Mannavannur Lake, Kodaik

There and Back Again

I’m finally back! As sorry as I was to leave India, it was great to see my family and cat again. I’ve had an amazing, amazing trip and I’m itching to write about it. So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

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An Autorickshaw in Bangalore, India.

Bangalore

Bangalore or Bengaluru, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, once known as the Garden City it is now famous for being a hub for IT companies.

We didn’t have much time in Bangalore, multiple day long state-wide strikes meant that we were tight on time, so we hit the big stuff before heading to Kodai. Here are some of the highlights:

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

The name Lal Bagh translates to the Red Garden, referring to the number of roses it boasts of. Made by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, Lal Bagh was easily my favourite part of Bangalore. We set of early so as to beat the crowds, by 7:30 AM we were strolling through Lal Bagh, our lungs welcoming the respite from Bangalore’s pollution. The Bangalore my parents saw growing up was a far cry, from the polluted, grimy city it is today. Bangalore used to be a city with no summer, with wide streets and shady trees, today Lal Bagh is a small remnant of the city my father grew up in.

Commercial Street

Commercial Street is an assault on all your senses. Your eyes water from the traffic fumes, your mouth waters with the smell of guavas, your nose revolts at the smell of cow dung, your ears struggle to tune out the cacophony of street hawkers, traffic and shoppers, and your wallet itches at the throwaway deals you find. Gorgeous silk scarves, hand carved artefacts, clothes, jewellery, food, books, and so much more.

Food

After hearing raving reviews from my father, I decided to head to the Mavalli Tiffin Rooms known more commonly as MTR. MTR started off as a small restaurant in Bangalore in the 1920s, it has since become an internationally recognised producer of South Indian food with branches around the world. We ordered a Ghee Roast Dosa (pictured), a Rava Masala Dosa, Bisibhelabath (a rice based dish with oodles of butter). Aromatic, delicious and buttery, bellies full to the bursting, we washed it all down with a frothy cup of ‘filter coffee’ (also pictured). Fun fact about how they test the milk at MTR, apparently they place a drop of milk on the tester’s nail, if it runs off the nail, it’s too watery to be used, if it stays on it means it’s of suitable quality.

The waffles are from Sunny Side Up a cute little breakfast place in Cooke Town with outdoor seating and overprice omelettes. 🙂

Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal, or Kodai as it is more affectionately known, is a hill station located at elevation of 6,998 feet in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The drive from Bangalore took about 10 hours with frequent pitstops for coffee, dosas and guavas. On the foothills of Kodai is the village of Dindikul where the famous Thalpakatti Biryani originated. Named after the turban on the head of the man who created it, it’s known to have Made with 15 types of spices, and a generous helping of chilies, Thalpakatti Biryani is HOT. Eaten with a side of var-var chicken, it’ll easily be one of the most delicious things you’ve ever eaten.

Thalpakatti Biryani

Here are a few pictures of all the things we saw and did in Kodai.

That’s all for now, folks. I have a video of my trip too that I’m uploading in the next post, I’d love to know what you all think.

Have you been to either Kodaikanal or Bangalore? Did you like it? What did I miss out on? I’m thinking of doing a giveaway, do you think you may be interested?

The Giveaway is live! Make sure you sign up here to win awesome prizes!

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11 thoughts on “There and Back Again

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