Kodaikanal Tourism

Kodaikanal is one of the most famous cities in the Dindigul district. It is also called as Kodai.  Kodaikanal is one of the important hill stations in South India. Kodaikanal is considering as the “Princess of Hill stations” and its Tamil meaning is “Gift of Forest”.  It is a popular tourist destination and it is famous for its cooler temperature also in summer. Kodaikanal was established in 1845.  It is based on the economy such as tourism and hospitality. The word Kodai means summer and kanal means to see.  So it is one of the important summer hill stations in Tamil Nadu. 

The Palaiyar tribal people were the earliest residents of Kodikanal.  The modern kodaikanal was established by the American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats in 1845.  Elite Indians came to realise the value of this enchanting hill station and started relocating here in the 20th century.
Kodaikanal lies in the plateau of Southern Palani hills about the height of 2133 metres and 6,998ft between the valleys of Parappar and Gundar.
The hill of kodaikanl is fully covered with meadows and grasslands.  It is rich known for its flora and fauna.  The valleys are flourished with gigantic eucalyptus trees, cypress and acacia are very dominant variety of trees. We can see lot of rocks, streams and high water falls with blossoming flower beds.  A large number of pear trees are available here with high quality of fruits. 

One of the main attractive places in kodaikanal is a Bryant Park. This park is situated near the Kodai Lake.  It attracts lot of visitors by its blooming flowers with different varieties.  The yellow wild flowers and the water lilies of the pond are wonderful to view.  The climate of kodaikanal is cool throughout the year because of the high elevation of the city.

Kodaikanal is about 120km from Madurai, Kodaikanal (or Kodai) is a popular hill resort of Tamil Nadu in Dindigul district.  Situated at 2133m above sea level in the Palani Hills, this enchanting summer gateway was set up by an American Missionary around 1820.  Sir Vere Henry Levinge is credited with constructing the Kodai Lake and introducing various varieties of trees and vegetables in the wooded slopes of Kodaikanal.  The present road to Kodai was opened to traffic in 1916 only, the foundation of which was laid around 1876.  The prestigious Kodaikanal International School established here in 1840 s the legacy of the American missionaries based at Madurai.

Precipitous rocky outcrops, waterfalls, flowers and astonishing viewpoints, surround Kodaikanal.  The drive up and down is breathtaking.  Kurinji, a plant special to the Western Ghats, turns the slopes into a sea of purple every 12 years.  Kodaikanal has several fruit growing including pears, avocados, guavas, plums, custard apples, passion fruits, tree tomatoes, peaches, and several types of berries.  Plums and pears are Kodai specialty.  The Kodai Lake in star shape dominates the town.  The lovely trails and cascading waterfalls make it further charming to the visitor. One of world's oldest solar observatories is also located here.  In this compact small town, the places of interest and facilities can easily be reached on foot.  The Summer Festival in May offers many entertainments and is a major attraction.

About a km from the lake, Coaker's Walk, a hill edged pathway runs along a steep slope on the southern side of the hill.  The view from here of the plains is quite captivating.  Timing 07.00 to 18.30.

About 7km from the lake, at the Pillar Rocks, are three granite formations over 120m high, providing a magnificent view.  Nearby a viewpoint provides a breathtaking sight of Silent Valley.  The Green Valley View Point, about 5.5km from the lake and near the Golf Club commands an enchanting view of the Vaigai Dam.

It is about 18km from the Lake is Dolmen Circle, the site of ancient settlements. Other popular spots include Thalaiyar Falls or Rat Tail Falls (300m) and the Kukkal Caves (40km) a site believed to be once inhabited by Paliyars, the earliest known aboriginals.

Parks and the waterfalls

On the eastern side of the lake, near the start of Coaker's Walk is the beautifully landscaped Bryant Park (spread over 8.3 hectares) with exotic flowers, hybrids and grafts.  It houses 70 types of flowering annuals and perennials, 742 rose varieties, 90 species of cacti and succulents, 325 tree species and shrubs, and several species of yucca.  It is where the annual horticultural showis conducted every year in May, as part of the Summer Festival Phone: 04542-241210 Timing: 09.00 to 18.00.  On way to Kurinji Andavar Temple, about 3km uphill from the town, the Chettiar Park is a charming place.

