Tamil Nadu has always offered a lot of options to the travelers and visitors that come to the state to find better holiday destinations. While Chennai remains the main city of the state that becomes the travel hub for many international and national travelers, there are more places and destinations in Tamil Nadu that one should explore especially during the monsoon season. Kodaikanal also known as the Princess of Hill Stations have been serving visitors from all over India and from across the world with natural landscapes and peaceful environment that exceeds expectations.
Sandwiched between the Parappar and Gundar Valley on the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is a hill station located at the height of 2133 meters above the sea level. This small town falls under the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. The word Kodaikanal means Gift of the Forest locally and surely it is true to the word in every sense. I was taken aback by the natural landscape and beauty of the place and not to mention the kind of warmth and kindness that locals offer here when you arrive.
How to Reach Kodaikanal?
The best way to reach Kodaikanal is through Madurai which is just 120 kilometers south east of the town. You can also access this small hill station through Coimbatore which is lies north west of Kodaikanal and that has an airport so that will make it easier for many travelers that want to reach Kodaikanal without wasting any travel time. There are buses from Coimbatore to Kodaikanal and the route is around 180 kilometers. If you have a good budget you can pick up taxis from Madurai that will cost you around Rs. 2500 and from Coimbatore that will cost you around Rs. 4000 plus.
If you like to stay on a limited budget like me, please hop on any state transport bus from Madurai or Dindigul or from Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai and you can reach Kodaikanal safely. You can also pick up railway route to reach here and get down at Kodai Road Station around 80 kilometers from the destination or Palani Railway Station which is 64 kilometers from Kodaikanal.
I think the ultimate tourist attraction in Kodaikanal is the man-made Kodaikanal Lake. The lake was created in 1863 and has helped historically to grow the population of the town. This star shaped lake offers lot of activities around the lake to the visitors and most of them are usually busy taking pictures of their family and loved ones.
You can also enjoy some cycling and horse riding around the lake and enjoy the fresh natural landscape to put your mind at ease. You can also go boating and fishing in the lake but I guess over these years too much of tourism has polluted the lake water to some extent so definitely the water is not potable.
Bryant Park is the next best thing that I witness on my Kodaikanal trip. This botanical garden somewhere on the east side of the Kodaikanal Lake organizes an annual flower and vegetable show so if you are here during the summer months make sure you visit it. The garden offers a great time for couples and families that want to see different types of flowers and ferns and various ornamental plants.
I have never seen anything like the Pillar Rocks and during the monsoon these pillar rocks almost disappear into the mist and fog that surrounds it. This popular tourist attraction in Kodaikanal is one of its kind as three granite boulders stand tall shoulder to shoulder at around 400 feet height.
I also heard about a place called Devil’s Kitchen but I eventually came to know that the steep chambers between the boulders is called Devil’s Kitchen and it is risky to venture there.
In Kodaikanal there is no better place for couples than Coaker’s Walk. Named after Lt. Coaker it offers a bird’s eye view of the landscape and long winding paths around the forest and flowers that are all around. However, you will need to buy a ticket to enter Coaker’s Walk and ideally go for it during the afternoon time.
If you enjoy photography you can try the Dolphin’s Nose that is endowed with natural landscape and beauty. I would not recommend going here during heavy rains but you can keep some distance from the edge and still enjoy the climate. Dolphin’s Nose is surely not for those who fear heights because it has no railings to support, so be careful about it.
If you like splashing water, come down to Bear Shola Falls for some great time with family and friends. You can visit this spot during the monsoons and enjoy the cool icy water right on you allowing you to break your stress and tension. You can also enjoy some great time at the Pine Forest while in Kodaikanal which is a great place to visit.
If you like visiting temples and churches here in Kodaikanal you can visit Lutheran Church which is a beautiful Gothic structure. You can also look out for Kurunji Andavar Temple which is dedicated to Lord Muruga, the God of Hills. The Subrahmanya Temple dedicated to Lord Subramanium and many other smaller places of worship.
Accommodation and Food
I don’t think you will have any problems finding accommodation because there are many budget and expensive hotels, resorts and lodgings available for the travelers, after all Kodaikanal survives mainly on tourism income. There are plenty of restaurants available here that can take care of your hunger and offer some local meals throughout the day, but don’t expect these restaurants to be opened late evenings. If you want to eat late, its better you parcel your food and carry it along.
Kodaikanal offers lot of natural products to the travelers and so while you are returning you can always bring back some natural eucalyptus oil, homemade chocolates, plums and pears that are grown locally. You can also buy some Kurunji flowers that grow here and are quite popular in South India.
Why You Must Visit Kodaikanal?
Kodaikanal is a quiet hill station so if you like to just lay back and enjoy the nature in its raw form you can head to Kodaikanal. It is an ideal destination for those who are planning to take a break from their hectic urban lifestyle or for newlyweds and honeymooners that want privacy and high quality time that they can cherish for lifetime. One thing I can say for sure and that is when you are here you will feel yourself in nature’s lap.