Kodaikanal in the Nilgiri Hills
India is a beautiful country with countless places of tourist interest. For those who love hills, there are a large number of hill stations in India, not only in the Himalayas, but also in other parts of India , especially in South India where the Nilgiri Hills offer a multitude of serene places known for their pristine & picturesque beauty.
One of such places is Kodaikanal, an extra-ordinarily beautiful hill station in the Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamilnadu, which was discovered by the British in 1821, but first habitated by American Missionaries in 1845.
At an altitude of 2130 metres, Kodaikanal is famous for a beautiful lake called Birijam lake in the centre of the town. This star shaped lake , an artificial one created in 1910 by cnstructing a dam in a small hilly stream, is extremely beautiful with blue water, aquatic plants & some fauna including birds. A boat ride in the clear waters in the lake is just an out of the world experience.
The surrounding hills are calm & serene, with a blue haze which is apt for the name “Nilgiri” which literary means “Blue Hills”. The hills are abode of some types of wildlife, the commonest are monkeys which are surprisingly friendly to human , not like their counterparts in the Northern India!
There are a number of springs & waterfalls in these hills, the most famous among these are the Rat Tail Falls, the Silver Cascade Falls & the Fairy Falls .
The town is dotted with beautiful parks & flower gardens. Several shops offering various types of spices & fragrant oils, home made chocolates & local handicrafts attract the tourists.
There is the Solar Physical Observatory, the only of its kind in India, in the Giripungam area of the town.
Kodaikanal is 452 km from Chennai, the capital city of Tamilnadu & is well connected with major cities & towns by rail & road.