Kookal village

Kookal village, the best way to experience Kodaikanal

A friend of mine called on a Friday evening and told he will take me to a beautiful village if I come to Kodaikanal. I never say no to offers like this. Unplanned journeys like this usually turn out to be the most memorable for me. I travel frequently to Kodaikanal but didn’t hear about this place before. The village name is Kookal. The last thing he told before hanging up the call was to come as earlier as possible.

Next morning, I was on the bus to Kodaikanal. Finding an empty window seat in bus always makes me happy. I really enjoy looking outside feeling the wind through the window. The bus was moving through the hot plains of Tamil Nadu, the people here with their hard work turned these land a better place for agriculture.

Reached Palani, then another bus to Kodaikanal. It’s about 100 km from Palani. Vast stretches of wind farms can be seen on both side of the road. Wind energy produced here contribute to a major fraction of the state’s power consumption. After some time, I could see mountains in front of us. The roads went forward, all the way to the Western ghats. The temperature began to drop gradually.

Kodaikanal is one of the busiest tourist places in South India. Tourists come throughout the year, equally preferred by honeymooners, backpackers and casual tourists. The magic mushrooms which grow in the Kodai hills attract lots of international travellers also.

Reached Kodaikanal bus station by evening. My friend has already sent the location details. I have to reach Kookal. After enquiring at the bus station, understood why my friend told to reach as early as possible. There are no frequent buses, I had to wait 2 hours and it was the last bus.

It was getting dark. The bus was fully packed. Our bus moved out of the town, uncovering the fog in front of us. All I could see in the light from the bus was the trees which lined both sides of the road.

Kookal lake

I asked my fellow passengers more about Kookal. Everyone in that bus was from the remote villages on the far away Kodai hills. They come to the city for job. They told this year the rain is less, so they can’t grow crops in their fields. Each day they travel hours to come to the city. The people were very friendly, since I was the only outsider in that bus, everyone was keen to know my  purpose of travel in that bus in such an unusual time. They were surprised when told my destination was Kookal village. Soon I realised that the bus was not going exactly through Kookal, have to get down in the middle of the forest and walk few kilometres. They warned me not to go at this time, there are higher probabilities for an encounter with the bisons.

The bus entered the village Poombarai after an hour of travel through the forest. Most of the people alighted there.  The roads were almost empty other than some trucks occasionally coming in the opposite direction.

After some time, a boy sitting in front of me turned around, told that I had reached. Thanked everyone and got down off the bus. It was pitch dark and I was in the middle of a jungle, shivering. I was relieved a bit looking up at the sky, it was clear and stars were shimmering. My friend was supposed to be there, but he only showed up after some time. Luckily, no bisons this time.

Kookal village
Kookal village

Our cottage was in a picturesque location, top of a hill with the view of Kookal lake. The view when woke up in the morning was a total bliss. Without any second thoughts, I walked down to the lake, enveloped by mountains on three sides and a valley on the other. A blanket of mist was spread on the surface of the lake. Few birds were out in the water looking for their breakfast.

At a distance, I saw Kookal village. Many small houses on the top of the hill, smoke coming out of the chimneys. The village is surrounded by farmlands, beautifully arranged in steps over the entire valley.

Walked towards the village, everyone seemed busy beginning their day. Houses were built in lines. There are walkways going in between these houses. There was a temple at one side. Found out a tea shop, I was longing for a hot tea in that cold morning.

Kookal village woman
a busy morning

There are villages further to Kookal, huge eucalyptus trees lined both sides of the road. Women walked past me, rushing to their houses carrying piles of firewood on head. It was a pleasant day, first rays of the new day sun fell on the valley.

Kookal was peaceful, a beautiful village, away from the city. The best place to explore the nature and life in the hills. Kodaikanal is not just all those cliche tourist hotspots you find in the brochure of any tour company, there is much more here. You have to set your mind free and explore. The magic of Kodai will show up at the right time.

Getting there:

30 km from Kodaikanal town. Taxis are available (approx. rate 1500 INR). Buses are cheap but not frequent. The bus timings can be checked from the Bus stand. Always good to reach your destination before dark. 

To do:

The best thing to do here is to spend your time on the banks of the lake and explore the village. Guides are available in the village itself, they will take you to some beautiful places on the hills.

Accommodation:

Few cottages are available in and around Kookal and provide very basic amenities. It is better to reserve in advance.

Also read about, Nirmala City: An offbeat travel destination in the Western Ghats

Share your feedbacks, suggestions and queries using the comment section below.

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51 comments
  1. Always listen to your friend…

    1. Yes Alex, next time definitely

  2. Thanks for taking me to kookal through your narration.

    1. Thanks Arun.Happy to know that.

  3. HI, I want to go Kookal with my family and wants to be stay there for 2 days, can you provide me the cottage contact number.

    1. Hello Vijay,
      I have sent the details via email. Have a good time in Kookal.

      1. Hi,

        Can you share the cottage contact details pls.

        regards ,
        Uma

        1. Hi Uma,
          Please check your inbox

  4. Great post. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    1. Thanks Noah..

  5. nice

  6. Aint it? Aint sitting on the window seat is one of the best part of a journey? Feelings the wind, looking at the trees, kids playing people going to their work and everything else. It feels great. And yes, great article.

