Elephant Valley - Kodaikanal



ELEPHANT VALLEY

KODAIKANAL

USP: Experience wilderness





Beating my hunger pangs, I finally reached Hotel Elephant Valley's Hill View restaurant and the plate of quickly-prepared pasta with onions and thick tomato sauce looked exotic. I shoved in a spoonful while the smiling waiter pointed towards rows of crushed banana plantations, barely 100 yards away. “You may be lucky, ma'am,” he said. “Just last week, a herd of elephants was here, and we offered them a feast.” A wave of excitement ran through my body

This beautiful 100-acre property, located at a height of 1,300 metres in the Palani Hill range, cuts across the centuries-old elephant corridor. October to April is the best time to sight pachyderms.



I walked around the protected Shola forests, dense with ageless palms and wild orchids. The Elephant Valley throws open a world of flora and fauna. It echoes with the twitter of birds, and chances of coming face-to- face with gaur and deer are no less. The adventurous can opt for the tent house or go horse riding, bamboo rafting and trekking. I spot a tree house across a stream, an offshoot of the perennial Gangavaar River.

An exciting rafting expedition takes me to the 18-ft high wooden house atop a 100-year-old tree. It is a bit eerie to be up there all alone.



The water at that point is 18 ft. deep, and as night grows it gets piercingly dark and silent, and you feel totally cut off from the world.

The 12 eco-friendly cottages, spread far and wide, are equipped with solar lights, firewood-fuelled hot water showers and done up with reclaimed antique doors and windows and colonial furniture.



Each cottage has the luxury of a private garden overlooking the river and coffee plantation.The open dining area is another highlight.


The ingredients for the Indian and Continental food come from the hotel's organic farm. Experience Nature's bounty!


Tariff

Depends on size and location of the cottages (near the stream, on a hillock or tree-top or the tent house).

The cost ranges from Rs. 3,300 to Rs. 7,200 for two adults (extra person Rs. 800). Children between 5 and 14 years Rs. 400 each. Breakfast is complimentary.



Lunch and dinner cost Rs. 500 a person. An a la carte menu is also available.

For enquiries, call: 04542-230399 and 92441-03418.

How to reach

It is 20 km from Kodaikanal. From Perumalmalai junction (12 km from Kodaikanal), take the road to Palani. After two km, turn left to Ganeshpuram village. Cross Pethupari and follow the hotel's sign boards for about 8 km till you reach the property. Distance from Coimbatore is 181 km, from Madurai 120 km and from Dindigul 98 km.

Things to do

Take a walk though organic farms and fruit and vegetable gardens. Don't forget your binoculars as the place boasts more than 100 species of winged visitors. Go for horse riding, bamboo rafting or trekking. Get to know about coffee cultivation or climb the mountain looking for dolmens

Source: The Hindu


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