I am a marketing professional holding a postgraduate degree in management. I live in Chennai and have traveled extensively in Tamil Nadu.
Kodaikanal is referred to as "the princess of hill stations" and was developed by the Britishers during the colonial era. The Englishmen needed a retreat to escape from the scorching summer heat in Madras, presently known as Chennai. The Britishers knew that the hills in tropical countries would have pleasant weather similar to what they experienced in their native country.
Located in South Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is the favorite hill station for people living in this region. Madurai is the closest airport (located at a distance of 134 km) and Kodai Road is the closest railway station (located at a distance of 47 km).
5 Must-See Places in Kodaikanal
- Bryant Park
- Coaker's walk
- Kodai Lake
- Pillar rocks
- Silver Cascade
Continue scrolling for more information about these gorgeous sites.
1. Bryant Park
This is a large park in the middle of the town. It is so vast that it can accommodate huge crowds comfortably. There are many artificial ponds, flowering plants, trees and open lawns inside the park. The main attraction in the park is the rose garden, which houses many varieties of roses and a Bodhi tree. A 150-year-old Eucalyptus tree is an added attraction.
There is also a greenhouse where exotic plants from all over the world thrive and delight the visitors. It takes two hours to cover the park on foot. Horticultural exhibits and floral shows are conducted every summer. This park was created by Bryant, a forest officer from Madurai during the British era.
2. Coaker's Walk
This is a one-kilometer walkway built on the mountains with a beautiful valley on one side and sloping mountains on the other side. Coaker's walk looks exotic when it is covered by mist. This walkway was created by a Britisher named Coaker in the nineteenth century, hence its name. Besides being a favorite sight, this is one of the preferred tracks for the morning and evening walkers.
One can find several vendors selling food items on the walkway. The delicious cut mangoes laced with chilli powder should not be missed. Besides the cut mangoes, there are roasted groundnuts or peanuts sold on Coaker's walk, helping us to stay warm in the cool weather.
3. Kodai Lake
This is one of the most picturesque lakes in India. The lake and its surroundings look surreal on misty days. There are times one cannot even see beyond one meter because of heavy fog.
The boathouse is usually crowded, and the best way to beat the crowd is by visiting Kodaikanal on a weekday. The rowboats are very popular here, and they provide a good way to improve one's physical fitness.
Finding space for parking the car around the lake is a challenge on crowded days. It may be a good idea to walk to the lake instead. There are many shops located around the lake where one can pick up souvenirs for the trip, like locally made handicraft items, home-made chocolates or framed pictures. Sterling Lake View and Carlton are some good stay options for someone who wishes to stay closer to the lake.
4. Pillar Rocks
There are two huge rock pillars that threaten to fall any time, causing enormous damage. The pillars are separating from the main mountain range and will surely collapse. It could take thousands of years before they crumble, but no one knows for sure when it will happen. For now, they are beautiful pieces of nature to behold.
The drive to the pillar rocks takes about an hour. From this viewpoint, one can marvel at the two vertical rocks. The path leading to the pillar rocks is a one-way road and the return trip to Kodai town through the other road has two more attractions on the way, namely the Guna Caves and the Golf Club.
Grilled metal gates prevent the entry of tourists inside Guna caves. Such restrictions became necessary following many suicides and accidental deaths inside the cave. The tourists can get a view of the caves through the grilled gates.
The Kodaikanal Golf club is a private club with restricted entry. One can get a good view of the golf course with its lush green lawns from the roadside. Anyone on a trip to Berijam Lake can pair it with a visit to Pillar rocks.
5. Silver Cascade
It takes about half an hour of drive time to reach this waterfall from Kodaikanal town. One could plan to stop at the Silver Cascade during their return journey, as this comes very much on the way down to foothill.
The excess water from the main lake in Kodaikanal flows through the cliff as the beautiful Silver Cascade. The tiny water droplets that get splashed all over occasionally kiss the onlookers, sending shivers down their spines. This is where the two species of primates are seen in abundance—monkeys and human beings.
One should also not miss an opportunity to spot the tallest waterfalls in Tamil Nadu on their journey up or down the hill. This waterfall is called Rat falls and can be seen only from a long distance on a faraway hill. This waterfall does not have any road access and can only be accessed by a strenuous trek that takes about six hours one way. This is not my cup of tea, and I am happy with a long-distance view.
Average Monthly Temperature in Kodaikanal
Travel and Stay
Kodai Road is the nearest railway station, and Madurai is the nearest airport from Kodaikanal. Bus services connect all major towns in Tamil Nadu to Kodaikanal. For residents of South Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is within a short drive time. Residents of Madurai and Dindigul can plan a day trip to Kodaikanal without staying because of their proximity.
The stay options worth considering are Sterling Lake View, Sterling Valley View, Club Mahindra Le Poshe, Hotel Kodai International, and Carlton. Homestay options are available and ideal for large groups.
More on Kodaikanal
If you're interested in visiting this gem of a region, please take a moment to read my other article about the offbeat attractions in Kodaikanal.
© 2019 Mohan Babu