills to freshly baked pizzas and Cafe Cariappa is a tiny coffee shop which has brought little Italy to Kodaikanal.
My favorite spot to hang out and work at Cloud Street
Little Italy comes to Kodaikanal here at Cafe Cariappa
Happy to be bitten by the wanderbug!
I am super grateful and appreciative to my host in Kodaikanal. Thanks to the hosts for sharing such a beautiful space with me and helping me discover such beauty in Kodaikanal :)
Kodi made me a very happy wanderbug and I can't wait to share this happiness with all of you...
Silent Retreat in... Kodai (from one of the platinum rated cottages in Kodaikanal) - English Version
Well, when we arrived at the Fairway Inn Kodaikanal, we could not believe our own eyes: it was paradise!
A huge lush green compound, an organic kitchen garden, a giant bungalow, a basket full of products that we liked ... welcomed us!
But the best part was, Fairway Inn was our accommodation during the two days we spent in Kodaikanal.
Our room was not a room: it was a real house!
We used the entrance hall as a sitting room and that is where we wrote a lot, the room had a giant TV just how we like it, a well kept kitchenette and a neat bathroom. The whole cottage was really nice, had rural look, yet clean and comfortably styled.
We also got a Nintendo Wii and an ipad for our leisure! And every night our hosts surprised us with something sweet: like cakes and ice cream!
If Kodai makes you feel chilly, don't worry, there is a wood stove to keep you warm in this cottage!
The Inn also offers massages and spa therapies, the food by the way is rich!
But our best experience has been the treatment from the staff !!! Thank you very much to everyone for making us feel at home.
Brooklyn, Convent Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India
Telephone: +91 9442328446
Bueno, cuando llegamos al Fairway Inn de Kodaikanal no podíamos creer a nuestros ojos: esto es el paraíso!
Ujardín inmenso, un huerta orgánico, un bungalow gigante para nosotros solitos, una cesta llena de productos que nos gustan... que pedazo bienvenida! Pero vayamos por partes: el Fairway Inn ha sido nuestro alojamiento durante los dos días que pasamos en Kodaikanal.
Nuestra habitación no era una habitación: era una verdadera casita!
Con sala de entrada donde hemos aprovechado para escribir mucho, la habitación con televisión gigante para la felicidad de Rober, una cocinita y un baño. Todo muy bonito, estilo rural, limpio y cómodo.
Teníamos hasta wii y un ipad! Y cada noche nuestros anfitriones nos sorprendieron con algún dulce: tartas y helados!
En Kodai hace fresquito, pero no os preocupéis, que aquí hay estufa de leña para manteneros calientes!
El Fairway inn ofrece también masaje (hay masajistas y una salita spa) y comida: mmm muy rica!
Pero lo mejor ha sido el trato del personal: como os contaremos Rober comenzó a encontrarse mal y nuestra anfitriona se transformó en su mamá india... que maja!!! Muchas gracias a todos por hacernos sentir como en casa
Brooklyn, Convent Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India
Email : email@example.com
Télefono : +91 9442328446
With no respite from either the summer heat or work pressure, was feeling upset the kids' vacation would get over soon with no outing what so ever for them.
So where is Kilavarai. For those who are aware of the "Escape Road" to Munnar from Kodaikanal, this place might be familiar. It is a village which features often in those who have done the "Escape Road" trek. It is a small village near the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border and predominantly an agrarian world. Kilavarai along with villages like Kavunji, Poomparai, Mannavanur, Poondi, Kovilur (Kerala), Vattavada (Kerala) possibly supply the majority of carrots / turnips / potatoes to South India. A google maps shot of this area.
On Friday morning we started at about 4:30 in the morning hoping to reach Kodaikanal at around 1:00 PM. With the road full of traffic each toll took about 5 minutes to cross delaying our progress all the way. The fuel & food break at A2B Ulundurpet took us almost 50 minutes. This meant we reached Trichy only at around 10:00 AM. Thanks to the peak hour traffic crossing the town was slow and tiresome.
When we crossed Dindigul it was about 11:45 AM, we were late by about 45 minutes from my original plan.
The constant diversions on the Dindigul - Theni road added more delay to our already delayed schedule. When I reached Perumal Malai I called Navin who gave me directions to his Brooklyn Bungalow on Convent Road.
