Kodaikanal is a hill station perched atop the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu. That's all I knew about it before I made my way there in August this year. With open eyes and a curious mind, I set out to explore this colonial hill station and fell madly in love with it. Sylvan beauty, a serene lake, misty mountains and some of the most charming cottages makes Kodaikanal an ideal mountain getaway.
It's a place you go to to relax, connect with nature, head out on biking trails and get beautifully lost in the surrounding forests. Parts of the town still remains quaint and untouched by the spree of tourists, where one can really connect with the surroundings and experience the old world charm of this beautiful place. For wanderers who like a bit of hustle bustle, the town has a few charming eateries and boutique shops where one can spend hours relaxing and exploring.
My stay in Kodaikanal was a charming homestay cottage just a ten minute walk from the main town. The space consists of two individual cottages with 1 bedroom, a living area, a kitchenette and a bathroom. The cottages are surrounded by gardens full of beautiful flowers, a small spa and organic fruits and veggies that the hosts use to prepare delicious meals for their guests.
My usual day in Kodi would be like this - wake up in my quaint cottage to a freshly brewed cup of coffee and spend the morning in the garden with sweet birds and ladybugs.
The afternoons were spent working in my room or doodling out in the garden. In the early evening, I would go for a walk around the lake or bike to the forest.
I ended my day in the town, exploring local eateries, cafes and shops before making my way back to the cottage.
My hosts at the cottage were extremely hospitable and sweet. Every time I returned home from my daily wanderings, some local delights like natural fruit ice-cream or freshly baked cakes and pies would be awaiting me in the room :)
One of my favorite things about Kodaikanal were the small, independent run eateries and coffee shops. While walking around town I discovered two such places that were wonderful - Cloud Street and Cafe Cariappa. The former is a restaurant that serves delicious food, from steaks to grills to freshly baked pizzas and Cafe Cariappa is a tiny coffee shop which has brought little Italy to Kodaikanal.
I am super grateful and appreciative to my host in Kodaikanal. Thanks Navin for sharing your beautiful space with me and helping me discover such beauty in Kodaikanal :)
Kodi made me a very happy wanderbug and I can't wait to share this happiness with all of you.
To plan your journey to the beautiful misty hills of Kodaikanal and for more details on the cottage, write to me at email@example.com
Philippines had been a destination on my bucket list for the last eight months and its a dream come true to experience it's magic.
I got my ticket to the Philippines thanks to an Air Asia flight sale that allowed me to get my ticket to paradise only for Rs. 10,000 roundtrip from Chennai. Without any thought, I booked the ticket and couldn't wait for the next four months to pass. Before I knew it, it was time and off I went to discover the land I had been enamoured by.
While most of my adventures take me to far away places, I never let go of an opportunity to explore whats near and close to me. Last month, an opportunity like that came calling and the next day I set out to explore two magical bungalows in Lonavala.
Although Lonavala is one of the most popular weekend destination for Mumbai and Pune dwellers, it still holds its own hidden secrets. Through my travels, I have come to realise that no matter how touristy or commercialised a place may be, it will definitely have its charming, secret elements.
Over three days, I explored two beautiful and quaint bungalows in Lonavala. Both houses are ideal for small groups of friends and families looking for scenic surroundings and a space to spend some quiet, quality time together.
As I lay on the beach, watching a beautiful spectacle of shooting stars at Ashwem Beach in Goa, I realised that all my journeys are like these bright, vibrant lights in the sky.
The journey is as exciting as seeing a shooting star; it is bright, vibrant and full of life; and it all comes to an end in the blink of an eye-lid, giving rise to the anticipation for the next one. It's a beautiful, never-ending fascination :)
Another realisation I had during this journey to Goa was that Goa is not just a destination, it is a state of mind - A state of heightened sensations, with or without Hoffmann's dose. It is a lifestyle that encourages just being, feeling and loving each and every moment of life.
Eager to explore some hidden secrets of Maharashtra, the state that has been my home for the last four years, I decided to make a spontaneous journey to Pawana Lake. I knew of a quaint and charming bungalow perched atop a hillock near the lake, so I called the owner, Anabelle, who has become a friend since we started working together two years ago. It was an instantaneous yes, so without any delay, I packed a little night bag and set out to explore the stunning Maharashtrian country-side.
I love travelling through the western ghats in the monsoon.The greenery is mind blowing, the waterfalls are majestic and everything comes alive. Yes the leeches come alive too, but what's life without a little pinch of salt :)
Eager to explore the famous coffee land of India, I set out to wander through Coorg as part of my two week long journey through Karnataka and Kerala. Below, I've put together some highlights from my journey through Coorg. Read, see and get inspired to plan your gorgeous journey to India's coffee country!