Lush green forests and verdant hills as far as the eye can see. Kodaikanal, which is also known as The Princess of Hill Stations, can be on your bucket list for one of the perfect trip places in Tamil Nadu.
Kodaikanal is a splendid hill station near Madurai. It is a hidden paradise in Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal has a population of roughly 37k, making it a peaceful vacation spot. It has a beautiful climate, and it’s considered one of the best summer tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. The mist-covered hill station, Kodaikanal at a height above sea level of 7200 ft (about 2.19 km). This Princess of Hills lies along the gentle slopes of Palani Hills in the Western Ghats. It is the perfect vacation spot for a honeymoon trip or a casual weekend trip outside the bustling megacities. Kodaikanal means “gift of the forest”, and oh yes! The enchanting scenic beauty that it offers genuinely represents that gift.
Best Time to Visit Kodaikanal
Owing to the higher altitude of Kodaikanal, its climate mostly remains moderate. Moreover, the lush green forests and lakes surrounding it keep the area cooler. The best time to visit Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, is during October when Autumn hits the leaves. Usually, during this time festive season also begins. October marks the peak time in Kodaikanal, and the time from October to March marks the peak season. During December and January, the weather can become slightly chillier. Kodaikanal can be visited any time of the year, come sun or rain. Even during the monsoons, the rain makes the forest greener and brighter.
How to Reach Kodaikanal
Under its Enchanting Tamil Nadu program, the Tamil Nadu tourism department highly promotes tourism in Kodaikanal. The government has built the entire infrastructure to develop roads nearby. Being on the slopes of Palani Hills, the railway and airport are far from Kodaikanal town. Although taxis and rental vehicles are readily available. The impeccable quality of the roads makes it a perfect getaway destination by car. Visitors drive their vehicles from Bangalore and Chennai to reach Kodaikanal.
Kodaikanal by air.
Kodaikanal doesn’t have an airport, and the nearest airport to Kodaikanal is at Madurai, which is 120 km apart. Another airport at Coimbatore (175km) is also often used by tourists. Both these airports have excellent taxi and bus services to Kodaikanal.
Kodaikanal by road.
The preferred way to visit Kodaikanal is by bus. It has excellent bus service not only from nearby cities like Madurai and Dindigul but also from Bangaluru, Coimbatore and Chennai. The bus stand in Kodaikanal is located inside the town. The roads are well made in the Kodaikanal stretch, so many prefer to take a trip down to Kodaikanal. There are two routes to reach Kodaikanal, Palani and Vathalagundu. Although these routes could be a little tricky for inexperienced drivers, even then, the bending ghat roads and magnificent drive through the forests can make it all worth it.
Kodaikanal by train.
The nearest railway station is at Kodai Road, 100 km from the main Kodaikanal town. Both taxi and bus services are available at the station. Rental cars are also trendy.
Best places to Visit in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal lake is also known as Kodai Lake. It is a manmade lake built during British rule in India. Vera Levinge, a district collector from Madurai, was responsible for making this lake. The star-shaped lake is located at the center of Kodaikanal town, surrounded by beautiful densely covered forests and Palani hills. Numerous resorts and boats surround the banks of the lake. Boat pageants and flower exhibitions are popular during the summer. Kodaikanal lake timings are from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm. Kodai lake is one of the top places to visit in Kodaikanal.
Bear Shola Falls
Bear Shola Falls is another popular attraction in Kodaikanal. Located less than a kilometer away from Kodai Lake. The Bear Shola falls is covered in thick vegetation and comes to life during the monsoon season. The falls are unique for their location; the path that leads to Bear Shola falls cuts through the forests and slanting slopes of the hills. The surroundings also give a chance to experience the wild side of Kodaikanal. This is one of the few places to visit in Kodaikanal that is popular during the monsoons.
Green Valley View
Green valley view is also known as the suicide point. It offers a fantastic view of the verdant hills of Kodaikanal and the deep valleys. The name suicide point comes from the deep valley that drops into a dangerous pit of more than 5000 ft. The height of the Green Valley makes it vulnerable to misty weather. The best time to visit this place is between 10 am to 4 pm. The suicide point is one of the best tourist places in April.
