Kodaikanal is located in the Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu, in the state’s Dindigul District. The term, when translated from Tamil, means “The Gift of the Forest.” A location of immense beauty, most think of Kodaikanal as the “princess” of hill-stations. The local economy depends on its tourism and hospitality industry, and many tourists flock here to seek refuge from the heat and the sweat, and in a more modern sense, the stress and the bustle of their humdrum lives.
Choosing to visit Kodaikanal is a decision well-made, and we hope this article helps you find the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.
Best Places To Visit in Kodaikanal
1. Kurinji Andavar Temple
The Kurinji Andavar Temple at Kodaikanal is a spiritual journey. Beyond the temple walls, one is given a view of the hills of Kodaikanal, where the sky and the fog blend. The temple is peaceful and quiet, especially on weekdays. There are a number of shops outside the temple, where you can find hand-made artefacts and handicrafts that make for very good souvenirs and gifts. Do visit.
2. Bryant Park
A paradise in itself, Bryant Park is a famous botanical garden that was founded by a member of the British Army during the Colonial Era, Glenn Bryant. In May, the park conducts flower shows, and within the garden, there is a greenhouse filled with a variety of plants, flowering and otherwise. There is nothing really more beautiful that a well-maintained garden, don’t you think?
3. La Saleth Church
La Saleth Church was established in the 1800s, which makes it a historical location as well as a religious one. Absolutely beautiful, especially during the Sunday Mass. You could visit La Saleth Church to experience peace as its most undefined state. The Church sits at the very end of a walk, and has places for visitors to rest and enjoy the weather and the tranquility.
4. Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
An interesting visit for students and curious children, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is maintained by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. However, visitors are not allowed within the Observatory premises themselves, but are free to roam the Museum there. A place where it is absolutely permissible to look up at the stars and not at your feet, visit to learn about the universe beyond.
5. Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History
The Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History is divided into Anthropology, Handicrafts and Flora-&-Fauna. This museum is also home to an extremely well-maintained orchidarium, as well as butterflies and moths, reptiles and mammals. The natural history of Kodaikanal is preserved in the museum, and it makes for a very educational, as well as beautiful view of nature, geological formations as well as 2500 varieties of plants and 300 varieties of trees. Make sure to visit.
6. Kodaikanal Lake
Also known as Kodai Lake, this lake is man-made and created in 1863. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kodaikanal, the lake boasts of a boat-club and a boat-house. The lake, during the summer, is at its best. You will find, if you visit in the summer season, Boat Pageants and Flower Shows there. Do visit, for the Kodaikanal Lake is a beautiful sight, as well as an experience.
7. Pillar Rocks
The Pillar Rocks of Kodaikanal are naturally formed boulders that stand vertical in the midst of a rainforest. When measured from the ground, the rocks are approximately 400 ft. The Pillar Rocks, in their rainforest setting, are a wonderful place to visit and plan a picnic. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the beauty of the location.
8. Pine Forest
Perfect for hiking and picnics, the Pine Forest at Kodaikanal was planted in 1906 and now stands as a labyrinth of tall, beautiful pines. Many visitors claim this place is perfect for photography. The breeze is pure and cool, and the scent of pine wafts up. Do visit, but beware of the mushrooms you will find along the pinecones. Consuming them can prove hallucinogenic.
9. Chocolate Factory
Most people wonder where the good things in life come from, like post-its, or M&Ms. Very high on that list is chocolate. While we cannot fulfil Roald Dahl’s fantasy, Kodaikanal boasts of a chocolate factory where cocoa and sugar are mixed and moulded together to form magic. You can visit, and you can also buy it by the kilo. The factory sells chocolate made with Stevia as well, to keep at bay guilt.
10. Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple
The Hindu Temple of Velappar combines history with mythology to attract and hold one’s interest. Visit Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple – located at Poombarai, a short distance from Kodaikanal, and enjoy its ancient heritage which is said to date back by 2000 years or more. The carvings on the walls are said to depict carnivorous dinosaur-like animals.
11. Dolmen Circle
The waterfall at Dolmen Circle is at its best in September, when monsoon sets in over the hills. A beautiful view, Dolmen Circle itself is made of two great stone projections, that are topped by a horizontal rock, oddly reminiscent of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. It is also believed to be a location of ancient settlements.
12. Fairy Falls
These waterfalls are thin and delicate, but visitors are always surprised by their beauty, and the sound of running water. Although tourists are not allowed to bathe in the water, the place is very visitor-friendly, with an Ayurvedic Garden to see and street-food to eat. Set in green surroundings, a visit to Kodaikanal’s Fairy Falls is sure to offer peace of mind.
Kodaikanal is a tourist’s paradise. If looking towards the hill-stations while planning your vacation, Kodaikanal is a worthy competitor. Cool and wet, nature respectfully handled, Kodaikanal is wonderful. Visit in the summer or the monsoon.
We hope that this list of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal was useful. Feel free to make additions, and take pictures of the hills, the sky and the sites when you visit. We are quite sure that Kodaikanal will linger in your memories for a very long time.