Serenity found in Vattakanal's landscapes

Vattakanal is a beautiful small hill station in the Western Ghats. Vattakanal is a small hamlet about 7-8 km from Kodaikanal, at an altitude of about 2011 meters and on the western edge of Tamil NaduVattakanal is located in the Dindigul District on the southern tip of the upper Palani hills in the state of Tamil Nadu, along the eastern part of the Western Ghats. 

It is located in a range labeled as 'one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world' as many of the country's rare and endangered plants and animals are found here. Tourism is the main source of income for the villagers of this region and Vattakanal is chosen as a holiday destination by people who want a heavenly abode to nature. A paradise of flowers and vegetation, clouds rising from your valleys. 

You can also enjoy the many waterfalls that come out powerfully from the mountains; and the magnificent and legendary bisons that inhabit the nearby forests. In short, you can have a beautiful trek with guides who know the area, but beware of the less sophisticated ones who take you for a walk. For the more adventurous, you can trek from Kodaikanal to Munnar (3-4 days walk).

"Vatta" in the local dialect roughly means Circle & “Kanal” means Forest- translating to "Forest in Circles". Here the time stands still, and no one is in a hurry.Vattakanal is popular among tourists from Israel and that can be seen in the overall hippie vibe of and the food served in cafes.

1. Vattakanal Falls 

Surrounded by dense trees, majestic hills and greenery, Vattakanal Falls is nestled in the middle of a forest. Straight out of a fairy tale, this waterfall 3 km from Kodaikanal offers rich biodiversity. You can also get amazing pictures from a bridge near the falls. You can trek to these falls and enjoy a dip in the pool formed by the falls. It is a perfect picnic spot. You can have delicious snacks and local delicacies from nearby stalls. Best time to visit July & August.

2.Visit the Vattakanal Shola Tree Nursery

The Vattakanal Tree Nursery focuses on the conservation and distribution of shola saplings across the village, clean up drives with the local community and much more. Ideal for a fine stroll once you’re done sightseeing in the hood, the space includes a glasshouse as well a covered structure which houses rare and endangered plant species in the area. There are also hundreds of rare species of plants here.  If you’re a nature lover, then this is certainly not an experience to be missed. 

3. Dolphin’s Nose 

A half-hour trek down to the light at their feet, the dolphin's nose is essentially a rock protruding from the mountain. Standing on its narrow surface and gazing down at the valley below, you are at once in awe and wonder. The experience becomes terrifying when the fog is thick, while on clear days you can see the vast mountains and the town of Periakulam. As with most places in Vattakanal, the early morning hours make for some memorable and beautiful visits. All in all, Dolphin's Nose epitomizes the thrilling yet awe-inspiring experience that Vattakanal can provide.

4. Echo Point 

Just a ten-minute walk from Dolphin's Nose, Echo Point is another unique attraction that Vattakanal has to offer, where, as the name suggests, you can shout your name and hear the hills echo it back to you, providing a weird yet fun experience; in addition to the thrill of the echo, Echo Point also offers a stunning view that overlooks high ridges and distant valleys, and the path to this place, which is lined with bushes and plants, allows you to watch out for and pluck ripe avocados from nature's bounty.

5. Trekking 

Vattakanal is abundant in places where trekking is required. All this is only possible if one braves the slippery paths to visit various village spots, climb the hillside to get a glimpse of the clouds below, or reach an obscure nook overlooking the grassy Palani Hills in the distance. Trekking. So, make sure to dress comfortably, carry plenty of water and be prepared for the trek, as this place offers its beauty to those who are willing to put in the effort. 

Tourists with cameras, watch out for beautiful flowers and plants while walking along any pathway into the forest of the Palani Range with its inherent beauty and biodiversity.

The best time to visit Vattakanal is summer, which means April - September is really ideal. The temperature ranges between 10-20 degrees. Monsoon seasons can be beautiful but driving in these months can be tricky in these area. So we would suggest to have prior driving experience in the hills if you are self driving, else take a bus. Winters can be extremely cold, with temperatures dropping below five degrees.

Tips for visiting Vattakanal 

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and pack light for trekking.

  2. Make sure your shoes are non-slip so that there is less shaking during the trek, especially during rainy season.

  3. Wild buffaloes are very common in these parts. Be quiet and keep your distance around them so they don't get irritated.

  4. Keep in mind that network connectivity is a problem in Vattakanal, so it is better to take care of important calls and emails before reaching the hamlet.

