One of the best hill stations in India; Kodaikkanal or Kodai is a very beautiful place in the Western Ghats. Wrapped in mists, covering her with mystique and magic and the ochre earth covered in emerald silk studded with gems of sheer glittering water; Kodai is sure to leave you enchanted and enthralled.
Surrounded by lush green forest and dotted with numerous walks where one can have a pleasant morning stroll, the wooded hills, pleasant walks, picturesque waterfalls and a magnificent lake where you can spend the evening watching the sun go beyond the hills, add to the attraction of the place. An ideal place for trekking, Kurinji, a plant special to Kodai region, turns the slopes into a sea of purple once in 12 years!
In 1845, Kodaikanal was exploited as a hill station, in the Palani Hills, at 5375 ft. British Lieutenant Ward, first surveyed the Palani Hills in 1821. The first people lived in the hills were dolmen builders, who have left here several visible artifacts. But dolmen sites have not been carbon dated.
Created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans in India, in the 20th century an Indian elite visited Kodai and purchased property and utilized the facilities of British and Americans and thus later Kodaikanal became a mixture of different plural societies.
The first people who lived in the hills were Dolmen builders, who have left behind, several visible artifacts. But dolmen sites have not been carbon dated. In the Palani Hills, tribes are of two kinds - the Paliyans and the Puliyans. While Paliyans are segmentary tribes, Pulyans were settled as agriculturists and followed Tamil Culture.
Originally created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans in India, in the 20th century an Indian elite visited Kodai and purchased property and utilized the facilities of British and Americans and thus later Kodaikanal became a mixture of different plural societies.
Cheese, peanut butter and brown bread. seafood, North Indian menu,Tibetan and Chinese food.
Shopping can be done at Khadi Emporium, Handloom Co-operative Stores, Travancore Crafts Work, Government Sales Emporium, Kurinji Mini Super Market and Spencer & Company. Homemade chocolate and cheese is a speciality of Kodaikanal, and is available in many shops in the town.
Jewellery and other items are also available. There is a Himalayan Handicraft emporium and a Kashmirii emporium too. Being a beach destination, you can be sure to find decorative items made from sea shells.
The hills around Kodaikanal are great trekking country. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has a list of trekking routes that are reproduced here. We recommend that you contact the Forest District Office before trying out any route and for good measure, you can contact the Palani Hills Conservation Council for enviro-friendly trekking advice.
Situated on the southern tip of the upper Palani Hills (Western Ghats) at an altitude of more than 6854 ft. Kodai is 120 km north-west of Madurai; 510 km away from Chennai, 262 km from Coimbatore and 615 km from Bangalore.
IA and Alliance Air flights connect Madurai to Chennai and Mumbai every alternate day of the week. Airport: The nearest airport is at Madurai, 120 km away.
Pandyan Express, Pearl City Express and Kanyakumari Express from Chennai and Bangalore-Madurai Express from Bangalore to Kodai Road. Railway station: Kodai Road, 89 km away from the town, on the Coimbatore-Madurai-Rameswaram circuit. The other railhead is at Palani, on the Madurai-Trichy-Chennai circuit.
State buses operate on a daily basis between Kodai and Madurai (120 km). Regular buses ply twice a day to and from Coimbatore (262 km) and Chennai (510 km). You will also find buses to Palani, Dindigul and Kodai Road railway station. KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) runs a daily semi-deluxe bus to and from Bangalore, and there are deluxe minibuses shuttling between Kodai and Ooty during high season. Bus terminus: In the centre of town, opposite Hotel Astoria on Woodville Road.
The average summer temperatures vary from 11.3?C to 19.8?C. In winters, it ranges between 8.3?C and 17.3?C.
It is 8 kms from the lake. The overflow of Kodai Lake comes down here, as a 180 feet high falls. If the water temperature suitable, tourists can take a bath.
A delightful picnic spot, which is 5 kms far from the Kodai Lake. Nature has created an artistic bathing base.
E.R. Coaker way identified this hill-edge path, in 1872. About a km from the lake, Coakers walk runs along a steep slope on the southern side of Kodai. It offers some of the best views of the plains.
It is about 5.5 kms from the lake and very near to Golf Club. It commands a beautiful view of the entire Vaigai dam. As the Valley is very deep and dangerous, this place was once known as Suicide point.
Three boulders stand shoulder to shoulder, vertically measuring to a height of about 122 meters, providing a beautiful view. It is 7.4 kms from the lake. It has a mini garden with lovely flowers.
The temple of Lord Muruga is located on the Palani Hills. 64 kms. from Kodaikkanal and a famous pilgrim center of the south and one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya or Muruga, the presiding deity is Dandayuthapani. The idol is made of medicinal herbs, it is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga and one of the major Pilgrim centers is South India next only to Thirupathi. An electrically operated winch takes the pilgrims to the top. 105 kms. from Coimbatore, direct frequent buses are available from Kodaikanal and Coimbatore.
KURINJI ANDAVAR TEMPLE - This temple situated 3 kms from the lake, is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. This temple is associated with the Kurinji flowers, which carpet the hillsides, blooming once in 12 years. MOER POINT - A lovely view of the valley can be seen, which is 3 kms, from the Pillar Rock-Berijam lake road. SHENBAGANUR MUSEUM - The sacred Heart College-a Theological Seminary founded in 1895 maintains this museum. It is devoted to archaeological remains and the flora and fauna of the hills. One of the best orchidoriums in the country, it houses more than 300 species of orchids. SILENT VALLEY VIEW - Away from the Pillar Rock-Berijam Lake a road, this silent Valley exists and gives a thrilling valley view. Children may be allowed to see only with precautionary defense steps. THALAIYAR FALLS - Also known as Rat-Tail Falls, which is one of the highest falls in the world. (975 feet high). It can be seen while climbing from the Ghat road to Kodaikanal by road. Nobody can go to the falls site, as on approach route is here.
DOLMEN CIRCLE - 18 kms from the lake. Pre-historic remains can be seen there. Original burial urns, unearthed in this region and models of dolmens may be seen in Shenbaganur museum point. SOLAR PHYSICAL OBSERVATORY - It is situated 32 kms from the Lake. Founded in 1989, its elevation is 2343 meters. This observatory is the top most point in Kodai.