“The journey not the arrival matters.”-T.S. Eliot
My family and I visited Kodaikanal in March 2016.
Kodaikanal is a city near Palani in the hills 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” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
It has picturesque views of valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. The crowd is relatively very less compared to Ooty.
Kodaikanal is also a great destination for people in Bangalore and Chennai to do a road trip. The roads are excellent, thanks to the golden quadrilateral project.
2 days (apart from the travel days) would be fine enough to cover this place. The only point to note is that you will have to start a bit early from home(starting point) and always remind that a lot of time will be lost at the tolls.
Compared to Ooty, we don’t have so many attractions here in Kodai.
Places that we visited:
Valley view from Coakers Walk
Coaker’s Walk is a magnificent gift of Mother Nature to Kodaikanal and its tourists. It derives its name from Lt. Coaker, who had prepared the map of Kodaikanal. The valley view from this place is amazing.
On a clear day one can view as far as Dolphin’s Nose in the south, the valley of the Pambar River in the southeast, Periyakulam town and even the city of Madurai. There is a telescope house in this place.
This is a hangout place for the locals and tourists.
Kodai Lake which is at a 200 meters walking distance from Coakers walk. The lake has a huge surface area of around 60 acres. A beautiful road with stunning views surrounds the lake. There are options to cycle, walk or ride a pony around the lake. You can also enjoy boating at the lake. Take your time to explore this beautiful place leisurely. We had a nice walk around the lake along with family.
If you’re here with family, opt for a relaxing pedal boat ride, or go cycling around the lake in the afternoon!
There are lot of shops beside the lake road, from where you can do some shopping aswell.
These are natural caves in the hills. Earlier, you could enter the caves and explore them. To avoid accidents on this dangerous terrain, the entry is prohibited. Now, the caves are covered with wire mesh. They can be viewed from a distance.
Walk through the pine forest
The pine plantations/pine forest in Kodaikanal is one among the preserved treasures of Kodaikanal which would mesmerize the tourists by its ambience. This place is a gift of Mother Nature for people who love photography. In 1906, Mr. Bryant planned to grow precious timber; hence he started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal. The Pine forest is an impressive spot to visit.
There is a Golf Course in Kodaikanal but its not open for general public and tourists. Only members and their family can go inside the place
Poomparai view point
This is one of the best locations from where you can see the entire Poomparai terrace farming. The major crops they grow are carrots, potatoes, beetroots, beans, avocados, passion fruits and so on.
Enroute, we also visited the famous Palani temple (Dhandayuthapani temple)
Dhandayuthapani temple is one of the Six Abodes of Murugan. It is located in the city of Palani in Dindigul district, 100 kilometres, southeast of Coimbatore and northwest of Madurai in the foot-hills of the Palani hills, Tamil Nadu, India. This religious temple is visited by millions of tourists every year.
The temple is on a hill. There are multiple ways to climb the hill.
A) Steps —–> 700 Steps to the temple. Good option if you can climb it. Free as well.
B) Winch —–> Old Technology cable car like vehicle.There will be a long wait as the car moves very slowly.
Other attractions (within 30 Kms):
Pillar Rock (7 Kms)
Bear Shola Falls (1.5 Kms)
Moir point (8 Kms)
Vattakanal (6 kms)
Liril falls (4 Kms)
Chettiyar park (2.5 Kms)
Brayant park (1.2 Kms)
Mannavanur (small farming village) (30 Kms)
Berijam lake (21 Kms
One point to note: There are chances that you might see a Bison on the road. Don’t panic and try to move to a safe place nearby.
There are multiple options available in Kodaikanal for tourists to stay. It will be good to book the rooms in advance during vacation and long holidays.
We stayed in Sterling ‘By The Lake’ Resort.Overall the resort was quite satisfactory.