30 December 2011

Kodaikanal

From Bangalore, the drive is around 7 hrs. The path along NH-7 is quite good, with around 5 toll booths concerning this journey.

View of Kodai town
There is a GRT Hotel in Salem, on the main road itself when you enter Salem, good for stopping for food, they had buffet breakfast and buffet lunch at the time of writing. The hotel is popular, especially during lunch time.

Church opposite Coakers Walk entrance
      In Kodaikanal


Christmas tree at Bryant Park
Kodaikanal (short form: Kodai) is a picturesque hill station, and there are great vantage points for good views. It's a small hill station and walking around is easy.  Coakers Walk  is around 1-2 km long, and has great views of the hills around. There is an entry charge, including for cameras. Nearby is the Bryant Park- finely maintained. There is an entrance charge, including for cameras. Adjacent to Bryant Park is a small lane (a quick way to get to the town center from e.g. Coakers Walk) from where you can see a bit of Bryant Park. Other vantage points include Suicide Point  (there is now a grill). When the weather is fine, a walk along the lake is recommended. Most parts of the road has a footpath. Views are good. Cycling around the lake is very popular and one can rent a cycle from a point on the lakeside.
Bryant Park

If there's one thing one cannot avoid in Kodai, it is the ubiquitous chocolate shops. They are everywhere, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily good. Don't immediately buy chocolate at the first shop you see, you will certainly see more.
And take heed: just because the shop looks clean and fancy, the chocolate may not be of the same quality. Tourist traps indeed.

Besides chocolate,  there are many peanut stalls.

Restaurants:
Boating on the lake
1) Tava- It's a small Indian-cuisine restaurant on PT Road. Good food and quick service.
2) Astoria Veg- A relatively busy Indian restaurant. Fair quality food.
3) Cloud Street- On PT road, slightly further down than Tava. Fine European-cuisine food.

Accommodation:
We stayed at Villa Retreat. It's a villa property blessed with a great location- next to Coakers Walk in the center of the town, walking distance from the lake. The lawn has great views of the area.
The rooms are OK- slightly small. The rate may include a car-and-driver tour of Kodai but some of the travel agents they hire may be dodgy- you may see yourself come back without seeing what you went out to.
Food at the hotel isn't very good, except for breakfast- which is fine.

Tourist Friendliness:
Walking in the late evening around the centre is safe enough, even if it's deserted. If it's unlit, be careful of missing sidewalks, steps in the sidewalk and garbage. Some areas on the lakefront may be empty too even in the early evening, but it's still fine to walk around, and there may be an occasional police patrol.
At other times, walking is fine and many people walk around.

One Day in Kodaikanal
Visit some of the viewpoints such as Suicide Point and Coakers Walk in the morning. After lunch visit Bryant Park, take a round of the lake and spend the evening in the liveliest area around the lake, among the chocolate shops.

Last visit: Dec 2011
No of visits: 3
First visit: N/A

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude!!! You have posted extrimaly odd photos of Kodai Kanal... No one will go to view such rubish snaps!!!

Sofia Sana said...

What a coincidence we too stayed at Villa Retreat
Suicide Point, Coakers Walk, Bryant Park all are well maintained...
Very timely Post.

Pawan Patil said...

The Kodaikanal name in Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest". Kodaikanal is referred as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. Tourist across the seas comes here to visit the amazing location and for many travelers who prefer to stay at Best Budget Resort in Kodaikanal.

dimpy roy said...

Very nice post. You have described Kodaikanal so beautifully. One of the few rare places with Eucalyptus trees, come to this "Princess of Hills" to soak yourselves in the green, fresh and picturesque environs. Check out best Kodaikanal hotels.