Kodaikanal, the charming hill station, is situated at an altitude of about 2,133 meters above sea level with an area of 21.45 sq.km in the beautiful Palani Hills. The name Kodaikanal means the "gift of the forest". With her wooded slopes, mighty rocks, enhancing waterfalls and a beautiful lake, Kodaikanal is the most popular hill stations in South India. Kodai. The hill-plantain fruits and plums are known for their taste and freshness. The pride of Kodaikanal is the 'Kurinji-flower', which blossoms once in 12 years. The Kurinji last bloomed in 1992. The hill town is also renowned for its educational institutions of international repute. The temperatures in summer range from a maximum of 20°C to a minimum of 11°C, and in winter from 17°C to 8°C. Annual rainfall in the region is around 165 cms. The climate of Kodaikanal is pleasant throughout the year, but the best time to visit Kodaikanal is from April to June and from September to October.
|Kodaikanal at a glance :|
|Population||32,931 ( 2001Censes)|
|Temperature Summer||Max 19.8°C, Min 11.3 °C|
|Clothing||Light woollen in the evening during summer and heavy woollen during winter.|
|Rainfall||165 cms (average). Heavy rains occur during October-December.|
|Languages Spoken||Tamil and English|
|State||Dindugal District, Tamil Nadu State, India|
The nearest airport is at Madurai (120 km from Kodaikanal).
The nearest railway stations are the Kodai Road Railway Station (80 km) and the Palani Railway Station (64 km).
Regular bus services are available from Madurai, Palani, Kodaikanal Road, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Kumuli (Thekkady) and Coimbatore. Additional buses ply during the season. Taxis and vans are available for local transportation. There are no auto-rickshaws in Kodaikanal.
|Distance from Kodaikanal to :|
Vera Levinge, a retired District Collector of Madurai, is the creative founder of Kodaikanal Lake. The lake is situated at 10 deg 14' n latitude and 77 deg 28' longitude at an elevation of 2285m above sea level and it looks magnificent with star shaped glittering water, in the midst of evergreen lush slopes. It is 3kms away from the bus stand. The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. The average depth is 3.0m. Boating and Angling facilities are available at the Kodaikanal Lake. The boat club provides boats for hire. There are luxury boats also. The boat club here offers several pleasure and racing trips. Fishing can also be done obtaining permission from Inspector of Fisheries. Ponyrides by children and adults walking around the lake are part of Kodai Holiday. The Golf Club is located 5-km from the Kodaikanal Lake.
Berijam Lake is one of the beautiful picnic spots in Kodai, located 21-km away from the bus stand. This lake supplies drinking water to Periakalam town. The scenery around here is delightful. It spreads over an area of 24 hectares.
Shenbaganur Museum is located about 5 Km from the lake. The Sacred Heart College maintains this museum. One of the best orchidoriums in the country with more than 300 species of orchids exotic plants and wide-ranging collection of birds are found here.
This oldest world famous institution was built in 1898. It is nearly 6 kms from the bus stand and situated at the highest point in Kodai hills at 7700 ft. It has a well equipped productive laboratory doing quality research work. Its director Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in Sunspots - known as Evershed effect. the Solar Physical observatory founded in 1898 lies at the highest point of the hills. 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. , It is noted for flowers, hybrids and rafts. Varieties of flowers can be seen in a glasshouse. Cut flowers are exported from here. In month of May, the annual horticultural show in held here.
Chettiar park, managed by the township, is on the way to the Kurunji Temple. It is 3.2 kms from the Bus Stand. Unlike other areas this park is very quite and calm.
It is a small temple located 3km northeast of the Lake and is dedicated to 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, Palani Hills and Vaigai dam. This temple is associated with the Kurinji flowers, which carpets at hill sides and bloomes once in 12 years.
The Mariamman Temple, Vinayagar Temple, Murugan Temple, two mosques at Ellis Villa and Munjikal, sacred Heart Church, Munjikal, Francis Xavier Church, Gorapur, St. Mary's Church, Lassalette, St. Joseph's Church, Luthern Mission Church, Lake End, offer the devout a relaxed and genteel place to pray.
This is also called as Rat tail falls. The widest falls, ranging from 13th kilometer on the ghat road to kodai. It is one of the highest falls in India, with their 975ft sheer drop.
Bear Shola Falls
An ideal picnic spot 1.6 km from bus stand and within 2 Kms off the lake, where once bears came to drink water. Hence the name of the falls became Bear Shola falls. The falls are at the best in rainy season.
"Grand cascade" is another name for this magnificent falls. It can be reached by a steep, precipitous path behind Pambar house. Racing down Pambar Raivine is Zig-zagging leving stream that cascades over a series of rock formations. It is 4 kms away from Kodaikanal.
This water fall is located on the main ghat road, 8 kms away as one approaches Kodai from Kodai Road. Overflow of Kodai lake takes 180 ft leap over a steepcliff, to crash into a pool beside the ghat Road.
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.
Three granite boulders each vertically measuring a height of 400 feet stand shoulder to shoulder. It is located 8 Kms from the lake tower over the panoramic view
Vembadi Peak is the second highest peak with a height of 2466m. A right turn in Berijam road and a steep climb leads you to the top. From the stone summit, one can have a magnificent view over Berijam lake, Vandaravu range, Mannovanur sheep farm , Poombarai valley and over all Kerala. The hike will begin from Kodaikanal TV Tower.
To enable the visitors to have a panoramic view of the valley and the nearby towns, two telescope houses have been put up at Kodai.
To reach Kukkal Caves which is at a distance of 40 kms, travel by bus upto Poombarai and then give a walk. It is preferable to take a local guide. After walking through geranium plantations, pine and wattle forest, the Kukkal forest rest house can be reached. The early morning hike from the rest house will lead to beautiful shola with wild large orchids. One should be beware of leeches. The caves here are actually overhanging slabs of rocks. This rock shelter is at an altitude of 1500 m. The cave reveals traces of earliest settled tribals, Paliyans who used to wear leaf clothing. Overviewing the caves are Manjampath valley where bisons can be seen.
Motorable roads have the terminus in bold face, merely jeep ones have them in italics, approximate distances are indicated in brackets when known; when no roads exist, the time required for footing the distance is indicated.