Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's finest hill stations. It is situated 7,200 feet above sea level amongst the picturesque western ghats of India.
Kodaikanal is located in the palani hill range and is under the administrative control of the Dindigul district of Tamilnadu
- It takes more than an hour to reach to the Kodai Lake which marks as the centre point of the city. Distance of any landmark in this city is usually calculated from the Kodai Lake.
- Kodaikanal is a hill station and its true beauty will be when the waterfalls will have enough waters, sunlight wont be much and misty clouds will be left hanging at the scenic spots. So, the beauty of Kodaikanal will depend on the weather of the day too.
- There are a number of tour operators who provide the same kind of tour packages at almost the same price [ group or personal cabs ] at almost Rs.225-Rs.300 per person for one particular type of tour to Rs.1100-Rs.1500 for booking cab for yourself.
- Also beware of the number of spots they give in a single package as most of them are mentioned just for the sake of increasing the places in the package. For example they will include hotel drop as the last point or they will show you Vatakkanal falls and say this is Pambar falls too and such things which is not the case. There are a lots of spots made like the 500 year old tree which has not much purpose. Kindly enjoy the leisure rather than being hell bent on covering all the places.
- The tour involving the Berijam Lake and the points on its way such as the 'Silent Valley View', 'Caps Fly Valley', 'Berijam Lake View' is scenic and good. Also the trek for Dolphin's nose till Echo point is exhilarating but deeply exhausting. Do not miss them if you are adventurous. For both of these tours try to book a day in advance since there might be certain days when you will not get to book them as they require some permission.
- The Kurinji flower is in full bloom around December once in 12 years, and it bathes the valley in a beautiful sea of blue. It was last in full bloom in 2006; its next bloom is expected in 2018. Kodaikanal is also referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations."
The closest airports to Kodaikanal are Trichy 150km, Madurai 120km and Coimbatore 175km.
Nearest railway station is Kodai Road at a distance of 100km. From Kodairoad station, one has to travel only by road. Taxis are available for hire up to Kodaikanal but since these might the only mode of transport here, the prices are often not negotiable.
Another Railway station that is quite close is Dindigul Railway station. It is easier to come to kodaikanal using this station as it is a much bigger city. Once you get down at the Dindigul Railway station, you can get an autorickshaw for around ₹50 to come to the Dindigul bus stand. And from there, there are frequent buses to Vathlagundu from where there are many buses to Kodaikanal. Straight buses are available from Dindigul to Kodaikanal as well, but you might have to wait for an hour or so. It takes around 1 hour from Dindigul to Vathlagundu (Batlagundu) and then about 2 hours from Vathlagundu to Kodaikanal by bus.
Kodaikanal is about 90km from Dindigul city and there are plenty of buses plying from various parts of the state.
Buses ply from Chennai, Pondicherry, Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul,Palani and Coimbatore.
From Madurai government buses depart frequently from the Arappalayam Bus stand. Cost is 70rs and takes roughly 4 hours.
Reach Kodaikanal from Kodai Road (80km) for ₹1700 approx, Dindigul or Madurai and then take a cab/taxi to Kodaikanal. The drive from Kodai road takes approximately 2 hours while the drive from Madurai takes approximately 3.5 hours and from Dindigul it takes about 2 hours.
From Cochin/Kochi (Kerala) is 295km via the hill station of Munnar(kerala). The route to be taken is Kochi-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Devikulam-Poopara-Bodi-Theni-Kodaikanal which is the NH49 Kochi-Madurai.
From Alappuzha or Kottayam, the route is via Kumily along Kottayam-Kumily road, KK Road
Boating on the Kodai Lake
- Berijam Lake - perhaps the most pristine of the three lakes in Kodai. This is a plastic free zone and it is beautiful and serene. The lake lies within a reserved forest region. You need to get permission to visit this lake. Permissions need to be obtained on the morning of the intended day of visit from the forest office. Usually the person who arranges the vehicle will arrange the permit. Moreover, in peak season, a limited number of vehicles are allowed in per day. Since this lake is used for providing drinking water no water sports activity is permitted. The route to Berijam lake is more scenic than the lake itself.
