Kodaikanal Tourism - Tamil Nadu


Area 21.45 sq kms
Altitude 2133 m above sea level
Languages Tamil and English.
Population 27,461 (1991 census)
Religion Hindu (96.31), Muslim (0.18),
Others (3.53)
Maximum Temperature 19°C
Minimum Temperature 13°C

As a tourist destination Kodaikanal offers you an amazing holiday. The fresh and spectacular scenic beauty of this hill resort defies description. The Hill Resorts in India welcome you to this mesmerizing summer retreat of Kodaikanal literally meaning 'gift of the forest' with soaring hills, lush vegetation, crystal blue lakes and colonial charm - a land to feel free and lively. So plan your visit to this amazing place with Hill Resorts in India, which creates a perfect vacation in one of the most charming hill resorts in India.

Situated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the serene hill resort of Kodaikanal nestles amidst the spectacular greenery of the Pali hills.

Kodaikanal-Kodaikanal History

A place of great antiquity, Kodaikanal finds mention in the Tamil Sangam literature of which dates back to the early Christian era. The area near the Palani Hills was inhabited by the primitive tribes of Paliyans and Pulyans. Kodaikanal was established as a hill station in the year 1845 by the British. Who used it as a summer retreat from the heat and dust if the city life.

Kodaikanal-Sites to visit

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu - Hill Resorts in India The hill resort of Kodaikanal is jam-packed with beautiful spots of interest. The colonial India finds its fullest expression at the Kodai Club which houses period fireplace, the Leigh Hunt prints, the piano, the library stocked with books by Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Trollope, and the bar with stuffed heads of tigers, bison, deer-horns, and a picture of the Laughing Cavalier by Franz Hals, the restaurant with old English plates, a glowing hearth-fire, and landscape prints. Another example of colonial India is the 114-acres of Golf Links.

The tranquil lake in the heart of Kodaikanal is a destination in itself and is a major attraction for all. The lake provides you many activities to indulge boating and angling.

The other major place of tourist attraction of Kodaikanal is the Bryant's Park. The well laid garden of Kodaikanal contain many varieties of watsonias, azaleas, stock, dahlias, fusschias, primulas, asters, many annuals and perennial flowers like azaleas, watsonias, dahlias, stock, primulas, fusschias, asters, etc. The eucalyptus and pine trees are really amazing. You cannot resist your temptation of visiting once again the Orchid House, which has lotus pond and the many exotic varieties of orchids.

TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS

The Kodai Club gives the impression of stepping back into colonial India. The lounge with its period fireplace, the piano, the Leigh Hunt prints, the library stocked with books by Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Trollope, and the bar with stuffed heads of bison, tigers, deer-horns, and a picture of the Laughing Cavalier by Franz Hals, the restaurant with old English plates, a glowing hearth-fire, and landscape prints, are all British legacies. Cinnereras and primulus add to the English atmosphere, and again one is struck by the predominance of the lilac-purple theme. The dinner consisting of steaming mulligatawny soup, roast chicken and potatoes, and apple pie, is a further British legacy.

As one relaxes in the comfortable chamber of the Kodaikanal Club, a cheerful log fire dances a tableau of flame and shadow on the hearth, keeping out the chill of the night.

One wakes up with an air of expectancy refreshed after a good night's sleep. The tree-fringed lake greets one in the crisp early morning. One realizes that the lake is the cool heart of Kodaikanal. It is the legacy of the then Collector, Sir Vere Livinge, who formed it by damming the valley where three streams flowed. It spreads over an area of 60 acres and is skirted by a three-mile tarred road. There is a Boat Club and a public ferry.

Just across the Kodaikanal Club is the Kodaikanal School-an imposing campus of verdant manicured lawns, dignified trees and solid stone buildings. This coeducational, English medium boarding school offering a pre-university curriculum in 12 grades, prepares students for entrance to Indian and worldwide colleges and universities through the Kodaikanal School Diploma. Selected students are prepared to write the external exams of the International Baccalaureate, based in Geneva. More than 30 nationalities are represented in the school community of students and staff. On the wall of the principal's outer office is a plaque emblazoned with an appropriate quotation from the French philosopher Teihard de Chardin: "Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of god."

Almost cheek by jowl with the Kodaikanal School is the Lutheran Church-a Gothic stone building with stained glass windows and modern paintings and batiks portraying scenes from the life of Christ. Nearby is an even more famous church-Christ the King Church-again, a very Gothic and solemn granite structure with stained glass windows.

The names of the buildings in Kodaikanal are very evocative: 'Loch End' and 'Mansarovar'-these two houses by the lakeside bridge the time span from colonial times to the present; Hillbrook, Furzbank, Wood-cote, Whispering Pines, and Rock Cottage-all conjure up the beauty and spirit of their natural ambience.

Jacaranda trees burst out in purple profusion, as though singing hosannas to the skies. Magnolia trees guard their 'escaping' fragrance, while cherry trees sweep in graceful pink arcs.

Tour to Kodaikanal On the east side of the lake is Bryant's Park, named after the forest officer who planned its layout around the turn of the century. Beautiful pine and eucalyptus trees grow here. There is one ancient eucalyptus tree dating back to 1846, which is 250 feet high and 10 feet wide. The well-laid out gardens contain many annuals and perennials like azaleas, watsonias, dahlias, stock, primulas, fusschias, asters, etc. Many exotic varieties of orchids are housed in the Orchid House. Walking along the lotus pond, the memory of a verse learnt in childhood comes to mind:

Four ducks on a pond,
A grass bank beyond,
White clouds on the wing;
What a little thing
To remember for years,
To remember with tears.

About a kilometer from the lake is Coaker's Walk, named after St. Coaker of the Royal Engineers, offering a fantastic view of the plains and the distant hills. There is a rugged pristine beauty about these vistas, and the mist rising in veils from the valley below, gives the place an unreal quality.

