Location: Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu
District Headquarter: Dindigul
Distance: 138 km from Coimbatore, 500 km from Bangalore, 80 from Palani, 260 km from Ooty, 90 km from Dindigul, 120 km from Madurai, 330 km from Cochin, 1013 km from Hyderabad, 366 km from Tiruvandrum
Journey time: Around 11 – 12 hrs by Bus
How to reach there: By KSRTC Rajhamsha bus or private bus operated by Sharma Travels and KPN Travels. By train you may travel upto Kodai road and from there you will have to board a bus or hire a vehicle upto Kodaikanal.
1. Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Dharmapuri – Salem – Kodai road – Kodaikanal
(Sharma travels and KSRTC takes this route)
2. Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Dharmapuri – Erode – Palani – Kodaikanal ( This route is longer – KPN takes this route)
Where to stay:
1. Hotel Hilltop towers
Club road, Kodaikanal 624101
Ph: 240413, 242253, 242254
2. Paradise Inn
Paradise Compound, Laws Ghat Road
ph: 04542 – 241075, 241175
3. Hotel J’s Heritage
P.T road, Near Seven road
ph: 04542 – 240413, 242253
4. Kodai resort
5. Hotel Sivapriya
Convent road Kodaikanal
ph: 04542 – 241226, 241227, 241228, 241229
1. Summer Migration
Lourdpuram, Villpatty Village
Ph: 04542 – 241943, 241953
2. THE CARLTON
Lake Road, Kodaikanal- 624 101.
Tel: 04542 -240056 -71
Fax: 04542 -241170.
Where to eat:
1. Hilltop Restaurants
( address same as Hilltop hotel)
2. Tibet Restaurant
Language spoken: Mainly Tamil and English. Hindi is understood and spoken to an extent.
Kodaikanal can loosely mean in Tamil – a place to see in summer. Kodaikanal has been established a refuge from the hotter plains by American Missionaries and the then British government in 1845. Kodaikanal also known as Kodai is situated at an altitude of 2133 MSL (meters above sea level). The point in Kodaikanal touches above 7500 ft. Kodai finds its mention in the Tamil literature works of the early sangam era.
Kodaikanal is also famous for its reputed institutions of education like Kodaikanal International School, Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kodaikanal Christian college, Kodaikanal institute of Technology. The economy of Kodaikanal is mainly tourism based.
What to See:
I will segregate the places into city tour and outskirt tour for your convenience and easy management:
1. Kodaikanal Lake: Kodaikanal lake is an artificial lake created by Sir Vere Hentry Levinge, the then collector of Madurai in 1863. The 60 acres lake has walk throughout its periphery and offers boating. Nearby is Bryant park.
2. Coaker’s Walk: Coaker’s walk is a 1 km path by the edge of mount Nebo offering breathtaking view Dolphin’s nose, Pamber river and even Madurai city on clear day. It was constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872. It runs parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road.
Entry fee: Rs 2
3. Bryant park: This park was built by the then forest officer of Madurai H.D.Bryant in 1908. The botanical garden includes various species of flowers and trees. There are sitting spaces and good for flower photography. The park also has a glass house, but entry is prohibited.
4. Golf course: kodaikanal golf course is located around 6 km from city center at the Golf link road. Located over 7000 ft above sea level, it is a 18 hole par 71 golf course. It was established by British in 1895.
5. Pillar Rocks: As the name says, you can three rocks standing adjacent to each other like pillars. On a clear day you can view the valley. On a heavy misty day, you might not even see the pillar rock. There two beautiful public flower garden. The one on the left hand side charges an entry fees of Rs 2 person and a camera fees of Rs 5. To enter one on the right hand side, you will have to exit Pillar rocks and enter it from the front. Entry fees Rs 2 person – no camera fees.
Note: Do try the hot chilly and onion bhajhi (fried) from the vendors outside Pillar Rocks.
6. Devil’s kitchen (Guna cave): It is a cave system and it is called Devil’s kitchen because it is infested with bats. The deeps narrow ravines of cave system has been closed with perforated iron sheets after some deaths took place. The Tamil movie Guna was shot here.
