Heard of ‘Kodaikanal’?
Well, most of the Indians would have, for it is one of the most popular ‘Tourist’ destinations in South India. Hence, it has become one of the most commercialized and crowded tourist hill stations too. Kodaikanal has a less known sister, popularly known as “The Little Israel”, Vattakanal.
Vattakanal is a small hamlet, about six kilometers from Kodaikanal town.
I took a local bus from Pazhani at around 4 a.m. in the morning to Kodaikanal. The drive from Kodaikanal was truly an amazing one. It felt like I was floating in a sea of clouds! I saw a few backpackers on the way, back from their early morning trek.
Vattakanal has several homestays, among which a few are like resorts, considering the recent increase in the awareness about this place. I chose to stay atop a hill, with a local family. There are several families, who have given a portion of their homes as homestay to the travellers.
I chose to stay there for the next three days, exploring this small valley and its surroundings.
I had an early rise every day, just to be in time to see the sunrise. I waited patiently for about an hour till the Sun came out. Slowly, the entire place was caressed by the rays and turned golden. It’s hard not to exaggerate on such scenes, and no exaggeration will be enough. Trust me, the sky was surreal and gorgeous.
Soon after the sun rise I headed towards the well-known Middle Eastern, Althaf’s café. It is the only café here and an extremely cozy one too, a perfect setting for artists, lovers, poets, backpackers and writers.
I began my walk to the Dolphin Nose Point. After a short hike, just after climbing the dolphin nose, we found this spot that is captured in the picture below. The mountains were exposed with all its beauty and glory. So peaceful, that the only sound audible was that of the gushing streams and the chirping of birds. I just stood there, humbled by the mighty mountain, taking in all the serenity.
I spent my day wandering aimlessly in the surrounding greenery, clicking pictures.
The evening stroll was amazing, walking through the single main road surrounded by the ‘vatta’ (circular) valley.
Vattakanal had been in my list for a long time, but had been postponing it. The place was less known earlier, hence there was lesser crowd. But now the place has begun to show ‘the ugly faces’ of commercialization.