Kodaikanal is the most sought after honeymoon destination in South India because of its scenic beauty and it has the attribute to leave any nature lover mesmerized by its charms. The word Kodaikanal means gift of the forest in local language. The dense forest with many varieties of trees, the huge rocks in the wilderness and the enchanting waterfalls, makes it a real gift for the tourists visiting this place. Kodaikanal is famous for eucalyptus oil, homemade chocolates, plums and pears. Kodaikanal is famous for the kurinji - flowers, which blossoms only once in twelve years.
Photo Credit: Challiyan
Location: Tamil Nadu, District Dindigal
Altitude: 2133 Meters
Area: 21.45 Sq. Km.
Temperature: (summer 20 to 36°C) & (winter 8 to 30°C)
Languages spoken: Tamil, Hindi and English
Nearest Airports: Nearest airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai airport
Main Railway Station: The nearest Railway station is Kodai Rail head.
Main Bus Station or Road: There are plenty Tourist bus services to reach Kodaikanal from Madurai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Trichy and Chennai
Distance of a few Major Towns from Kodaikanal:
Munnar- 185km, Dindigul-25KM, Palani Hills- 57km, Thekkady-154km, Madurai- 40km.
Mutton Biryani, Coconut chutney, Lady's Finger Vegetable, Idli, Dal Curry, Pongal are some famous dishes found here.
Places of Tourist interest:
It is recognized as Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods.
It is a botanical garden. The garden is with 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is an 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale
Bear Shola Falls:
It is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot-path.
Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History- There is an outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes' people whose descendants still live in these hills.
It became popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devil's Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.
It is a flat rock projecting over a breathtaking charm. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometer (1 mi) down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through a rugged bridle path here. A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls (which is also locally addressed as 'Liril Falls' after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985).
Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple:
4 kilometers (2 mi) from the bus-stand, famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easware, who is in fact Lord Murugan. This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who on coming to India, converted to Hinduism. She changed her name to Leelavathi and married a man called Mr. Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan. This temple is under the management of Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani.
Getting around the destination:
Taxis and vans are available. Limited city buses are also the available mode of transport.
Shopping Areas & Entertainment:
While shopping in Kodaikanal, you will be fascinated by the homemade chocolates, marshmallows and cheese that you find in the bakeshops in the town. If you are interested in aromatherapy, you can also choose from a range of oils and herbs in shops exclusively selling natural products. Eucalyptus oils found here are quite popular.
Best time to visit:
April to June and August to September is the best time to visit the destination.
Kodaikanal has a diverse culture and a number of festivals are celebrated by the people here. Some of the festivals celebrated here are Mother Salette Festival which is a nine-day festival that attracts people from all over south India without taking concern about the caste, creed and culture. Apart from Indian tourists, a number of tourists from other countries also come here to enjoy this festival. During 14 -15 August every year Kodaikanal comes alive with this carnival which is the highlight of every year.
Apart from this other festivals, Tea and Tourism Festival in January, The Summer festival in May, Chithirai Festival in April and Natyanjali festival during Mahashivratri are celebrated with great fervor in Kodai.
Also several festivals like Flower Show, Dog Show and Boat Show are organized in the region during the Summer Festival in May.