- Chettiar Park- a beautiful park with many coloured flowers and greenery. An area of reclining back at peace with nature. It is a pretty place for clicking pictures; and also have swings for kids.
- Coakers Walk- If you wish to catch the scenic valleys, the best time to visit the place would be before 2PM. But if you want to watch snow-like clouds (only in winter) beneath you form an ocean, reach the place between 3PM and 6PM. Try and catch the sunrise here or in the nearby Greenlands Hostel. A marvel. Also try out the telescope for Rs.5 near the main gate. This place is very near to the bus stand.
- Bryant park - A must see. Its main entrance is on the road surrounding the lake and is a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the boat club. Nicely maintained and a huge park. Their flower shows during summer are very famous.
- Kodai Lake- If you are going in winter, go boating in the evening, as it's an amazing experience to boat through fog settling on the lake. The lake is very near the bus stand. This is a star shaped lake and walking around it during the night is one of the best walking experience you can have in your life. Be cautious that there are lot of dogs around this lake and some places are extremely dark. Walk between 6 and 7 pm, then head back to your room. There is also option to hire bicycles, tandem bikes, horseriding all around the lake.
- Echo Point - If you are on a trek for Dolphin's nose and still walk further, you finally reach the Echo Point where at the very edge if you scream facing the rising mountains on your right, your voice will echo. Of course, it doesn't echo just the way it shows in movies but its still a wonderful experience.
- Kurinjiandavar Temple - about 4 km from the lake is a temple whose presiding God is Lord Muruga. The flowers inside the temple bloom once in 12 years. One can get a view of the Palani Hills and the Kodaikanal Town from this temple. During the winter, the view of Kodai city and Palani from the two ends of the temple is blocked. However, in summer, the visibility is good and hence the experience, too.
Flowers of the Kurinji plant that bloom once every twelve years
- Green Valley View/Suicide Point- has a more than 5000 ft steep drop from this point. The monkeys are a good attraction at this point. Renamed Green Valley View, apparently to prevent people from being lured to commit suicide. * Pillar Rocks - huge steep cliffs. Watch out for the cross at the top of the mountain hoisted by an English adventure enthusiast.
- Silent Valley View
- Cap's Fly - This place was a fun visit and is named so because any light-weighted material like bunch of leaves or as the name suggests 'caps' if thrown up from there will come back towards you. This is due to the atmospheric pressure up in that place.
- Devil's Kitchen - a cave known more to the locals, First being "Green Valley View" and "Pillar Rocks" and then finally "Guna Cave". Watch out for the deep hidden ravines. What would appear like mere dark gutters are actually a deep fall. Many unsuspecting people have fallen prey to the "devil's trap". So, watch your step!
- Guna Caves - a cave which became very famous after the movie GUNA. Very steep and risky to get in. The public may not be allowed to enter this cave nowadays, though it's a very good place to take pics. But if you are not a professional spelunker, a trip to this cave may be your last. Getting back will be problem as it's very dark and there could be about a 90% chance of suffering a free fall.
- Pine Forest -It's on the way to the guna cave. A great view of long, pine trees which were actually planted by the Britishers. You can go a little deep into the forest and be surrounded with numerous pine trees one after the other. Opportunities for some interesting photo shoots available! You can also buy fresh carrots and plum and local fruits from there.
- Shanthi Valley - another pine forest nice place.
- Silver Cascade - it's a nice waterfall on the road side from kodai road to kodai kanal, just before 4-5 kms from kodai kanal. The cold water flows and it's really super to bathe in the cold water and travel in between the eucalyptus trees. If you are going to kodai kanal by private vehicle on the way, you can visit the place. Buy fresh carrots and some exotic veggies around here.
- Old Suicide Point This place is about 5 minutes before the pine forest (the main/old pine forest I mean. In recent days tourists get down to see the pine forest in many places as an entire stretch is full of pine trees) while driving from the observatory side. You need to get down and walk towards the cliff. Here you will see a small pathway on the left side. If you take this path and walk for about 10 minutes you will reach the old suicide point. The view from there is simply breathtaking.
- Bear Shola falls This is a really beautiful water falls. But during some seasons there may not be any water there. But climbing up the falls is a good trek.
