Princess of Hill station in Tamil Nadu


Kodaikanal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Kodaikanal is a town located in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. The place is blessed with scenic hills. It is located on the southern tip of the Palani Hills, separated from the Western Ghats. The tourist attractions here are the focus of attention for this place. Therefore, the main source of income for the locals is from here. Kodaikanal has the status of one of the rare places where Neelakurinji bloom. Some peoples argue that the name Kodaikanal is derived from the Tamil word Kodai and Kanal as it is always surrounded by fog. Similarly, some argue that the name is derived from the Tamil word for gift of the forest. 

The earliest residents of Kodaikanal were the Palaiyar tribal people. Kodaikanal was first visited by some missionary monks from the United States. American missionary groups were based in Madurai. As the summer heats up, they migrate to warmer hilly areas. That's how they discovered Kodaikanal. In 1845, a large number of American missionaries came here. After that, the British also started coming here in large numbers. In 1875, some European families came here to spend the summer. By 1883, Kodaikanal had 615 permanent residents. In 1867, the then Collector of Madurai, Sir Vere Henry  levinge decided to settle in Kodaikanal. He was the one who made the lake in Kodaikanal what it is today. Before that it was just a swamp. He introduced many fruits and flowering plants to Kodaikanal from abroad. He rebuilt the roads and public buildings of Kodaikanal. He soon bought several ferry and boats and started a boat house. Most of the streams, waterfalls and forests of Kodaikanal soon came under the foregin name. 

Kodaikanal is famous for its rich flora and fauna. The major species of large trees are cypress, eucalyptus and acacia. It is located at an elevation of 2133 m above sea level. The highest point is Vadarum hill. It has an elevation of 2533 m. Palani Hill has two distinct lands, the upper Palani and the lower Palani. The lower Palani is 1000 to 1500 m high. Coffee, tea and fruits are widely grown in these areas. Upper Palani is located on the border of Kerala at an elevation of 1500 to 2500 m. The main crops are garlic, pears, plums and peaches.It is also known for home made chocolates and eucalyptus oil. 

Places to visit in Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal has many natural attractions that make it a popular destination for newlyweds. 

Kodaikanal Lake.

Kodaikanal lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kodaikanal. It is a man-made lake built in the shape of a star. The lake originates from the lush green hills of the northwestern Palani Hills range. Tourists flock here during the summers. The main reason for that is the boat race and the flower show. Sir Vere Henry, who was the Collector of Madurai in 1863, was instrumental in the construction of the lake. Boat club and houseboat services are available. There are also pedal boats, rowing boats and ferries. Next, a bicycle ride around the lake attracts tourists. Bicycles can be rented here at low cost. Cycling is a great way to enjoy the views of the small misty lake. The nearest railway station to the lake is the Kodaikanal Railway Station and the palani Railway Station. The lake is spread over 60 km and is only half a kilometer away from the bus stand. It is Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction.

Kodaikanal lake

Berijam Lake

The Berijam lake is located at a distance of about 20 km from Kodaikanal. Permission from the Forest Department is required for the forest area where the lake is located, and only a limited number of vehicles will be allowed. Usually, they give permission around 8 a.m. every day except Tuesdays. Access to the Berijam Lake area is restricted to between 9.30am and 3pm. Wild buffalo, deer, panthers and snakes are often seen in the area. They give permission to about 80 to 100 vehicles per day and collect an entry fee. Psilocybin fungi and other poisonous fungi, which produce hallucinogenic effects when eaten, grow around the berijam lake. There is a special species of tree in the Medicine Forest, whose fragrance is believed to have hallucinogenic effects. Boating is prohibited as the lake is a source of water for the villages. It is also a favorite destination of nature lovers. 

Berijam lake

Green Valley View 

It is also known as suicide point. Green Valley View Point is located at a distance of 5.5 km from Kodaikanal Lake. The deepest and most dangerous suicide point is more than 5,000 feet deep. One can even spot the Vaigai Dam from this viewpoint. The best time to visit this place is from 10 am to 3 pm. The stairs to it are highly commercialized and there are many shops to entice tourists. Tourists can also see many monkeys attracting tourists. 

