Kodaikanal - what does it actually mean? 'A Place to see in Summers', 'The End of the Forest', 'The Forest of the Creepers', or a place associated with the mythology of Goddess Valli (Wife of Lord Murugan) found here- it could be any of the above, all of the above or none of the above but one way or the other all these relate to this beautiful hill station in Tamil Nadu. One can predict this by going to the lexical history or etymological deductions made on the basis 'Kodaikanal' as a word is written, called and understood.
For those who have never been to Kodaikanal hill station in the south of Pallani Hills, it is like the greens of the mountainous landscape are soaring to sky meeting the grey-white clouds. Sun seems to be playing peek-a-boo with those clouds and the shadows formed as a consequence complying with the rules of the game of Nature thus created. The rock brothers seem to be standing together and supporting the trees with their strength on the altitude ranging up to 2,133 m. The pine forests where rows and columns of trees make confusing way in and out create a natural maze of sorts. And somewhere there, small and big lakes will draw mental attention followed by physical presence of the onlooker.
This is but a small glimpse in a town with its own sanctity and serenity to exhibit. The history of the place has more to say that could be summarized in a single space. Residence of tribal population later shaped by arrival of American missionaries followed by the British and the story of development goes on. Yet with all the changes becoming a visible part of this hill town, who would mind being a part of Kodaikanal tourism; probably no one!
Dotted with many spots making available opportunities for nature walk, the prime among them being lakes, forests, small and big rocks, etc, everything as if posing for a picture perfect moment that represents Kodaikanal in its entirety. The place casts a fine-meshed trap full of great destinations inside the hill town which tourists and visitors love to get caught in. Get a look of them here-
Places of worship
Kurinji Andavar Temple - Lord Muruga is the presiding deity of the temple, who is believed to be the God of hills. Devotees and tourists are bestowed with the views of Vaigai dam and Palani hills. Summer festival in the month of May is also one of the reasons tourists flock to the temple.
Mariamman Temple - A temple of Goddess Shakti, it is well known for a 15 days Panguni festival. The temple is in the proximity of Kodai Road Railway Station.
Subrahmanya Temple - Not located exactly in the hill station, it is 64 Km away but a must see if one has come up this far. It is also known as Palani hills.
Union Church - Came in to existence in 1895 by the efforts of American Madurai Mission. One can still look for signs of ages on this religious refuge.
Lutheran Church - Year 1932 saw this place of worship coming in existence and since then it Gothic styled architecture has been subject of studies and motivations, a beauty indeed.
More places of worship include La Saleth Church, St. Mary's Church, St. Joseph's Church, Francis Xavier Church, Sacred Heart Church, two mosques at Ellis Villa and Munjikal, Devadanapatti Temple, Arulmigu Balasubramanya Temple, Vinayagar Temple and more.
Bison Wells- Wildlife is the most important aspect of hilly areas like that. Find many animals involved in their choirs in this area which takes its name from the abundance of bison.
Views for life
Shenbaganur Museum - If relics of art and crafts are a much appreciated 'something' of life, this museum which is a part of Sacred Heart College of Kodaikanal has to be visited. Rare birds, flowers add to the list of reasons to visit it. For the latter reason only, it is also referred by the name 'Flora and Fauna Museum'.
Dolmen Circle - Anthropology as a real-life subject could be seen in this place where the burials and dwelling of Stone age and ice age.
Solar Observatory - Better known as a part of Indian Institute of Astrophysics, it is of special interest for the individuals drawn by the planets, stars, galaxies, etc more than anything else.
Telescope Houses - With the payment of a minimal fee, one can experience what is to be like behind a telescope seeing some of the wonderful sights of Kodaikanal, valley, lake, etc.
Kundra Organic Farm - Once barren land now converted to farm by the use of natural things like compost, manure, etc, it is known for growing fruits organically. Moreover, it also doesn't take power from grid but employs solar energy for usage. The area also has some cottages that could be hired for stay.
Places around Kodaikanal
Would you like to extend the trip with Kodaikanal package if the region has touched the very soul? Following are the places that can be among the options-
Vattakanal - 3 Km is not a distance when exploring places are on mind. This hill station is near the famed Kodaikanal- all the more reason to add it to the vacation planning.
Vilpatti - A village just 9 Km away from Kodai Kanal is a must see along with other attractions of this region.
Madurai - This city is only 40 Km from Kodaikanal and people often see it before. Known to be located on the banks of River Vaigai, it is revered as temple town for the presence of Meenakshi Sundareswara temple.
Thekkady - Better known for the wildlife sanctuary and lake by the same name, Thekkady has lot many things to exhibit to those who are interested. Take time out to make the best of the vacations.
Things to do
Many visitors love to peddle their cycles through the mountain roads of Kodaikanal and cherish the cool ambience that is maintained almost whole year. There are many other activities with which enjoying the place becomes more exciting; they are boating on Kodai Lake, cycling around the lake, angling with the permission of officer of fisheries, horse riding, and many such other involvements. And all the while enjoying photography comes naturally.
Hotels in Kodaikanal must be booked before heading for the journey as place is loved by people of all the age groups and of all the groups be it of family, friends, corporate and students. The reason for which solitary individuals and couples opt for Kodaikanal honeymoon can be understood with any speck of doubt. Thus, considering all these demands, making prior booking for coming vacation is required as well as recommended.
Some of the hotels and resorts that could be chosen for the purpose of accommodation are Kodai International Hotel, Sunrise Hotel, Richwin Hotel, Kodai Resort, Villa Retreat, Snooze Inn, Hill Country Kodai, Spring Valley Hotels, Kodai By the Lake, The Carlton, Apple Valley and many more could make a way to this list.
Monsoons are quite prominent in this location but elevation remains the main reason for Kodaikanal to maintain a cooling temperature through the various seasons. March to May the temperature fall between 10°C to 20°C which is also the highest of the year. Winters (during months of November to February) experience mercury moving between 8°C to 16°C but never exceeding that. Monsoons are elaborate, signs of which is visible in the sky.
Best time to visit
Escape monsoons and extreme winters of this place and generally this hill city is worth any price. However, lover of monsoon might not want to opt out of these seasons, especially if they love waterfalls in first place because this is the times falls gain peculiar splendor.
How to reach
Air - Air way can take to Madurai which is 120 Km which is nearest to Kodaikanal. Other airports are Coimbatore and Trichi some 170 and 195 Km respectively.
Rail - Kodaikanal Road railway station is the nearest railway station and connected with many others making it easy to reach Kodaikanal.
Road - Most of the important towns are connected to this tourist important place Like Madurai, Theni, Bangalore, Chennai, etc.
The joy of travel is here!