- Wax Museum Recently opened wax museum is situated near Green Valley View/Suicide Point.
- Cycle around the lake - and watch the clouds while they slowly descend onto the water; cycles are available for hire at the lake on an hourly basis. It is possible to cycle to other places although cycling one way will be difficult due to the hilly terrain. Do check the cycles before setting out. Cycles(without gear) are available at Rs 50 per hour.
- Boating at the Kodai lake - paddle and row boats are available at the lake. Entrance is via the Kodaikanal Boat Club.
- Trekking - Kodai offers several scenic trekking spots, including one which is to walk along the stream which goes to dolphin nose. Kodai tourist office has a trekking guide which is available for free there, which lists all the possible trekking routes and difficulty levels. The tourist office advises people to take guides and offers to provide them, although this is not necessary. An easy trek is the Perumalmalai trek which is the tallest mountain that area. Kodaikanal to Kumbakarai treking via Velagavi is the most famous one, it consumes 5 hours trekking.
- Wander About - Kodai has numerous waterfalls and beautiful views not mentioned in the tourist guides, so wandering about can bring you to some spectacular place.
- Horse Riding - Right near the front of the entrance to the boat club, you can rent a horse (with the trainer) to take you around the lake.
- Balloon Shooting: Outside Green Valley View
- Watch a Tamil movie - go down the PT road, continue to S-road. Then turn left, after the petroleum station. Just ask which way is to cinema, almost every local knows it. Vellaiyappan cinema theatre - is old building with relatively big screen and cheap tickets - great experience. Ticket cost 30 rs (15 may 2009)
- fun park, near fairy falls (via peter school), ☎ 094871447131.
- Kodaikanal Yoga Center, .
- Ram Parai View point, Near Observatory. Breath taking viewpoint. Raam movie Climax was shot here.
- solar planetarium
- The Prana Spa, Convent Road (Convent Road, call and book before visiting), ☎ +919442035389, . 8am to 6pm. Prana - 'life force' in sanskrit is a cute destination spa where travellers around the world come for rejuvenating their vitality and life energies. 350 to 1000.
- Kodaikanal Yoga Center, Karuna Farm, Prakashpuram (Please get in touch before coming for directions), ☎ +91 9360750817, . Morning & Afternoon. Located deep in a magical forest at the heart of an ecological farm, the Kodaikanal Yoga Center is a space for spiritual practice in nature. The center holds regular daily Morning & Afternoon classes as well as Yoga, Meditation-Art and Meditation workshops. Complementing these are courses, lectures and training that include: healing arts, ecological lifestyle and more. For those that wish to come please get in touch and make sure you book your accommodation in the farm before arriving. Complementary Morning Yoga to all farm guests. Afternoon Yoga on Request.
- tchouny family tattoo studio (su), shop no 1 and 2, satya complex,7 road junction, kodaikanal (opposite K.I.S main entrance.), ☎ 8012111227. 12pm to 8pm. Get a tattoo from the couple at the tchouny family tattoo studio at 7rd junction.
- Cheese Factory - Various Cheeses.
- Home made Chocolates - Kodai's shops are stocked with home made chocolates. These are a lot cheaper compared to the major brands. Usually your local tour operators will take you to such places if shopping is mentioned in the tour package. The chocolates of different flavors are sold with prices a kilo ranging from Rs.300 to Rs.500. However, mostly they offer all flavors mixed together for around Rs.400 which is worth it.
- Eucalyptus Oil and herbal oils- A Variety of oils like Eucalyptus oil, LemonGrass oil [ for stomach disorders ], Gaultheria oil [ for joint pains/aches ]Citriodora oil that prevent hairfall, herbal soaps etc are also available at many such shops.
- Spices Corner . Has an exclusive range of essential and aromatic oils, herbal teas, coffees, mouth watering chocolates & spices.
There is a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM near the petrol pump at the Seven Road Junction which accepts other banks cards as well.
- The Potters Shed - The Potters Shed produces a wide variety of handmade stoneware pottery ~ both crockery and artefacts. All products are microwavable, dish-washer safe and oven-proof. The factory is located in a village 7 kms outside Kodai.
