First Trip With Nesties – Bangalore – KodaiKanal – Munnar — Bangalore

Who doesn’t like to go out on a long weekend? And when you are working in the biggest IT hub of India, Bengaluru, you are bound to travel and spend some of your salary on travelling than well…other things!

Some plans are bound to cancel but instantaneously made plans sometimes do work out. Thanks to NestAway, I found a group of like-minded people I can always travel with. This was my first trip with my Nesties. April 8-10, 2016, was a long weekend and it was time for us roomies to explore the beauty of the south part of India.

People who love driving and exploring little hilly hamlets should visit the places Munnar and Kodaikanal.

A panoramic view of the beautiful Kodai lake.
A panoramic view of the beautiful Kodai lake.

Pro Tip: Take you own car. JustRide, Myles, Zoomcar are undoubtedly the best options if you don’t own one. But what’s the fun when you can’t speed up on the lovely 6-lane highway in a four-wheeler? Try it!

We started our journey from Bangalore to KodaiKanal at noon – an approx. 470km of road. We reached around 10 the next morning. Hotels were already booked thanks to an online booking site 🙂

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to try food at the road side dhabhas – tea and dosa on the highway with lip-smacking chutney, guaranteed! Don’t trust the bus drivers because they drive insanely at night so always book your hotel beforehand and rest in the night.

When you reach Kodai, don’t make the mistake of sleeping in. Best time to roam around Kodaikanal is from early 8-9 in the morning till 4 in the eve. Everything closes down post 4, so it’s only wise to make the most of your time. Ditto with Munnar!

Even though we were sleepy after a long ride, we decided to go sightseeing. Our hotel representative handed over a list of the best places in and around Kodaikanal. Since we were already late, we skipped the trekking and decided to take the best spots one by one.

 Some of the places we could cover:

  • Green valley View
  • Golf Course
  • Pillar Rocks (Recommended)
  • Guna Cave
  • Pine Tree Forest ( Recommended; lots of photo-ops to be had here )
  • Valgai Dam View
  • Upper Lake View
The lovely pine forest in Kodai.
The lovely pine forest in Kodai.

Save the Kodai Lake for your evening. Rest your car, and just hire a Rs. 30/hr bicycle to roam around the lake. That’s what we did, and it was a truly fitting end to a lovely day in this hilly city.

The next day we woke up early and drove to Munnar. It is one of the best road trips I have been so far in my life! As we were nearing Munnar, the tea gardens started and the view turned from pleasing to spectacular. Most of the shooting for the movie Chennai Express was done here, I think. And it’s easy to imagine why.

Munnar - On the way
Munnar – On the way

Our resort (Holiday Inn ) was 20 km away from Munnar. We started our explorations around 1 PM in the afternoon after resting in the hotel for some time.

The Holiday Inn Resort in Munnar.
The Holiday Inn Resort in Munnar.

Pro Tip: As with Kodai, places are open only till around 4pm in the evening. Leave early if you want to sight see. Ask the hotel personnel to give you the list of places to visit.

Some places meant to visit: ( The Best ones )

  • Mattupetty Dam : Stop here, get down. Try motor boating. It is a little crowded so early birds win.
  • Echo Point : We were not serious about this but then no one stopped us from shouting “Julie I love you” 🙂 Small pleasures. 
  • Fun Forest Adventure Park: There are multiple activities that you can try here. Costs about 1200-1300 per person for a package of 20 activities. We were short of time so could not try it, but do recommend it.
  • Elephant Ride: You can explore the tea gardens and a small mountain top sitting on the back of an elephant. Costs around 650 person for 45 minutes. Worth taking.
  • Photo Point: Though every place here is a photo point but there is an area where you can take some good photographs. (For DSLR lovers!)
  • Tea Museum: Boring for us! But knowledge is everything.
Munnar Dam.
Munnar Dam.

Before we knew it, it was Sunday and time to return back to Bangalore. 500 km+ straight drive from Munnar. Don’t worry about the roads, you can literally sweep past. Just keep your Google maps on and don’t take a wrong turn! Took us 9 hours to return back and then we had a good sound sleep before it was  back to office on Monday.

Total expense for 4 turned up to INR 3500/person. That too, when we had our own petrol car otherwise it would had been less.

This was my first trip with Nesties. Hoping to go on another trip and try the back waters of Kerala. And if any of you have any great places to suggest, do comment and recommend!


About The Author:

Abhishek Garg is a member of the NestAway community.

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