Ooty, Kodaikanal Backpacking Tripfrom
Ooty, Coonoor, Kodaikanal Trip
Set out on a backpacking trip to “The Queen of Hill stations” Ooty, Coonoor and Kodaikanal, also called “Princess of hill stations”.
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Small Group
Ooty is easily the most popular tourist destination in the South of India located in the Nilgiris mountain range. Nilgiris, translated as “Blue mountains” is a fairyland in the tri-junction of 3 southern Indian states – Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and Kerala. Ooty boasts cloud kissing mountains, dense forests, gushing streams, breathtaking views of deep valleys, and charming meadows. The Nilgiris biosphere is unique for its altitude as well as a unique ecosystem.
The best thing about Nilgiris is its cold climate throughout the year. Ooty attracts lots of tourists in summertime
As part of this backpacking trip to Ooty & Kodaikanal, we will mostly explore the offbeat side of these pristine hill stations. Away from main tourist attractions are colorful mountain villages interspersed with flawless lakes, deep valleys and pine forests.
Kodaikanal is one of the best hill stations in southern India with its altitude of 7000 feet above sea level, cold weather, dotted by Pine forests and aromatic Eucalyptus trees.
Kodaikanal translated as “fog on the hill”, is a place for all seasons like its cuisine sister Ooty in Nilgiris. Gifted with rich vegetation, Kodaikanal is home to different species of birds, intimidating Bisons, Indian Gaur and other wild animals.
One such village close to Kodaikanal is Poombarai, adorned with eye-catching step farming grounds on mountain slopes. The locals rely on agriculture here, growing carrots, spices, dry fruits, cocoa, natural oils from eucalyptus, lemongrass, pineapples, and some mountain fruits.
While tasting some of the locally grown fruits, we will visit rabbit farms overlooking picturesque Mannavannur lake. After crisscrossing between famous and offbeat places, we will traverse narrow winding lanes of Vattakanal village that attracts a lot of backpackers and hippies, especially from Israel. A trek to Dolphin’s Nose, a rock protruding from an edge of a cliff, overlooking a deep valley is both enthralling and thrilling.
Another pretty experience is cycling around Kodaikanal’s lake. It’s a shoppers’ paradise too with spices, chocolates, oils, and what not!
Highlights of the Ooty, Kodaikanal Trip:
- Most beautiful Emerald & Avalanche Lakes
- The Ketty Valley view
- Ooty Chocolate/Tea Factory visit
- Magnificent Pykara Lake Boating
- Sim’s Park Coonoor
- Dolphin’s Nose view point Coonoor
- Catherine Waterfalls mini trek
- Tea Estate nature walk
- Vattakanal Dolphin’s Nose, Eco Rock Trek
- Pristine Mannavanur Lake
- Poombarai Village visit
- Pine Forest, Pillar Rocks & Caves
- Drive through Bandipur Reserve Forest
- Cycling around Kodaikanal Lake
- Shopping at Ooty & Kodaikanal
- Majestic Mysore Palace
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- Day 1 Mysore, Bandipur, arrival at Ooty
- Travelers coming by flight will get picked by our vehicle at Bengaluru Airport around 8:30-9 AM.
- We will start our journey towards the ”Sandalwood city” of Mysore.
- Visit majestic Mysore Palace, have quick Lunch in the city.
- Move towards the Nilgiris mountain range, home to our first destination Ooty!
- A serene drive through Bandipur wildlife sanctuary with a chance of spotting wildlife like Deer, Peacock, different species of birds, mammals, and if lucky, the Elephants will take us to the Queen of hill stations – Ooty.
- Our first destination is magnificent Pykara Lake. Going on a ferry ride at Pykara overlooking dense shola forest is highly recommended and one of the best experiences of the Ooty trip.
- Check into Ooty guest house by late evening, freshen up with hot water shower.
- Have those long conversations all of us have been longing for, indulge in some group activities.
- Day 2 Around Ooty
- Freshen up, have breakfast.
- Go on a picturesque road trip into Nilgiris, witness most beautiful Tea estates covering huge swathes of mountains.
- Go on a nature walk in a quaint little forest village, explore a watch tower, a picturesque hanging bridge, sip a cup of hot tea, and inspect handicraft items made by tribals.
- Finish Lunch at a local joint.
- Stop by at Ketty valley view point that offers panoramic views of lush green tea estates and Nilgiri Mountain Railway Line.
- Visit picturesque Emerald & Avalanche Lakes, click a hundred selfies. Put your feet in the chilled fresh water, relax and rejuvenate. Experience a peaceful sunset by the lake side.
- Head back to the Guesthouse, refresh.
- Social gathering with long conversations, sharing travel stories as we have our hot supper.
- Rest for the night.
- Day 3 Ooty & Coonoor
- Start the day early with Breakfast.
- Visit Ooty Tea/Chocolate factory, taste different kinds of chai, shop for your favorite Nilgiris Tea.