- Brooklyn Rewards Card Shop, Convent Road, ☎ +919442035389, . 9 to 5. A shop where you can buy the Brooklyn Rewards card on a daily rate, weekly or yearly rate. This card gives you fantastic discounts to the best restaurants, hotels, chocolate, cheese, spices, handicrafts, semi precious stone and adventure shops in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal is not a major eating hotspot. Food everywhere is pretty normal and do not expect something too special or out of ordinary.
However you can expect getting really tasty home-made chocolates almost anywhere. However try the shops near the 'Pambar Falls' a.k.a 'Liril Falls' which keep better quality chocolates and are government certified.
Some better places to eat are as below :
- RJ Inn - Near Fern Hill Road. Good, fresh food for lunch, especially for North Indians. Nothing fancy, but good if you want to eat to your heart's appetite some nice homely cooked food in a homely atmosphere.
- Eden Paradise Restaurant - Paradise Compound, Laws Ghat Road. Serves Tasty ethnic Keralite cuisine
- Astoria Veg Reasturant - This is one of the best vegetarian restaurant in Kodaikanal.
- Pastry Corner - Cakes, Pastry, Coffee and Tea are excellent in this place. Located near bus stand and Astoria Veg Restaurant. Never miss this small but good place. Usually quite crowded, hard to miss!
- Rasoi - 106 Maratha Shopping Complex, Annasalai. Serves pretty normal gujarati and excellent veg. Punjabi thali. The Chola batora and alu paratha are their specialities. Also recommend the channa masala and garlic naan. Friendly and reasonably priced.
- Tibetan Brothers - PT Road. The food is mouth watering and authentic Tibetan and Chinese. Try the steamed momos or the Thukpa. The owner who doubles up as a waiter is very courteous - and very passionate about his country. So the restaurant walls are plastered with photos of Lhasa, Potala palace and the Dalai and Panchen lamas.
- The Royal Tibet - PT Road. In this restaurant you will get best momos specially potato cheese momo for vegetarian, for non-veg you can choose beef,chicken and mutton. Noodles are freshly made everyday and you get fantastic soups. It gets bit noisy when restaurants gets jam packed with kodaikanal international school students.
- Tava - 7 road junction. Outstanding Sindhi food, express service.
- Pine & Petals - JC Residency,Convent Road,Naidupuram. Multi-cusine restaurant.
- Sree Krishna Restaurant Bhojanalaya- 100% pure veg Bhojanalaya, serving North Indian, Rajashthani & Gujarati food
- PotLuck - A cute little European style cafe with outdoor seating on the verandah(balcony); PotLuck serves fresh food and off-the-shelf delicacies carefully cooked in Kodai kitchens. The fresh food consists of an international menu including pastas, quesadillas, sandwiches, Spanish omelettes and waffles/pancakes. A great place to hang out for either a meal or a snack - and be sure to order either their special cappuccino or Mayan hot cocoa! You can take away off-the-shelf items like coffee-bean chocolates, lemon curd, Mexican salsas, burgers, fresh thin crust pizzas, garlic pickles and marmalades.
- Cloud Street - Serves pasta, sizzlers, Continental food and other international cuisine. The barbeque chicken sizzlers, pastas, lemon cake and the chocolate biscuits are really yummy.
- Chocolate factory - Good collection of home made chocolate. They also have a good varieties of fruit syrup filled chocolate. Try the hot chocolate, Rs 60 per cup.
There is a shop near the bus stand where you can get some standard Indian whisky, beer, vodka, etc.
Morning View from Greenland Hostel
Staying in Cottage or a Bungalow is probably better than staying in a closed AC room in some random hotel. If you stay somewhere 3-4 km from main city you might get cheaper cottages and bungalow that too with good view. But it is always preferable to stay near the Lake, where one doesn't need to worry about food and you can have nice walk in the evenings.
- Jayaraj Hotel, Bazaar Road (5 minute walk right out of the bus station, down the hill), ☎ +91 4542 240 178 ([email protected]), . Standard rooms are budget priced but not always the cleanest, ask for a different room if shown one not to your liking. Comfortable enough with hot water and blankets, but no WiFi for guests - despite what their website/booking sites say. Good for 1 or 2 nights at most. 660.
