Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's finest hill stations. It is situated 7,200 feet above sea level amongst the picturesque Nilgiri Hills.
The Kurinji Flower is in full bloom around December once in 12 years, and it bathes the valley in a beautiful sea of blue. Its because of this the hills are known as Nilgiris (Nil means Blue and Giri means Hill). It was last in full bloom in 2006; its next bloom is expected in 2018. Kodaikanal is also sometimes referred to as "Princess of Hill stations."
The closest airports to Kodaikanal are Madurai 120 kms and Coimbatore 175 km.
Nearest railhead is Kodaikanal road. Kodairoad Station is nearly 80 km.
Reach Kodai Road,Dindigul or Madurai and then take a cab to Kodaikanal. Ask the resort to arrange for the pick-up. The drive from Kodai road takes approximately 2 hrs while the drive from Madurai takes approximately 3 1/2 hours and from Dindigul it takes about 2 hrs.
Boating on the Kodai Lake
- Berijam Lake - perhaps the most pristine of the three lakes in Kodai
- 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.
- Bryant park
- Kodai Lake- If you are going in Winter, do the boating in the evening, as its an amazing experience to boat through fogs settling on the lake.
- 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 suicides.
- Pillar Rocks - huge steep cliffs which look like "Pillayar" (Lord Ganesh in local language Tamil). Watch out for the cross at the top of the mountain hoisted by an English adventure enthusiast.
- Silent Valley View
- Devil's Kitchen - a cave known more to the locals, in between "Green Valley View" and "Pillar Rocks". 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. Think public are not allowed to enter this cave nowadays. A very good place to take pics..
- 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
- Boating at the Kodai lake - paddle and row boats are available at the lake.
- Trekking - Kodai offers several scenic trekking spots, including one which is to walk along the stream which goes to dolphin nose.
- Kodaikanal Public School, .
- Kodaikanal Christian School.
- Zion School.
- Kodaikanal International School (KIS).
- Kodaikanal Christian College - Prakashapuram, Kodaikanal.
- Bhavan's Gandhi Vidyashram - part of the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan.
- Belgium Convent
- 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.
- Eucalyptus Oil and herbal oils- A Variety of oils that claim to relieve joint pains and other aches are also available at every shop.
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.
- Eden Paradise Restaurant, Paradise Compound, Laws Ghat Road. Serves Tasty Ethnic Keralite Cuisine
- Astoria Veg Reasturant - This is one of the best vegetarian reasturant in the Kodai
- Rasoi, 106 Maratha Shopping Complex, Annasalai. Serves excellent gujarathi and veg. punjabi thali. The Chola Batora and alu Paratha are their specialities.
- Villa Retreat, Coakers Walk, .
- Paradise Inn, Laws Ghat Road, Kodaikanal.
- Kodaiinternational, .
- Cloud Street Café, P T Road. For some mouth-watering food. Be sure to make it there in the morning to sample their English Breakfast, or slip in at lunch time for a slice of pizza and maybe some lemon chicken. The food here is simply out of this world, but the café has very strict timings, so get there early if you want a scrumptious meal.
- Tava, 7 road junction. Outstanding Sindhi food, express service.
- Tibetan brothers, 7 road junction. Piping hot momos, among others.
- Greenlands Youth Hostel, next to Coakers Walk. This is the best place if you want the best view and also the feel of the bygone times
- Staying in Cottage or a Bungalow is always better than staying in a closed AC room in a hotel. If you stay somewhere 3-4 km from main city you might get cheaper cottages and bungalow that too with good view.
However,If you wish to stay close to the main city area, Hotel Astoria (Budget) would be a good option. Hotel Bala International is another option. Both are at just 5 mins walking distance from Coakers walk and Kodai lake. Another option is the New Gold Nest, about 3 km away from the lake and on the way to the Kurinjiandavar Temple. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tourist Office (Govt. of Tamil Nadu): Township Bus Stand Rest House
Complex (Next Bus Stand), Kodaikanal, Phone: 241675
- Van Allen Hospital - The only hospital available in Kodaikanal. Established by American missionaries. For major treatments, you have to go to Madurai hospitals.