Vattakanal ( ‘Vatta’ circle; ‘Kanal’- forest) – known as ‘Little Israel’ as this hill station is popular amongst the Israeli travelers who mainly flock here between October to December. The maximum number of travelers in Vattakanal are ‘Israelites’ and attracts a lot of backpackers and hippies. Vattakanal is 7 kilometers from Kodaikanal and offers breathtaking views of surrounding cliffs and dense forests. Hidden in the Palani hill range, this place is a must-visit away from the bustling tourist place Kodaikanal.
As Kodaikanal is a popular tourist place and crowded with tourists, Vattakanal is still an unexplored beauty of nature and less crowded. Vattakanal is mostly cool and has pleasant weather throughout the year. September to October is the perfect time to visit as the place is less crowded and the weather is pleasant. During December tourists from Israel spend and celebrate Christmas and New Year here.
This hidden beauty offers amazing views of cliffs and dense forests, amazing and friendly people and some of the famous spots are Dolphin’s Nose, Vattakanal Falls. It’s the perfect place to chill and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Dolphin’s Nose, as the name suggests the viewpoint is based on a flat piece of rock shaped like a dolphin’s nose. Reaching to the Scenic Dolphin’s Nose Point requires a 3 km long trek through Pines and Rocks of Palani Hill Range. Pambar Bridge is the starting point of the trek to Dolphin’s Nose. On reaching the point witness the scenic views of landscapes of the surrounding mountain areas, valleys, clear skies. At an elevation of 6600 feet, the point is the major attraction of Kodaikanal. Perfect for those who want an adventurous addition to the trip.
After visiting Dolphin’s Nose Point on your way back visit Vattakanal falls. However, Monsoons can be the best time to visit this place.
Places to eat and Hang Out
The Cafes in Vattakanal offers Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern Cuisine with great views of cliffs and dense forests. Visit the most popular cafe – Altaf’s Cafe which is an open-sided cafe famous for Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern Cuisine. The menu offers cuisines ranging from Indian to Italian to Middle Eastern dishes. Also, visit Cafe Above and Beyond and Selva.
Where to stay
A number of options are available for accommodation in Vattakanal which includes homestays, hostels, hotels and few resorts. Skip the Resorts and Opting for homestays can be a good idea to stay in Vattakanal. Edwin’s Guest House, RC Guesthouse, Kodai Heaven, Valley Retreat are some of the good options.
By Bus: Regular buses from Madurai, Chennai, Pondicherry, Trichy, Coimbatore run to Kodaikanal. From the Kodai City bus stand you can reach Vattakanal by a local bus or cab which is at a distance of 7 km from Kodaikanal.
By train: The nearest railway station to Vattakanal is Kodai Road Railway Station and from the Railway station, you can reach Vattakanal by a local bus or cab.
By air: Madurai airport is the nearest airport to Vattakanal at a distance of 120 km. You can hire a taxi from the airport or can travel by bus to Vattakanal.