Kodaikanal meaning “gift of the forest” in local language is also known as the “princess
of hill stations”. The dense forest with many varieties of trees, the huge rocks
in the wilderness and the enchanting waterfalls makes it a real gift for the tourists
visiting this place. Kodaikanal is one of the very few unaltered and unadulterated
destinations of southern India. Kodaikanal has created a niche for itself with its
intoxicating air, breathtaking scenery and serenity that you can hardly find in
any hill station in the Himalayas.
Following are a few important places which you can visit in Kodaikanal:
Kodaikanal Lake is an artificial lake that takes the shape of a star and is spread
over 60 acres with greenery all around it. This lake was created in 1863 by Sir
Vere Hendry Levinge, who was the collector of Madurai. By spending his own money
he converted the marshy land with several streams into a lake by constructing a
strong bund. He brought boats from Tuticorin and arranged boat rides in the lake
and stocked the lake with fish. He introduced several foreign trees and fruits such
as Pine forms and Pears; and planned and executed several approach roads to Kodaikanal.
This lake is surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 km length which takes about 45min
to walk. Tourists can not find a boat club which offers pedaling and rowing boats
with different seating capacities at nominal charges. Apart from boating, cycles
and horses are available for rental in the lake area.
Bear Shola Falls
The Bear Shola falls is a favorite tourist point in Kodaikanal. It is named so because
in earlier days bears used to come and drink water from this fall. Bear Shola Falls
is located about 1.6 Kms from the lake, and 2 kms from the bus stand. Bear Shola
Falls can be reached through a scenic rough hill path. Hence for your safety suitable
means of transportation is necessary to reach the falls.
Berijam Lake is an artificial lake in the upper regions of palani hills. It is a
fine picnic spot offering beautiful scenery. This lake is situated about 23 km from
the local bus stand. It was first discovered and reclaimed in 1864 by Colonel Hamilton
of the British Army. Berijam Lake is a must see place as sighting of bison, leopard
and other chirping birds are very common. One cannot see this beautiful lake without
the permission of District Forest Officer.
Bryant Park is a famous and an important botanical park located just 0.3km away
from the bus stand. This Park is named after a British forest officer named H. D.
Bryant, who landscaped this park in 1980. The beautifully maintained park extends
over an area of 20.5 acres and is noted for flowers, hybrids and grafts. There are
around 325 species of trees and shrubs along with a glass house which shelters over
fine varieties of flowers. A big section is allotted for nearly 740 varieties of
roses. A Flower show is conducted every year during May, as a part of Summer Festival.
A must see in this park is the 150 years old Eucalyptus tree along with the 'Bodhi'
Coaker's walk is a one and half km stretch that runs parallel to the Lake. This
walk offers a magnificent view of the valley. Coaker's walk is named after Lt. Coaker,
who prepared the map of Kodaikanal. The ideal time to visit this place is before
2:30 pm in the afternoon as mist will start to set in over the valleys by late afternoons.
A phenomenon called `Brachem Spectre' in the Coakers walk occurs very rarely where
one can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo, when sun is behind him
with cloud & mist in front. To enable the visitors to have a Panoramic view
of the valley and nearby towns, one telescope house is also found at Coakers walk.
Devil's Kitchen is a very dangerous deep hidden narrow valley that looks like small
dark gutters but are actually a deep fall. Devil's Kitchen is found between Green
Valley View and Pillar Rocks. We recommend you to seek help of the locals while
visiting the Devil's Kitchen as they are fully aware of the place.
Kodaikanal has the presence of pre-historic remains dating back to 5000 BC. These
are known as Dolmens and Kistavens which are nothing but the dwelling and burial
places of people of Stone Age and Iron Age. A visit to the Dolmen Circle will help
you understand the Stone and Iron Age culture.
Flora & Fauna Museum
The Flora & Fauna museum is an educative tourist location in Kodaikanal and
is maintained by Sacred Heart College which is a Theological Seminary that was formed
in the year 1895. This museum is also known as Shenbaganur Museum. This museum preserves
fossils as well as wide varieties of the flora and fauna of this hilly region and
has an orchidorium that has a collection of about 300 species of indigenous as well
as exotic orchids. A Spanish Father Ugarthe, contributed his major collections to
the Museum. This museum is located about a distance of 5.6 km from the lake.
Green Valley View
Green Valley View and it provides a picturesque and panoramic view of the plains,
valleys, hills and the Vaigai dam. The deep, dense and dangerous valley below this
point is more than 5000 feet drop. In order to get a good view from this point,
it is better to visit the place between 10 am and 3 pm as early mornings and evenings
have mist covering the valleys. As the valley is very deep, dense and dangerous
it is always recommended to see this valley with precautionary measures.
Kurinji Andavar Temple
Kurinji Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga is also known as
Lord Karthik – Son of Shiva and Parvathy, brother of Lord Ganesha. Kurinji Andavar
Temple is named after the abundant Kurinji flowers that bloom once in twelve years.
Kurinji Andavar Temple was constructed in the year 1936. This temple is located
at about 5 km from the bus station. Summer festival is the most anticipated event
by the locals and is celebrated in the month of May every year. Thousands of devotees
visit this temple during the summer festival to seek the blessings of Lord Muruga.
From this temple one can see a view of Palani and Vaigai Dam.
Palani is located 64 kms away from Kodaikanal and is one of the key tourist attractions
in Kodaikanal. Palani is a famous pilgrim center of the South and one of the six
abodes of Lord Dhandayuthapani. Direct frequent buses are available from Kodaikanal.
Pambar Falls is situated on the Pambar River which is a zip zapping stream that
crusaded over a serious of rock formations. Pambar Falls are also known as Grand
Cascade. It can be reached by a steep, abrupt path behind the Pambar house. Hence
for your safety suitable means of transportation is necessary to reach the falls.
The Pillar rocks are three granite boulders which are seen standing vertically shoulder
to shoulder. These rocks are measuring a height of about 400 feet from the ground
and the chambers that are seen between the two pillars are known as Devil's Kitchen.
The Pillar rock is full of caves and chasms which prove to be a delight for all
adventure seekers. This is the best place to view sunset and the glittering Kodaikanal
Silver Cascade waterfall is located just about 8 kms from Kodaikanal. The overflow
of Kodaikanal Lake comes down here as 180 feet high falls. The crystal clear water
contains various minerals and taking a bath in this fall is very refreshing. Any
nature lover can sit and enjoy the beauty of this falls for hours provided he is
strong enough to take the force of the water.
Solar Physical Observatory
Built in the year 1889, the Solar Physical Observatory stands on the highest point
of the city of Kodaikanal. Positioned at an elevation of 850 feet above the lake,
the Observatory is mostly utilized for research purpose in the areas of meteorology
and solar physics. It also houses a small museum that has models explaining the
complex scientific phenomenon in simple ways.
Thalaiyar Falls is the widest falls on the Ghat road to Kodaikanal. It is one of
the highest falls in India with a 975 feet drop. Thalaiyar Falls is also known as
Rat tail falls.