Kodaikanal is a hill town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It’s set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. At 2,000 meters above sea level, the town centres around man-made, star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest. Rowing boats can be hired, and hikers and cyclists follow the 5k Lake Road path around the shore.
Best time to get to Kodaikanal:
Best time to visit Kodaikanal is any time of the year but the best months to visit are September to May. Summers here are perfect for outdoor activities like cycling, trekking, boating and sightseeing.
Ways to get here:
By air: The closest airports to Kodaikanal are Madurai 120km, Trichy 150km and Coimbatore 175km.
By rail: the Nearest railway station is Kodai Road at a distance of 100km. From Kodairoad station, one has to travel only by road. Taxis are available for hire up to Kodaikanal but since these might the only mode of transport here, the prices are often not negotiable.
Another Railway station that is quite close is Dindigul Railway station. It is easier to come to Kodaikanal using this station as it is a much bigger city. Once you get down at the Dindigul Railway station, you can get an autorickshaw for around ₹50 to come to the Dindigul bus stand. And from there, there are frequent buses to Vathlagundu from where there are many buses to Kodaikanal. Straight buses are available from Dindigul to Kodaikanal as well, but you might have to wait for an hour or so. It takes around 1 hour from Dindigul to Vathlagundu (Batlagundu) and then about 2 hours from Vathlagundu to Kodaikanal by bus.
By road: Reach Kodaikanal from Kodai Road (80km) for ₹1700 approx, Dindigul or Madurai and then take a cab/taxi to Kodaikanal. The drive from Kodai road takes approximately 2 hours while the drive from Madurai takes approximately 3.5 hours and from Dindigul it takes about 2 hours. From Cochin/Kochi (Kerala) is 295km via the hill station of Munnar(kerala). The route to be taken is Kochi-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Devikulam-Poopara-Bodi-Theni-Kodaikanal which is the NH49 Kochi-Madurai. From Alappuzha or Kottayam, the route is via Kumily along Kottayam-Kumily road, KK Road
By bus: Kodaikanal is about 90km from Dindigul city and there are plenty of buses plying from various parts of the state. Buses ply from Chennai, Pondicherry, Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul,Palani and Coimbatore.
Places to stay:
Some of the economical places to stay in Darjeeling are-
· Jayaraj Hotel
· Kodai Retreat
· Hotel Spring Valley
· Hotel Sunrise
· New Gold Nest
All of these are budget hotels with comfortable stays.
Places to visit:
· Try to visit Berijam Lake during your initial stay, the reason being it requires Forest Department's permission to enter the area and Permission is given on a daily basis and not in advance. Also, Forest Officers might decide not to permit on any day due to reasons like Animal troubles, Government visits etc.
· There are some places where you can explore more mysterious natural beauties as well as you have to take careful measures such as in the Devil’s Kitchen as well as in the Guna Caves where you have to make you every step carefully due to their dark areas, and there are dark traps which look like dark gutters and many people have lost into them.
· Avoid visiting the Green Valley View (Suicide Point) before 10 am or after 3 pm as, during these odd hours, the valley usually tends to be covered with mist, and therefore the visitor may not be able to fathom the deeps around.
Other tourist attractions are-
1. Chettiar Park
2. Echo Point
3. Kodai Lake
4. Pine Forest
5. Shanthi Valley
The summer festival that is held at all Tamil Nadu hill stations in May features flower shows, dog shows, boat races and the like. This is the high season, so Kodai becomes a little more crowded than usual. Some other festivals celebrated here are Pongal and Jallikattu.
Places to eat:
Some of the famous eateries are-
· Tibetan Brothers- try the steamed momos and thukpa
· Pastry Corner- for some yummy evening snacking and sweet tooth cravings
· Sri Krishna Restaurant which specializes in Rajasthani and Gujarati food
· Cloud Street for some lip-smacking pasta and chicken sizzlers
· Eden Paradise Restaurant- this place has great Kerala cuisine
Kodaikanal is home to some of the exclusive items such as Eucalyptus oil and other herbal oils, various kinds of cheese and cakes and pastries which you must have and buy.
Kodaikanal is home to exclusive homemade chocolates as there are several shops dealing them and you can get a wide range of homemade chocolates which are quite cheaper from the leading brands, and you must not miss them.
· Don’t forget to go for trekking at Kumbakarai via Velagavi
· You can also relax at the Prana Spa.
· Beware of monkeys. They will steal your belongings.
Festival Calendar of Kodaikanal
|Jan||1. Pongal & Jallikkattu: Fourth day of Pongal festival, 2. Last week of January: Tea and Tourism Festival|
|Apr||"1.Chithirai, 2.Miladi Sherif"|
|Aug||14th-15th August : Mother Salette church's carnival|