Kodaikanal Hill Station in Tamil Nadu
All about Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal is a retreat people run to in the scorching heat of summer in the state. It is known as the Princess of all hill stations. The weather is so pleasant throughout that tourists thromg the hill station at all times of the year. These Kodai hills are a spur from the Western Ghats mountain ranges located through the western part of the peninsular India.
Meadows and grasslands are found all over KOdaikanal hills with Eucalyptus trees and shola forests flourishing in the valleys. The charm of the hill station lies in the densely wooded green forests and the gigantic trees, creeks and slopes, bowers and rocks attract the visitors again and again.
Trails to climb to the jutting rocks at the Kodaikanal is rewarding to the trekkers. There is an arduous climb of about 400 feet which is a must for every mountaineer / trekker. There are many beautiful places to visit and enjoy a perfect vacation with your family.
The best time to visit Kodaikanal is from April to June and then from September to October but can be visited anytime during the year. Winter months will be cold and heavy woollens will be needed as the temperatures might go down about 8* C , you will need light woollens for the evenings in Summer. October to December is the heavy raining time.
Kodai Lake, the highlight of Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal Lake is a man made artificial lake roughly star shaped. This lake is the main tourist attraction of the hill station.
There was an old boat club started in 1890 but when the new one came up in 1910 it was meant only for the members. In 1932 the boat house and the boating services were opened to all who liked to sail. Row Boats can also be hired at the Boat Club premises.
A lovely walk covered with trees around the periphery of the Lake has become the place for the morning walkers. Horses and bicycles can also be hired near the lake for trotting / riding around the lake.
Bryant's Park, the Botanical Garden of Kodaikanal
Bryant's Park is a beautifully maintained and landscaped botanical garden, located at about 500 meters from the Bus Stand and to the east of the Kodai Lake. The Park has been named after its creator, H D Bryant, a forest officer from Madurai. H D Bryant established this botanical garden in the year 1908.
The Bryant's Park is known for its Roses, which are about 740 varieties and other flowers. There is a glass house with shelters to protect the plants. Cut flowers are also exported to various places all over the world.
Other than various types of flowers and other plants, there is an ancient Eucalyptus tree from the year 1857 and a Bodhi tree as well. Flower shows and horticultural exhibits are organized every year in the summer season. Entrance Fee is there but very nominal and the botanical garden is open throughout the year.
Coaker's Walk in Kodaikanal
Coaker's Walk is a paved pedestrian path, running along the steep slopes of the hills located on the southern side of Kodai hills.The walk gives you a telescopic view of the hill station at points. The best time to visit or to take a walk will be in th afternoons when the mists starts setting over the valleys.
The walk is about a kilometer long, starts from the Van Allen Hospital, running parallel to the hospital, winding the Mount Nebo, goes on to join the main road near St Peter's Church. Coaker's walk provides beautiful and stunning views of the plains and the valleys surrounding the hills. Coaker's walk is named after Lt Coaker who prepared the map of Kodaikanal.
Kurinji Andavar Temple in Kodaikanal
Kurinji Andavar Temple is located at about 3.2 kilometers from the Kodai Lake and about 4 kilometers away from the Bus stand. The place is known for the Kurinji flowers which bloom only once in twelve years. The temple is dedicatd to Lord Murugan named Kurinji Easwarar.
The Kurinji Andavar Temple was built by a European Lady who on converting herself to Hinduism married Mr Ponnambalam Ramanathan and was called Lady Ramanathan. Later the people of her family handed over the temple to The Palani Sri Dandayuthapaniswamy temple. Lord Muruga is also known the God of Hills . Palani Hills and the Vaigai Dam can be viewed from atop the hills of the Kurinji andavar temple.
Places to Visit in Kodaikanal
Other than the main attractions there are many more places to visit in and around Kodaikanal.
Green Valley Viewpoint, earlier known as Suicide point, is placed at about 5 kilometers from the Kodai Lake. From this point, the hills have a sheer drop of 1500 meters and a panoramic view of the valleys down below. The point also overlooks the Vaigai Dam to the south of the hills.
Shembaganur Museum of Natural history, affiliated to the Loyola College in Chennai, is located at about 6 kilometers from the bus stand was opened in the year 1895. The Museum is open to the public on all days except Tuesdays. They have taxidermy collection of about 500 species of birds, animals and more than 300 living species of orchids at the museum. They also exhibit old and ancient artifacts of the Palaiyar tribes at the museum. The descendants of these Palaiyar tribes live in these hills even now.
Bear Shola Falls is a tall waterfalls located at about 3 kilometers from the bus stand. You can reach the waterfalls easily through a gentle climb through the hills.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is located at about 6 kilometers from the bus stand at an altitude of about 2343 meters above sea level. This is the highest location in Kodaikanal.
How to reach Kodaikanal?
If you are travelling by air Chennai is the nearest international airport You can travel by air to Madurai from Chennai then take a cab or bus to reach Kodai kanal.
If you are travelling by rail, you can reach Madurai and then drive down to Kodai Kanal. Kodai Road is a railway station in the Chennai Madurai line of the southern railways, at the foot of the Kodai hills, some trains do stop there on their way to Madurai. You can get cabs to reach the top of the hills.
Trains are also available from Bangalore, Coimbatore Thiruvananthapuram etc. to reach Kodai Road.
Buses are available from the neighbouring cities and towns to Kodaikanal like from Thekkady, Kottayam, Ernakulam etc.
Accommodation facilities in Kodaikanal
Villa Retreat is a home stay which is run by a family from the year 1989. Villa Retreat is set amidst calm, serene surroundings with beautiful and breathtaking views from the rooms. There is a well maintained garden, where you can spend time watching the hills and valleys while staying in the warm traditional and friendly place styled like an English cottage of the British era.
As for accommodation they have 2 family suites and 5 deluxe rooms in the heritage block. There is a new block now which has 4 deluxe rooms and 4 standard rooms but only has a partial view of Kodaikanal. All the rooms and cottages are bath attached. The other facilities available are free wifi, fireplace in the lounge, food served in the lawn, hot and cold water in the bathrooms, Television and telephones in the rooms, Laundry service etc.
Kodaikanal - 624 101
Tel : 04542-240940 (only from 10 am to 5 pm)
Website : www.villaretreat.com
Lilly's Valley Resort, a uniquely constructed resort, is located at about 2 kilometers from the centre of the Kodaikanal town as well as the Kodai Lake. There are 21 traditional cottages built of stone in the Colonial British style of construction. All the rooms come bath attached and with wooden ceilings. Most of the rooms have a sit out where you can sit and enjoy the scenery along with a cup of tea.
There is a restaurant specializing in South Indian home style cuisine. Picnics can be arranged anywhere in the property. Free internet / wifi is also available for the guests.
Lilly's Valley Resort, Kodaikanal
17/178 Sivanandi Road,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org,
website : http://www.lillysvalley.com
Tel : 91- 4542-240558 / 241558 / 244307
Fax : +91-4542-241558