At around 2:30 PM we reached Brooklyn Bungalow. They offered one cottage in Brooklyn as well. Fairway Inn - Home. The cottage looked fabulous with an old world feel to it. May be for my next trip to Kodai I will use this place. The best thing about this place is even though it is less than a km away from the lake, the place is quite and peaceful. It would be apt for those who prefer to spend time sitting on the lawn reading a book or may be just spend time with oneself in peace.
After a long journey from Chennai, the kids found the nice garden a great place to unwind, they went around checking out all the flowers while Navin and myself were discussing about how to go about to Kilavarai.
All of the below pics were taken by my kids.
After having lunch at a nearby restaurant we left for Kilavarai at about 4 in the evening. I was not sure if we would be able to reach the place before darkness falls.
You would have to pass through Poomparai, Mannavanur, Kavunji, Poondi & Nattampatti villages before reaching Kilavarai. The roads were decent all the way except for a few patches.
As we made our way through the road went on and on, after almost an hour we reached Poomparai, by this time my wife started complaining about how far the place is away from the town. As we went up and down the hills, crossing over one mountain after another, each time a valley appeared the views were spell bounding as terraced farms were visible everywhere with houses here and there.
There were no high rises to block your views, you could see the valleys as far as your eye sight could take you.
After almost two hours we reached Kilavarai to find the road ending amidst a couple of shops.
Time for us to call our caretaker, I pick up the phone only to find Airtel not working, fortunately my BSNL 3G datacard SIM came handy to call Durai, who was to be our Man Friday for the next couple of days. He guided us to the property.
So a good 14 hours after we left Chennai we reached "Eco Escape". It was just about getting dark when we reached there, giving us no time to check out what the place was all about.
The first statement the kids made was "Appa No TV?". First time I thought it would be difficult to spend two days in a place without TV for the kids, now that we have come here there is no other go, lets hope the kids are not at their worst over the next two days.
The view as we step out of the cottage.
The cottage looked rustic, but cosy and well laid.
With nothing much to do we had a simple dinner of Veg Pulav and subji and retired for the day with the plan to wake up early in the morning to explore the place. The night was cold but all of us had long snuggled under the blankets and we were sound asleep quickly. By about 6 in the morning my daughter is already awake, while in Chennai we would have to wake her up with lot of efforts for her tennis classes, here she is the one who is waking us all. After a quick cup of tea we decide to explore the property.
Eco Escape has a bit of everything around it, organic farms, wild stream, waterfall, forests. Slowly we make our way around when our Man Friday Durai points us to something on the other side of the river, a Nilgiri Thar as per him while for me it looked more like one from the deer family.
We go around through Pine forests, the kids enjoying the walk, asking Durai all sorts of questions, which he was patiently answering. The early morning nip and the fresh air giving a lot of energy to the kids as they explore the surroundings.
We watch the various vegetables being cultivated around the place and also peep into a hut where Eucalyptus oil is being distilled.
The kids try their hand playing with a pony around. These ponies are used to carry loads of vegetables from the field to the roads.
We slowly go around take a loot a the new wellness resort which is under construction in the property and also take a look at the Bio-gas facility that the property has.
Now we take a look at the various vegetables being grown in the farm. The entire produce is organic and completely pesticide free. We were told Eco Ecape is one among the few farms producing strawberries locally at Kodaikanal.
The place is a "Veg Only" place and the food is made from the locally grown vegetables. On Friday night Navin had arranged for pastries from Kodaikanal with strawberry topping from his farm. A lovely way to pamper your guests.
The farm produces a whole range of vegetables, stuff which I remember are Potatoes, Onion, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, Turnip, Beetroot, Knol Khol, Tomato and various varieties of Beans. They also have fruit trees as well.
The entire area is divided in patches, each one of them numbered individually. The date each patch is sowed is maintained on a computer to keep a track of harvesting dates. This also ensures that almost at all times all the vegetables are available by proper planning of sowing time table.
Slowly winding up we reached back the cottage for our morning break fast.
After break fast it was time to get to the water. The property has a stream running through it and in a couple of places it does allow for some canoeing in a small way.
After some time my son wanted to enjoy water even more, time for some waterfall action. So the action moved upstream where the kids had a frolicking time playing in the water, though I was scared if they would catch a cold or a fever considering the water was pretty cold and the temperature was very pleasant even though the sun was out in full force.
