Vellagavi Village – An incredibly magnificent community

Kodaikanal is a destination I’d want to visit. Every time I visited this location, it was different, and I had a one-of-a-kind experience. So this time, I’ll be hiking upward from Kumbakarai to Kodaikanal through Vellagavi village, a path that was formerly used to transport goods under British control, going through lush forests, by a waterfall, and through a quiet settlement. Furthermore, no one wears shoes in this hillside settlement. Vellagavi, close to Kodaika, is well-known for this.

Temples at Vallagavi Village
Temples at Vellagavi Village, Photo Copyright: Ravindra Joisa

Reaching Vallagavi village

The route follows the Kumali-Dindigul highway, with a turnoff to Kumbakkara at Periyakulam. The hike begins in Kumbakkara. The entire hike is in the rain forest and takes about 6 hours to reach the Vellagavi village. Firstly, a temple will greet you as you enter Vellagavi village. Secondly, Vellagavi village is in the heart of the jungle, a settlement of barefoot inhabitants. The locals here consider this place to be holy and the village is super clean.

Vellagavi Government primary school
Vellagavi Government primary school

A place full of temples

A primary school and a playground are located in front of this little isolated community situated in the Kodaikanal mountains. Residents rely on centuries-old paths to travel about because there is no road linking the village to the outside world. There are more temples than dwellings, the hamlet is considered sacred, and no footwear is worn within the community. In addition, folks here go to bed at 7 p.m., soon after sunset.

Vellagavi village Stay

You may stay in motels near the Vellagavi forest reserve before or after the trip. If you are traveling on your own then you might stay at hotels in Kodaikanal. Because this is a perfect two-day weekend trip, you may camp at Vallagavi’s “Old Kodai Camping Tents,” which is located at the village’s entrance and has ready-made erected tents waiting for you to come.

You continue ‘barefoot’ through the village, through the lone bank/post office and a primary school, to the site where you may spend the evening and camp. It’s on the other side of town, away from the people, so you may enjoy the campfire without disturbing the local people at night. There is a location for visitors and hikers to stay near the entrance, as well as a shop. We erected our tent here and spent the evening around the campfire. It was good to sit in front of a campfire and enjoy the peaceful cold night. This is something that I love and usually miss when I go on Himalayan treks where a campfire is not allowed.

Overnight tent stay at Vallagavi Village
Overnight tent-stay at Vellagavi Village. Photo Copyright: Ravindra Joisa

The uphill hike after Vellagavi village

The majority of the hiking track is in the woods. The Western Ghats’ jungles are incredibly magnificent. Unfortunately, at the time of my visit, the region right before the dolphin nose area was engulfed in flames, and the hiking route was completely engulfed in ash. We eventually made up to the all-uphill walk to Dolphine nose. Dolphine Nose is a renowned tourist site that is frequently crowded.

Enjoying the Vellagavi Forest view
Enjoying the Vellagavi Forest view. Photo Copyright: Ravindra Joisa

The tragic forest fire above Vellagavi Village

It’s worth noting that there was a large forest fire in this section of the climb, right below the Dolphin nose area, not long ago. We were told that a party of all-female hikers became stuck in the middle of the forest and perished in the forest fire. Many people had died. You can see in the video below where the ruins can still be found, and even throughout my trip, the last kilometer was under forest fire but was not intense.

Ravindra Joisa at Vellagavi village

A foggy day, near Dolphin Nose, where there was once a forest fire.

To summarise, this is an ideal weekend trek that includes a stay in a lovely community in the heart of the forest. Watch the movie below, and I hope it is entertaining and even motivates you to arrange a hike to ancient Kodai.

Vallagavi Village to Dolphin Nose, Kodai
Vellagavi Village to Dolphin Nose, Kodai. Photo Copyright: Ravindra Joisa

By the way, the best time to visit this location is during the post-monsoon season, which runs from October to February. Hiking during the monsoon season is not recommended since you will be in the center of a rain forest with lots of rain.

By the way, you may want to check my other trekking stories. Hope you enjoyed reading the blog post. You may buy me a coffee to support my work and the effort taken to write this post and make this video. Or the least that you can do is to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos and join my FriendZone for more stories.

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