There are numerous waterfalls in Kodaikanal popular with picnickers and tourists.  About 1.5km from the lake, traversing a picturesque rugged hill pat you reach Bear Shola Falls.  The Silver Cascade, 8km from Kodai Lake on road to Madurai is the very popular.  The overflow of the lake cascades down as a 55m high water fall. 5km from the lake, Fairy falls is a delightful site with a beautiful waterfall.  4km from township, Pambar Falls, cascades over a series of rock formations and can be reached by a steep, precipitous path, a spectacular trekking option.

Museum

Shenbaganur Museum, about 5.5km from Kodaikanal is devoted to the flora and fauna of the hills.  One of the best orchidoriums in the country, over 300 species of orchids housed here.  Maintained by the Sacred Heart College, a theological seminary founded in 1895, it exhibits some of the archaeological remains.  Timing 10.00 to 16.00, closed on Sundays.

Observatories

It is 4km to west of the town, the Solar Physical Observatory is located at a height of 2347m.  Established in 1889, it is used to observe sunspot and their behavior.  Visits advised with a prior appointment only for appointment Phone: 04542-240214.

There is also an observatory at the Coaker's Walk with telescope and another one near the Kurinji Andavar Temple.  These two telescopes offer a clear view of the valleys and the plains.

Kodaikanal Lake

     Kodaikanal is situated in the heart of city.  It is about 1,600ft from bus stand.  This lake is star shaped with 60 acres.  It is an artificial lake which was built in 1863.  The tourists are mostly attracted to row in the boats.  We can ride on horses and bicycles which are beside the lake with in a short period.  Walking around a lake about five kilometres is favourite for the visitors during the time of morning and evening. A sprawling star shape lake spread over an area of 24 hectares surrounded by wooded slopes is the chief attraction.  Sir Vere Henry Levinge constructed the bund to form the lake, stocked it with fish, and brought the first boat from Tuticorin.  Boat service provided by both the Kodaikanal Boa and Rowing Club and TTDC is popular.  It is a nice experience to stroll around this beautifully landscaped lake.  TTDC Boat House Phone: 04542-242045.  Timing 09.00 to 17.30.  Kodaikanal Boat and Towing Club Phone: 04542-241315, Timing 09.00 to 18.00.

Bryant Park

     Bryant Park is located in the east of the lake. It is about 500 metres from the bus stand.  This lovely park is maintained with a botanical garden of 20.5 acres.  The forest officer H. D. Bryant of Madurai built it in 1908. Later it got the name of him.  This park consists of 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses; the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season.  A large amount of roses in 740 varieties are here.  The Bodhi tree adds religious significance and 1857 Eucalyptus tree are here. They are cultivating ornamental plants to sell in the nursery.  It organizes horticultural and exhibits flower shows every summer.

Coaker’s Walk

Coaker’s Walk is constructed by Lt. Coaker in1872.  It is nearer to the lake.  We can have a 3,300ft of walk in the pedestrian path along the slopes on the southern side of Kodai.  On a clear day we can view a Dolphins Nose in the south.  There is an observatory with a telescope halfway along the walk. It is open on all days.

Bear Shola falls

Bear Shola falls is about 3 kilometres from the bus stand.  This is a tall waterfall in the reserve forest.  The panoramic view of the plains and a sheer drop of 1,500 metres overlooking the Vaigai Dam are very excellent. We can reach this area by climbing the foot path.

Shembaganur Museum

Shembaganur Museum is about 6km from the bus stand.  It was founded in 1895.  We can see the collections of 500 species of animals, birds and insects.  A living collection of 300 exotic orchid species are here.  This museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai. It is open all the days except Tuesday.

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is about 6km from the bus stand.  It is the highest location in kodai about 2,343 metres.  The first observation was commenced here in 1901.  The Indian institute of Astrophysics facility has an astronomical science museum and organises public tours access to the astronomy library.  They have scheduled the telescopic sky viewing during the night time.  John Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots.  This effect is known as Evershed effect. 

Pillar Rocks

Pillar rocks are situated about 8km from the bus stand.  It is a set of three giant rock pillars with 122 metres high.  These rocks are managed by the forest department of Tamil Nadu. This viewpoint is adjacent to the excellent public garden.