Thalaiyar Falls in Kodaikanal
Also known as Rat Tail Falls, is the highest waterfall in Tamil Naud. It is situated at 297m (about 974.41 ft) on the slopes of the western ghats. Thalaiyar Falls is also open to tourists for hiking only during the dry summer. The Thalaiyar falls are also visible from the viewpoint at Dum Dum Park. The falls also serve as an excellent location for spotting animals as they come to drink water from it. Thalaiyar falls is probably one of India’s best Kodaikanal places to visit during autumn.
The place is named after three vertically placed boulders. Pillar Rocks Point serves as a busy picnic spot for visitors. The area is usually in mist and offers breathtaking views of Kodaikanal town. The Pillar Rocks is also famous for its wooden White Cross which represent as a symbol of love for David and Irine’s love. Although no wooden cross are present today, its story keeps on reaching more people. Summers (March to May) is the best time to visit Pillar Rocks.
The Guna caves, also known as the Devil’s Kitchen, is mainly a hiker’s point. Although more tourists are coming to this place lately. The unique mixture of mist and clouds makes this place surreal. The Tamil film Guna (1992), shot in the Devil’s kitchen, made this place a popular attraction. The caves has several trails and but are accessible only by hiking. The best time to visit Guna caves is during the dry season.
It is a manmade path for walking. The route curves with the hills as it stretches. The course gives an excellent view of the sloping hills. Tourists mainly visit the place to take pictures along the beautifully paved path that stretches for a kilometer. This place is always busy all throughout the year. There are street vendors who sell snacks and breakfast.
It is a lake full of activities. Located on the outskirts of Kodaikanal town. Berijam Lake primarily serves as a reservoir. Fishing, bird watching, and tours are some everyday activities. The lake serves as the source of potable water for two towns nearby. Berijam is an ecological hotspot that serves as the habitat for many animals nearby. The lake is in mist during the afternoon. Kodaikanal mushrooms are popular among tourists. The forests around Berijam Lake is all of mushrooms during the monsoons.
Dolphin’s nose is a viewpoint in Kodaikanal on the rocks of Palani Hills. The area is in the shape of a dolphin’s nose and is located at 6000ft. Dolphin’s nose provides an almost ethereal panoramic view of Kodaikanal town. At the end of the trek to Dolphin’s point, there is a place Echo point, higher than the actual viewpoint. The tour can be tricky during the monsoons, so we recommend summers.
Usually, tourists walk from Kodaikanal to Vattakanal, located 3 km from the center of the town. Vattakanal is a small hamlet at an altitude of 2010m. Vatta means “circle”, and kanal as “forest”. Vattakanal is surrounded by dense forests. Vattakanal usually gets very chilly in the afternoon, so the best time to visit is during the day, between 10 am to 2 pm. The hamlet of Vattakanal has quite a lot of options for food. It has numerous cafes and restaurants. Vattakanal is among the most visited tourist places near Kodaikanal.
Best Places to eat in Kodaikanal
Best places to eat in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
One of the most famous restaurants to eat at in Kodaikanal. It derives its name from its location (10.23 degrees North). The menu has a blend of both South Indian and International cuisine. The highlight of the menu is devilish, they have wasabi-coated prawns with honey. Desserts are another must try at Ten Degrees.
Passiflora Ristorante Italiano
It is a famous Italian restaurant in Poombarai village. The restaurant serves Italian delicacies and is famous for its meat items. The pink sauce vodka pasta is one of their specialties. The Tamara Kodai is a vintage-themed resto-bar that serves European, Asian, and Indian cuisine. The eatery is in one of Kodai’s most beautiful resorts. The place is famous for its unlimited Continental buffet that serves indoors and outdoors. It mainly serves dinner and lunch.
Tava is located in the main town of Kodaikanal. It serves North Indian cuisine on a budget. The place is trendy among tourists. The quick serving and home-style North Indian food is their highlight.
Possibly the best place for a cup of coffee in all of Kodai. The location is in Kodai town itself and serves delicious cakes and coffee. They also brew their own unique coffee. Carrot cake is their particular serving.
Kodaikanal has all that one needs for a perfect vacation. The place has majestic hills, lush forests, and breathtaking waterfalls. It has a lot of furnishing with fine resorts and excellent restaurants. Kodaikanal truly represents ‘Enchanting Tamil Nadu’ at its best.