Getaway to Palani Hills-Kodaikanal
Bangalore, the IT hub of India has become the shelter for several
thousands of engineers, motherland for entrepreneurs and an inspirational city
for the aspiring artists. Due to the increasing demand of extra-ordinary and
responsive services, the working population are becoming proactive and even extend their
business hours to meet high expectations of the clients. By the end of the day,
they desire to spend some quality time with their friends or families
too. During weekdays, they hardly find any energy to be with their family. They
slowly couch themselves to bed. On the other hand, on weekends either they have
household duties to finish or tired of driving to the malls. In addition to this, currently Bangalore
represents the topmost city for experiencing the highest temperature of approx.
39 degree Celsius. Personally, dwelling in the same above scenarios I finally
decided to escape to the nature. This
tour one can enjoy with friends, family as well as one’s beloved. And believe me,
this proved a perfect weekend gateway for me. To make this tour easier for you,
I am going to provide you some general information and a short itinerary. I am
sure you are going to love this!
Point of Departure: Bangalore, Karnataka.
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.
Date of Journey: 08Apr2016
Time Taken: 9 hours
(approx.) by road.
Temperature: 23 degree Celsius. (At present)
Duration: 1 Night, 2 Days.
Kodaikanal is one of the best hill stations in South India.
Surrounded by lush green vegetation, the place looks serene and heavenly. It
sits on the upper Palani Hills and is also referred as “Princess of Hill
Stations”. Why is it called so? To reveal the secret of its distinctive beauty
one has to explore the place and smell its freshness.
Kodaikanal offers a scenic beauty to the nature lovers,
Wildlife for the aspiring photographers and Trekking tracks for the
adventurous. It also offers chocolates and eucalyptus oil to the excited tourists.
I started my journey from Bangalore on 08Apr2016, a Friday
night, 10:45 P.M. by bus. I chose SAM Tourists, you can prefer any travels as
per your convenience. The overnight journey was quite relaxing after the hectic
day in office. After a journey of almost
nine continuous hours except where the vehicle halted for 10 mins for a service
stop, I finally reached my destination without any difficulty. I reached
Kodaikanal by 6.30 in the morning. The surrounding was pleasant and cool. It was
fresh as if the city had a shower few hours back. I was picked by a cab which the
resort people managed for me. I didn’t miss the chance of pulling down my
window just to feel the freshness of the air. The wind was cold, refreshing and
unpolluted. After 5 minutes of drive, I reached my hotel where I was going to
stay for another 2 days as an honoured guest.
Place to Stay:
had reserved my stay in “The Villa Retreat” http://www.villaretreat.com/
. The best place I could ever get. The Villa
Retreat is not only a place to accommodate but a perfect property to get the
essence of Kodaikanal. The advantage of being in Villa Retreat is to have most
of the viewpoints as neighbours which are just a walk away. The place is away from the hustles and
bustles of the city, traffic jams, crowd, and a perfect place to pamper
oneself. I was lucky enough to soothe my eyes with the splendid view of the
lush green velvety “Palani Hills” from my broad window.
The sight of a reading room right next to the reception
delighted me from within. I found various handmade products displayed for sale
too. As I am fond of scented candles, I picked up few from the displayed ones.
It was 8 o’ clock by my watch and my stomach was roaring out
of hunger. The dining area was just behind the entrance. I quickly made a move
in the midst of the beautifully carved trees and creepers. But once I reached
the point, I remained awestruck. It was a small lawn with different flowers
viz, roses, tulips, marigold and many more. My eyes focussed onto a play card
where it was clearly written with black ink “Plants for Sale” .For
few seconds, I felt to laze around on the white wooden benches with painted
metallic hands. I could felt the clouds moving and had the opportunity of
gazing small adorable birds.
I was in dilemma over the breakfast table for choosing the
platter which I really wanted to have. The menu was reflecting both Indian and
Continental. I had Masala Dosa with a
fresh Water-melon juice. One can also opt for Poori-sabji, sandwiches and even
Rooms and Tariff:
The rooms are big enough to accommodate and are very clean. They have different
rooms having varied tariffs.
Day1: Once I was successful in satisfying my stomach, my mind
geared up within a couple of minutes. I had my whole day to explore the place. My
plan was to start my trip by local sightseeing which I felt a good way to know
the city better. My cab was booked by the hotel in charge; however the places
can also be reached through walking, if anyone likes to walk few miles. One can
ask the hotel management to book a cab for the sightseeing. The cost would come
around 800bucks for the whole sightseeing which covers almost 15 places.
However, I decided to move by my own pace and chose only those that excited me.
Walk: It is next to the gate of “The Villa Retreat. Timings for entry:
7A.M- 7P.M. It is a long walk of almost a kilometre or two. One can walk by admiring the beauty of nature
below. It has an entry fee of Rs.10. The walk is surrounded by various vendors
who won’t fail to drag your attention. The vendors were selling carrots,
colourful showpieces, sugar candy, puffed rice mixture, ice cream and clothing
which is a means to their livelihood. There is a telescope house too by which
you can have a panoramic view of the city. Entry fee: Rs. 5.
