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Kodaikanal Tourism And Travel Guide
8.6° C / 47.4° F
September to May
2 to 4 Days
Madurai Airport (134 kms)
Kodai Road Railway Station (79 kms)
Kodaikanal, one of the most pristinely charming hill towns of Tamil Nadu in the South of India has been aptly called the Princess of Hill Stations and the Switzerland of the East.
Archaeological excavations and Megalithic dolmens roll back the history of Kodaikanal to the Stone Age period, with the earliest inhabitants being the ancient Palaiyar tribes. Early Tamil Sangam Literature describes the regions of Kodaikanal as the place fraught with trees, peaks and streams and the Kurinji or mountain flowers that bloom once in 12 years!
American missionaries fashioned the wilderness of Kodaikanal to the cool and neat hill station as we see it today, with the purpose of serving as a haven from the sweltering summer of towns like Madurai, Palani and Dindugal. The intriguing hill town masked in mist, aptly called the honeymoon destination is a wonderful getaway for nature lovers, shutterbugs, pilgrims and adventure hunters. In short, Kodaikanal is your tryst with nature. If you would love to visit Kodaikanal, our travel and tourism guide will help you plan a memorable trip.
How to Reach
The easiest way to reach Kodaikanal is by train and then uphill by road.
Madurai International Airport that has flights from most cities in India and from Dubai, Colombo and Singapore is the nearest airport. From the airport, hire a taxi to Kodaikanal.
A number of trains from most Indian cities halt at Kodai Road Station. From the station you can either board a bus or hire a cab to Kodaikanal.
There are state buses to Kodaikanal from neighbouring towns and cities. You could also drive or hire a cab from Madurai, Dindugal or Bengaluru.
The easiest and best means of transport in Kodaikanal are your feet. Strolling around the lake or up and down the hilly slopes will get you to places. Otherwise get a bicycle or board a bus. You could also hire a motorbike from near the Kodai Road Rail station.
Weather and the Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Kodaikanal is the winter and summer months (September-May).
Kodaikanal is termed an age old summer retreat, so you have no cause to see otherwise. Summers are mild and warm and you can go trekking and sightseeing untroubled by weather conditions. But keep an umbrella handy for April showers.
Monsoon is quite drizzly and heavy in turns and landslides are quite common. It’s a nice time to visit the waterfalls otherwise. But Monsoon is considered off-season.
Winter cloaks the town with a soft, white mist. The landscape turns so beautiful and you’d be tempted to warm down with an avocado and cheese sandwich, cuppa coffee and crispy corn.
Things to Do
Walk down the history on Coaker’s Walk, on the edge of the hills. Designed by Lt. Coaker in 1872 the strategically placed Walk gives a splendid view of the plains below. See if you can observe the Brocken Spectre that Coaker’s Walk is renowned for.
Caps Fly Valley:
Close to Berijam Lake are the picturesque Silent Valley and the Caps Fly Valley. Try flinging a cap up and over the valley and in all probability the heavy winds will bring the cap back to you!
Trek to the Kookal Caves where the very ancient Paliayar tribes lived. Surrounded by Shola forested mountains on three sides and villages that practice terrace farming, the Kookal Caves are a great view!
Kodaikanal Chocolate Factory:
The Factory has the most amazing varieties of yummy melt in the mouth chocolates. Kodaikanal does not run out of confectionery shops, there are so many chocolates in town, just waiting to be eaten!
Visit the Rabbit and Sheep Farm in Mannavanur village, run by the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute. An additional thrill is the sambar, gaur and deer that ramble along the region. Buy fresh baby carrots directly from the veggie farms. Go on a coracle ride on the Mannavanur Lake.
Liril Falls and Fairy Falls:
Step like rock formations add beauty to the cascading Pambar or Liril Falls that sits snug and small, quite close to the highway about 3 km from Kodaikanal bus station. Visit the Fairy Falls that is the source of the Pambar River. The environs of the Falls are a popular picnic spot in Kodaikanal.
Visit Danish Display for marble and wood handicrafts, handloom saris and perfumed candles and for aromatic oil, spices, coffee and chocolates to Spices Corner, Eco-Nut or Cocoa Bean. The Kodaikanal Organic Farmers Market has fresh fruits and veggies and is open for 3 hours on Saturdays. Anna Salai is a shopping lane in Kodaikanal where you might find a number of shops to browse through. Kashmir Handicrafts has brass items, walnut wood handicrafts and shawls while you can visit Khadi Emporium, Handloom Cooperative Stores and Government Sales Emporium for embroidered textiles, saris and aromatic oil, pain balms and winter green oils and herbs. Shop at Tibetan Handicraft House for exquisite jewellery, metal work and semi precious stones.
Check out PT Road to pamper your hunger cravings. Try Pesto Pasta and Chicken Pot Pie in Cloud Street, Thukpha, fried and steamed Momos in Tibetan Brothers Hotel and veggie Thali meals and dosas at Astoria Restaurant. Pastry Corner has sandwiches, ice creams, coffee and Shola Café has homemade spaghetti, aloo paranthas and sandwiches. Welcome Hotel serves Chettinad cuisine and biryani. Wasabi Prawns in Ten Degrees and Hummus and Tahini with pita bread in Altaf’s Cafés in Vattakanal are signature dishes.