- Cranberry Residency, 2/73 ECC Road Naidupuram (Naidupuram Hill Top, 2 Km from Heart of town or 20 Mins walking), ☎ +914542 242044 ([email protected]), . Rs.1850/- onwards.
- Greenlands Youth Hostel, (next to Coakers Walk.), ☎ +91 4542 240899.. This is the best place if you want the best view and also the feel of the bygone times. You can get dormitories as well as single/double rooms and the prices are very reasonable. However, do book in advance.Fresh food both veg and non veg available. one kilometer distance from the crowded areas. Quiet place facing the valley view. Friendly people.
- Kodai Retreat, #55 , Edistone Compound, Convent Rd, Kodaikanal, India 624 101 (about 1.5 kms away from the Lake), ☎ Mobile: +91 9842412190; Land Line: (04542) 240911,242144 ([email protected]).
- New Gold Nest, (about 3 km away from the lake and on the way to the Kurinjiandavar Temple.), ☎ 04542) 241214, 243070, 243071. This property comprises individual cottages which are located overlooking the valley and offer enchanting views of the clouds rising through the gaps in the mountains.
- Hotel Spring Valley, 25,Laws Ghat Road (about 1.5 kms away from the Lake, near Zion Matriculation), ☎ +9198655 91202 ([email protected]), .
- Lilly's Valley Resor, 17/178 Sivanandi Road (1 1/2 Km from Heart of town or 15 Mins walking), . Lilly’s was the very first resort to be built in Kodaikanal back in 1982 by Mr. Raj A. Sukumar, who felt the place resembled somewhere in England he had seen.
- Hotel Gurupriya, 17 Laws Ghat Road (Near Zion Matriculation School, 1.5 Km from Heart of town or 15 Mins walking), ☎ +914542 241136 ([email protected]), . Rs.750/- onwards.
- Hotel JC Residency - Kodaikanal, Convent Road, Naidupuram, Kodaikanal - 624 101.TamilNadu, India., ☎ +91 (4542) 245224, +91 (4542) 245225, +91 (4542) 242367, +91 (4542) 242356, +91 7373737365, +91 7373737366, +91 7373737367 ([email protected]), .
- Hilltop Towers, ([www.hilltopgroup.in])located in the Club Road (walkable distance from lake) offers you a proper stay on suitable budget of around Rs.3000 Contact - 04542 240 413.
- Elephant Valley Hotel, Ganesh Puram,Perumal Malai, Kodaikanal. (Pethupari (Via)), ☎ +91-9364455440 ([email protected]), . Elephant Valley Eco Farm Hotel is a 100 acre nature reserve and organic farm welcoming eco-tourists. If you aspire to embrace nature, revive forgotten traditions and discover extraordinary animal species than Elephant Valley is just the place you need. Build on eco-friendly principles, it offers 24 aesthetic villas plus a Tree House and serve healthy gourmet fusion food, prepared using organic vegetables than you can pick-up with the chef in the garden. Learn about coffee from the plant to the cup. Elephant Valley coffee has already made a name for itself. You can also go trekking and horse riding to discover its amazing biodiversity and landscapes: native birds, leopards, deers, buffalos and elephants. Traiff INR 3,300/- to 7,200/-.
- "MARS Cottages", individual cottages offers low price and aesthetic location with home made food and clean organic environment. Serenity with safety. Cottages are placed at the top of secured independent hills and also close to city and Lake. Available single and double bedrooms cottages. Cost per family would be from Rs 1500 to Rs 3200. Best cost effective place for honey-mooners and small families. Ph: 9500015206
- Hotel RJ INN, ()located in the Fern Hill Road (10-15 walk able from lake) offers you a memorable stay on suitable budget. Contact - +91 9500645583 [email protected]
- Misty Mountain, Independent cotages. Available single and double bedrooms cottages.Nice place for honey moon couples and family get-togethers. Two kms from bus stand. Cottages are placed at the top of secured independent hills Ph: 9962087706.
- Kodai Resort Hotel in front of Coakers Walk, . Good Cottages and good lawn with Birds flying Ducks in the garden.