Park: The Bryant Park is just opposite to the entrance of the Villa
Retreat. The Park charges are minimal, kids: Rs.10 and Adults: 20. The park has
exquisite Dahlias, roses, cactuses making the surrounding colourful and magnificent.
People of all the ages can be seen spending time with their dear ones. I also
got mesmerised by the scenic beauty of the Bryant Park.
Once I move out of the Byrant Park, I entered into a vast region all surrounded
by an array of shops. One can taste Ginger Tea, Capsicum Pakodas, Corn, Raw Mangoes
and chocolates. One can shop for apparels also. Don’t forget to visit the
Tibetan corner which one can identify by checking the colourful prayer flags
displayed high in the air. The area has a vast Lake in its centre which is
Kodai Lake. I desired to roam the lake
in an eco-friendly way and hence hired a bicycle. I rode almost 7 kms. And truly speaking I lived my childhood days
once again. If you are not a person who enjoys the bicycle then don’t worry you
can enjoy a ride on horses back.
- Jain Temple: It is a small temple built
in white marbles. It is the only Jain Temple in Kodaikanal. It is situated in Presentation Convent Road, a
low crowded place where one can sit and spent some quality time. Sri Vardhamana
Mahavira is the
main deity and most of the Jain festivals are celebrated here.
- Chettair Park: As the spring season
arrives, the vibrant flowers bloom and spread their fragrance in the air. This
season, Chettair park is a must visit to soothe your eyes with the beauty of
- Kurinji Andavar Temple: This temple is
dedicated to lord Muruga. The temple gives you a splendid view of the Palani
hills on one side and city on the other side. The temple is flocked by the
tourists every year in the month of May as it is a venue for the summer
festival and people seek the blessings of Lord Murugan.
Kodaikanal doesn’t have restaurants much other than in the
city. One will get small dhabas or small stalls which will
offer you snack such as Tea, Maggie or Bhajjis. Hence, it will be ideal if
you pack your lunch or have it in the city before you start your journey.
Day 2: The moment I woke up, I could see rain pelting down. It
was cold and I felt sluggish to get out from my cozy blanket. However, the
spontaneous “Me” changed my mind and I leaped off my bed. Few minutes later,
the bright sun shown up smiling and this boosted me for the entire day. I decided
to go for the nature tour. Kodaikanal is a great way to retreat to nature and
by any means I can’t miss the golden opportunity.
- Pine Forest: The Pine Forest was one of the most
dramatic places I had ever been. I wished to built a house in midst of the pine
canopy. The pine fruits were all spread over the moors. After few meters of
walking, I saw a small flowing water body known as “Neptune Pool”. The water was as clear as crystal and was
sparkling bright under the blazing sun.
- Poorambarai Village View: After the Pine
Forest, I was being driven towards the Poorambarai Village. Before proceeding
towards the village, my cab driver stopped and showed me the village view from
the highway. Wow! What a view! Numerous small houses were seen spread within a
limited area and a road passing by with local buses loaded with various
passengers.I finally reached the village
hoping to have a glimpse of the deity for which most of the tourists and local
people are eager about. The temple is
known as lord Kuzhanthai velappar temple. The inner space of the temple is a
very small area where hardly 10 people can fit. The priest present there was
attending the crowd and the brown lips of him were continuously chanting
hymns. He was passing holy water to the
devotees. The water is so precious for the locals there that they carry it in
their own urn.
While enrouting, I found some pilgrims walking on bare foot with milk filled urn over their head. My cab driver informed me that they came all the way from Kodaikanal city to have a glimpse of the Divine. The unique way of devotion put me into a deep thought. The bare feet must have got burnt by the scorching sun, I thought.
- Mannavanur Sheep Station: This can be another place of interest. Stop by for a couple of minutes before
you drive to the Mannavanur Lake. The
station works under the famous organisation of Indian Council for Agricultural
Research, Delhi and offers diverse range of animals like sheep and rabbit. They
are bred in the station for their wool and meat supply.
- Mannavanur Lake: After a drive of
another 10 minutes, I checked in as
soon as I bought the tickets at the entrance. I was mesmerized as I was thrown
into a vast area of fertile land which was covered by patch of green
grasslands. There were cows grazing in the field and finally I ended up
stepping onto Mannavanur Lake. The lake was calm and peaceful. I felt like
jumping into the water however controlled my excitement. My joy knew no bounds
when I sat on a coracle for a ride. The person rowed the boat very smooth
initially however he thrilled me by rowing the boat as a merry-go round. The water sprinkled over me and the air was
beating on my cheeks. It was a great fun!
I came back to my resort, packed my stuffs and got ready to
catch the bus. Finally, I boarded the bus and started by 7:00 P.M. for
Bangalore. I was feeling revitalized. Taking a break from the monotonous life
provides you inner peace, happiness and in turn more productive to your
business. After the trip to Kodai, nothing is more applicable to me than this
-"Travelling– it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a