Hidden in a fluffy blanket of cottony clouds at an altitude of 2133 meters above sea level, Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is the ‘princess of hill stations’ and the younger sister to the more popular and frequented Ooty. Discovered in the year 1821 to make for a summer getaway from Mysore for the British, the town is probably the only hill station in the country to be established by American missionaries in 1845. Today, it’s a favourite with honeymooners and travellers who intend to stay away from the crowded and commercialised Ooty, which lies about a seven-hour scenic drive away from the town.
So, when you plan a vacation in this cloud-embraced heaven, consider ditching hotels and staying in cottages in Kodaikanal, as presence of such holiday homes in the town promise a more intimate interaction with Kodai and its people. Whether you want to stay at Perumal Malai, Observatory Road or Naidupuram, the options are many and scattered all over the town, so you can pick a location that you like the best. If history happens to hook you, you could stay in a colonial cottage and spend your evenings snuggled by a fireplace with a good book or your partner for company. Should you be the more active types, your cottage abode can offer you recreational facilities like board games, TT, and volleyball and badminton courts. Wouldn’t it be perfect if you also get a play area to keep any kids accompanying you busy? Spend your day exploring the scenic town and call it a day with a scrumptious meal around a campfire!
Choose an accommodation right in the middle of a prosperous plantation and enjoy nature walks, or pick one that exudes a rustic charm, or another that oozes luxury—Kodaikanal has cottages to suit every taste! If you are planning a group vacation, you can experience a home away from home in a multi-room cottage, complete with a kitchen, should you prefer preparing your own meals. Or if it happens to be a romantic retreat, visualise a mist-washed quaint wood cottage sitting in solitude atop a grassy cliff, with a pretty garden sit-out from where you two can take in the panoramic views of the town while savouring steaming filter coffee or masala chai to keep you warm—romantic bliss!
Abundantly blessed by nature, it is no wonder that Kodaikanal has been featured in movies—Kamal Hasan’s Guna was shot in the caves called Devil’s Kitchen, which are a must visit; that iconic Liril advertisement, the very first one that came out in the 80s, showed a pretty girl getting drenched under the Pambra Falls (also called Liril Falls, thanks to the ad), located a little beyond Devil’s Kitchen. And it’s not just about entertainment—one of the best residential schools in the country, the Kodaikanal International School is also here and is home to students from around the world. Impressive, indeed!
Plan your next hill getaway to Kodai, book a cottage to your liking, explore the little town, taste some freshly prepared piping hot kalan (mushroom) soup while the clouds tease you with sights to behold, buy some yummy homemade chocolates and eucalyptus oil, and return with a few stories to share and a million memories to cherish for life!