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A getaway to the Queen of Hills – Kodaikanal

Being a travel photographer, lush green nature and hills have always attracted me. I find peace in the lap of nature, walking across flower blooms while enjoying the gigantic fresh smell filling my nostrils giving me a sensation of another world. A 3 days trip to Kodaikanal was a much needed getaway to take a break from work and relax.

Kodaikanal is a city of hills located at a distance of 462 kms (8 hours bus distance) from Bangalore, India. It is called as the Queens of Hills.

This trip was all about witnessing the cool weather, seeing nature through a different perspective and clicking photographs.

March 30 – April 1, 2017


We booked a hut through Airbnb in Misty Mountains. The location and the hut were eye popping and situated at the highest altitude in the city.

Day 1, March 30

We arrived Kodaikanal at 6 in the morning and booked a taxi to our stay. It was 2.5 kms away from bus station, Naidupuram. The view was so amazing and refreshing that I kept wondering why did I not visit this place before.

Our stay in Kodaikanal:

We planned to cover Kodaikanal lake, Bryat park and Coaker’s walk on first day as they were 3 kms away from Misty Mountains.

Kodaikanal lake

It wasn’t a very fancy lake. The lake is mainly famous for boating. The best thing about Kodaikanal lake is that there are lots of small parks, huts nearby. If you love walking under the shades while winds whistle into your ears, this place is for you.

I found this beautiful hut near the lake.

Bryant park

If you want to spend time amidst green nature, Bryant Park is there for you. I found this place a honey-pot for photography. Lush green background, sunshine in the hair and good photography skills is all you need.

Coaker’s walk

One of the most beautiful places in Kodaikanal is Coaker’s walk. It is one kilometer walkway running along the steep edge of Kodaikanal where one side is covered with small mountains and the other valley. A must visit place when the weather is just right.

Christ the King Church near Coaker’s walk

Day 2, March 31

We booked a taxi to visit few places.

Mahalakshmi temple

Green valley view

Pillars rock

Pamber falls

The insane clouds on the way

I gotta get a lens hood. Due to bright sunlight, the picture is spoiled due to lens flares.

Pine tree forest

Bird eye view of the pine forest

Sunset photography

Night Photography

One of the challenging aspects of photography is timing. You have to sleep late to cover low light photography and wake up early to shoot sunrise. But if pictures come amazing, you won’t regret it. The guy walking into the door, to the *Heaven* is me.
The challenging part? I had to make myself in that pose for 30 seconds until the shutter was closed.

While we were taking a walk right after dinner outside our stay in Misty Mountains, this view outside our hut stirred away our peaceful attention. I couldn’t stop myself taking out the tripod, set the right composition and click the shot.

30s at f/13, ISO 640, 18-55mm at 34mm

Day 3, April 1

The last day of our trip, we planned a trip to Berijam lake and forest. It is 32 kms from Misty Mountains. A special permission is needed to visit the forest. Local taxi owners know all the tricks and we just needed to talk to one of them. The forest is open from 11 to 3. We started at 10 in the morning to reach there on time. The forest tour was good. We saw only bisons on the way.

Fire watching tower

This tower was used to check if there is any fire in the forest

Caps fly valley

There is a myth that if you throw a cap from this platform, it would return to you like a boomerang.  Of course, it is the magic of wind which doesn’t work most of the time.

Into the forest so wild and green,
There are things hard to be seen,
Keep a watch and you will find,
Solitude, peace and mysteries of mind.


Kodaikanal is a city of day lovers. The city literally sleeps after 8 O’ clock at night. It’s as if someone has cursed the place with some silence charm. Once it becomes dark, people take extreme care not to stumble upon bisons on the way while walking.

When I plan a trip, I keep 3 things in mind. Good stay, good food and amazing weather. Kodaikanal had all of them. In fact, the biryani I had there is the best biryani I ever tasted. Though the best time visit this Queen of hills is between December and February, I fully enjoyed my stay.

Copyright © 2017, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.

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