Traveling to Kodaikanal? Well, you can not miss visiting ‘Little Israel’ called Vattakanal which is just 6 Kms from main Kodaikanal junction.Confused?
Yes, you heard it right, It’s called ‘Little Israel’ by the villagers that observe a large number of Israeli tourists who start visiting from October onwards. It is located in the Dindigul District on the upper Palani hills in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Vattakanal also known as ” Vatta” is located along a range that has been labeled ‘one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world’ as many rare and endangered plants and animals of the country are found here. It’s a paradise of flowers and foliage with clouds rising from the valleys under you rather than over!
How to reach?
The easiest option is to travel by road. You can book private buses from Bangalore/ Hyderabad/Chennai to Kodaikanal and from there hire a taxi which would cost approx 300 – 400 bucks or can self-drive car which would take approx 9hours to reach.
One can bypass a long train journey by taking a flight to Madurai which is closer to Vattakanal .On reaching Madurai, you can hire a shared taxi for approximately Rs 2000 – Rs 3000 for a drive through Roadway NH209 to the Palani hills and to Vatta.
The Journey begins….
I reached Kodaikanal early morning and started off my day with sumptuous breakfast. As I was moving uphills I could see clouds chasing my cab and the view was breathtaking. ‘Wow, This place is beyond words to express’ was the thought that came up in my mind.
I stopped at ALTAF’s Cafe. The last point beyond which vehicles can’t go.
How can I miss the mandatory check-in –ALTAF café so I took a break there and ordered the famous Israeli food. Altaf’s café is very famous in Vattakanal because of the food and stay it offers but these days it is overcrowded and one might have to wait for hours together to get a seat and enjoy the food and view.
But I must tell you it’s worth the wait as you can enjoy a delecious meal with a spectacular view. The lush green hills, moving clouds and drizzles. Take out your speakers and play some chill music to trip and get high on nature.
Quickly I wrapped up and planned to trek to the Dolphin nose and echo point which has a way next to Altaf’s café. Mind you this is a downhill and you have to trek down for almost 30 mins to get the view of Palani hills which can be easily seen from Mountain view point.
Trek down for another 15mins and you can reach Dolphin nose point. Halt for some spectacular view and pictures.
Now the tough journey starts !!. Going back to Altaf’s café from where I started , will surely make one exhausted as you have to climb up the hill. But no worries you can take short snack & tea breaks in between and enjoy the view while going up. Also if you are lucky enough you can spot bisons 😛 (They are harmless).
Alert: Carry Umbrellas and raincoats as Vattakanal is on height and receives untimely rainfall.
Vattakanal falls which is a walkable distance of 20 mins from Altaf’s café is still not known to a lot of people. The falls are not at a great height but the enchanting waterfall sound will make you feel at peace. Sit beside the waterfall, dip in your feet and play with water. What else do you want!!
You can also trek uphill from the falls to pine forest. If you are lucky you can spot some deer, monkeys and bison. Plan to visit the forest before it gets dark.
On the way back I spotted a Church just in the middle of hills. Completely impressed by the colonial architecture, I decided to spend some time there. Outside the church, you can find fruitsellers selling seasonal fresh fruits like fresh passion fruits, plums, butter fruit and wild jackfruit.
While going back to Kodaikanal I came across a really cool cafe called “Muncheez” located in the center of the Kodai City.
This tiny café is so welcoming and warm also not to forget the delicious burger that I had. You can sit beside the fireplace, play guitar or read books until your order is ready. I was chilling out in the café for some time and gathering information for my blog. What a lovely time it was. Do visit this place for recreational and relaxation purpose.
Well the day got over and I headed back to my resort but for people who want to stay in Vattakanal can find good accommodation at Altaf’s place and some nearby guesthouses which offer a breathtaking view of Palani hills.
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