Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism.
North of the town, high hills that slope down into the villages of Pallangi and Vilpatti stand guard. On the east the hill slopes less abruptly into the lower Palnis. A precipitous escarpment facing the Cumbum Valley is on the south. On the west is a plateau leading to Manjampatti Valley, Indira Gandhi National Park, the Anamalai Hills and the main body of the Western Ghats.
How to Reach Kodaikanal
By Air: The nearest airport from the Kodaikanal is Madurai airport. It is 120 km away from Kodaikanal. Another nearest airport is Coimbatore which is 180 km from Kodaikanal. Coimbatore is connected to the major cities of India. Taxies are available form here to reach Kodaikanal.
By Rail: The nearest Railway stations are Palani Railway Station - 64 km, Kodai Road Station - 80 km & Dindigul Railway Junction - 100 km.
By Road: Kodaikanal is well connected with Madurai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai by road.
Best Time to Visit Kodaikanal
April To June and September To October is the best time to visit Kodaikanal.
KodaiKanal Tourist Places
Kodaikanal Lake, also known as Kodai Lake is a manmade lake located in the Kodaikanal city in Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu, India. Sir Vere Hentry Levinge, the then Collector of Madurai, was instrumental in creating the lake in 1863, amidst the Kodaikanal town which was developed by the British and early missionaries from USA. The lake is said to be Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction.
Over the years a boat club, boathouse and boat service (with Rowing Boats and Pedalling boats and a public ferry) for the public and tourists has become fully functional and is of aesthetic significance for tourism. Boat Pageant and Flower Shows are a regular feature in the summer season which attracts tourists.
Just east of the lake and 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is a 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. Entrance fee to the park is nominal and it is open all year.
500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus-stand, constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872, is a 1-kilometre (3,300 ft) paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. The walk, winding around Mount Nebo, starts in front of the Van Allen hospital, running parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road and joins the main road beside St.Peter's Church, providing a stunning panoramic view of the plains. On a clear day one can view as far as Dolphin's Nose in the south, the valley of the Pambar River in the southeast, Periyakulam town and even the city of Madurai. A fascinating rare phenomenon called Brocken spectre can be witnessed, when a person can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo. This occurs when the sun is behind the viewer and clouds and mist are to the front. There is an observatory with a telescope halfway along the walk. Entrance fee to the walkway is nominal and it is open all year.
Bear Shola Falls
3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the bus-stand, is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot-path.
Green Valley View
5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) from the bus-stand and near the golf course, has an excellent panoramic view of the plains and a sheer drop of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The stairway leading up to it is highly commercialized and lined with rows of shops to tempt tourists.
In 1906, with a view to growing valuable timber, Mr. Bryant started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal.
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History
6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the bus-stand, founded in 1895, is open to the public (except Tuesdays) for viewing their outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes people whose descendants still live in these hills.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is an solar observatory owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. It is located on the southern tip of the Palni Hills 4 km from Kodaikanal town, Dindigul district, Tamilnadu state, South India.
The Evershed effect was first detected at this observatory in January 1909. Solar data collected by the lab is the oldest continuous series of its kind in India. Precise observations of the equatorial electrojet are made here due to the unique geographic location of Kodaikanal.
Ionospheric soundings, geomagnetic, F region vertical drift and surface observations are made here regularly and summaries of the data obtained are sent to national IMD and global WMO GAW data centers.
They have a full time staff of two scientists and nineteen technicians.
8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus-stand, is a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 122 metres (400 ft) high. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, The viewpoint can be crowded but is not commercialized. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.
Made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devil’s Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.
8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Kodaikanal at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at altitude 1,800 metres (5,900 ft), is a 55-metre (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing. This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first-time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here. There is also a smaller but more serene waterfall below the bridge which crosses the stream here.
8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus stand, is flat rock projecting over a breathtaking chasm 6,600 metres (21,700 ft) deep. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through a rugged bridle path here. A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls (which is also locally addressed as 'Liril Falls' after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985).
Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple
4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the bus-stand, is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who on coming to Celon, converted to Hinduism.She changed her name to Leelavathi and married Mr.Ponnambalam Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan. This temple was handed over to Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani by Mrs Devi Prasad Bhaskaran(also known as Padmini, niece and adopted daughter of Mr S Natesan Pillai, son in-law of Lady Ramanathan) and her husband Dr R. Bhaskaran.
Map of Kodaikanal
Hotels in Kodaikanal
Valley View Inn
Hotel Kodai International
Hotel Mount View
Hill Country Holiday Resorts
Club Mahindra Coakers
Silver Castle Resort
Kodai Plaza Hotel
Saliha International Hotel