Kookal is a beautiful and quaint drive away from Kodaikanal, the Princess of Hills. If you are able to overcome the temptation of stopping by at the charming spots that dot the route, you can cover the distance in a little over an hour from Kodaikanal. It is a perfect destination for those on the lookout for offbeat places to stay. Our cottage is located in a 5 acre property, facing the Shola forests and has an excellent view of the Kookal lake.
“The property: This is a well maintained meadow in the middle of thick greenery and breathtaking views. You can view the kookal lake on the left and a mist clad mountain on the right. The property houses few resting areas including a hut and a firepit in addition to the cottage and 2 tents. They are currently in the process of developing a large organic farm nearby. We were skeptical even after we booked the property and to our surprise this one vastly exceeded all our expectations, much better that what the images convey. The caretaker lives with his wife in the same property on a farm house nearby, so if you need anything he can take care of it. But this property being away from the hustle and bustle of Kodaikanal make sure you buy anything you need from the town itself when you travel to Kookal. The cottage: We stayed at the cottage and it was well worth it. In addition to the bedroom that can house two, the living room sofa can be converted into a 3 person bed, which is equally comfortable. Bathroom is neat and very modern with geyser and other amenities you would get at a modern hotel. Rooms are well insulated so cold wasn’t an issue. Food: If you are looking for a quiet getaway, opt for food from the property itself. It is prepared by the caretaker’s wife herself and I should say it was wonderful. So good we convey our appreciation in person when we left. Kookal: This is a tranquil and serene hamlet some 30km north of Kodailkanal. We were quite impressed by the beauty and lack of noises around the area. This is a great place to spend a weekend away from the headaches of office and city. Places to visit: Kookal itself is a great place to explore by foot. But if you can also drive west some 15km to explore the Mannavanoor lake. You can get a great view from the sheep research center lake view point. Review: We would strongly suggest visiting Kookal if you haven’t done yet. When in Kookal, Eco farms is by far the best place you can stay. 10/10”
ECONUT FARMHOUSE Econut farmhouse is located on the Palani to Kodaikanal road, about 16 km before you reach Kodaikanal town. The farmhouse is conveniently located next to the road, yet hidden from view and private. It is in a quiet area with very few houses around, and in the midst of an organic farm. There is a panoramic view of the valley below, with the plains visible for about 200 km, on clear days. Our caretaker couple will attend to all your needs, including preparation of meals.
“If you want to "get away", why compromise? Go straight here. Hidden along the hill road leading to the Palani temple, just 14-odd kms from Kodaikanal, is this gem of an authentic experience. Take a few steps down from the road and you're inside a charming farmhouse (that could easily be marketed as a cottage) overlooking the valley. In one word, serene. Taking care of the property, and guests, are an elderly couple. Just tell them what you feel like having and it'll be on your plate, piping hot. Not to mention freshly picked plums, passion fruit, oranges and even an avacado or two from the farm. This couple went the extra mile to ensure our farm stay was more like a homestay. (My 7-year-old was overwhelmed by their kindness and is insisting now that I mention the old man getting her balloons from the store.) Having your own vehicle will help go around. Even otherwise, we saw buses plying between Kodai and Palani stopping right outside the farm gate to pick up passengers. We rode a bike up to Kodai on one day and hired a cab on another. One entire day we spent recharging our senses in the lap of nature. You don't really need to go up to Kodai if what you're seeking is a retreat. We visited in peak winter. A sit-out overlooks the valley and you can simply be engulfed in the mist as you watch it rise above you. You can also bask in the warmth of a bonfire at night. A climb down to the farm gave us a trekking experience. Another sit-out has been created for adventure seekers to camp/relax on the hill. The house is kept clean by the caretakers. Despite their warmth, it can get cold in December. But we were advised in advance to carry a lot of winter wear by Shrikant, who owns the property. All the basic comforts are there. Ample blankets, hot water, even solar power backup that allowed us lights when there was a rare power failure (once, for less than 10 minutes, in five days). Water that flows as a perennial stream from the hills above is what is used for drinking and bathing. Airtel worked at some spots in the property and some places a short walk away. Not having the internet 24/7 truly helped us "get away" and spend time together as family.”
This is just a reversion to the historical way of travel.It's affordable and allows people to make a connection with the local community.We are placed 7Kms from the bus stand area in a residential area away from all the traffic,noise and pollution with total privacy and lots of space for play.
“The villa is more than what's shown in the pictures. We fell in love with the place the moment we stepped foot on the property! It's got a spectacular view of the mountains, and a lot of greenery all around. It's simply breath taking! The rooms were neat and clean. The Host was also pretty quick in responding to all the queries we had during our stay. Phone network/internet aren't very strong inside the villa but it really didn't matter as we had a very peaceful and relaxed vacation which the city life doesn't offer. Overall worth every money spent.”