Here we were in the peak vacation time having a whale of a time all alone with no other tourists around. The entire stream was all ours, the kids were playing as though they were playing in our back yard.
After a simple lunch which had chappatis and one of the best subjis I have had made out of Brocoli & Cauli Flower, we decided to trek into the nearby forest, it would be a first time for the kids to trek into the forest. Though I was sure there would not be any animals of note that could be sighted we were all quite enthusiastic to do the trek.
It was during this trek my wife and kids had their first exposure to leeches, though we were able to find all of them before they could show their true colours, the damage was already done, wife was scared to do any more trekking. In hindsight it was a good decision as we reached the cottage right in time for heavy rains to strike the place for a good hour or so. If we had decided to continue our trek am sure we would have got caught in the rains with no where to hide. But the trek did provide us an opportunity to see such a beauty, what a sight it would be when the rains are in full flow.
Our evening plan was to go upto Mannavanur spend some time at the lake and then drive back around dusk, so that if we are lucky we could spot some wildlife on the road. But the rain played spoilsport and we had to make a short trip towards Polur a few kms away from Kilavarai. This short visit gave us some splendid views of the terraced farms and the valley all the way upto Udumalaipet & Palani.
The kids did not utter the word TV for the whole day. The evening dinner was Chappati, Kerala Red Rice with Avial and Vegetable subji. The surprise dessert for the day was lovely home made chocolates. They tasted out of the world.
After a good night's sleep we were in no mood to leave the place. Since we had a long day's drive ahead we decided to start early. The breakfast was Puttu with Kadala curry, Uppma and fresh mountain bananas.
We thanked Durai who had taken care of all our needs over the last couple of days, showing great temperament with our kids, a perfect Man Friday.
On the way back got caught in a traffic jam at Kodaikanal which meant we took almost 3 hours to reach Kodai from Kilavarai, thanking Navin John once again for the lovely experience he and his team provided for us we reached Chennai at 11:00 in the night.
A panaroma shot of the Mannavanur Grass lands taken on the way back to Kodaikanal.
My son enjoying one moment of the average tourist checklist, horse riding at Green Valley View.
Someone told me that Kodaikanal is known as the 'Switzerland of India' - I'd certainly vouch for the accuracy of that comparison. As soon as we reached the outer limits of the town, I felt the cool clean air flushing all the dirt, dust and pollution of India 'down there'- which for us meant 2 days in Mumbai, a 30 hour train journey and then an evening in Dindigul -out of my lungs. What a relief!
I can't praise the quality of the air here enough- it is not only clean, clean, clean, but also odourless, crisp, and
sort of vital: full of life. It makes you want to breathe deeply, fully, wholeheartedly.
We wanted to avoid staying at the hotels in kodaikanal and wanted a different truly unique experience. After spending just one night in the town, we went to begin our volunteering experience at ecostay farms. Situated a thrilling 2 hour drive from Kodai, the farm where we worked is in one of the most peaceful places I've ever visited. You have to drive through a huge pine forest to get there (reminiscent of Switzerland again) and past various small villages. I was mesmerized by the immaculate terraces of the rural areas we drove through- row upon row of neat lines of vegetables on red earth, sculpted by the lie of the land and testament to, what seems to me, an incredible amount of back-breaking work. The parcels of land were often separated by brightly coloured sarongs (who needs boring brown fences?) which added to the vitality and beauty of the place. www.visitkodaikanal.com
Staying on the farm certainly provided an insight into life in rural India. I'd hate to oversimplify but the healthy smiles and genuine warmth of the villagers we met both at the farm and when out walking certainly makes me question the wisdom of the trappings of modern life- all that we were glad to leave behind. www.visitkodaikanal.com
The best thing was waking up every morning to a beautiful birdsong melody and trying to identify the different calls and responses. Two or three times, in the middle of the night, I woke to a loud call that seemed to come from far away above the forest- it sounded like a person yelping for joy. I was tempted to put on my flip flops and go out in the moonlight to return the jubilant cry. On reflection, I think it was probably a very loud owl.The cooking and hospitality of the farm manager, Dorai, was also fantastic and heartwarming. Indeed, we were sad to say goodbye to the workers at the farm and the wonderful, refreshing simplicity of our stay there. By Roma Claudius. www.visitkodaikanal.com