Green valley view

Kodaikanal  Solar Observatory

This is an important place to visit while visiting Kodaikanal. 6 kilometres from the bus-stand on Observatory Road, at 2,343 metres is the highest location near Kodaikanal. The first observations were commenced here in 1901. The Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope offers a panoramic view of the Sothuppara Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and the Varaha River. The Indian Institute of Astrophysics has a comprehensive astronomical science museum with organized public tours, access to the Astronomy Library, and a scheduled night-time telescopic sky view. this observatory has state-of-the-art equipment like Doppler radar, a Lacour magnetometer and a Watson magnetometer, broadband seismograph, GPS receiver, and magnetic variometers, Ionosondes, Solar tunnel telescope, and full disc imaging. It is open daily to the public during peak season, and a few hours each Friday the rest of the year. 

Kodaikanal  Solar Observatory

Guna caves

Located away from the main city of Kodaikanal on the Pillar Rocks Road, Guna Caves is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kodaikanal. Also known as Devil’s Kitchen. The Guna Caves have been formed at an altitude of 2230 metres. These caves are actually caverns between the three rocks of the mountain. In 1821, the Guna Caves were first discovered by an English Officer, B.S. Ward. The Tamil film 'Guna' shot here became a big hit and started attracting more tourists. Bats can be seen in large numbers inside the caves, which scares the place. The journey from the main entrance to the Guna Caves to the original caves is through the pine forests. These are thrilling and dangerous places, so it's best to visit the caves with a group of wise friends or under the guidance of a guide. The narrow ravines inside the caves are now closed to the public. The Guna Caves are surrounded by many other tourist spots like Pine Tree Forest, Suicide Point, and Dolphin Nose Viewpoint. The distance between Guna Caves and Kodaikanal Bus Stand is 8.5 km. The best time to visit Guna Caves is from April to June when the skies are clear. 

Pillar Rocks

Pillar Rocks is located at a distance of 8 km from the Kodaikanal bus stand. The place got its name from the three huge pillars of granite. They are about 400 meters high. They offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding natural beauty from its many vantage points. Adventure sports rock climbers, trekkers, hikers, mountaineers, family and friends alike come to Pillar Rocks in Kodaikanal. There are many nooks and crannies hidden in the rocks that we can explore. The huge gaps between these stones are known as the Devil's Kitchen. The place is protected by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kodaikanal. The best time to visit the Pillar Rocks is in summer. Early mornings are relatively cool and perfect for adventure activities such as trekking, hiking and sightseeing from the rocks. The winter seasons are also pleasant in Kodaikanal.the Pillar Rocks during wintertime because of the mist and fog, which will take away the real beauty of the Pillar Rocks- its sites and surroundings.

Pillar Rocks

Silver Cascade

The Silver cascade is another important tourist attraction in Kodaikanal. The Silver Cascade waterfalls lies on the Kodai Madurai road. The water flows down from a height of 180 feet and which makes it a beautiful sight. The Silver Cascade is located at a distance of 8 km from the Kodaikanal. The water from the falls is believed to be rich in various minerals, which are said to have healing and invigorating properties. It is a sight to watch monkeys playing on the cliff and slippery rocks of the fall. We can easily reach the silver Cascade falls via local transport such as auto or rickshaw, in Kodaikanal. The months from December to March are some of the best ones if you wish to visit the Silver Cascade falls. The winter season and the cool atmosphere make it a pleasant experience to visit the waterfall. In the monsoon season volume of the water rises during this time and gives a spectacular view of the fresh surroundings.

