Visiting Kodaikanal

Visiting Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is one of the beautiful hill-stations of the Indian sub-continent. It is a charming place and the whole town has grown around the Kodai Lake which is the main attraction here. In Tamil, the word “Kodaikanal means” Gift of the Forest and that is the best way of describing this verdant town.

History

Kodaikanal find a mention in Tamil history as early as the 12th century. It was historically the residence of the Paliyans and Pulyans tribe’s folks, they can still be traced to the villages nearby. In the 18th century, when the British wanted to escape the harsh summer in Chennai and Madurai, they started scouting for a convenient place. Then a surveyor named Lt.B.S.Ward discovered the tranquility of Kodaikanal and recommended it due to its close proximity to other cities in Southern India and pleasant climate. The British then developed this as a resort town, even today you see a lot of churches and mansions built during British times which lend a nice old world charm to this place.

Visiting Kodaikanal - Accommodation & Places To Visit In Kodaikanal

About Kodai

The town of Kodaikanal is cradled in the Palani Hills, which is part of the Western Ghats. The climate here is pleasant all the year round, but the best time to visit is March to June and then later after the monsoon season from October to December. he summer temperatures can go up to maximum 22 degrees C, while in winters it may dip to 8 degrees C. Kodaikanal is located 2,133 meters above sea level and has an area of 21 sq kms. The star shaped lake spread over 24 hectares is one of the most beautiful and clean lakes in India. The lake is surrounded by thick woods and you can spend hours in its vicinity. You can either opt for leisurely walks around the lake or rent cycles which are available all over Kodai and follow the cycling trail around the lake. The serene lake surrounded by lush greenery is the lungs of Kodaikanal and keeps the town pleasantly cool throughout the year.

Visiting Kodaikanal - Accommodation & Places To Visit In Kodaikanal

There are a lot of options in Kodai for all types of travelers. For those who love the outdoors, trekking trails can be selected based on distance and type of terrain. For beginners, the trail from Kodaikanal to Berijam is a good option while experienced trekkers can explore the Periyakulam – Adukkam – Kodaikanal trek which is almost 18 kms long. Horse riding is another outdoor activity for those who love riding, you can take a ride around the lake or hire a horse and take them out to a couple of soft riding tracks around Kodai. Fishing is another activity you can indulge in, there are a lot of streams and waterfalls around Kodaikanal which are teaming with fish and you can try your luck there.

For those who are looking for a more relaxed vacation, you can simply explore the picturesque beauty of this place by hanging out with your family and friends, enjoying a cup of hot tea and local snacks and taking leisurely walks around the lake. The lingering smell of eucalyptus adds its own special touch to Kodaikanal and cannot be forgotten in a hurry. You can also hire cycles at nominal rates and explore the town, it is a refreshing change from our rushed travelling in cities and the fresh air rejuvenates you. For those looking for some spiritual sojourn, there is a yoga centre which conducts meditation workshops regularly.

Visiting Kodaikanal - Accommodation & Places To Visit In Kodaikanal

When you are in Kodaikanal, you simply cannot return without experiencing boating. Both pedal boats and rowing boats are available for hire at the boat club, the tranquility when you are boating and are surrounded by the calm waters with birds chirping away and the clouds hovering above you cannot be described in words.

One of the legacies left behind by the British here is cheese and chocolates, you should not miss the different varieties of mouth watering cheese offered here. Homemade chocolates of different flavors which are readily available here can give big brands a run for their money. You can also shop for eucalyptus and various herbal oils, which are beneficial in providing relief from joint pains. There are a variety of spices and teas available on sale also.

Places to Visit

The lists that top the tourist list of must-see places include Coaker’s walk which will give a scenic view of the entire valley, Pillar Rocks which are enormous steep edged cliffs, Moir Point, Berijam Lake which is one of the most pristine lakes you get to see, Bryant Park, pine forests which are perfect for walks and horse riding and Silver Cascade. It is convenient to hire a local cab to do this sightseeing.

Visiting Kodaikanal - Accommodation & Places To Visit In Kodaikanal

Getting there

The nearest airport is Madurai (120 kms), followed by Coimbatore (170 kms) and Trichy (200 kms). If you are travelling by train, then Palani, Kodai or Dindigul railway stations are conveniently located in the 80 km radius. Buses and private cabs for Kodaikanal are easily available from all the major cities of Tamil Nadu.

Accommodation

There are hotels suitable for every budget here in Kodaikanal, the rates from April to June will have a premium due to the tourist season here. Resorts such as the Carlton Hotel are for those looking for a luxurious vacation, while for those who are looking in the economy range can choose from many options, there are some home stays also which are located on the outskirts of the town.

Visiting Kodaikanal - Accommodation & Places To Visit In Kodaikanal

Interesting facts

A flower, named Kurunji, blooms every 12 years and paints the entire valley in a beautiful hue of blue. It last bloomed in the year 2006 and is now expected to bloom in the year 2018 next. The Liril soap advertisement, which had become very popular in the 80s was shot in waterfalls near Kodaikanal.

So now that we seen what Kodaikanal has to offer, do keep it in mind while planning your next vacation. And when the travel bug bites you next, just pack your bags and head down south to this hidden haven and enjoy nature at its best.

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