    1. Thanks Megha, Am glad that you liked the post.

  7. I visited Kodaikanal a few years back but I wish I knew about Kookal village then 🙂 A great place to explore!

    1. Hi Madhurima,
      Do visit this village on your next visit to Kodaikanal. It is definitely a great place to explore.

  8. this are the best places to visit as far as life is concern. thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Pospi, Am gald that you liked the place. Do visit this village.

  9. I have never visited a village before. Seems like a must have experience!

    1. Hi Veethee,
      I am happy that you liked the post. The village of Kookal is one thing you should not miss on your trip ti Kodaikanal. I will be writing more about the places around Kodaikanal.

  10. The Kookal village looks so divine! Today I explored another hidden gem of India from your bucket!

    1. Thanks Ana,
      Am glad that you liked it. I will be sharing about many such hidden places in coming days.

  11. Hi jithin thomas
    I am planning to visit kookal. i could not find any hotels/resorts. Can you provide hotels/resorts details if you have any?

  12. We are planing to visit kookal by June. Please guide to find the accommodation and the places to see. Waiting for your valuable reply

    1. Hi Srinivasan,

      I have emailed you the contact details of the person who can arrange accommodation for you in Kookal.
      Hope you will have a good time.

      1. Hi..is it possible to drive down to the cottage where you stayed….anyways please inbox to my email regarding the stay. ..

      2. Hi could you send me the contact details of the person so that we will visit kookal

        viruvadivel@gmail.com

  13. HI JITHIN WE PLANNED TO VISIT KOOKAL WITHIN 10 DAYS IN THE NAME OF TREKKING. THATS GOOD IN THIS TIME OR WE LL TAKE TIME FOR A MONTH. PLS SUGGEST ME.

    1. Hi Ragunanthan,
      Glad that you liked the post. August to March are the best time to visit Kookal. You can experience nature at it’s best during this time. I have emailed you the more details about Kookal. Please check.

  14. Hi Jithin,
    Thanks for sharing the info about this place, was planning to visit this place since long.
    Could you please guide me to find the accommodation near the lake.

    1. Ashish, Please check your email. I have sent the contact details.

  15. Hi Jithin,

    Nice article to increase my eagerness to visit Kookal soon. So can you provide the contact details of the cottage or homestays in kookal ? thanks in advance

    1. Hi Sreedhar,
      Am glad that you like the blog post. I have sent you the details via email.

  16. Hey Jithin,

    What a lovely place!
    Could you please provide me the details of the accommodation/home stay?

    Thanks. 🙂

    1. Hi Anya,
      Thanks for the good words.
      Please check your email inbox.

  17. Hello Jithin,
    I had a few queries regarding Kukkal and Kodaikanal. Would love if we could correspond over email.
    Regards !

    1. Yes.You can contact me via email.
      Mail at jithin@theroadsandbeyond.com

  18. Hi Jithin,

    I’m planning to visit kookal very soon, i would be glad if you could help with the accomadation in kookal.

    With reagrds,
    AMAN

    1. Hi Aman, I have emailed you the details.

      1. Can you please send me the details for accommodation at Kookal?

  19. Hi,we are from chennai planning to explore kookal .can you tell the accomodation details & necessary passes for two wheeler .

    1. Hi Kannan,
      You don’t require any passes to visit Kookal.

  20. Hi Jithin,

    I am planning to go to Kookal village with my friends. I just need some clarifications. Is it accessible completely by car? are there mobile signals? also please share with me the cottage details.

    1. Hi Praveen,
      Kookal is accessible by car. Mobile signals are not good, I don’t think that will be an issue.

  21. Hi,I was planning on going to kookal next weekend can you suggest me some good private house for a group of 5people.And where can we book hotels?

    1. Hi Aanjaney, there is a cottage available in Kookal.

  22. Hi Jithin,
    I am planning to visit kookal next week,
    Can you suggest a good cottage with cooking facility for 6? & this is our first visit…hence please do provide me details of the cottage and transporation…since we will be travelling by train & local transoptation.
    Thank you.
    I was happy to know & see that you have replied to every comment…that’s really great…looking forward for your prompt reply on the same.

    1. Hi Jennifer, am glad that you liked the post. Kookal is a nice place to visit in Kodaikanal. I know a person called Anandan from Kookal. He is the one who arranged me the accommodation there. Just go there and ask for him in the village. You can find him. His contact number is not valid now.

  23. Nice to the some of the offbeat location through your post. good work.
    Can you please send me the details for accommodation at Kookal..

    1. Hi Senthil, There are only a few options for accommodation in Kookal. Once you reach there, just ask any of the villagers. They will help you. I had a contact number but it is not valid now.

  24. Very interesting post! never heard about Kookal village before. Thank you for sharing your experience on an unexplored place Kookal.

    1. Thanks Sahitya, Am glad that you liked the post.

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