Chasing the carrot amongst the concrete jungles can be tiring and right now, only a trip to Kodaikanal, away from all the hustle and bustle can fix you now. Rightfully called the “Princess of Hill Stations”, Kodaikanal’s beauty will surely leave you enthralled. You might think, well, beauty comes with a price. But what if we tell you that you can experience the beauty of Kodaikanal under a budget? Here’s how to plan a trip to Kodaikanal under INR 9000!
To reach Kodaikanal, the nearest railhead is Kodai Road, which is at a distance of 79 km (2 hours 19 minutes). Since you’re on a budget, you’ll need to start your trip by taking a bus from Kodai Road station. This is the most economical option to get to the hill station. The 3 hours of bus journey can cost you up to INR 1000. You can also check booking sites for offers, and in such cases, the fare can go down to INR 900.
Your best option is to travel by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses. Before you set out on your trip, make sure to check their website to book your ride in advance so as to avoid extra expenses during the journey. All the places mentioned in this article are easily accessible from Kodaikanal Bus Stand.
If you plan to drive yourself, you can take either one of the two routes: One that goes via Palani (52 km, 12 hours) and the other that goes via Vathalagundu (42 km, 10 hours). Both are routes that are well-connected, but consider driving only if you’re an experienced driver as the mountain roads can be tricky.
Also Read: Things To Do In Kodaikanal
Once you’re in Kodaikanal, you’d want someplace to put down your luggage and come back by nightfall. Once accommodation is settled, you can go around and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place without worrying about anything in the world.
We have discovered some exceptional homestay options in Kodaikanal that we'd like to share with you. The lowest price for 1 night could range from INR 600 to INR 1,600, depending on the deals and offers of each property. So, make sure you check those before you book your accommodation.
The prices can differ depending on the dates you choose to book rooms. Also, make sure you check out the deals and offers for the place.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Kodaikanal
Start your trip by visiting the Coakers Walk. Approximately 1 km long, Coakers Walk is a narrow pedestrian path which is very close to the Kodaikanal Lake. The path, set amidst the steep slopes of mountains, offers some of the best panoramic views. You can take a walk among the clouds and get an amazing view of the plains below. The entry fee is just INR 10 and INR 20 for the telescope observatory. Still photography can cost an extra INR 30, but you can skip these to stay within your budget. The walk is open from 7 am to 7 pm.
Just half a kilometer away from Coaker’s Walk, Kodai Lake was built by Sir Vere Henry Levinge in 1983. Even the hill station gets its name from the star-shaped lake. Surrounded by lush greenery and mountains, the lake offers the best spot to have a picnic. You can relax by the banks to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the cool environment. There’s no entry fee to visit the lake. However, if you’d like to go boating, there are charges for that depending on the duration and type of boat. The lake is open from 6 am to 5 pm.
When you’re in Kodaikanal Lake, you can’t miss out on visiting the Bear Shola Falls. It’s said that bears used to come to the waterfalls to drink water and that’s where it gets its name from. There’s no entry fee to visit and you can go on a light trek to the spot. You can also take a swim in the plunge pool beneath the waterfall, but if you’re visiting during the monsoon season, be cautious. The place is open to visitors from 10 am to 6 pm.
Built in 1898, this observatory is one of the oldest institutions in the world. Since it's located just about 6 km away from the Kodaikanal Bus stop, reaching the observatory is not a difficult task. Here you can clearly view stars and planetary movements. But being the highest point of Kodai Hill, the observatory also offers a great view of the surrounding valleys and plains. What’s more? Entry to the observatory is also absolutely free! The observatory is open for visitors from 9 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm. On Sundays, it’s open till 12:30 pm.
This museum is one of the most popular sites to visit while you’re in Kodaikanal. Also, the entry fee is just INR 2 per person, so visiting the museum is bound to stay within your budget. At the museum, you can see compilations of previous collections like that of moths, butterflies, and birds. You’ll also get to see two outsized papier mache maps by observing which you’ll get to understand a lot about Kodaikanal’s topography. Overall, your visit to the museum is bound to be interesting. The times to visit this place are 10:00 am – 11:30 am and 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
When it comes to places to eat, Kodai offers a lot of affordable options that do not compromise their quality or taste either. If you’re not in the mood to experiment with food, there are fast-food chain restaurants like Domino’s Pizza that are easily accessible. Otherwise, you’ll also find budget-friendly quality restaurants spread across the hill station as well. Grab a bite of some amazing food at these joints:
Also Read: Top Destinations To Visit In Tamil Nadu
Now that you have a completely planned trip to Kodaikanal under INR 9,000, that covers the best of the place, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get going, because there’s literally nothing stopping you now!
How Many Days Is Enough For A Kodaikanal Trip?
A short trip to Kodaikanal will take about 2 days. You can cover all the major attractions within this short period of time.
Which Month Is Best In Kodaikanal?
Winter is the best season to visit Kodaikanal. With that being said, the months of October and March offer the best Kodaikanal experience.
Is It Safe To Travel To Kodaikanal At Night?
Although it is safe to travel to Kodaikanal, in the sense of law and order, avoid driving on the mountain roads at night to avoid any mishaps.
Does Kodaikanal Have Hairpin Bends?
The Kodai Ghat road has just 2 hairpin roads. So, driving through this route is considerably easy.
Is Kodaikanal Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
Yes, Kodaikanal is safe for solo female travelers. Make sure you plan your trip properly in order to take safety precautions.
Which Places Are Banned In Kodaikanal?
Places like Pillar Rock, Pine Forests, Moyar Point, and Guna Caves are under the Forest Department. Tourists are banned from entering these places since wild elephants frequent the areas a lot.
Which Month Is The Off-Season In Kodaikanal?
June to September is considered to be off-season, so make sure to not plan your Kodaikanal trip during these months. Owing to Kodaikanal being prone to landslides and floods during monsoons, it's not safe to travel here during this season.