Vattakanal: A Paradise Among Clouds
Vattakanal, popularly known as ‘Vatta’ or ‘Little Israel’ by most of the villagers, is located in the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu. Vatta is just 7 km away from Kodaikanal. A favoured tourist destination for people from all over India and also for Israeli tourists who usually flock there from the month of October, Vatta is famous for its climate. The place undergoes variations in climate throughout the year. Winter is the best time to travel here, of course. Make sure you carry a pair of socks, woollen vests and gloves that can keep you warm enough during your stay. Vatta has got some beautiful flora and fauna. You’ll mostly find bisons walking around. Remember not to approach them.
Vatta has quite a few options when it comes to eateries for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Dosas and South Indian meals are served at vegetarian restaurants. ‘Altaf’s Cafe’ is highly recommended as it is one of most famous restaurants that serves middle-eastern and Italian cuisine, loved by the hippies and rest of the tourists who sit there browsing for hours and spending some quality time. This small cafe has an outdoor seating that gives you a beautiful scenic view while you are sipping on some lemon tea. For more options, you can go to the Kodaikanal city.
We were a group of six and we rented a cottage for Rs 2,000 per day called ‘Sarah’s cottage’, which was two minutes away from Altaf’s Cafe and we stayed there for 4 days. The view from our cottage was truly mesmerising. The weather and the feeling of getting lost in the nature kept us going while we stayed there. We would start off our day exploring places around Vattakanal and Kodai city around 10am and get back to our cottage usually around 6pm.
Nothing feels better than travelling by car to Vatta. The first day, we went to Kodai city and hired cycles and cycled 4kms around the lake. There’s horse riding as well. We spent one hour on the boat rides in the Kodai lake after cycling and had our lunch in the kodai city restaurant. Then, we visited Coaker’s Walk, a tourist spot that’s open everyday from 7 am to 7 pm and there’s entry fee as well. It gives a scenic view of the valleys that is covered by fog. This is a must visit place for all the nature lovers. We also visited the Lutheran Church that depicts beautiful paintings and the architectural styles used by people back then when it was built. And, we decided to get back home and bought some wood and arranged for the campfire that night.
After having some continental breakfast at Altaf’s Cafe we set off to visit Vattakanal falls since it was monsoon. We enjoyed the view as it was perfect. It was truly enchanting. Later, we decided to go to Kodaikanal as there are hardly any tourist spots in Vatta. On our way to kodai we found some vendors selling fresh carrots and some oranges. There are no commercial shops as such in Vatta.
If you’re looking to shop during your stay at Vatta, you have to head to Kodai city, where you can buy clothes, local handicrafts and homemade chocolates as well. As we reached Kodai, we came across an ice skating place where people are trained to skate with skating shoes for some time and then are left free just to have some fun. As we stepped out, it started pouring cats and dogs so we decided to rush back to our cozy little cottage. We had some dinner at Altaf’s.
The third day we decided to have some breakfast at ‘The Tredis Tea Room’ located near the Kodai city lake and then set off to the famous Berijam lake. We parked our car at the entrance of the Forest Department office and we were taken inside the forest area by their driver in a bus filled with twenty people. As we travelled in the bus, we came across a few sight-seeing spots where we got the opportunity to stop for 10 minutes at each of these places like silent valley, caps valley, Mathikettan solai view, fire watch tower, Berijam lake view point and finally at the beautiful Berijam Lake. We got back to our cottage and sat infront of the roaring fire with some whiskey that kept us warm through our sleepless night.
On the last day, we decided to visit few tourist spots before leaving to Bengaluru like the trippy pine forest, Kodai golf course and Upper lake view point. You can visit some places like Silver Cascade falls, Shenbaganur Museum, Chettiar Park and Dolphin nose.
While we arrived at Vatta with a very different place in mind, we left with many beautiful memories of a place, the beauty of which needs to be seen to be believed.