Kodaikanal is the most beautiful and popular hill station in Tamil Nadu. It is located in the famous Palani Hills in Western Ghats and is known as the Princess of hill stations.
Kodaikanal is situated about 7,200 feet above the sea level. Kodaikanal is the most sought after honeymoon destination in South India because of its scenic beauty and it has the attribute to leave any nature lover mesmerized by its charms. The word Kodaikanal means gift of the forest in local language.
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 famous for eucalyptus oil, homemade chocolates, plums and pears.
Kodaikanal is famous for the kurinji – flowers, which blossoms only once in twelve years. Woolen clothing is available at cheaper rates in the Tibetan refugee bazaar.
There are many internationally renowned educational institutions like Kodaikanal International school, Kodaikanal Christian College etc, in and around Kodaikanal. Mother Theresa University, which is India’s one and only women’s university, is located in Kodaikanal.
A tourist can indulge in various activities – one can go for cycling, horse riding, boating, trekking and many more adventurous activities. Kodaikanal is influenced with Christian culture and the sculptures in the churches of Kodaikanal are worth a visit.
Tourist Attraction in Kodaikanal
STAR SHAPED LAKE
The star-shaped lake of Kodaikanal is one of the major attractions of this quaint little hill station. It is the legacy of former Collector, Sir Vere Levinge, who formed it by damming the valley where three streams flowed. The entire lake area is spread over an area of about 60 acres. Small horse rides can also make a good pastime in the early evenings.
Situated at a distance of just 3.2 kms from the Kodaikanal lake, it is one of the only three solar observatories in the world that is more than 75 years old. Built at an elevation of 2343 meters, the Solar Observatory was built at the highest point of the town.
Kodaikanal has some of the best view points from where you can have a thrilling view of the entire Kodai valley. The hills best view points are Pillar Rocks, Green Valley View point and the Dolphin’s Nose.
Kodaikanal has a wonderful Orchidorium having 300 species of trees and flowers. The Orchidorium is open for visitors from 10 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.
COAKER WALK AND PRIEST’S WALK
Kodaikanal is ideal for lazy walks and to add up to your satisfaction it has some of the picturesque walks too. The Coaker Walk and Priest’s Walk are the two of them.
The Perumal Peak is another important tourist point in Kodaikanal. Situated at an altitude of 2,440 metres it lies at a distance of about 11.3 kms from the Kodaikanal town area.
It seems as if Mother Nature has bestowed all her treasures into this gifted forest area. Besides the lakes, the wonderful walks and the picturesque peaks, Kodaikanal also has two falls namely the Fairy Falls and Glen Falls that make a thrilling site.
Kodaikanal Sight Seeing
One of the main attractions for the tourists of Kodaikanal is the Kodai lake which is at a distance of 3kms from the bus stand. In 1863, Vera Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai settled in Kodaikanal after his retirement. He was the man of resource and creative ideas for this lake.
By spending his own money he converted the marshy land with several streams of lake by constructing a strong bund and brought boats from Tuticorin. It is reported that the foreign resident’s even used to swim in the 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. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December. 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. The boat club provides boats for hire. There are luxury boats also. The famous Carlton hotel is facing the lake and the hotel is having their our boats for their customers.
Today lakhs of tourists walk around, sail on, ride on horses & cycles and admire the lake. 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 lake at Kodai is beautifully landscaped and it appears to be de rigueur for Indian families to get out on a boat. Both the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club and Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation hire similar boats for similar prices: Rs. 20 to 40 for a two-seater pedal boat to Rs. 125 (including boatman) for a kasmiri shikara (covered gondola – like boat) for 30 minutes.