Kodaikanal is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Tamil Nadu and is famous for its pristine natural beauty, cold streams, spectacular views and rows of silky pine trees. Kurunji (Strobilanthus Kunthanus), the unique flowering plant hat last blossomed in 2004 is nature’s precious gift to Kodaikanal. It is renowned for its quality educational institutes, hill plantations fruits and plums and the Berijam lake spreading over an area of 24 hectares.
Location of Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular and beautiful hill resorts of India. Kodaikanal is situated at a height of 2,133-m near Madurai Iin Tamil Nadu in the Palani Hills, off shoot of the Western Ghat Mountain ranges.
Places to see in Kodaikanal
Kodai Lake: The Kodai lake is a major tourist attraction and a walk around the lake will take you about a hour and a half. The lake in the midst of lush green slopes offer a magnificent view. Boating facilities are available in this lake.
Bryant Park: Named after the foreign officer who laid the park in 1980, Bryant Park has an array of flowers and ferns and you can find locals often shopping for plants for their homes. Fkower and vegetable show is held in this ark in May.
Museum of Shenbaganur: Founded in 1895, the Shenbaganur Museum is maintained by the Heart College, a theological seminary. You can find birds, butterflies, and a 300-strong orchid collection, and relics and artefacts of the Paliyan tribes who once lived in these hills.
Observatory: The Kodaikanal Observatory has been founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest in the world. You must take your child to the Observatory when in Kodaikanal.
Palani Hills: The Palani Hills are another important attraction of Kodaikanal. The most interesting feature of the Palani Hills is the ever green shola forest (wet, temperate) from which originate many perennial streams. It is also home to a variety of flora and fauna including Loya, Orchids, Nilgiri tahr, Grizzled and giant Squirrel.
Excursions from Kodaikanal
Kukkal Caves: Kukkal Caves: Kukkal Caves is at a distance of 40kms from Kodaikanal. You can best visit the cave with the help of a local guide. The caves here are actually overhanging slabs of rocks. The caves trace the lives of the earliest settled tribals, Paliyans who used to wear leaf clothing. Overlooking the caves is Manjampath valley where bisons can be spotted.
Dolphin Nose: 8kms from the bus stand, Dlophin Nose offers a beautiful view of the plains, and steepy rock eascarpeints called rolling hills.
Beri JamLake: Beri Jam is a beautiful lake and reservoir within dense forests and pine trees. However, entry is restricted to only 10 permits per day.
Accomodations Hotels in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal is a busy tourist spot, so you have a variety of hotels offering the best accommodation facilities. Woody’s, Sterling Day’s Inn, Royal Cottage, Hotel Garden Manor are some of the best hotels in town. There are government guest houses as well.
Best time to visit Kodaikanal
You can visit Kodaikanal anytime throughout the year except the late monsoons.
How to reach Kodaikanal
By Air: The nearest airport is Madurai which is about 130kms away from Kodaikanal.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is Kodaikanal Road.
By Road: TNSETC Buses leave from Chennai to Kodaikanal at 6pm. You can also take private bus services from Chennai.