- Snooze Inn, . A well run budget hotel situated in the heart of Kodaikanal, known for its clean rooms and prompt service.
- Villa Retreat, next to Coakers Walk, . Strategic location, mind blowing views. A nice little cozy resort located bang on the Coaker's walk. On walking distance is Kodai lake, Coaker's walk and Bryant Park. The hotel staff is very courteous and helpful. The rooms are clean with simple decor. Best thing is they serve fresh food hence request the customer to order well in time. Good variety for both Veg and Non-Veg cuisine. Contact no. - 9244243940.
- Valley View Inn, Luxury hotel in the true sense. Three star - Nearer to Coakers Walk, . High quality veg food.
- Bhadra Homes,  on the way to Bearshola falls (about 1km from lake) is a homestay which offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Contact - 075986 89007, 096291 83982
- The Carlton Hotel. This is one of the best hotels with a great view of the Kodai Lake. Book in the off season and you could get a 3 nights package for about 16K (for 2 people) with food and sight seeing. A good time for the honeymooners would be to go during the winter season. The hotel is within 5 minutes walking distance from restaurants and the local market. Also, there are small eateries and shops right outside the hotel.
- Fairway Inn l . Call +91 9442328446 This is one of the best cottage stays in Kodaikanal with super luxury cottages in a private two acre property. It is a 190 year old heritage property, with a rich history, culture, and beautiful organic gardens that complete your relaxing holiday. It has been the destination for royalty, celebrities, world leaders, industrialists and people from all walks of life who want an unique Kodaikanal experience and value exceptional comfort, and service.
- Club Mahindra Hill Country Resorts, Arackal, Attuvampatti PO, Kodaikanal - 624101, ☎ +91-0454-2240953, . Situated just 4 km from Kodai lake, the resort is spread over five acres of lush green hillside, commanding a good view of the chain of hills.
- Serenità Homestay (1800m), 967, Misty Meadows, Kurinji Nagar, Kodaikanal, . An exclusive and tranquil Homestay with Bed & Breakfast accommodation a short distance off the ghat road, well before the hustle and bustle of Kodaikanal yet very close to it. Serenità Home stay is peacefully perched on a serene and secluded hillside offering an exhilarating view. Contact No: +91 9442273234
- United-21 Resort, Kodaikanal, United-21 Resort, Kodaikanal, Vilpatty Road,Pachamarathodai, Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, India., ☎ 04542241953, . Panoramic Group United-21 Resort, Kodaikanal is a paradise on a hilltop at Kodaikanal in Tamilnadu, it is an idyllic escape from the scorching heat and the teaming streets of the Plains.
- SaffronStays Kurinji Estate, Sunny Woodlands, Kurinji Temple road, 624101, . checkin: 1:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. Kurinji Estate - A nine-acre estate featuring a picturesque, 6-bedroom, 1930s stone cottage tucked away from the main market. Crafted using a traditional Thanjavur-style stone, Kurinji is a seamless blend of heritage architecture and modern amenities. Boasting of six cozy bedrooms, verdant ivy-covered exteriors and a lovely verandah decked with tea tables, this gorgeous heritage bungalow will take you back in time. If Kodaikanal is on your travel list this year, then Kurinji Estate with its impeccable Tamil hospitality is a definite must-stay. Rs. 4000 onwards.
- Kodai Resort hotel (Kodai Resort Hotel), Coaker’s Walk,Kodaikanal,, ☎ +91-9443340106, . checkin: 10 am; checkout: 10 am. Spread across 2 acres of land, Kodai resort offers 50 cottages for an elegant stay furnished with all modern amenities and facilities. (10.232800,77.494497)
- Tourist Office (Govt. of Tamil Nadu): Township Bus Stand Rest House . Complex (Next Bus Stand), Kodaikanal, Phone: 04542 241675
- Van Allen Hospital - The only hospital available in Kodaikanal. Established by American missionaries. For major treatments, you have to go to Madurai hospitals.
Buses frequently leave for Madurai and a handful of other cities.
To Coimbatore, there is a 7:30 bus for 108rs, takes roughly 8 hours.