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Nomads On Wheels

Weekend Destination: Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Kodaikanal: The Princess of hill stations, situated in the Dindigul district of Tamilnadu is the most sought after holiday destinations in South India. At an elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level has a pleasant climate throughout the year, though commercialized now, the place will mesmerize any visitor with her beauty, afterall you are staying with the Princess!!

Date: May 01, 02, 03, 2015

Best Time to Visit: Round the year

June to September is the monsoon and July and August being the peak time, if you want to spend time reading a book or watching television without any disturbance next to a fire place, then this is the time. Since the climate is pleasant round the year, the place is always filled with tourists. If the weekend happens to a long weekend (public holiday + weekend), then expect the place to be crowded and expensive.

Connectivity to Kodaikanal: Closest Airport: Tiruchirapally (Trichy) International Airport, Tamilnadu – 150 kms Madurai Airport, Tamilnadu – 120 kms Coimbatore International Airport, Tamilnadu – 175 kms Nearest Railway Station: Kodai Road – 100 kms away from Kodaikanal Dindigul – 95 Kms away from Kodaikanal There’s no rail connectivity with Kodaikanal, one will have to catch a train to Kodai road or Dindigul and take a bus or hire a taxi. Road: There are plenty of buses plying from various parts of Tamilnadu and from other states too, few places in TN, from where there are regular buses to Kodaikanal: Trichy to Kodaikanal – 200 kms (5.30 hrs) Madurai to Kodaikanal – 119 kms (4.30 hrs) Coimbatore to Kodaikanal – 172 kms (5.00 hrs) Dindigul to Kodaikanal – 97 kms (3.25 hrs) Palani to Kodaikanal – 65 kms (3 hrs)

Mode of Transport Used: Indian Railways – Mangalore to Coimbatore TNSTC (Tamilnadu State Transport Corporation) Bus Coimbatore – Palani (109 kms, 3 hrs) Palani – Kodaikanal (65 kms, 3 hrs)

Clubnow NO-Mads: Give me Red Prasanth Smiley Anoop

Accommodation: There are plenty of home stays, Hotels and Resorts available in Kodaikanal, most of which have 2 different tariffs (off season & peak season). Most of the places are listed on internet and averages at INR. 2000.00per day, tariff of standard hotels are on Continental plan (Bed and Breakfast) however most of the places room rent includes only stay. Clubnow will advise to make prior booking before visiting the place. During our visit (long weekend), we spent close to 4 hours searching for an accommodation, even the homestays in the interior parts were full!!

Fact Check: The authorities in Kodaikanal discourages use of plastic bags and the vendors are fined for littering, an Ice-cream vendor asked us to dispose the wrapper in the bin else they will be fine INR 500.00. During holidays the place is usually crowded with lots of traffic snarls, if you are driving or have hired a taxi start early to escape the logjams at various tourist points.If you are looking for a peaceful vacation then book yourself in a resort/homestay away from the heart of the city (Kodai Lake). Auto rickshaws are banned in Kodaikanal, the options available are taxis and cycles!! You can go there are hire a taxi and will have to bargain, ensure that you have researched all the places that needs to be covered and that the taxi driver takes you to those places, many a times they may skip couple of places and end the trip early. Cycling is an option but guess it’s an option for professionals because riding uphill requires lots of stamina and eats into time to. You can book cabs from www.kodaicabs.com There are several places that hire out cycles (INR 40.00 for half an hour, average cost), there’s a place opposite to Carlton Hotel, in Kodai Bazaar or on the other side opposite to BSNL office. Its difficult to get a bike on hire while in Kodaikanal however if you know anyone there, they may be able to manage a bike for you. Following contact can help with accommodation and with hiring a bike: Raja (Pulsar Raja) Mobile: 094426 57303

Start the trip from Observatory road (in front of BSNL office) to cover the following points: •Indian Institute of Astrophysics – Opens at 2:00 pm; Mon – Sat; Sundays opens at 10:00 am. If you are lucky they may be able to show you sun spots!!

•Pine forest
•Devils Kitchen popularly known as Guna caves (Got that name after the Tamil movie “Guna” was shot here •Moir Point – This is the starting point to Berijam lake, names after Sir Thomas Moir for constructing the “40 mile round” connecting Kodaikanal, Poombarai, Mannavanur, Kavunji and Berijam Lake. •Berijam Lake – Only limited number of tourists are allowed to this place. One must get permission to visit the lake from Tamilnadu forest department which issues passes from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. The forest office os half a kilometer after Moonjikal, some prominent landmaeks are Bharat Gas Agency and HP petrol pump. •Pillar Rock •Green valley point •Suicide point •Coakers walk •Upper lake view

There are many restaurants and fast food joints available in the city, Clubnow recommends “The Royal Tibet” on P.T. road opposite Carlton road for some real good Chinese. Momos are a must try. The place is owned & managed by a lady called Diki and the place closes at 8:30 pm owing to the rush. There are other restaurants like “Tibetian Brothers”, Tawa Veg, and Punjabi Dhaba etc. Other places of tourist interest one will definitely find shops selling Pakodas, bread omelet along with Tea and Coffee.

Must Do: Cycling around Kodai Lake Drive to Berijam Lake Drive to Poombarai and Mannavanur Village through Pine forest The momos served at The Royal Tibet restaurant

Average Cost per Head: INR 1664.00