Kodaikanal

Located 120 kms from Madurai, Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station at an altitude of about 2133 mts on the southern tip of upper Palani hills in the western Ghats.Delicious home-made chocolate is a speciality of Kodaikanal, and available in many shops in Town.Don;t forget to place your order in the morning ,because you find them all gone in the evening. Here is a story Lieutenant Ward, an Englishman, who climbed up from the Kunnavan village of Vellagavi to Kodaikanal in 1821 to survey the area on the hilly ranges of Palani. In 1834, the Madurai collector climbed the hill from Devadanapatti and built a small bungalow at the head of Adukkam pass near Shenbaganur. In 1836, Dr.Wite visited Kodaikanal and recorded his observations, and these were very useful to botanists later. In 1845, American Missionaries built the first two bungalows “Sunnyside” and “Shelton”. Later, six American families came up the hill and stayed for the first time in Kodaikanal. Following this, the British also built houses here. The hill station Kodaikanal was created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans in India. The 20th century saw elite Indians enteri Kodaikanal to enjoy its charm and beauty and to harness its natural wealth for development.

Today, the charm of Kodaikanal lies in its wooded slopes and gigantic trees. The mighty rocks, bowers, creeks and slopes captivate the visitors. The meadows, the long stretches of forests, beautiful spots and the flocks of sheep grazing on green pastures are a source of joy, delight and thrill to onlookers. The climb to the various jutting rocks at Kodai is rewarding. The arduous climb to the Pillar rocks, to a height of 400 ft, is a must for every visitor to this hill resort.

Kodaikanal General Information

  • Area: 21.45 sq kms
  • Population: 32,931
  • Rainfall: 165 cms (average)
  • Heavy rain occurs during Oct-Dec
  • Clothing:
  • Summer: Light Woolens 
  • Winter: heavy woolens
  • Language: Tamil and English
  • Season - Apr - June & Sep - Oct

Climate

Kodaikanal is a famous and finest hill station in Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal can be visited any time of the year, but the best time to visit is September to May; when the weather is at its best.

Season Months Temperature
Summers April to July 24°c - 38°c
Monsoon July to August 20°c - 33°c
Winter Oct to March 20°c - 30°c

How to Get There

By Air

Airport at Madurai 121 kms and Coimbatore 135 Kms

By Rail

Kodai Road railway Station (80 kms) and palani railway station (64 kms)

By Road

Kodaikanal is connected by road with all-important towns. Regular bus services are available from Kodaikkanal to Madurai, Palani, Kodaikanal Road, Theni, Dinidigul, Thiruchirapalli, Kumili, Erode, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli.

Places to visit

The Lake The 24-hectare lake skirted by a 5 km long black tar road is the focal point in Kodai. This lake was created in 1863 by Sir Vere Hendry Levinge (1819-1885).He was previously the Collector of Madurai, who retired and settled in Kodai. He constructed the bund to form a lake and stocked the lake with fish. He brought the first boat from Tuticorin. In 1890, a boat club was formed and members of the club set sail. In 1910 a new boathouse was constructed. The boat service was opened to the public and tourist as well in 1932.

Bryant's park This Park is situated on the eastern side of the lake. It is noted for its flowers, both hybrids and grafts. Cut flowers are exported from here. A glass house which shelters fine varieties of flowers can be seen here. The Flower Show conducted every year during May, as part of the Summer Festivals, should be seen by everyone

Solar Physical ObservatoryIt is situated 3.2 kms. From the lake. This observatory was founded in 1989, and it is located at an elevation of 2343 mtrs. This observatory is the highest point in Kodai. Visitors can observe the stars and the planets.

Kurinji Andavar Temple temple situated 3 kms from the lake is a famous shrine dedicated to lord Muruga. This temple is associated with the kurinji flowers that bloom once in 12 years. Kurinji means the hill region in Tamil literature and andavar means god. Therefore Lord Muruga is referred to as the God of the Hill here. From this temple one can have a view of Palani and Vaigai Dam.

Telescope House at Coakers Walk was constructed to enable visitors to have a panoramic view of the valley and nearby towns. A fee is collected to use the telescope.

Green valley View: It is located a little over 5 kms from Kodaikanal Lake and close to the golf club from here; you can get a magnificent view of the vaigai dam below.

The Pillar Rocks: There are a set of 3 rocks which stand 122 metres high.It is located 7 kms from Kodai Lake.

Moier Point Moier Point provides a lovely view of the valley. It is just 3 kms from the Pillar rocks Berijam Lake road.

Silent Valley View Just a little away from the Pillar Rocks and the Berijam Lake Road, is Silent Valley View, which provides a breathtaking view of Silent Valley. Children are advised to walk carefully.

Berijam Lake View This place provides a panoramic landscape view of Berijam Lake. This viewpoint is 19 kms from Kodaikanal Lake.

Chettiar Park Tucked away in the northeastern corner of the town on the way to Kurinji Andavar temple, the Chettiar Park is a charming place.

Shenbaganur Museum The Sacred Heart College maintains this museum. It is a Theological Seminary founded in 1895 and devoted to preserving certain archaeological remains and the flora and fauna of the hills. It houses one of the best Orchidariams in the country. It has over 300 species of exotic orchids are housed here. It is about 5.6 kms the lake. Father Ugarthe, a Spaniard contributed his many private collections to the museum.

Silver Cascade It is 8 kms from Kodai Lake. The overflow of Kodai Lake comes down here as 180 foot high waterfalls. Those interested can have a bath here.

La Saleth Church Kodaikanal,the hill country is no exception to this and she too hosts our lady of la saleth shrine possessing the traditional heritage of 150 years and it is one of the two shrines dedicated to our lady of La saleth in the whole world,one in french and the other in kodaikanal. it is near to Coaker's walk.

Excursions

Dindigul Kodaikanal lies in the district of Dindigul. Dindigul is the district headquarters. A fort can be found here.

Dolmen Circle Located at a distance of 18 kms from the lake, pre-historic remains can be seen here. Original burial urns that were unearthed in this region during archaeological excavations and models of dolmens can be seen in the Shenbaganur Museum.

Thalaiyar Falls Also known as the Rat-Tail Falls, this is one of the highest waterfalls in the world. It is 975 foot high. It can be seen while climbing the Ghat Road to Kodaikkanal from Kodai road. It is not possible to visit this spectacular waterfall, as there is no approach route to this site.

Kukkal Caves For those looking for an adventurous holiday, this is an excellent campsite. It is 40 kms from Kodaikanal. The caves here show traces of the earliest known inhabitants of the region - the leaf-clothed 'paliyans.

Palani This is one of the six abodes of lord Subramanya and this is a famous pilgrim centre of the south. It is just 64 kms from Kodaikanal. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Dhandayuthapani. Direct and frequent buses are available from Kodaikanal to Palan

FESTIVALS

  • Celebrated in May Every year. Boat Pageant and Flower Show are also held during the summer festival. It is a major attraction for tourists.
  • August 15th is the Salette Matha Festival.
  • In May Mariamman festival is celebrated for one week.

Shopping in Kanyakumari

Khadi Emporium, Poompuhar Emporium, Kurinji Mini Super Market, Spencer & Company, Kairali Kerala Handicrafts., Co-optex.