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


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:



Getting to Kodaikanal/Vattakanal was a trip by itself!

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 12.33.23 PM.png

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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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

3. Walk around a bit.


Constantly with this view by my side.

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


Waking up to that view tho.

5. Maybe head for a walk in the woods:


Get out of here!!

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.

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!


15 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


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