tamil nadu / Travel

Vattakanal: Para, para… PARADISE!

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!

The Journey

Before

After spending New year’s eve at a monastery in Bylakuppe (Fun story, read here) near Coorg (Read here), I decided to take off for my next destination, the one I’d been looking forward to the MOST:

Vattakanal!

During

Getting to Kodaikanal/Vattakanal was a trip by itself!

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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.

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These are my first views when I reach at 6 am in the morning. I’m wearing shorts and chapps and its 10 degrees. Way too much happening together.

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The sun literally rises from below the ground, not at an angle of 180 degrees. And the whole show goes on for like an hour. It’s magical.

OH – MY – GOD!

This is what greeted me with open arms, first thing in the morning. Things were starting to look bright.


Vattakanal

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.

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You’re literally sitting on top of the clouds, and the mountains are under you. WHAT!

Yup.

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I can’t even.

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

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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.

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Good Food. Food Good.

 


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.

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Just before leaving

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.

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That’s the one! Mr. Shreeni’s way too chill.


The routine

  1. 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.
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Yup.

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Then the sky threw more colors at me. I didn’t say no.

2. After I’d woken up, I’d go sit at my spot and do nothing, maybe read a book.

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That’s the one. Just further down the hill from the church.

3. Walk around a bit.

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Constantly with this view by my side.

4. Chill with my church mates. Eat some good food. And then wake up the next morning:

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Waking up to that view tho.

5. Maybe head for a walk in the woods:

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Get out of here!!

6. Have a honey-ginger-lemon:

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Yup.

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.


To see more pictures from my trip (and follow me on my next trip in India) check out my instagram : sharma.ji (While you’re at it, check out Tripoto and follow me there too: Siddharth Sharma)

Hit the Follow button on the blog- you will be notified by email with my next post! Thanks for reading and hope you had fun!

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12 thoughts on “Vattakanal: Para, para… PARADISE!

  1. Pingback: United, we fall: Pied Bush Chats | verseherder

  2. hey! could you please get in touch with me.. 🙂 i too am planning to go to vatta alone and am in need of some help. Thanks in advance please let me know how can i contact you

    Like

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