From the grandiose temples in the plains it was time to move up to the hills and breathe some refreshing air. So, we headed to Kodaikanal, popularly known as the “Princess of hill stations”.
When we planned the Kodaikanal trip, people told us there was nothing much to do there and we wouldn’t need more than a day and night. However, some friends told us to go ahead and stay for two days, they told us we would have a relaxing time. Thanks to Sterling Resorts’ Off Season Monsoon offer, we managed to get a very good deal for 2 days and 2 nights.
The road with a view !
By the time we left Thiruparankundram and headed to Kodaikanal, it was past lunch time and we decided to have lunch on the way, a very wise decision because out of the 110 kms distance between Madurai and Kodaikanal, close to 40 kms is through the Kodaikanal Ghat road and the winding road is sure to make you want to throw up ! The road condition is good and offers some lovely views of the surrounding hills.
For someone like this writer, who takes pride in being fit for any road/driving conditions, it was like eating a humble pie when the one hour on the Ghat road gave a headache and several nauseating moments ! But, it was all forgotten when we passed by views of beautiful cloud covered mountains like this:
Silver Cascade waterfall
About 7 kms before Kodaikanal, you are greeted by the Silver Cascade waterfall, located right on the road side along the Ghat road. The scene presents a very pretty picture when you take a turn on the road and find the waterfalls on the side.
There is a small walkway that takes you closer to the falls but we were happy with the view from the road as the place is full of monkeys ! There wasn’t much water but the gurgling sound and the sight of the water splashing its way down the hill is always pleasant.
There was slight drizzle and nearby shops were buzzing with activity selling hot Bajjis, tea and these delicious looking, tender, fresh, crunchy carrots. You will find such carrots almost everywhere in Kodaikanal.
Sterling Holidays – Valley View Resort
While searching for good resorts at Kodaikanal, we ignored Sterling Holidays because they are usually very expensive but to our luck, Sterling Resorts was running an off-season, monsoon offer where we were getting a 2 night stay at the cost of one, it was buy one get one free ! We grabbed the offer and with two families, it worked out quite economical for us.
There are 2 resorts run by Sterling Holidays at Kodaikanal – Lake View and Valley View. We went for Valley View because it was cheaper but it turned out to be the best part of our trip. The resort is surrounded by the hills and overlooks the valley. We just cannot express in words, the freshness we felt when we alighted from our car and looked at the hills, the clouds and the greenery around !
The valley of clouds !
When holidaying amidst nature, your experience is doubled when you have great views from your room. This was the view from the window of our room at Sterling Valley View, awesome is not the word !
It was close to 4 PM by the time we checked in, we missed lunch and so we went down to the restaurant at the resort for a cup of tea and some snacks.
Back at our rooms, we sat by the window and watched the hills and pretty Kodaikanal town.
We watched the clouds take over the valley quietly without a sound.
We’ve seen these scenes in our earlier trips to Wayanad, Kodachadri and other hill stations but every single time it is exciting to watch the clouds move in slowly and fill up the place like a white sheet !
As evening began to set in, we decided to go for a drive around the town. Before that we checked with the resort about the places of interest in Kodaikanal. We zeroed in a few places which seemed interesting and those we could fit into our 2 day stay without making it too hectic.
Since it was getting dark already, we couldn’t visit any place that evening and we simply went exploring Kodaikanal. The drive through the clouds and the picturesque locales left us sighing at the beauty around.
We drove till it got dark and drizzled, it got very cold after that but it still didn’t stop us from getting down the car every now and then to click pictures and try all kinds of camera settings. Inspite of shivering in the chillness, you can’t just leave without capturing such scenes for life, can you?
We drove towards Coakers Walk, a pathway bordering the valley where you can go for some relaxing walks. Night time had set in and we couldn’t go around there and so we decided to do some shopping instead and went to the main market area of Kodaikanal, the Anna Salai road.
We shopped a bit a handicrafts and curio shop, headed for dinner at a restaurant nearby. It got really cold by now and we decided to head back and call it a day. More sight seeing was ahead the next day at Kodaikanal, a hill station as pretty as a princess !
– Kodaikanal is only accessible by road, the nearest rail station is either Palani or Kodai Road station, Palani is closer of the two at a distance of about 60 kms. From there one can find buses, cabs to Kodaikanal. Taking a bus from Madurai is also a good idea.
– While most people will tell you there is nothing much in Kodaikanal, hill stations are meant for relaxing and doing nothing. Kodaikanal gives you the total relaxation, still if you insist, there are several places of interest in and around which include parks, lakes, waterfalls, treks, valley views, temples, rocks, shopping and so on.
– While booking accommodation make sure you have good views of the hills/valley.
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