Driving along the cool green darkness with the trees making a canopy overhead, one reaches Green Valley View. Gnarled cypress roots make a natural crazy path to the sheer drop of 1,000 feet that overlooks the Vaigai Dam. Clouds are banked like snow, and violet haze envelopes the distant hills. Here too, the mist rises from the valley, imparting a solemn, out-of-this-world beauty to the scene. The exclusive Kodai Golf Club is very near Green Valley View.

Past the Golf Club is the 114-acre Golf Links, another colonial legacy-an undulating green velvet carpet. Thick woods line the road leading to the Pillar Rocks. These are three vertical pillars standing shoulder to shoulder measuring 112 m. The ground drops sheer below them, creating a dramatic impact and affording a stupendous view of the valley below. Soon mists wrap up the pillars in mystery and one wonders whether they are real, or whether they were a figment of one's imagination. Then the sun melts the mists away and the rocks rise, solemn and majestic, dappled in sun and shadow: the effect is ethereal and awe-inspiring.

The abundance of pear orchards is a striking feature of the Kodaikanal landscape. Here and there, a solitary snowy blossom seems to peep out tentatively to reconnoiter the weather conditions, and one has a hint of the profusion of pear blossoms to follow, when the branches would be heavy with their own blooms, leaving scant room for leaves.

A sheer lacy curtain of water, so aptly named 'Fairy Falls,' is nearby. About five and a half km from the lake is the Shenbaganur Museum, maintained by the Sacred Heart College, a Theological Seminary founded in 1895. The stuffed-birds and the butterfly collection are remarkable. The archeological collection is meticulously documented. One can see the implements and the burial urns of the Paliyans here. One of the best orchidariums in the country, with more than 300 species of orchids, is also located on the premises of Sacred Heart College.

PLACES AROUND KODAIKANAL

There are several excursion spots in and around Kodaikanal.

The Lake : is a star shaped lake spread over an area of 24 hectares and has been wonderfully landscaped. Boating facilities are available and the 4km long promenade skirting it is very popular.

Flora & Fauna Museum : located at the Sacred Heart College is a 6km hike from the town centre, but definitely worth a visit. The Orchidarium here has about 300 species of orchids and other exotic plants.

Astrophysical Observatory : built in 1889, this laboratory stands on the highest point in the area. The observatory is used mainly for research in meteorology and solar physics. It also houses a small museum.

Bryant Park : is a botanical park situated on the eastern side of the lake. It was landscaped and stocked by a British officer after whom it was named. Cut flowers are exported from here. In month of May, the annual horticultural show in held here.

Kurinji Andavar Temple : is a small temple located 3km northeast of the Lake and is dedicated to Lord Murugan.

Water Falls : there are numerous waterfalls in the area such as Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Fairy Falls and Glen Falls, which are popular picnic spots.

Coaker's Walk : is a one kilometer walk from the lake that offers good views. It derives its name from Lt. Coaker, who had prepared the map of Kodaikanal. There is a Telescope House here from where visitors can have a panoramic view of the valley and nearby township.

Pillar Rocks : located about 7km from the lake, there are three rocks magnificently jutting into the sky to a height of about 400ft. the views from here are spectacular.

Dolphin's Nose, located about eight km from the lake, is a flat projecting rock from where one can have a breathtaking view of the yawning chasm below.

The Perumal Peak, about 11 km from Kodaikanal, is a trekker's delight. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle.

Berijam Lake supplies drinking water to Periyakulam town, and is 21 km from Kodaikanal (beyond the Pillar Rocks). It is a popular picnic spot with a beautiful view.

Kukal Cave, 40 km from Kodaikanal, is a favourite camping site for trekkers. Reportedly, descendants of the Paliyans still live here.

Kodaikanal-Best time to visit

The best season to visit Kodaikanal is April to June.

Kodaikanal -Adventure Sports

Kodaikanal adventure and activities offers a wide range of options including trekking, hiking and lots more. Kodaikanal 's spectacular and varied terrain provides superb opportunities to participate in a huge range of outdoor activities.

Situated at a distance of 11 km from Kodaikanal lies the Perumal Peak, which is a trekker's paradise. Another major trekkers' delight is the Kukal Cave, 40 km from Kodaikanal.

The viewpoint Coaker's Walk is another site where you can have incredible view of the open space landscape and the verdant hills. The Pillar Rocks is another point from where the tourist can stunning view of the Kodaikanal valley.

Kodaikanal-Shopping

Kodaikanal boasts a wide range of Co-operative Stores, shopping centers, government Emporiums. Kodaikanal also has a wide variety of arts and crafts shops. These shops brim with many beautiful art and crafts objects.

HOW TO REACH

The nearest airport is Madurai, 120 km away. It is well connected to other airports. The nearest railhead is Kodai Road Railway Station, which is 80 km away. Kodaikanal is connected by road with important towns like Madurai, Palani, Kodaikanal Road, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Kumuli (Thekkady) and Coimbatore. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.

WHERE TO STAY

Kodaikanal offers good accommodation facilities to the tourists. The TTDC-run Hotel Tamilnadu on Fern Hill Road and Carlton Hotel, near the Lake Road, are two top-end hotels. Hotel Clifton, Hotel Garden Manor, Yagappa International Tourist Lodge, Kohinoor Circuit House, etc., are some other hotels where comfortable accommodation is provided to tourists.

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Kerala|Auli Hills|Horseley Hills | Chail hill station |Chamba Hill Station|Dharmshala Hill Station |Kasauli Hill Station|Kullu manali Hill Station|Dalhouse Hill Station |Palampur Hill Station |Paonta Sahib | | | |