Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations.” Although nearby hill stations like Ooty and Munnar have become highly commercialized, Kodaikanal still enjoys the advantage of being a quaint hill station. As it doesn’t have so much footfall. So, it retains all its essence. It mostly comprises a close community, a few beautiful schools, hospitals, other basic infrastructure. And, on top of that, it has some beautiful visiting spots. And then, its economy is mostly driven by the hospitality industry.
Located on Palani hills in Tamil Nadu state, Kodaikanal is actually quite close to Kerala. The Kodai town as such is located on a plateau at a height of 2100 meters which is slightly less than Ooty but around 600 meters more than Munnar. However, it is relatively less frequented by tourists mainly because of accessibility and isolation.
The hill country Kodaikanal is not commercialized like Ooty which makes it even more alluring to all the nature lovers. Situated at an altitude of about 7,000 ft, the place has everything a tourist would like to visit, from awesome lakes, beautiful rock formations, and enchanting waterfalls, dense Western Ghats jungle and deep canal to famous temples and ancient caves.
Kodaikanal, the princess of hills is one of the most sought after south Indian hill stations. But many travelers are not really able to make the most of this gem. So here is a complete travel guide to help you plan the perfect itinerary for Kodaikanal, India with details of what to see, where to stay, and what to eat.
1. Kodai Lake
Right in the middle of the city, there is a star-shaped manmade lake spanned across 60 acres of area. The place is well-maintained with ample space in the park and lots of opportunities to try out various adventure activities like boating, horse riding, cycling, and angling.
As soon as any enthusiastic tourist enters Kodaikanal, Kodai Lake’s scintillating view would be the first and foremost impression they register in their memory. The scenic Kodai Lake is the centerpiece of Kodaikanal tourism, with gently rolling hills against the backdrop. Kodai rambles up and down green hillsides, with almost manicured shola forests and overflowing evergreen broadleaf trees. However, it is not completely a remote settlement that is perched daintily on the ridge of a hill.
2. Pillar Rocks
This one of a kind viewpoint is always rushed in crowds as the best picnic place. Located 7 kms off from Kodaikanal Bus Station, Pillar Rocks consists of three gigantic boulders standing 400 ft. high from the ground. The place features a picture-perfect spot with the surreal view of magnificent cloudy mountains and thick vegetation fields. It’s exquisite!
3. Coaker’s Walk-
Constructed in the year 1872 by Lt. Coaker, the pathway takes you through some of the most beautiful spots in Kodaikanal, which begin near the Van Allen Hospital and end at the road above the St. Peter’s Church. One can get a bird’s eye view of the city of Madurai, the dolphin nose, and of the adjoining Valley of Pambar River.
4. Berijam Lake-
If you drive away from Kodaikanal deep into the forests, at a distance of about 21 kilometers you reach a lake that charms you with its ethereal beauty. Surrounded by forests and serenaded by the sweet sounds of the forest birds and insects, Berijam look looks like a pristine and untouched piece of paradise. The area is calm and devoid of people. As you walk near the Berijam lake the only sound you will hear apart from the rustling of the wind in the trees and the birds is the sound of your own footfalls. A few moments spent in the serene environs of Berijam Lake are guaranteed to rejuvenate and recharge your soul.
5. Pambar Falls
Remember the famous Liril Soap ad with Preity Zinta as a face? Pambar Falls received fame and often called Liril Falls. You walk along the steep precipitous path followed by the zig-zag living stream which cascades over the natural stairs created by rocks. It brought another lovely name for these amazing falls – Grand Cascade.
- If you are looking for travel tips to Kodaikanal you must be aware of the weather of Kodaikanal as the weather usually remains cold in Kodaikanal. The weather is cold throughout the year. It is advisable to carry woolens no matter during what time you plan to visit Kodaikanal. You may require woolens at the time of summer also when you go hiking or trekking at high cliffs.
- It is also recommended to pack a raincoat also, as unexpected showers also take place in Kodaikanal. An umbrella should also be packed for all of a sudden rainfalls.
- The Berijam Lake is a restricted area and entry is restricted to the public between 9.30 AM and 3.00 PM. One needs to avail of an entry permit from the Forest Department to have access to the lake and its surroundings.
- If you are planning a budget trip to Kodaikanal, then staying at Zostel is a very good option. It is a backpackers hostel with all the essential amenities, good food, and magnificent views of the mountains.
The best part of the Kodaikanal experience is to sit back and revel in the lap of pristine nature, ample breathtaking scenic landscapes, and making a connection with your inner spirituality. Places like this rejuvenate a person. It recharges one’s mental state of being which usually depreciates with one’s monotonous corporate or routine lifestyle.
Kodaikanal is an ideal hilly getaway with perfect slopes, mesmerizing waterfalls, rolling hills, and clear lakes. This place connects you with nature when you chose adventure activities like biking or hiking on trails through huge lush forests all around the town.
So here is your complete guide to the Princess of hills- Kodaikanal.
Till then- KEEP TRAVELLING. KEEP WANDERING.