Silver cascade

Coaker’s Walk

Coaker’s Walk was constructed in the year 1972 by Lieutenant Coaker. It is located at a distance of 1 km from Kodaikanal lake. The evenings are the perfect time to go for the Coakers walk. Tickets must be picked up to enter the Cokers Walk. It is situated at a distance of 0.8 kilometres from the Kodaikanal Bus Stand and one kilometre from the Kodaikanal Railway Station. The place is a hotspot for activities like cycling, photography and nature walks. There are also some roadside stalls selling warm clothes, t-shirts and scarves within the periphery of the park at reasonable rates, thus attracting the attention of those interested in buying them. In winter season the temperature during winters stays around 8 to 15 degrees Celsius, which is pleasant for sightseeing. The best time to visit Coaker’s Walk is during summers, from March to June, when the temperature is pleasant, and hills are only partly cloudy.

Coakers walk

Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple

It is situated just 3 km from Kodaikanal Lake and is devoted to the God of Hills, Lord Muruga. The temple is 5 km from the Kodaikanal bus station and is 3 km from Kodai Lake, so you can arrive at the lake first and then visit the temple. Also, Kodaikanal Road Railway Station is at the distance of 2 km from the temple. The Kurinji Flower which is well-known here is said to blossom every 12 years and is found in the hills. The Kurinji Flower that blossoms in 12 years and is said to be visible in 2016 last. Cameras for photography and video making are not allowed. The temple management charges for parking. There are many shopping outlets inside the temple where you can buy things and souvenirs. Summer is the best season to visit this temple because then you can explore it both in the morning and evenings as to avoid winter fog during the chilly evenings. Kurinji Andavar Temple was constructed in 1936 by a European woman who became Hindu, was named as Leelavathi and then married Mr. Ramanathan. She is also called as Lady Ramanathan.

Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple

Dolphin’s Nose

Dolphin's Nose is one of the must visit attractions of Kodaikanal. It is a flat rock formation located at an elevation of 6600 ft above sea level. the Dolphin’s Nose offers enchanting views of the entire city. The main attraction of the dolphin's nose is its rugged terrain, clear skies, low - lying valleys, and lush green surroundings. The path to the Dolphin’s Nose may seem to be easily accessible, for others it’s a moderately difficult one. Trekking route to the Dolphin’s Nose is a 3 km long making its way through the rocks and pines of the Palani Hill Range. On the way to Dolphin Nose you can see a small village and a waterfall. Some times, local vendors may be dotting the area selling their food and fresh fruit juice. If you look from the dolphin nose, you can see the beautiful sunrise and sunset. Dolphin's Nose is a great destination for those who love hiking and trekking. The best time to visit dolphin's nose in the post-monsoon period is the best to have a great trekking experience here amidst a ravishing backdrop. In the winter season from November to February usually turns out to be quite chilling here. You may experience a sudden drop in temperature. 

Dolphin's Nose

Bryant park

This was landscaped in the year 1980 by British army officer Glent Bryant. The park spread across an area 20.6 acres housing unique botanical species. The variety of species in the park which is like 350 types of trees and 740 variety of rose plants. There is an 1857 eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park.  Enjoy the Flower show, dog show, joyful rides and boating facilities available here. Try to visit the park during the month of May, there’s a flower show which takes place during this time. Visitors usually spend 1-2 hours in this place. However, a detailed visit to might take upto 4-6 hours. The Bryant Park is open on all seven days and the timings are from 9AM to 4PM. Entry fee for adults of 30 INR per head. For children, the fee is 15 INR. You would need to pay a fee of 50 INR to carry out still photography. The best time to visit this place in the winter season get chilly. The temperature falls sharply but if you enjoy the cold, it will make up for a great vacation. The  Bryant park is near about 21 kilometers from the Kodaikanal bus stand. The nearest airport to the Madurai Airport which is at a distance of about 120 kilometers. This park is located between Coakers walk and Kodai lake. 

