My quest to experience the hill stations of South India has been taking me on an expedition across the south over the past two years. Thanks to the Roads and Highways department of the Indian Government, all roads that connect to hill stations are simply said, in one word, motorable. And that’s how we a family of three, with another family of three got to the “queen of the Nilgiris”, Kodai, a short for Kodaikanal. Though closer and most often reached from Madurai we went the tour via Coimbatore. Roughly six odd hours later, crossing the temple town of Palani, we reached Kodai sighting welcoming clouds all through the ascent.
With a star-shaped lakee as the star-attraction of Kodai, the hill-station is a lot less noisy and a lot less crowded too, than Ooty, but its just as beautiful or even more. It did brin back memories of Coorg to me. Probably the mistiness of the two, or the chill vibe the two have as such. However much the physical topography of the land was gorgeous to say the least with conical trees and bellowing clouds touching down, every now and then. With private boarding schools like the Kodaikanal International School right in the centre of the city, we could spot very many students all over the quaint cafes and restaurants. With their Louis Vuitton backpacks and Armani glasses none-the-less. Uber chic and uber cool. Karan Johar may not be off point with his Student of the Year franchises I’d say!
But the best part of Kodai is not so much the visual feast it provides, not even at Tamaraa, the gorgeous property with a stunning location, it is undoubtedly the food. Every cafe serves undoubtedly the best hot chocolate, cheese, ice-creams made fresh, the cows are definitely happy in this locale ;D With the Kodai brand hitting the stores across the country, we all get to take a little bit of Kodai back home. If not for the cheese, it’s the chocolate. Ooty chocolates have always been very popular, but Kodai chocolates are unmissable too. Our short stay at Xanadu in Kodai was homely and luxurious at the same time, with lovely food and great hospitality. Cycling around the lake has got to be the best part of Kodai, mostly engaging with the starry lake is the high-point of the hill-station. One of the most beautiful in Southern India. For Sure.