Toll Free No: 1800-425-31111

Gift of the Forest

One of the top hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal has many well-known attractions. Yet, in spite of its popularity, it remains a serene island and retains the simple charm of a century ago. Part 10 of an Outlook special series on tourist spots of Tamil Nadu.

Dense woods, undulating hills, meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, and verdant valleys – Kodaikanal’s scenic beauty is past compare. At an elevation of 7000 feet, Kodaikanal has charms to mesmerise any traveller. No wonder its name translates to ‘Gift of the Forest’.  

Nature, calling
Kodai developed into a hill station when the British missionaries started retreating here in the summers. Today, the 'Princess of Hills' is a preferred destination not only for weekend tourists from the southern part of the country but for travellers from all across India.

Kodaikanal is perfect for both visitors who are content to watch in admiring silence the play of white clouds on the mountains and those who have more active holiday interests. 

The Kodai checklist
Berijam Lake, with its calm, azure waters, acts like a magnet for all who come here. Fringed by forests, Berijam Lake can be visited with a permit from the forest department. 

Kodai Lake, a star-shaped artificial water body, was constructed in 1863 by Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the then-collector of Madurai who moved to Kodaikanal after retirement and decided to build this lake on an abandoned marshy land. 

A holiday in Kodaikanal is incomplete without a visit to Coaker's Walk. This man-made walking plaza was built by Lt. Coaker in 1872.

The famous Pine Forest of Kodaikanal was cultivated by Mr Bryant about a century ago and today, it happens to be one of the most visited places. 

Bryant Park, on the eastern side of Kodai Lake and also named after Mr Bryant, is rich with various species of plants and shrubs. The park educates and trains students of Ornamental Horticulture as it is a recognised demonstration centre. 

For plant lovers the Government Rose Garden is another must-visit. With over 1600 varieties of rose here, it is a stunning spot. 

Poombarai, a village 50 minutes away from Kodai Lake, is a picturesque spot with sweeping valley views, terraced cultivations and a historic temple that puts it firmly on any tourist’s radar. Tiny cafes, tea stalls and old houses with tiled roofs add to its charm. 

Guna Cave, one of the area's most mysterious locations, was made popular by the Tamil movie Guna. An intriguing place that cannot be entered, it allows hikes around its misty and rugged environments. 

Adventure lovers can have a great time trekking to places like Pillar Rocks, Dolphin Rocks or even further to Kumabkarai. 

Vattakanal Falls, three kilometres from Kodaikanal town, is famous for its rich biodiversity. The cold-water pool formed by the waterfall is a lovely spot. 

Another beautiful waterfall in the area is the Silver Cascade Falls. Its water is believed to be rich in various minerals and to have healing properties. 

About four kilometres from Kodaikanal Bus Station, is the 'Grand Cascade' or Pambar Falls. This can be reached through a steep, slippery path behind Pambar house. 

Visitors with a spiritual bent can visit the Kurinji Andavar Temple and offer prayers there. 

The visitors’ calendar
Kodai is a hill station and as such, it is cool and pleasant throughout the year. The best time to visit would still be the summer months from March to early June. Monsoons and winters are both moderate here, making visits during those seasons also favourable. 

Getting there
By Air : The nearest airport is Madurai Airport at an approximate distance of 130 km. 
By Train : The nearest station is Kodai Railway Station situated at an approximate distance of 80 km. 
By Road : Kodaikanal is well-linked to several other major cities and traveling to Kodaikanal via road can be a fun experience. 

Accommodation:
Hotel Tamil Nadu
Fern Hill Road, Kodaikanal
Tamil Nadu 624101

Other Blogs

Cuisines of the Tamil Land

The delectable cuisine of Tamil Nadu is a culinary style which dates to antiquity and has since influenced the other states of South and South-East Asia.

5 months ago

Explore the regional cuisine of Tamil Nadu

Next time you visit Tamil Nadu explore beyond idli, vada and sambar. Instead savour each regional cuisine that boasts of unique cooking methods and spices. They have been backed with heirloom family recipes, ancient culture and traditions, community history and external influences.

5 months ago

Sweet Savouries from Tamil Nilam

No meal can be treated as complete without the desserts. The indulgent desserts of Tamil Nadu are exquisite and nutritious. Most are healthy preparations using less sugar and include healthy proteins like green gram and chickpea.

5 months ago

A relic of bygone Chola power & prosperity

The great Chola king, Rajaraja II (1143 CE –1173 CE), built the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, which is ranked only third after the two famed Chola temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram. Read more...

