The places to visit in Kodaikanal is never-ending. Each time you go, you hear about another place. The next time you go there, then again another. That is what happens to me, over the time I have been to many such amazing places. Either it is the charming Kookal village, the trek to Vellagavi or beautiful Vilaptti village , Kodai mountains never made me feel bored anytime.
This time it is another beautiful settlement far away from the bustling Kodaikanal town where you can still find the real life of Kodai; Poombarai village. It is a must visit place in Kodaikanal. I and my friend Alex visited Poombarai recently. It’s not me, Alex is writing about the beautiful Poombarai village this time.
Over the course of years, I have traveled to Kodaikanal many times both with friends and alone. And on each occasion, Kodai hills tend to uncover more and more locations which are absolutely breathtaking. Even though the excess of tourists and urbanization tend to affect the experience, it is safe to say that Kodai still offers the same serenity and tranquil atmosphere. Because of this reason I always try to avoid crowded areas and popular tourist attractions like Guna caves, Pine forests, etc.
It was time to find a new destination for the weekend. Kodaikanal tends to be the first place that comes to mind as an option on such occasions as it is easily accessible from all South Indian cities and roads are pretty good. And I came to know from one of my friends about this new café that his friends are developing on the outskirts of Kodaikanal. When he said it is situated near Poombarai, I made the decision immediately. Even though I’ve seen the village from a distance a couple of times, I never visited the place myself. I knew this could be the best place to free myself from the regularity of work life in such a way that I could be calm and undisturbed even it is for a short time.
Poombarai is a village located in the heart of the Palani hills, 16 kilometers from Kodaikanal town. It is situated at an altitude of 1,920 meters with a population of around 1000 families. Those who have been to Mannavanur or Kookal village might have seen Poombarai village from a distance. It is in the valley and visible from the main road with an astonishing view. Those who have traveled in the SETC bus from Kodai town to Mannavanur can never miss the sight as most of the buses take a tea break near this village and that point provides a picturesque view of the entire valley.
More than half of the journey from Kodaikanal town is through the forest. You can spot many wild animals also on this route. The village is on the valley with farmlands all around it and on the surrounding small hills also. The farming includes cabbage, carrot and other vegetables. Some surrounding hills are fully covered with forest. The climate was chilly with a little bit of drizzle sometimes.
We reached Poombarai from Kodaikanal after almost an hour journey, met our friends. They provided us with a tent and showed a place to pitch the tent. From there, we had an amazing view of the valley. Spent the day by hiking a little bit into the forest. As always the Kodai forests were amazing with a lot of colorful birds and squirrels. The birds singing were absolutely magnificent in the silence of the forest. Even though the forest looks calm and peaceful it is not advised to roam further as you might get lost, there are chances of wild animals like bison also. The forest officers comb the roads to check for any vehicles stopping and if people getting into the forest. This is mostly because of the recent wildfire accident and the magic mushrooms.
The next morning we walked to the village early morning in the hopes of seeing a beautiful sunrise. Instead of taking the paved road to the village, we opted the shortcut through hills. Though a little bit risky the trail was beautiful with many flowers carrying dew drops in the chill morning. As we crossed some farmlands the farmers greeted us. They were very friendly and intrigued by seeing us so early. As we reached the village we realized that there was no hope for a sunrise as the skies were too cloudy. We roamed around the village for some time and had breakfast from a local tea shop. The food was very tasty, the people were very friendly and genuine.
How to reach Poombarai?
Kodaikanal is connected to Bangalore, Chennai, Dindigul, etc by road and many buses are available. The nearest major railway station is Coimbatore. From Kodaikanal, it is 19 km to Poombarai village and buses are available, though not frequently. You can also get buses to Mannavanur or Poondi and get down at the main road and walk a couple of kilometers to the village.
Stay and food in Poombarai
As Poombarai is still a developing tourism spot, there are no cottages or hotels are available in the village. A few are located along the main road and as for eateries, our friend’s place was pretty good. For authentic rural experience, there are a few small tea shops in the village. Care for mobile coverage also as most networks are not available.
Things to do
Most of the tourists visit Poombarai as a stop on the way to Mannavanur. Others are attracted by the serenity and calm of the village away from the busy city life. You can feel free and enjoy the fresh air or talk to some local people knowing about their lives. There are few trekking trails around the major being the trail to Palani. It is around 20 km through forest and Palar dam catchment area. After the recent wildfire accident, the authorities are very strict and no one are permitted to go through this and most of the trekking routes without prior permission and help of a guide.
That’s about this quiet and alluring little village surrounded by great beautiful hills and gentle people. Consider this place when you plan your next trip looking for some untroubled peaceful time.
Hope you got all the necessary information to plan your next journey to Poombarai village in Kodaikanal. Most of us go to Kodaikanal quite often, so next time, just ditch the usual tourist stuff and let’s explore something new here.
Do let me know your suggestions and feedbacks in the comment box.
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