Kodaikanal, one of the most popular hill stations of India and is situated in Tamil Nadu. It has a unique mixture of rocky mountains of the Palani Hills, a placid lake called by the same name, dense green forests, lovely serene atmosphere, pleasant cool breeze. It is a favorite haunt among tourists all through the year.
The name Kodaikanal has been derived from the Tamil word meaning “the gift of the forest”. The modern Kodaikanal region was inhabited by the tribal people in the olden days. The city, as it is known today, was established in the British era by the Christian Missionaries in 1845.
[caption id="attachment_959" align="alignright" width="384" caption="The Silver Cascade waterfalls near Kodaikanal, Tamli Nadu"][/caption]
How to reach
Kodaikanal is connected by road to the major cities and towns of Coimbatore and Madurai. Other important towns such as Chennai, Ooty, and Trichy are also well connected. Buses and other public and privates modes of transportation are available in plenty from all the above-mentioned cites and towns. Additional buses are provided during the peak tourist season. Taxis and vans are available for local sightseeing.
Kodai Road Railway Station is the closest railway station about 80 kms from the city and Palani Railway Station is around 64 kms from the city.
Madurai is also nearest airport, which is 120 kms away from Kodaikanal.
Places to see
Kodaikanal Lake is the primary attraction for all tourists visiting this place. Row boats and pedal boats along with horses and bicycles can be hired to enjoy the lake and its surroundings. Bryant Park is a botanical garden famous for an unimaginable variety of trees, shrubs, flowers and cactuses. Coaker’s Walk is a path for pedestrians running along the steep mountain slopes and provides excellent view to the trekkers. Bear Shola Falls is just 3 kms from the city and is a waterfall inside a reserve forest. Green Valley View, also called suicide point, is situated close to the Vaigai Dam.
Famous spots you must not miss
Some other places of exceptional interest for the tourists and travelers are Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Pillar Rocks, bat-infested Guna Caves amidst giant boulders, Silver Cascade a natural waterfall, Dolphin’s Nose with enchanting views, Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple, Chettiyar Park, Berijam Lake, Lutheran Church, Pambar Falls, Dolmen Circle, and three giant rock pillars called Pillar Rocks.
There are several places, both private and government, such as emporiums and handicraft centers for the tourists to go on a shopping spree.
Places to stay
You have quite a few good options to stay in Kodaikanal such as the Carlton (five star facilities) and other hotel accommodations such as Hotel Kodai International, Paradise Inn, Sterling Lake View, and Villa Retreat.
Best time to visit
The months of September and October and also the time between April and June is the best time for visiting Kodaikanal.
Maximum temperatures can reach about 17 degrees Celsius and minimum temperatures can fall to around 8 degrees Celsius. Light woolen suffice during summer months while heavy woolens are needed during winters.