Kodaikanal, located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu, is one of the most popular hill stations in India
that mesmerises visitors all through out the year.
Kodaikanal was established by American missionaries around 1845. Besides being a great hillstation and an escape from the heat, the town is also filled with residential schools. Today it has some of the best residential schools in the country, with the Kodaikanal International School leading the pack.
The pride of Kodaikanal is the 'Kurinji-flower', which blossoms once in 12 years, imparting an ethereal beauty to the hills. Kodaikanal is bestowed with all forms of beauty by nature - majestic hills, mighty rocks, beautiful waterfalls, a serene lake, fruit orchards, lush flora -which makes it one of the most popular hill stations in South India.
Berijam Lake -
The tourist attractions in Kodaikanal are Berijam Lake, one of the beautiful picnic spots in Kodai in the heart of Kodai town, about 21-km away from the Kodaikanal bus stand. Bryant Park situated on the eastern side of the lake, is noted for flowers, hybrids and rafts.
Spread over an area of 24 hectares, the lake is known for its pure water.
Trekking - Head for Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills for small-time trekking. You can take short treks and hikes to tourist spots close by as well to local viewpoints. Overnight treks are also possible here where one can spend a night at a local village.
The glasshouse is an added attraction. It hosts the annual horticultural show held here in May. Shenbaganur Museum, located about 5-Km from the lake is one of the best orchidoriums in the country with more than 300 species of orchids and wide-ranging collection of birds are found here.
Kodaikanal Lake -
A magnificent man-made lake that spreads out in a star shape over sixty acres set among the greenery. Boating facilities are available at the Kodaikanal Lake. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the Kodai valley by climbing up the Pillar Rocks measuring to a height of about 122 meters.
Coaker's Walk - It derives the name from Lt. Coaker, who prepared the map of Kodai and it is about a kilometer from the Kodaikanal lake and runs along a steep slope on the southern side of the Kodai.
Some of the best views of the plains can be seen from here. Telescope Houses also enable the visitors to have a panoramic view of the valley and the nearby towns. Onecan stop at Kurinji Andavar Temple, about 3.2 km from the Lake. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Murugan. In Tamil literature "Kurinji" means "Hilly Region" and "Andavar" means God. From this temple, one can get a view of the northern plains and Palani Hills.
Silver Cascade waterfall is located on the Ghat Road about 8-km from Kodaikanal. The overflow of Kodai Lake comes down here as 180 feet high water fall. An ideal picnic spot would be the Bear Shola Falls, 1.6 km from the Lake where bears once used to drink water above the falls.
Kodaikanal's distance from various cities are as follows:
Bangalore - 480 kms
Ooty - 270 kms
Madurai - 130 kms
Munnar - 180 kms
Thekkady - 120 kms
Cochin - 360 kms
Kanyakumari - 400 kms
Rameshwaram - 300 kms
Trichy - 200 kms
Bus - Busses are available from almost all of the above cities to Kodaikanal.
Kodai Road is the nearest Railway station to reach Kodaikanal which is 80 kms and 3 hrs drive.
Train starts from Bangalore / Chennai in the evening and will reach early morning at Kodai Road station.
Return train from Kodai Road station starts in the evening and will reach Bangalore / Chennai early morning.
Coimbatore Airport - 180 kms, (+ 5 hrs drive)
Madurai Airport - 120 kms (+4 hrs drive)