7. Moier Point: This point acts both as a view point and a memorial of General Moier is located here. This area is infested with monkeys. Besides there is a road which leads to Berijam lake and then to Munnar. Following this road Munnar is only 100 km from kodaikanal. However, this road was closed to public in 1990 for animal preservation.
8. Shanthi valley View: This one of the many view points
9. Upper lake View: From here one can get a panoramic view of Kodaikanal lake
10. Pine Forests: Pine forest can be seen now extensively in Kodaikanal. However, they are not native they have been planted by British forest officers.
11. Green valley View: Another viewpoint on the outskirts of Kodaikanal located 5 km from the bus stand. It offers nice views of the plains. One can also see Vaigai Dam built across the Vaigai River near Andipatti, in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. All these if you are lucky to have clear day. However, it has a bazaar on both the sides of the stairway.
12. Kodai City View: From here on can get a panoramic view of Kodaikanal city.
13. Kurinji Andavar Temple: This temple is located around 4 km from the bus stand. The presiding deity here is Lord Murugan. Nearby is Kurinji plants which bloom only once in 12 years. It last bloomed on 2004. On the other side one can see Palani view. It was built by a European lady in 1936 who married an Indian and converted to Hindusim.
14. Palani View: It is a view point located near Kurinji Andavar temple from where one can see Palani town on a clear day.
15. Chettiar park: Chettiar park was named after the owner of the property. This is beautiful ornamental garden. One can find various seasonal flowers and ornamental plants. Very good for flower photography.
16. Bear Shola falls: Bear Shola falls is located around 3 km from Kodaikanal bus stand inside a reserve forest. Apart from late monsoon season there may not be much water, however 1 km trek inside the forest till the falls is an awesome experience. When I was there it was raining and had to take help of an umbrella to reach. Nevertheless, it was a different experience altogether.
17. La Saleth Church: It an old church established by the American missionaries.
18. Pambar falls: Another smalls falls on the Pambar river. Dont expect much there. However, there is a wholesale market where you can purchase pure home made chocolates, indigenous herbs like Eucalyptus oil, rose water etc.
Outskirts of the city:
1. Silver Cascade falls: Silver cascade falls is located on Laws Ghat road around 8 km from Kodaikanal. This falls was formed by the outlet of Kodaikanal lake. Bathing may not be advisable due to poor quality of water.
2. Berijam lake, Silent valley view, Fire tower, Hat lifting rock, Caps fly valley: All this comes on the way to Berijam lake. The fire tower was an observatory point to look for wild fire. Berijam lake is one of the best fresh water lakes in south India.
3. Fairy falls: This falls is located around 5 km from kodaikanal lake.
4. Kundar falls: It is a small in the midst of pine forests.
6. Pine forest: You can check various pine forests in the outskirts.
7. Sheep Farm: It is a sheep farm run by the Central Sheep and Wool research institute.
8. Mannavanur Lake: Mannavanur Lake is a nice picnic spot. One has to walk around half a km to reach the lake from the main road. One can also try a horse ride there and bath there.
9. Mannavanur Lake view: From this view point one can view Mannavanur Lake and side by the sheep farm. If you are lucky you can view beautiful sheep strolling.
10. Poomparai Village view: Poomparai Village is small farming community which grows vegetables like carrot by zoom cultivation etc. There is small temple in the middle of the valley.
11. Solar Observatory: The solar observatory is located on the highest point in Kodaikanal over 7500 ft. There is museum which is open to public only on Friday.
12. Perumal peak: Perumal peak is the height peak in this area and is located around 12 km outside Kodaikanal town. Also popular with trekkers.
13. Dolphin Nose: Dolphin’s nose is a rock projecting over a deep gorge and resembles a Dolphin’s nose. Located around 8 km from kodaikanal bus stand, one can also see here Pambar falls and few villages. Liril soap advertisement was filmed here at Pambar falls.
Taken on the way to Palani
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