Guna caves

Guna caves became famous after the release of Tamil movie guna.  It is called as Devil’s kitchen formerly. This deep narrow cave is now closed to public.  These dangerous caves are highly protected. Visitors can see the sections of this system from a far.

Silver cascade

Silver cascade, is about 8 km from Kodaikanal.  It is a 55 metre water fall which formed an outflow of Kodaikanal Lake.  The quality of water is poor and it is not good for bathing.  We can see a few fruit vendors and many monkeys here. It is an enchanting place to take photographs.

Dolphin's Nose 

Dolphin’s Nose is about 8km from the bus stand.  It is a flat rock projecting over a breathing taking chasm of 6,600 feet deep.  This is an undisturbed area. The views of steep rocky plains are beautiful.

Kurinji Andavar Temple

This Murugan temple is about 4km from the bus stand.  It is famous for the Kurinji flower which blooms in this area once in every 12 years.  The deity of here is Lord Muruga who is also called Sri Kurinji Andavar.  This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady. Kurinji Andavar Temple is about 3km from the lake, past Chettiar Park, this famous temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga and associated with the Kurinji flowers (strobilanthes kunthianus) that bloosom here is Kodai once in 12 years.  Kurinji also means mountainous region in Tamil and Andavar means God  From here there are excellent views of the north and south plains, including a pleasant view of Palani, 60km away and the Vaigai Dam, about 35km from here.

Berijam Lake

Berijam Lake is about 20 km from Kodaikanal.  The nature of this lake is very calm and beautiful.  This lake is a source of water for the villagers so the boating is prohibited.  To enter this forest area we need permission from the forest department.  Limited number of vehicles only allowed here. Fire tower, silent valley, medicine forest and lake view are other attractions around the lake.  Berijam Lake is about 21km from township, this is a popular picnic spot lying in a beautiful valley.  a viewpoint just before the lake provides a panoramic view of the lake itself and its thickly wooded surroundings.  Permission from the District Forest Office is necessary for visit, for permission Phone: 04542-240287. Only cars and vans are allowed inside.

Kodaikanal Distance Guide

Kodaikanal Chidambaram 210 Km
Kodaikanal Coimbatore 265 Km
Kodaikanal Cuddalore 246 Km
Kodaikanal Dharmapuri 297 Km
Kodaikanal Dindigul 101 Km
Kodaikanal Ernakulam 401 Km
Kodaikanal Erode 326 Km
Kodaikanal Hogenakkal 342 Km
Kodaikanal Hosur 393 Km
Kodaikanal Kanchipuram 360 Km
Kodaikanal Kanyakumari 324 Km
Kodaikanal Karaikudi 182 Km
Kodaikanal Karur 180 Km
Kodaikanal Chennai 409 Km
Kodaikanal Kodikkarai 231 Km
Kodaikanal Krishnagiri 345 Km
Kodaikanal Kumbakonam 136 Km
Kodaikanal Madurai 82 Km
Kodaikanal Mamallapuram 381 Km
Kodaikanal Mysore 441 Km
Kodaikanal Nagappattinam 176 Km
Kodaikanal Nagercoil 343 Km
Kodaikanal Palani 157 Km
Kodaikanal Pollachchi 218 Km
Kodaikanal Puducherry 264 Km
Kodaikanal Poompuhar 205 Km
Kodaikanal Pudukkottai 40 Km
Kodaikanal Rajapalayam 167 Km
Kodaikanal Rameswaram 138 Km
Kodaikanal Ranipettai 362 Km
Kodaikanal Salem 230 Km
Kodaikanal Tenkasi 241 Km
Kodaikanal Thanjavur 97 Km
Kodaikanal Thekkadi 218 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruchchendur 296 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruchirappalli 90 Km
Kodaikanal Tirunelveli 233 Km
Kodaikanal Tirupathi 469 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruppur 254 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruttani 402 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruvannamalai 276 Km
Kodaikanal Thrissur 327 Km
Kodaikanal Tiruvananthapuram 341 Km
Kodaikanal Tuticorin 215 Km
Kodaikanal Udagamandalam 363 Km
Kodaikanal Ulundurpet 212 Km
Kodaikanal Valparai 258 Km
Kodaikanal Vellore 398 Km
Kodaikanal Yercaud 259 Km

 


 

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