Home India Slow Travel in India: A Kodaikanal Guide for the Weary Traveler

Slow Travel in India: A Kodaikanal Guide for the Weary Traveler

Kodaikanal Guide for the Weary Traveler
Source: freepik

Slow travel is a meditative pause while on the move.

A movement that initially started out as a trend is actually good for the soul. It is the right stuff for the weary traveler. Or anyone fatigued with the daily grind. Why not instead of running around to explore a destination; explore it at a slower pace! Slow Travel is not against conventional tourism but it is rather a different perspective to view a destination. If you are keen on exploring slow travel in India then you have plenty of options from the usual tourist destinations to offbeat towns and urban spaces. In the former spaces; Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu offers excellent possibilities for slow travel. Here’s a handy guide that you can consider.

Starting the Slow Trip to Kodaikanal

Once you are in Kodaikanal and settled in, take a few hours to just roam around town. You can rent a bicycle or be on foot. Both options are viable.

Then how about with an indulgence? The town is dotted with bakeries and places selling homemade chocolates. If this is something that interests you; then there is no better way to start your leisurely journey for rejuvenating the soul. If you ask anyone in Kodai to recommend a bakery; chances are you will hear the name ‘Pastry Corner’ or rather ‘Daily Bread’s Pastry Corner’. Going by its popularity, it is the place to be to taste the best cakes and snacks in town. You can pair your choice of pastry with their filter coffee or sample their other delicacies such as cream buns, sandwiches, and the rest.

Visiting town stores is also a great way to mingle with the locals and spend some time in conversations. Even if you don’t feel like talking, you can simply observe the world whilst indulging in other sensory experiences.

Treks, Trails, and Escaping in the Hills

Escaping via travel can be one of the best ways to find oneself. An unhurried pace, when you are traversing a trail, can be the very balm for the soul you may have been looking for but couldn’t find. Luckily, Kodaikanal abounds in treks and trails. You can go on meditative walks or adrenaline-pumping fitness runs to your heart’s desire in this hilly town. Trekking in Kodaikanal can be the highlight of your slow travel holiday in this town.

Try these popular hiking trails in Kodaikanal –

  • Pine Forest Trek (good option for beginners)
  • Dolphin’s Nose (good for beginners and also for those with some hiking experience)
  • Vattakanal Trek (ideal for those used to hiking and with good fitness levels)
  • Perumal Peak Trek (ideal for beginners)
  • Bear Shola Trek (good for beginners and perfect for the monsoon season)

For Kodaikanal treks, it is best to hire a guide. Some of the trails go through thick foliage and the local wildlife park. Some terrains are rocky as well.

At the end of any hike in Kodaikanal; the rewards will be in the form of views of the jade valleys and grass so green; it can stun a person into sweet silence. Rich green thicket and surprising waterfalls here and there can dissipate stress – even if momentarily and offer respite in some little way if not more.

Other Indulgences in Kodaikanal

Ride the boat through the mist in the Kodaikanal Lake. Or take in the view enroute if the mist is not present. Floating in the water, be it by way of swimming or on a boat, can be therapeutic. Berijam Lake is ideal for birdwatching. You can sit by the lake and let the chirping of birds and flapping sound of bird wings bring you serenity.

Go around town and shop for homemade chocolates or check the shops for herbs, antiques, or anything that catches your fancy. Kodai Chocolate Factory is a famous place for delectable chocolates. Spicy Corner is the place for all varieties of spices. Dynasty is the shop in town for rare antiques. Go to Danish Display for aromatic oils. Walk around Anna Salai Market to get a feel of the town’s bustle and shop for food or other items if you happen to like anything.

Pay a visit to downtown Kodai to get a different feel of the town. Other than small shops, the area has museums and boutiques as well.

How to reach Kodaikanal:

You can reach Kodaikanal by trains or by road. The nearest airports are in Madurai and then in Trichy and Coimbatore. Madurai Airport is well-connected to Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, and even Trichy. The flight schedules may change, so plan accordingly.

If you are visiting India then take a flight to Chennai then drive to Kodaikanal some 440 km away. You can also take to the road for Kodaikanal from Bangalore, which is some 305 km away. You can also take a bus from Madurai or Chennai. Trains are also available for Kodaikanal. If you are flying to Delhi then you can reach Kodaikanal by taking a train for the destination (in case you are not too keen on a flight journey). You can book international flights to India via Indian Eagle easily and take your time exploring the county.

Slow travel in India is one of the best ways to explore the country. Visit hill stations and lush places like Kodaikanal to rest your weary mind and body. The fresh air alone can soothe fried nerves. It is a great place for weekend trips as well. You can slow down during 2-3 days and revitalize yourself to the core.

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