If you’re looking for things to do in Kodaikanal, do not read further. If you’re reading this for a good story & for a reason to go to Vattakanal, you’ll get plenty!
P.S: Way too many words and pictures ahead!
Getting to Kodaikanal/Vattakanal was a trip by itself!
Bylakuppe – Madikeri -Mysuru
Took me 7 hours and some disappointment when I reached Mysore. The buses were all full at Mysore.
I had to bribe the conductor and ended up standing in the bus from like 8:30 pm to 11 pm before I got a seat. I was going to Palani. ( I’d never head of Palani, like ever)
I sat next to Coimbatore-bound Ravi on the bus and we spoke in great detail about startups, travel and biking – it was way too much fun. After reaching Palani around 4 am, I got off and decided to figure how to get to Kodaikanal. Obviously I take poor travel decisions and hope they make for great stories. They do.
I found a random guy who was taking a bunch of random guys to Kodaikanal for like 100 bucks, in a mini-van, and he asked me to join them. I decided on an instinct to go forward with the decision (rather than taking a bus for which I’d have to wait for 2 hours on a dark and lonely bus stop) and we took off. Interesting travel choices.
After – Kodaikanal!
Got off the mini-van and saw the sky being unreal.
OH – MY – GOD!
This is what greeted me with open arms, first thing in the morning. Things were starting to look bright.
We found a cabbie to get us to Vattakanal, which is about 6-7 kms from Kodaikanal.
“Its much higher, with better views, and super chill vibes” the Keralites said, who were 3 time shroom-poppin visitors. I tried not to raise my expectations, much.
But then, we got there. And I saw this beauty.
This place is too unreal! By the time we reached Vattakanal it was almost 930 am. The Keralites and I tried searching for places to stay at and even found 1, but it was too small for too many of us. I didn’t want to compromise (Lol, look at me being choosy) so I bounced in search of another place. But first, Altaf Cafe.
Altaf Cafe is pretty much the centre of Vattakanal. Its where you reach, before you go anywhere else. Altaf is a pretty chill dude and on a regular day he can sort your accomodation and your life out. Not on this day for me though. I was still to find any accomodation but decided to grab some brekkie at Altaf’s. The food’s pretty good and the views are pretty sweet. Met a few people there, spoke with them and had a good meal.
Living in a Church
After breakfast I headed to find a place to stay and for 3 hours until 1 pm, I couldn’t find anything. Amidst all the chaos, I met a group of 6 Bangalore boys who told me about this church which gives you beds in a hall (like a dorm) for like 200 bucks a night. Those guys were also looking for accommodation, but wanted a room for themselves. I said my thanks and good byes and headed to the church. The priest asked me to wait, in the meanwhile I saw another set of 3-4 guys looking for a place. They joined me here, so I was a tad bit relaxed, not being the only one staying here. Some time later the 6 Bangalore boys also came back because they couldn’t find a room, and suddenly we became the 10 of us.
I kept my luggage and headed back to Altaf Cafe to grab some lunch. Shared my table with a couple of Austrians who were also looking for a place and had a hard time finding one. Invited them to the church and now it was the 12 of us! Suddenly within a span of 45 minutes I’d made friends by the dozen.
This was going to be a some good fun. In a church.
- I used to wake up every morning at 6 am. What I saw the first morning couldn’t be unseen, and I was pretty darn sure the mornings in Vattakanal will have a different charm. They didn’t disappoint.
2. After I’d woken up, I’d go sit at my spot and do nothing, maybe read a book.
3. Walk around a bit.
4. Chill with my church mates. Eat some good food. And then wake up the next morning:
5. Maybe head for a walk in the woods:
6. Have a honey-ginger-lemon:
Tell me you don’t want to go there already?
If I could, I would spend all my days in Vattakanal. But, it was time to go to Kerala, and Munnar. A 5 minute conversation at an idli stall led me to a 200 km lift, and a few other things.
More on that soon.
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