Bryant park, flower show

Bear Shola

Bear Shola Falls is a popular picnic spot in the Kodaikanal. Located at a distance of 2 kilometres from the Kodaikanal Lake. This cascade is a seasonal attractions, that comes to life in its fullest during the monsoons. Bear Shola located in the Reserve forest. The Bear Shola Falls derived its name from the fact that bears used to come to this fall for drinking water.  It has a almost 1 km long inside the forest. Height of the falls is about 40 feet and the water drops into a small pool. The path from the main road goes through a dense forest in the middle of a quiet area. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoon season when the water level is at its fullest and thus most beautiful and sightseeing. The waterfall attracts large number of peoples during monsoon season. The Bear shola falls are 3 kilometres away from the  Kodaikanal bus-stand. There is a shop at the entrance of the path to the fall that sells tea, water and snacks. Visiting hours are from 7 am to 6 pm. 

Bear shola falls

Shembaganur Museum Of Natural History

The museum is also one of the best orchidoriums in the country and is located 5.6 km away from the Kodaikanal Lake. 6 kilometres  from the Kodaikanal bus-stand.   There are large collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum was established in 1895. Anthropology, handicrafts, and flora & fauna are the categories in which all the major holdings of the museum can be divided. There is a herbarium in the museum as well with almost 2500 varieties of plants along with a vast garden. There are nearly 300 species of trees and flower plants in the Orchidorium with a compilation of a variety of butterflies, snakes, mammals, and moths. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits Artifacts .Timings: 10 AM to 11.30 AM & 3 PM to 5 PM. 

Moir Point

Moir Point is a historic place and beautiful view point in Kodaikanal. It is one of the important view points in Kodaikanal and a beautiful picnic spot. Moir Point is one the highest peaks around Kodaikanal. The site is named after Sir Thomas Moir, an engineer who constructed the Goschen Road in 1929. This point joins the Berijam Lake raod with Kodaikanal here. There is a monument remembering Thomas Moir at the viewpoint. This is a major tourist destination and attracts large number of peoples. There are several shops selling the basic needs. It is adjacent to the main road towards Berijam Lake and easily accessible. It is located at a distance of 10 km from Kodaikanal Bus Station and 3 km from Pillar Rocks. 

Moir Point

Poombarai village 

Poombarai is located at the heart of the Palani hills. Poombarai is a tiny village that is famous for its production of garlic. stands at the height of 1,920 m in the Palani Hills and offers a picturesque view of the surroundings. Poombarai’s history dates back more than 3000 years. The Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple is a major attraction of this scenic village. enjoy fresh local produce in the form of beans and carrots. Poombarai is located at about 18 km from Kodaikanal.  It is a 30-minute drive from Kodaikanal. Distance between Kodaikanal Bus Stand and Poombarai is 21 kms. The nearest railway station is in Coimbatore. The Mannavanur Lake is located at a distance of 16 km from the Poombarai village. 

Poombarai village

Thalaiyar Falls

Thalaiyar Falls is located in the slopes of Palani Hill ranges in the Dindigul District, in Kodaikanal. is the highest waterfall in Tamil Nadu and With a height of 297m. Also known as Rat Tail Fall.  There is a view tower in the park at the Dum Dum Rock, from where you can get a beautiful view of the falls and the Manjalar Dam. There have been several regular sightings of various animals from the forest as it is a popular source of water for them. Hiking is allowed only at the bottom of the falls and that too in the dry seasons. Visiting hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No access to the falls on Sundays

Kodaikanal has a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate. Kodaikanal has a very good weather. The weather is colder. The monsoon season is similar in Kerala. Winter begins in November. The temperature during this time is zero degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in winter is 17 degrees Celsius. Summer starts in April. Then the temperature is 11 to 20 degrees Celsius. 

The nearest railway stations are Palani Station (64 kilometres) north, Kodaikanal Road Station (80 kilometres) south east, Oddanchatram Railway Station (90 kilometres) north east, Dindigul Junction (100 kilometres ) east and Madurai Junction (114 kilometres  nearly east. The nearest airports Madurai International Airport 115 kilometres. Buses are available from here Madurai, Palani, Kodaikanal Road, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruchirappalli, Kumali, Munnar, Coimbatore, Erode and Bangalore. 


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