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Old 15th March 2010, 15:14   #1
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Default Kodai Road Station to Kodaikanal

Will be visiting Kodai next weekend with wife and kid (18 months old) by train from Bangalore.

1. What are the options from Kodai Road station to Kodaikanal town? Are there buses? What is the frequency and where is the bus stop?
If taxi, what are the rates like?

2. Thinking of staying at Hotel Sivapriya. How is this place? Anyone stayed here? Anything better in this price range (800-900/- per night).

3. For sightseeing, thinking of taking an autorickshaw on hire (wife has motion sickness in car/jeep/etc). Is this advicable? What are the rates like?

Thanks for any help provided.

WR
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Old 15th March 2010, 15:23   #2
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My 2 cents of little experience
1. Plenty of busses, no issues.
2. Sorry no idea; when we visited, we stayed in J's heritage, it was real good.
3. Pls avoid autorickshaw & my sincere advice is always for a car; my rates are way too old & need updates myself.
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Old 15th March 2010, 15:27   #3
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1. Getting from Kodai Road to Kodaikanal can be a pain, if you have not made prior arrangments. I have experienced this. I dont think the buses are frequent, from what I heard we need to catch bus to another place (Batlagundu ? dont remember now) and then onwards to Kodai, and it will be crowded. We finally took a cab (approx. Rs 800/- about 4 yrs ago) to go from Kodai road to Kodaikanal. Never regretted this decision. We were able to stop at a couple of scenic spots along the way and take pics and enjoy the beautiful views in a relaxed way. I think the least troublesome would be to have the hotel where you are staying to arrange the pickup/drop from/to Kodai road.

2. No idea.

3. I dont know if autos are a good idea (dont remember if they are plentily available), i remember seeing only lots of Maruti Omni vans running on gas, which will be available for the local sight-seeing. These vans can clear some of the steepest roads available there with relative ease. Please bargain a lot and negotiate the rates correctly (by clearly specifying all the places of interest that you want to visit). The rates will vary depending on what all places you want to cover.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 15th March 2010 at 15:37.
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Old 15th March 2010, 16:12   #4
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I think I had a buffet breakfast at Shivapriya. Looked good to me. Though we did not stay there. Looked a like a standard decent hotel to me. Please note this was three years ago.

Also as others mentioned, getting to Kodai might be a pain. You can call the hotel guys and fix a cab. Although you might pay it bit higher, but you get peace of mind.

I did the same. (It was during those times, when the driving bug had not caught on.
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Old 15th March 2010, 16:13   #5
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I believe - but have no personal experience - that there are several Temp Traveller vehicles which drop off and pick up people from Kodai Road rail station, it being the only rail head for visitors to Kodai - and most of the Chennai tourists come that way.
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Old 15th March 2010, 17:55   #6
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Hi,

Windride,

1) I can help you arrange a taxi if interested, i am not sure about the rates, i have to check, if interested PM me,i can arrange a cab .

2) Hotel Astoria is a good one, it has a veg restaurant also. It is in the same price range.

3) Dont take auto rickshaws. Very dangerous. Some tempos offer daily sight seeing, you can check this in the hotel where you plan to stay.
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Old 15th March 2010, 18:04   #7
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Also when taking a sight seeing ensure that it is not done on sharing basis & the vehicle is arranged to your convenience. What I mean is, there're people who board about 5-6 people on an omnie or say about 10 people on Mahindra maxi cab, so this could become a little inconvenience, if you prefer to have little privacy; however on sharing basis it could work out little cheaper too.
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Old 15th March 2010, 18:30   #8
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For folks who dont want to drive to Kodai (as I was before!), I found the Mysore Tutocorin express to be very good. Arrives in Bangalore at about 9PM and reaches Kodai road by about 7AM. Which is perfect to start your day at Kodai.
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Old 6th April 2010, 17:19   #9
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Updating with post-trip experiences:

1. Arranged cab with Hotel Sivapriya itself (@AbdulRahmanM - Thanks though for your offer). Driver was at kodai road stn to pick us up. This seems to be the best option since you certainly don't want to start haggling immediately after getting down from a train journey. FYI, there are cabs available within the station premises. On enquiry, got to know buses to kodaikanal are rare from kodai road stn(once in 1 or 2 hours). Hence, rule that out. There are no decent hotels outside the station. We had to make do at a run down place for a glass of warm milk for my daughter. It was extremely un-hygenic place, but no alternative.

2. About Hotel Sivapriya - AVOID.
No, nothing wrong with the rooms or facilities there. Its the attitude of the staff that was the problem. They are unfriendly and throw the rule-book at you for even the smallest requests. Some examples -
a. We had requested a small portion of dal with rice for our child. They said "order a full bowl of dal or you get nothing". C'mon, i am a guest. Can't they be more accomodating. And this was for a child !!!
b. They refused to provide a room for freshening-up a couple of hours after we checked out (had left the luggage in the cloak room). This was again for the kid. This, despite most the rooms being vacant (i had confirmed this). Disgusting!
c. They forgot to book our return bus tickets to kodai road station. I had explicitly asked them to book in advance and ask the driver to reserve the front two seats, since wife has motion sickness. They conveniently forgot and when the mini-bus eventually came, we were horrified to see ALL seats occupied except the last two seats!!. We hurriedly arranged an indica instead and rushed to the station.

Summary - Hotel Sivapriya is a place in great demand by the tourist-bus types who regularly deposit large numbers of tourists at their door steps. So their attitude is "take it or leave it". In case you are travelling with children and need personalised service, avoid this place.

Last edited by WindRide : 6th April 2010 at 17:25.
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Old 6th April 2010, 17:56   #10
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Windride,

Now that you mention, I remember that couple of buses were standing when I went for a breakfast and the place was quite crowded !
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Old 6th April 2010, 20:16   #11
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Thanks @Windride. Appreciate your time to update all of us on your trip. By the way, are you writing up a travelogue? We're looking forward to that
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Old 6th April 2010, 21:38   #12
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I visited Kodaikanal in July 07. I stayed in Villa Retreat. The place had amazing view (it's adjacent to coakers walk) and the staff was very polite and helpful. They had arranged pickup cab for us from station Dindigul.
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Old 6th April 2010, 21:59   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottocycle View Post
I visited Kodaikanal in July 07. I stayed in Villa Retreat. The place had amazing view (it's adjacent to coakers walk) and the staff was very polite and helpful. They had arranged pickup cab for us from station Dindigul.
Thats exactly what I did. Stayed again at Villa Retreat ! They had arranged for the pick-up.
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