Kodaikanal is popularly known as ‘Princess of Hill stations’. Kodaikanal is a situated in Tamil Nadu among Palani Hills in Dindigul District. It is one of the major tourist destination which attracts tourists from all over India. The word ‘Kodaikanal’ has many meanings one of them is ‘Kodai’ – Summer and ‘Kanal’ – to see in Tamil language, the other meaning is a place surrounded with vine and creepers and finally one meaning of ‘Kodaikanal’ is ‘a place where the Forest Ends’. It was discovered around 1945 by the British missionaries to get reprieve from scorching heat of summer.
A trip to Kodaikanal can be planned by road from any part of Tamil Nadu or by Train from Palani ( Approx. 65Km), Kodai Road ( Approx. 80 Km) or Dindigul Station and Madurai Station with distance around 100 Km. Nearest connectivity by air is through Madurai Airport and Coimbatore Airport.
We went on trip to Kodaikanal from Coimbatore the distance is around 160Km. Upto the beginning of the Palani Hills, the road is very good and then there is a hilly road with 14 hairpin bends, the journey is very pleasant though amidst all the sky-touching hills and lush green carpet of different plants and trees all around. As the name goes, this journey to the ‘Princess of Hills’, Kodaikanal was enjoyable.
Attractions of Kodaikanal
Kodai Lake is siyuated in the heart of the town and is the main attraction of Kodaikanal. It offers tourist a boat ride with options of paddle boats and also the speed boats. The boat rates vary depending on the number of persons but in 250-500 rupees entire boat can be hired along with the boatman for rowing the boat. It takes around 20 minutes time to have a round of Kodai Lake.
There is also a cycle track all around the lake. a single seater or two seater bicycle is available for fun riding on hire. The children too can ride bicycle as per their size. A nominal rate of Rs. 50 to 100 is charged for each joyride
This is a botanical garden located close to Kodai Lake. The entry ticket can be purchased at the counters, the ticket price is Rs.30/- for adults and Rs. 15/- for kids. the park timings are from 9.00am to 6.00pm. One can comfortably spend 1-2 hours strolling around the nicely maintained rose garden, shrubs and ornamental horticulture plants. The park also has one Green House which houses many beautiful plants from all across the globe.
This place is one of the must see places of Kodaikanal. Bryant park gives its visitors sense of bliss and its show of colours gives eyes a pleasure to admire the god’s creations; the flowers.
The Kurinji flowers bloom in Kodaikanal and the whole landscape is covered with purple-bluish flowers. This scene is no less than a scene from switzerland in any hollywood movie. The kurinji blooms once in twelve years and people from far corners of the world flock to see these flowers. the Kurinji flowers also bloom in Ooty, Tamil Nadu and Munnar, Kerala in India.
Last kurinji flowers bloomed in the year 2006 and it attracted lot of tourists. This time, one can see the Kurinji flowers from the end of July till November beginning.
There is a temple dedicated to Kurinji God and the main deity in the temple is Lord Murugan. Best time to visit the Kurinji Andavar temple is in morning as one can also have the Kodai Valley view from temple Premises.
Kodaikanal Valley View
Pillar Rocks situated at the outskirts of Kodaikanal offer misty valley view to tourists. There are pointed pillar shaped rocks which compete with each other to touch the sky. As the place is misty, one has to spend some time to have the clear look of the rocks. The surroundings are good and there is a small railing built for the safety of people. Parking space is ample.
Coakers Walk is a pathway developed by Lieutenant Coaker in 1872. Its about 500 mtrs far from Kodai Lake and stretched for a kilometer long along the mountain. It offers Kodai Valley view of breath-taking beauty of nature. There is no parking here and the tourists are required to park their vehicles near Kodai Lake.
Other Attractions of Kodaikanal
The other attractions of Kodaikanal include Guna Caves, Silver Cascade Waterfall, Fairy Fall, Dolphin Nose View Point, Golf Course, Wax Museums, Chettiar Park, Pine Forest, Trekking routes, Berijam Lake, Devil’s Kitchen, Bear Shola Falls, Suicide Point View ( Green Valley view point).
Bear Shola Falls
Where To Stay
In Kodaikanal it is advisable to stay in the centre of the city if you want to reach to most of the places within less time. However, if you are going with the aim of relaxing and staying away from the town buzz then, the hotels and resorts in the outskirts are the best choice. We had two days stay and wanted to cover most of the tourist destinations hence preferred centrally located hotel.
What to eat
Kodaikanal being a South-Indian destinations, best food is south indian platter. You can choose to eat Idly with Sambhar and chutney, Variety Dosai with Sambhar and Chutney, Parotta and Kurma, Chappathi and Kurma both are served with a bowl of Thayir Vengayam( Cut onions with curd), Biriyani, Lemon rice, Tomato rice, Curd rice or a typical douth Indian Meals served as Steamed rice, Sambhar, Rasam, Sabji(Poriyal), Gravy (Kuttu), Curd, Pickle, Sweet and Papad. Whatever you choose, it is bound to satisfy your taste-buds.
Hope you enjoy your trip too as I did !!! Happy Exploring!!!