5 months ago

Explore the Surreal Kolli Hills

Dazzling through the woods on top of hills of the Eastern ghats is the road that bends the most. Located in the high altitudes of the Eastern ghats, the Kolli Hills derive their name from the Goddess who guards the hills-ettukai Amman, also called the Kollipavai. Run wild and free in the unrevealed greenery.

5 months ago

The mountains are calling...

Check out these five lesser-known but pristine hill stations of Tamil Nadu that will certainly leave you spellbound. Explore the unexplored.

5 months ago

On the sands of time

The southernmost tip of India is a charming town blessed with beautiful temples, historical monuments and serene beaches. Kanniyakumari has been and remains a preferred destination for tourists. Part 5 of an Outlook special on tourism in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of faith and history

A district steeped in the history of faith, with links to epic legends as well as to modern-day visionaries, Ramanathapuram delights those who love history, gladdens the hearts of nature lovers and soothes the souls of spiritual seekers. Part 6 of an Outlook Special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of Worship and Waterfalls

A unique corner of Tamil Nadu, the newly-formed district of Tenkasi is home to spectacular waterfalls and ancient temples. A visit to Tenkasi is balm for the soul. Part 7 of an Outlook special on unexplored tourist spots in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Unstained Salem

Synonymous with stainless steel, Salem’s other charms usually go unremarked. About 160 km from Coimbatore, this small city on the route to many better-known getaway destinations is overlooked by tourists. While religious travellers flock here, Salem is as significant for its lush greenery, waterfalls and rich history. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on unknown tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of forts, faith and food

Replete with a unique history and heritage, nature and nuance, culture and cuisine are the town and district of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on lesser-known tourist spots takes you on a tour of this unforgettable destination.

1 month ago

Yours Truly, Trichy

With its magnificent houses of worship and its heavy industries, the symbols of its past glory and the titles of its present significance, Trichy is an intriguing city. Part 11 of an Outlook Special series on Tamil Nadu tourism.

1 month ago

Magical Madurai

Bustling and yet soulful, ancient and yet modern, cultured and progressive, Madurai epitomises the best of Tamil Nadu. Part 12 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of serenity and spirituality

Enveloped in an ambience of spirituality, Thiruvannamalai is one of the most serene destinations in Tamil Nadu. Part 13 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

1 month ago

A town of temples

Tamil Nadu has a plethora of towns famous for their temples. But Kumbakonam is special among these. Part 14 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

1 month ago

The Town of the Cosmic Dance

Yet another beautiful temple town built by the Cholas, Chidambaram has a quaint charm in addition to its spiritual significance. Part 15 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of serenity and scenery

Endless greenery, unique temples, interesting festivals and wildlife reserves make Pollachi in Tamil Nadu an intriguing destination. Part 17 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

1 month ago

A Festival of Kite Runners

This Independence Day weekend over the Bay of Bengal, kite history will be created! The state of Tamil Nadu welcomes kite flying culture on the most historic weekend of India as it celebrates 75 years of Independence!

1 month ago

A Trail Along The Coromandel Coast

Azure waters, clear skies, and shimmering sand. Tamil Nadu is where each beach lover's heaven exists

2 weeks ago

From 16th Century To Now, The Past Still Lives On

Discover the beauty left behind by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, the Scottish, and the Irish in Tamil Nadu

2 weeks ago

15 free things to do in Chennai, India's southern capital

Chennai, the steamy capital of Tamil Nadu, is huge, sometimes hectic, and a perfect introduction to the wonderful, frenetic energy of South India. The city sprawls for miles along one of the world’s largest urban beaches, dotted with temples, museums, Raj relics, and restaurants serving what could well be the world’s finest vegetarian cuisine.

2 weeks ago

6 top day trips from Chennai for steamy southern adventures

Often overlooked by the crowds who flock to Delhi and Mumbai, fascinating, foodie Chennai is the gateway to India’s steamy south. Within easy striking distance of the Tamil Nadu capital are timeless temple towns, coastal nature reserves, old colonial outposts and beach resorts that are as popular for monsoon watching as sitting on the sand.

2 weeks ago

Attractions

Here's a list of top attractions in Tamil Nadu that you must experience at the very next opportunity.

#TamilnaduTourism

Check out the world know your way of experiencing Tamil Nadu

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter Sign up for Tamilnadu Tourism's monthly newsletter to learn about our events, offers and more...