- Visit the most famous tourist attraction of Coonoor hill station – Sim’s park, take loads of pictures at this colorful location.
- Give a visit to Dolphin’s Nose, enjoy the thrilling view with huge mountain gorges overlooking Kotagiri valley and the Catherine waterfalls plunge into oblivion.
- Break for Lunch at a local restaurant
- Trek to amazing Catherine Waterfalls, along the river, overlooking endless tea estates on either side, take a rejuvenating dip under the chilled waters.
- Head back to the stay and refresh.
- Order your dinner.
- We will wrap up little early tonight to get good rest for early morning journey to Kodaikanal the next day.
- Day 4 Around Kodaikanal
- Start at 5 AM on a 6 hour long journey to The Princess of Hill Stations – Kodaikanal.
- We will stop by for Breakfast after reaching the planes of Tamil Nadu.
- Check into the guest house around afternoon, quich freshen up and Lunch.
- A drive through picturesque valleys & curvy roads will take us to the beautiful Poombarai village view point of step mountain fields.
- After a hot sip of tea, visit a Rabbit farm, munch freshly grown sweet carrots, pineapple and other fruits overlooking picturesque Mannavanur lake.
- Visit Mannavanur lake well protected by the Forest department, go on an optional coracle ride if you wish to.
- Reach back to the homestay late in the evening.
- Gather around for another round of group activities.
- Day 5 Kodaikanal & Vattakanal
- Start the final day of the trip with a fulfilling Breakfast.
- Visit few tourist attractions of Kodaikanal like Pine Forest, Guna Caves and Pillar Rocks en route a much quieter place named Vattakanal village, which is famous among backpackers.
- Take a stroll on the streets hippie haven Vattakanal to taste food/drinks at a hippie cafe for Lunch.
- Set off on a trek to thrilling Dolphin Nose, by hiking down the hill on a rocky path interspersed by roots of big trees.
- Get back to Kodai town, go on a famous Cycling around Kodaikanal Lake if you wish to, shop your bags full of spices, eucalyptus oil, chocolates at a flea market near the lake.
- Social gathering at a common area for one last time during the trip.
- Day 6 Return journey!
- Pack your bags, check out of the homestay around 5 AM.
- Start back towards Bengaluru.
- We will cover around 500 Km on a very good National Highway with couple of stops for Breakfast and Lunch.
- Drop at Bengaluru Airport (and other drop points in the city) by evening.
- Note: It’s safe to book your return flights from Bangalore after 8 PM.
- Note: Our team can assist you in booking your flight tickets.
- Note: You may also plan your return journey from Coimbatore Airport if you wish to save time and have extra comfort. Contact our team for support.
- Trip starting/ending point: Bangalore
> Bengaluru Airport
> Tin Factory
> Silk Board
> Electronic city
- Tempo, Innova or similar tourist vehicle (Non AC)
- Start time: Day 1, 8:30 AM
- End time: Day 6, 8 PM
- Note: There is no night journey on this trip. All travel is during day time.
- Our team can assist you in flight booking.
- Note: You may plan your return journey from Coimbatore Airport if you wish to avoid return journey to Bangalore. Contact our team for more info.
- Ooty/Coonoor: Guesthouse for 3 nights.
- Kodaikanal: Homestay for 2 Nights.
- 2/3/4 sharing rooms.
- Food is self-sponsored.
The trip schedule calls for having Breakfast and Lunch en route journey most of the time. There are numerous food options available at all hill stations Ooty, Coonoor & Kodaikanal.
- How much you have to spend for good food?
50 – 100 per Breakfast
100 – 150 per Lunch
150 – 200 per Dinner
- Batch size: 5 to 10 travelers.
- Trek info: Catherine Falls Coonoor, Dolphin Nose Kodaikanal
- Trek difficulty: Easy to Moderate (Beginners can attempt)
- Max altitude:
> Ooty at 7500 feet above sea level
> Kodaikanal at 7000 feet above sea level
- Climate: Cold to very cold.
What’s next after booking your trip:
- Organizers will get in touch with you, or vice versa. After the confirmation, you may book your flights up and down.
- A Whatsapp group will be created for all the registered folks 5 days before the event
- You may discuss many things in the group and get prepared for the trip
- Expect seasonal variations depending on the month we are travelling.
- Travelers are expected to come with open heart by appreciating complexities of mother nature and respecting local culture.
- There is no luxury involved in any part of this trip. This is a backpacking trip with basic facilities.
- Feb to May (summer): Pleasant climate during days, clear skies, cold nights. Time to escape the heat and hit the mountains.
- June to Sept (monsoon months): Thick clouds, intermittent rains, wet climate. Weather is highly unpredictable, so we need to carry rain coats. The place really comes alive during the monsoons like all hill stations.
- Oct to Jan (winter): Dry and cold climate throughout the day. Very cold at night. Need to carry thick winter clothes.
Things to pack for Ooty Kodaikanal Trip:
- Toiletries, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste etc.
