Located in the Dindigul district of Tamilnadu, Kodaikanal, also known as Kodai, is a picturesque hill station that should not be missed on a South India tour. It is situated at a distance of 95 km from Dindigul, 117 km from Madurai, 162 km from Munnar, 169 km from Coimbatore, 253 km from Ooty, 272 km from Kochi, 469 km from Bangalore, and 528 km from Chennai.
Often referred to as the ‘Princess of Hill stations’, Kodai is a popular destination for honeymoon trips, especially during the summer season. It is located at an altitude of approximately 7000 feet (2133 m) on the southern tip of the upper Palani hills. The hill station boasts numerous scenic natural attractions that are enjoyed by visitors, making it a favored romantic getaway. Coaker’s Walk, Silver Cascade, and Kodai Lake are among the must-visit places included in Kodai tour packages.
The earliest inhabitants of Kodaikanal were the Palaiyar tribal people. In 1845, American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats established modern Kodaikanal as a refuge from the oppressive heat and tropical diseases of the plains. Throughout the 20th century, this enchanting hill station gained popularity among nature enthusiasts, attracting elite Indians to relocate here. Kodaikanal can be conveniently visited in conjunction with Madurai tour packages.
Kodaikanal is a destination that is not extensively commercialized like Ooty, offering a pleasant experience to tourists with relatively less crowd. Prominent places to visit in Kodaikanal include Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade, Pillar Rocks, and more. The hills offer beautiful views all around, especially from the Coaker’s Walk. The nearest airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai airport, located about 134 km away, which has regular flight connectivity with cities like Chennai, New Delhi, and Bengaluru. Kodai Road, approximately 79 km away, is the nearest train station that has good train connectivity with Chennai, Tiruchendur, Nagercoil, Delhi, Tirupati, Rameshwaram, Dindigul, Trichy, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Howrah, Hyderabad, Villupuram, Mysore, Tirunelveli, Palani, Palakkad, Tuticorin, and Mumbai. Direct bus connectivity is available from Madurai, Coimbatore, Palani, Dindigul, Ooty, and other cities. The best time to visit Kodaikanal is from October to June, although the weather remains a bit chilly during December and January. As a hill station, Kodaikanal attracts a significant number of tourists during summer when the picturesque hill station looks the most colorful. However, those who wish to go trekking should plan their trip to Kodaikanal between October and February.
The most optimal tourist destinations to explore in and around Kodaikanal.
KODAIKANAL LAKE : If you are going in winter, go boating in the evening, as it’s an amazing experience to boat through fog settling on the lake. The lake is very near the bus stand. This is a star shaped lake and walking around it during the night is one of the best walking experience you can have in your life. Be cautious that there are lot of dogs around this lake and some places are extremely dark. Walk between 6 and 7 pm, then head back to your room.
BERIJAM LAKE : perhaps the most pristine of the three lakes in Kodai. This is a plastic free zone and it is beautiful and serene. The lake lies within a reserved forest region. You need to get permission to visit this lake. Permissions need to be obtained on the morning of the intended day of visit from the forest office. Usually the person who arranges the vehicle will arrange the permit. Moreover, in peak season, a limited number of vehicles are allowed in per day. Since this lake is used for providing drinking water no water sports activity is permitted. The route to Berijam lake is more scenic than the lake itself..
CHETTIYAR PARK : a beautiful park with many coloured flowers and greenery. An area of reclining back at peace with nature. It is a pretty place for clicking pictures; and also have swings for kids.
BRYANT PARK : A must see. Its main entrance is on the road surrounding the lake and is a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the boat club. Nicely maintained and a huge park. Their flower shows during summer are very famous.
GREEN VALLEY VIEW / SUICIDE POINT : has a more than 5000 ft steep drop from this point. The monkeys are a good attraction at this point. Renamed Green Valley View, apparently to prevent people from being lured to commit suicide. * Pillar Rocks – huge steep cliffs. Watch out for the cross at the top of the mountain hoisted by an English adventure enthusiast.
GUNA CAVE : a cave which became very famous after the movie GUNA. Very steep and risky to get in. The public may not be allowed to enter this cave nowadays, though it’s a very good place to take pics. But if you are not a professional spelunker, a trip to this cave may be your last. Getting back will be problem as it’s very dark and there could be about a 90% chance of suffering a free fall.