Far From the Madding Crowd
Weekend getaways are all about relaxation, rejuvenation and spending quality time with your loved ones or even yourself. It is a break from the daily grind, the routine and monotonous to find yourself amidst the peace and quiet of nature and calm your mind. But can you really find all of those things these days in popular tourist spots? With the crazy rush of tourists all year round, finding the much- needed relaxation has become so difficult. For spiritual beings like us, who just need to isolate ourselves from the world and be at peace even for a little while, we need to go off the usual route. There is a certain thrill in venturing out on the road not taken by the crowd, the joy of just being, surrounded by only the sounds of nature. It is a true treat for your soul. If you are yearning to go somewhere like this, then Vattakanal (Tamil Nadu) – Little Israel of India is where you need to be!
When and How – All the Details You Need!
This idyllic hamlet, almost seven kilometres away from the very popular hill station Kodaikanal. Late summers or even early monsoons are the best time to visit Kodaikanal. The weather remains very comfortable and slightly chilly, just the perfect atmosphere to cosy up in your blankets and drink rich coffee while taking in the dense forests and marvellous hills surrounding you. Away from the hustle and bustle of Kodaikanal, the air here is crisp and clean and there is no pollution. Isn’t it the most ideal place to detox and unwind?
Since it is so close to Kodaikanal, reaching Vattakanal is very easy due to the huge supply of cars and cabs all year round. Follow the Kodaikanal guide if you wish to explore Kodaikanal too. If you are taking flight, then the closest airports will be Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. You will easily get a car from there. It will take you around five hours to reach the pretty hill station. You can even take a bus from Bangalore to Kodaikanal and then either take a cab or even trek your way to Vattakanal hill station. As you move towards Vattakanal you will notice a sharp decline in human population as the forests and the mountains slowly unravel themselves to you. The cool breeze through your hair, plethora of birds chirping and clouds enveloping this hill station from all sides is Nature’s way of welcoming you in.
What Can You Do in Vattakanal?
If you are expecting a range of tourist activities, adventure sports options, eateries and buzzing marketplaces, then Vattakanal is not where you should be. It is a very quiet and calm village, with very few people where you will barely find much facility to sustain your usual lifestyle. That is the exact reason why it is the ideal place to take a break from work. Hit the pause button and take in the miles of lush green forests and snow capped mountains. Walk through the meandering roads for hours as the birds sing to you with no other being in sight. There are a few really simple things to do at Vattakanal that adds to the secluded charm of the place.
1. Vattakanal Waterfalls
A long walk through the forests will take you to this small but gorgeous waterfall with crystal clear water and watch it shimmer as the sunlight falls on it. During monsoons, it becomes even more luxurious and beautiful and you can easily spend hours just admiring it.
2. Dolphin’s Nose
Probably the most famous sightseeing spot in this small hamlet, the Dolphin’s Nose is a rock structure that juts out from the edge of a cliff. What is spectacular about this spot is the view that it offers of the entire mountain range and alpine forests that spreads throughout the horizon. It is truly a sight to behold. Sit down close to the edge and watch the clouds and the mist meander slowly while you get tiny peeks at the majestic mountains behind it. Wait for the clouds to clear out and unravel the scenery in its full glory which will definitely leave you mesmerised.
3. Altaf’s Café
This quaint little café forms the very heart of the village. It has a very aesthetic and warm ambience and the food is to die for. With Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, the food is quite affordable and the staff is very friendly and helpful. You must try the Shakshouka, hummus and pasta there or you might regret it.
4. Accommodation and Food
If you are planning to stay in Vattakanal, it is best to opt for homestays. Not only is it extremely budget friendly but also it is the best way for you to appreciate their culture and hospitality which truly is the essence of any place. Moreover, due to the hamlet being sparsely populated and practically unexplored there are no options for hotels.
You will not face any problem regarding food. Apart from Altaf’s café, you can also check out the RC Stores where you will find everything from vegetables and fruits to canned foods and toiletries. Moreover, you can even ask Arasi aunty, manager of RC Stores, to provide home cooked meals for you like rice, roti, daal and simple but delicious dishes like that. You will find all the basic amenities that you might need for a weekend trip.
The hamlet is called Vattakanal(Tamil Nadu) – Little Israel of India because during and after October most Israelis travel to this place to celebrate and unwind and thus this hill station becomes a small Israel. It is quite an interesting thing to experience. This small village is filled with love, peace, hope and light. Lose yourself in the beauty of nature and find a home in it. However make sure to return before sunset as electricity is a major problem and mobile network is rarely available. Try out this offbeat village and you will have the best time ever!