  5. If you visit Dolphin's Nose with children, ensure their safety.

  6. Roaming in forests at night is not good.

  7. While an early morning trip is recommended, watch out for heavy fog as it restricts visibility during the trek.

  8. Eat small meals before trekking so that the physical activity doesn't feel too hard on the body.

  9. Do not litter in forests.

  10. It's a good idea to pack plenty of warm clothes and rain gear. 

11. Electricity is fluctuating in the area so wrapping up your day early would be a good idea. 

12.Pre booking your hotel will be a good option. 

13.  If your stay is little away from the main road, make sure to stock your food well in advance. 

How to Reach 

Just 5 km from Kodaikanal, you can enjoy visiting this little-known hamlet with no direct access to transport. Whether you love walking or trekking, a trek from Kodaikanal to Vatta is the best way to soothe your soul. But don't worry, you have plenty of cabs available to take you to this beautiful place from Kodaikanal.

By Road: Self drive would be the best way to reach Vattakanal as the Western Ghats offer some of the best and scenic roads to ride in India. You can reach the place via Palani and Vathalagundu. Both cities are well connected by various National Highways.

By Bus: You can take an overnight bus from Bangalore or Chennai and reach Kodaikanal. From there you can avail cab services for Rs. 300- 400 to reach Vattakanal.

By Train: Kodai Road and not Kodaikanal is 80 kms in the foothills.After which it is a 3-5 Hrs commute via taxi or local buses. The last bus leaves around 6 pm. 

By Air: The nearest airport to Vattakanal is Madurai at 120 km, Trichy at 150 km and Coimbatore at 175 km. From here, Vattakanal is 4-5 hours drive. 

Best places to stay 

While there are limited resort options directly in Vattakanal, several guesthouses and homestays offer comfortable accommodations, ensuring a pleasant stay in this picturesque hill station. Here are a few options you can consider for your visit to Vattakanal.

For a more immersive experience, you might explore staying at one of the charming homestays, which often provide a more personalized touch and a chance to connect with the local culture and community.

Hillington Cottage: Located in the heart of Vattakanal, Hillington Cottage offers comfortable rooms with beautiful views of the surrounding hills. The property has a garden and terrace where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. 

The Mistycove: Mistycove is a natural resort in Vattakanal. It offers cozy cottages, a restaurant serving organic food and outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

Kodai Heaven Cottage: Kodai Heaven Cottage provides comfortable rooms with basic amenities. The property offers a garden, a terrace, and a shared lounge area for guests to unwind. 

Pear County Cottage: Nestled in the picturesque hills of Vattakanal, Pear County Cottage offers rustic cottages with scenic views. The property features a garden, a restaurant serving local cuisine, and a 24-hour front desk. 

Villa Retreat: This homestay offers spacious rooms with modern amenities. It provides a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful views of the valley. The hosts are known for their hospitality and can assist you with local sightseeing and activities. 

Woodstock Homestay: Nestled amidst nature, Woodstock Homestay offers comfortable rooms with beautiful views. Guests can provide personalized service and arrange trekking and other outdoor activities for guests. Homestay in Vattakanal is cheaper during October-December. 

The Cliff Cottage: This homestay is located in a quiet area of ​​Vattakanal and offers comfortable rooms in a homely atmosphere. The property offers a garden and outdoor seating where you can relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

Eco-Friendly Treehouse: Some of the accommodations in Vattakanal offer eco-friendly tree houses nestled amidst greenery. These tree houses offer a unique experience of being close to nature, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views and a peaceful atmosphere. 

Farmstays: Experience the rustic charm of Vattakanal with a farmstay. These accommodations are usually located on working farms, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rural lifestyle and enjoy farm-fresh food. You can participate in various farming activities and learn about sustainable farming practices. 

Yoga Retreats: Vattakanal is known for its calm and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal place for yoga and meditation. You can find retreat centers that offer accommodation, yoga classes, meditation sessions and wellness activities to rejuvenate your mind and body. 

Best places to eat in Vattakanal 

Vattakanal has beautiful cafes and restaurants serving you delicious cuisines from around the world and views you will dream of. Don't expect 5 star services here, but good food here. Most cafes serve vegetarian food while some have non- vegetarian and vegan food by order. South Indian 'Filter Coffee' is the norm in Vattakanal for a perfect mélange of comfort to warm the taste-buds in the bitter cold or a rainy tropical evening. 

Mountain View Point snacks shop

Manna Cafe

Selva Restaurants 

Altaf's Cafe

Sunrise Cafe

Jack Cafe

Kodaikanal and Vattakanal are like small skies on this earth; You can only enjoy and appreciate the freedom you feel when you are there.


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