Nature is at its finest in Kodaikanal – the Queen of Hills; the green vistas and misty mountains always beckoning the adventure enthusiast and the trekker alike. The hill town in Tamil Nadu is a centre point from where many thrilling treks begin.
From easy to moderate level treks, amateur, as well as expert trekkers, can have their share of fun in the lap of the Kodaikanal mountains. Compiled below is the list of best trekking places in and around Kodaikanal.
Please note that most treks (except the minor ones) require permission from Forest Department. So check online or ask your hotel desk for guidance.
Trekking Places in Kodaikanal
1. Bear Shola Trek
A very short trek that is best experienced during monsoons when the Bear Shola Falls are in full flow. It’s a good trek during other parts of the year for its scenic trail.
The trail is simple but uphill. The forest trail is narrow, winding and filled with rich biodiversity. Small streams will cross your path now and then. Since the trek is only 1 km long, it is frequented by families and amateur trekkers all year around.
2. Pine Forest Trek
This is an enchanting trek through the heritage pine forest reserve of Kodaikanal. A fairly easy trek, also a major sightseeing spot, the Kodaikanal pine forests are thick, lush, and very well-maintained.
Along with pine trees, you will find shola and eucalyptus trees and pretty mushrooms. Many movies of the south are shot here and the place is cited as a photographer’s heaven. You can also camp here after obtaining necessary permissions.
3. Dolphin’s Nose & Echo Rock
This is one of the most popular treks in Kodaikanal. The summit is a flat rock that resembles the nose of a dolphin. First-time trekkers can navigate the trail with considerable ease. The trail is rough at the start, the starting point is Pambar Bridge.
There are many shops and snack shops along the trail which is fairly visible. The trek will take you 3-4 hours and the trail is around 2 kilometres long. The views include Periyakulam town and Vaigai Lake. Echo Rock which is a little ahead is also another great viewpoint.
4. Pillar Rocks Trek
This is a four-hour trek that will lead you to the top of vertical pillar-shaped boulders, navigating through the fog and semi-difficult routes. Start early in the morning and walk through slippery rocks and thick forests to reach the summit.
Also, visit Devil’s Kitchen which are scary and dangerous chambers created between the Pillar Rocks. Guna Caves which are located within are a must-visit for a slightly more adventurous soul. They are 3000 feet deep caves formed out of the chasms of the pillar rocks. The downhill trek is exciting and the surroundings are eerie. Take a guided trek for safety.
Trekking Places Near Kodaikanal
5. Vattakanal Trek
A most scenic trek, the cliff is in the south of Palani Hills. You can start the trek early in the morning or by mid-day.
Your trial includes walking through dense forests, Shola Nursery and the Pambar Falls. The trek will take you around 3 to 4 hours. Return by evening and eat fresh snacks in the food shacks along the way.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 6 kilometres
6. Silent Valley View and Caps Fly Valley
Not only are these must-visit sightseeing spots, they are also moderately easy treks to high mountains that provide spectacular views from their summits. Both are located enroute Berijam Lake.
Trails are visible, although fog may block your views oftentimes. Caps Fly Valley is famous for its atmospheric pressure, where any light object when thrown in the air, returns to you.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 16 kilometres
7. Vellagavi – Kumbakkarai Falls
This is an extension of Dolphin’s Nose Trek, in that it moves further ahead from there to Vellagavi and ultimately towards Kumbakkarai Falls. This is a relatively unexplored trail, sparsely populated as it moves through the forest of Vellagavi.
A regular trail from Dolphin’s Nose will take you to Vellagavi village in about two hours. Have lunch at Old Kodai, check out the village and proceed to Kumbakkarai Falls on a rugged terrain in three hours and then reach Periyakulam village.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 16 kilometres
8. Elephant Valley Falls Trek
This is a lesser-known but truly exhilarating trek that will take an entire day. It starts from Kodaikanal, passing through the village of Vilpatti.
Take a detour to visit the Kurunji Andavar Temple, head on to Ganesh Puram and then reach the final destination, the scenic Elephant Valley Falls or Anju Veedu Waterfalls, which are high cascading waterfalls that have formed due to Palar stream from where they originate. The area is an important elephant corridor.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 25 kilometres
9. Perumal Peak
A widely popular trek in Kodaikanal, the trail will take you atop the summit where you can kiss the clouds. It is a day-long trek so start early.
The trail is well-marked and quite easy even for beginners. You will find rich flora and fauna on the trail which starts at the foothill of Perumalmalai village. There are many eateries and stalls here. Popular activities here are mountain biking. Trekkers generally prefer camping overnight at campgrounds.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 21 kilometres
10. Berijam to Munnar Trek
Apart from the scenic Berijam Lake, the area is famous for trekking too. You can choose to do the Berijam to Munnar Trek which takes around three days across 80 kilometres. The Berijam to Munnar Trek is the most famous winter trek and also the most tiring trek.
There are many lodges and eateries along the way, as the trail is well traversed. It passes through Kilvara, Koviloor, Top Station and all the way to Munnar. Carry woollen clothes and rain gear and strong hiking shoes.
- Distance from Kodaikanal: 100 kilometres
Do undertake a guided trek if you’re unsure of the trail or are trekking for the first time. Many trekkers have sometimes reported having lost their way in the unexplored regions of Kodaikanal mountains. Do you have questions? Write to us in the comment box below.