Kodaikanal is a prominent hill town in South India, visited by all kinds of tourists for its natural beauty, charming buildings and adventure activities. From boating in untarnished lakes to hiking in verdant forests and nature trails, the hill station is packed with multiple activities and sites you can never get tired of.
If and when you’re planning a trip to Kodaikanal, be sure to check out our list of its top tourist places that you must visit. Find them below.
Places To Visit In Kodaikanal For One Day: Lakes & Waterfalls
1. Kodaikanal Lake
A star-shaped lake, the Kodai Lake is a top tourist attraction and a landmark. Boating in the lake is a favourite tourist activity. The water is clean and in winters is surrounded by mist & fog. A half-hour boat ride is the shortest one you must go for.
A lot of tourists enjoy horse riding and biking around the lake. The 5-km pathway around the lake is ideal for an early morning or a late evening walk.
- Where: Kodaikanal Road
A lesser-visited but surely more scenic lake. Located on the outskirts of Kodaikanal, the lake is a secluded beauty surrounded by colourful meadows similar to the Swiss grasslands. Taking long walks is a preferred way to relax here.
Fun things to do here are to take a coracle ride, and check out the sheep/goat and rabbit farm in the vicinity. This is a good picnic spot as well as a great destination to take photographs.
- Where: Mannavanur
3. Berijam Lake
Another picturesque lake in the outskirts of the city, the Berijam Lake is a paradise for nature lovers. A freshwater reservoir, the Lake is home to several interesting species of flora and fauna, including medicinal plants of the shola grasslands and animals like bisons, giant squirrels, langoor and elephants.
The lake has pristine waters and it is ubiquitously agreed that the forest route leading to the lake is as scenic as the lake itself. You will need permission from forest ministry to enter.
- Where: Old site of Fort Hamilton
4. Bear Shola Falls
A small waterfall, that must be visited during monsoon, Bear Shola Falls is located close to Kodaikanal Lake. The trekking trail that leads to the falls is surrounded by lush eucalyptus trees and is quite secluded during off season.
The waterfall is mostly dry apart from the monsoon, but visit for the forest trail which is spectacular. Also find animals and birds lurking around on the trail and take awesome pictures.
- Where: Bear Shola Road
5. Silver Cascade Waterfall
This is a steep waterfall that gushes from a good altitude of 180 feet. The water looks silver as it streams down strongly from the top. It is enroute Kodaikanal, so lot of tourists stop by before entering the hill station.
There are a few shops selling eatables nearby and you can either take pictures of the waterfall on your way in or stop by and splash around in the pool.
- Where: Law’s Ghat Road
Places To Visit In Kodaikanal For One Day: Landmarks & Points Of Interest
6. Coaker’s Walk
An epic walk that offers splendid views of the valley, Coaker’s walk is ideal for solitary walks or romantic strolls. During monsoons and winters, it’s like taking a walk in the clouds. Take an early morning walk to enjoy the fresh sunrise.
It starts at Greenlands Youth Hostel and further ahead there is a telescope house to watch the views. There are several food vendors in the area for a quick bite.
- Where: St Mary’s Road
7. La Saleth Church
La Saleth is a historical Church, the oldest church in Kodaikanal (around 155 years old) and is a famous landmark known for its ambience. It is a peaceful destination surrounded by wondrous views and French style architecture.
Its location over the hill makes it an ideal spot to view vistas nearby. The church has a Roman/Gothic look to it.
- Where: Near Coaker’s Walk
8. Pillar Rocks
These are huge cliffs that look like pillars and are a popular destination in Kodaikanal. These vertical boulders are covered in mist and clouds on most days and the chambers that are formed between them are the notorious Devil’s Kitchen fraught with danger.
The panoramic views from the rocks are worth the visit. There is a nice little garden called Lavelle Garden where you can sit and relax.
- Where: Pillar Rocks Road
9. Bryant Park
A well-manicured botanical garden in the city, Bryant Park is an iconic point of interest in Kodaikanal. The park has over 300 species of beautiful flora, flowers that are a treat for the eyes. It also has a walking/cycling path and a play area for children.
Bryant Park is famous for its glass house, its rose garden (over 700 varieties), an ancient Eucalyptus tree and a manmade lake. In the summer the park hosts a flower show which is a must visit. Visit for leisurely strolls and photo ops.
- Where: Lower Shola Road
10. Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
This is an observatory of Indian Institute of Astrophysics located in Palani Hills. It has H Alpha Telescope, Twin Telescope and Warm Telescope among others.
It has a small museum which has interesting information about the solar system. There is also a good library and telescopes for the visitors. It is a great place to go with your kids.
- Where: Poombari Road
11. Kodaikanal Pine Forest
An astounding nature trail among tall and mesmerising pine trees of Kodaikanal. Do trek the forest route to enjoy the surreal charm of gigantic pine trees and lush foliage.
This is where a lot of South Indian movies are shot and walking among the well-maintained and picture-perfect heritage forest is a great way to capture memorable pictures.
- Where: Pine forest, Kodaikanal
12. Shembaganur Museum of Natural History
For those who love palaeontology and natural history, this museum is a must visit. You can find over 500 species of bird and animal species as well as 300 orchid species.
Apart from anthropology, flora and fauna, you can find a herbarium and handicraft artefacts here. Spend at least an hour in this small but highly informative museum.
- Where: Law’s Ghat Road
Places To Visit In Kodaikanal For One Day: View Points
13. Moir Point
Moir Point was named after a Britisher called Sir Thomas Moir who built the Moschem Road. It is a point that connects Kodaikanal to Berijam Lake. The watch over point offers amazing views of the surrounding valleys.
There are many local food stalls here and several shops that sell home-made chocolates which are a speciality of Kodaikanal.
- Where: Ten Mile Round
14. Dolphin’s Nose
A high cliff shaped like a dolphin’s nose has to trek on foot. The trail leads you to a summit that offers incomparable views of mountains.
This is a moderately difficult trek that will take around 2 to 3 hours. Further ahead of Dolphin’s Nose is the Echo Point which offers even more breathtaking views and is less crowded.
- Where: 8 kms from Upper Shola Road
15. Caps Fly Valley
This is a less crowded viewpoint, visited by nature lovers who have an interest in Physics. Due to the atmospheric pressure created at this location, if you throw a light object such as a cap, it comes flying back at you.
Visit for this unique experience and also for the amazing sights of the surroundings. The area is peaceful and great for photography.
- Where: Berijam Road
16. Silent Valley View Point
A hillside viewpoint that offers views of green meadows and misty mountains, Silent Valley View Point is a popular spot in Kodaikanal.
Take permission from forest ministry to visit this viewpoint. It may be possible that the excessive clouds may limit your view but the surreal atmospherics of the valley are truly amazing.
- Where: Berijam Road
A charming hill station with a laid-back ambience, Kodaikanal will surely enchant you with its distinct serenity and natural landscapes. Let us know your experience in the comment box below.