- A lightweight large Backpack for the entire trip (50-60 liters). Strictly no trolleys. Remember this is a Backpacking trip.
- A small backpack (to carry valuables, water bottle, snacks, etc. for outdoor activities).
- Photo identity proof with address (Aadhar/Passport/Voter ID).
- Thermal inners and warm clothes in winter (cold climate).
- A rainproof jacket with a hood during monsoons/summer (to protect from sudden rains).
- Thick socks, track pants, full sleeve t-shirts (to keep your body warm).
- Cap/Hat/Sunglasses (to protect from harmful sun rays).
- Sunscreen (SPF 50 or more).
- Power bank, charger, camera, binoculars (if you wish to).
- Hand sanitizer and liquid hand wash for hygiene.
- Proper water bottle for your trip. You may fill at our stays.
- Disposable garbage covers (To separate used/unused, wet/dry clothes).
- Water-resistant good grip shoes for travel, extra slippers to use at stays.
- Personal medications, any drugs that you may feel necessary (remember ghat roads, cold climate), basic first aid kit.
- No need to carry snacks/chocolates. You may buy at local shops to support local people.
- Travel (Bangalore to Bangalore).
- Stay for 5 Nights.
- Entry tickets everywhere.
- Boating at Ooty, Cycling at Kodaikanal.
- Campfire (at least 1 time, if it doesn’t rain).
- Trip Captain.
- An experience to remember by visiting all the places mentioned in Highlights section.
- Any special activity not mentioned in inclusions.
- Any kind of insurance, shopping, party, medical expenses
- Any misc. expenses not mentioned in the inclusions.
- Any extra cost arising due to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation, bad weather, traffic-congestion/roadblocks, political disturbances and/or any factors beyond our control.
- The itinerary is fixed. No special requests to change itinerary/schedule shall be entertained. Do not give advice(s) to the Trip Leader(s) to change the itinerary.
- Cooperate with the organizer(s) in following the schedule set for the day (especially getting up and getting ready in the morning). This will ensure travelers won’t miss out on the real fun part that is traveling.
- Every traveler is responsible for his/her for your own safety. Don’t indulge in any illegal or silly activity that causes harm to you or fellow travelers.
- Do not wander into the forest away from the designated trail for treks. There may be snakes, scorpions, and dangerous animals.
- Unexpected situations: It may happen we do not cover all the places mentioned in the itinerary because of unpredictable reasons like bad weather, landslides, wild animal presence, abrupt blocking of sites by the police/forest department, delay in travel because of an issue with our group itself, traffic conditions, etc. In most cases, if the time permits, the organizer(s) will take travelers to an alternative place. But in some cases, we may have to skip a place altogether.
- Absolutely no littering. We swear to protect our environment.
- No alcohol & smoking during travel, treks, and other outdoor activities. There would be a separate window and space (usually at night) to have these at the campsite/homestay for interested people.
- Travelers are expected to respect each other and help each other. Avoid discussing sensitive matters like sex, politics, and religion/caste/race.
- Using foul or abusive language, eve-teasing, arguing with fellow travelers/organizer(s), and/or involving in the physical assault will not be accepted and will stand a chance of being deserted by the group then and there.
- The event will stand canceled if less than 8 travelers signed up for the trip/trek which will be informed 24 hours before the trip start time.
- Every traveler is expected to sign a liability/waiver form given by the organizer(s) after boarding the vehicle. This liability form will discharge Muddie Trails of any unexpected incident like injury/death/theft etc.
As we are amidst a pandemic, please go through the following blog of Travelling in the times of COVID-19 and COVID FAQs before deciding to join the trip.
Cancellation by Traveler
- 80% refund if a cancellation request is sent 30 days before the trip start date.
- 50% refund if a cancellation request is sent between 30 to 15 days before the trip start date.
- An email has to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to raise a cancellation request.
- No refund within 15 days of the event start time whatever is the reason (Health, COVID, Accident, Family crisis, Office issue, or anything else).
- No refund during/after the event.
- No refund on the partial payment (advance) done to block your seat for the trip.
Cancellation by Muddie Trails
Muddie Trails may decide to cancel the event if there are less than 3 travelers signed up for the trip/trek.
What if we don’t get the minimum number of people for the trip?
We have 2 options in this case:
Option 1: Complete refund.
Option 2: Switch to any other trip of the same weekend or future weekends. The difference amount will be collected from you or paid back according to the new trip cost.
Cancellation due to external factors
Muddie Trails may have to cancel the event in case of external factors that are beyond our control like Natural Disasters, Extreme Weather Conditions, Red Alerts, Political Disturbances, Bandh/Curfews, Local Issues, Road Blocks, Train cancellations, Covid-19 or any other disease outbreaks etc.
In these scenarios:
- No Refund is allowed.
- 100% trip amount can be used for any other new trip of the same weekend or future weekends. The difference amount will be collected from you or paid back according to the new trip cost.
- Once you confirm your participation on the new trip, all the above Cancellation policies will apply for the same.