About Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the ‘taluk’ division of Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. The place Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperature is secluded situated around 2100 meters above sea level.
Duration of the Trip: It was a 2 days and 3 night’s trip from Chennai. We started at 9:30 pm on Friday and returned back to Chennai on 3:40 am on Monday (We had to report to work at 10 am)
Transportation: We traveled through train from Chennai to Dindugal and back to Chennai. We board Express (00601) from Chennai Egmore station at 9:05 PM on Friday and reached Dindugall station in the next morning at 5:50 am.
Please Note: The closest Railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai road station, we did not get tickets to kodai road, we opted for plan b, which is Dindugal Railway station.
Details of the trip:
Day 1: After getting down at Dindugal Railway Station, 2 mini buses were waiting for us outside station to reach Kodaikanal . We were a group of 38 . We had a halt on the way to have breakfast at“Eden Garden Restaurant”.The food was authentic South Indian and normal like other roadside restaurants.
Finally we reached Kodaikanal at 11:30 AM. We started again for Kodaikanal after finishing our breakfast.
We visited Silver Cascade on the way to our hotel. That’s a 55-metre (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The impressive waterfall is a popular stop for the first-time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys.
We had done advance booking in
Hotel Tamil Nadu
Hill Country Resort
Address: Arackal Road, Attuvampatti, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 624101
Phone:04542 240 953
Day 1:We Checked in to the Hotel, Freshen up had Lunch and headed straight to the sight seeing.
Coaker’s Walk is a magnificent gift of Mother Nature to Kodaikanal and its tourists.
It derives its name from Lt. Coaker, who had prepared the map of Kodaikanal. The 1 km walk, winding around Mount Nebo, starts in front of the Van Allen hospital, running parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road and joins the main road beside St.Peter’s Church, providing a stunning panoramic view of the plains. On a clear day one can view as far as Dolphin’s Nose in the south, the valley of the Pambar River in the southeast, Periyakulam town and even the city of Madurai. There is a telescope house in this place. Ticket for the telescope house is Rs. 20/- per person.
Entry fees for this place is Rs. 10/- per person, normal camera Rs. 50/- and movie camera Rs. 100/-
Upper Lake View is a view point from where you can get the top view of Kodai Lake and a
panoramic view of the city. They have a telescope house in that place as well. Ticket for the telescope house is Rs. 20/- per person.
There is a Golf Course in the Kodaikanal but that place is not open for general public and tourists.
Only member and there family can go inside the place.
Green Valley View also known as Suicide Point, is near the golf course, has an excellent panoramic view of the plains and a sheer drop of 1,500 meters overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The stairway leading up to it is highly commercialized and lined with rows of shops to tempt tourists.
The pine plantations in Kodaikanal Pine forest are one among the preserved treasures of Kodaikanal which would mesmerize the tourists by its ambience. This place is a gift of Mother Nature for people who love photography. In 1906, Mr. Bryant planned to grow precious timber;
hence he started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal. The Pine forest is an impressive spot to visit. The scenery at pine forest is one of the most excellent locations to spend time to experience the most peaceful and memorable moments of life. You would love to stand under the gigantic trees and feel small and protected by the nature mother.
The Pillar rocks are three precisely twisted erect huge rocks footing shoulder to shoulder, rising from the abundant valley measuring 122 meters high, a splendid site to gaze at. The Pillar Rocks have grown-up in fame as the days have passed by.
During the crest season you can see enormous crowd of guests to this place. The speckled woods in the vicinity of these massive boulders are a enormous point to enjoy your Kodaikanal tour. The sightseers can view these rocks footing from a relaxing vantage point where a garden has been developed. The fleet progress of intense fog across the rocks, covering and exposing the Pillar Rocks from view, off and on, is appealing and lovely. Caves, chasms and thick trees in the outline of the rocks magnetize the audacious.
We didn’t have the view of the rocks as those were fully covered by fog. There was a small water fall as well in near the Pillar Rock.
Devil’s Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic loss of twelve youths there who once got deeper into the cave and never returned.
These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar. Now this place is also known as Guna cave because of Tamil Movie ‘Guna’.
You will find some shops selling handmade flower with beautiful scent. They claim that flower and scent will remain as it is for 6 months at least.
Moir point is situated at a place where the first grass was cut by Sir Thomas Moir for creating the Goschen road (Forty Mile Road) in 1929. A pillar has been erected in the memory of the above event and the opening of the road at this point. It is a tiny trek up and down to reach this view point. You can see the moderately less traffic resembling a long tailed Monkey.
There is no separate entry fee for all these places. You have to pay Rs. 120/- per head for visiting Pine Forest, Pillar Rocks, Devil’s Kitchen and Moir Point.
The implausible Pambar falls is otherwise called as the “Grand Cascade”. Flowing down Pambar River is meandering lively stream dropping over a chain of rock formations.
The town water reservoir overflows southwards forming the Fairy Falls which continues to join the Vaigai River forming the Pambar Falls through its course. The Pambar Falls has a pretty glorious view. The unvaryingly cut step-like rock formations give bonus beauty to the cascading effect of the plain waters. There is a pond like formation at the foot suitable for bathing. Three or four adjacent small cascading falls can be seen as you go downstream.
This falls is also locally addressed as ‘Liril Falls‘ after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985.
Kurinji Andavar Temple is quite famous for its Kurinji flower which blooms merely once in every 12 years, awaiting the next blossom in 2016. The god here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. Kurinji Andavar Temple is devoted to Lord Murugan who is identified as the God of the Hills going by to the Tamil literature. In Tamil, Kurinji means “hilly region” and the word Andavar relates to “God”. The widely expected summer festival is quite famous celebrated through the month of May every year by the localities. Thousands of devotees come around this temple in the summer to seek the blessings of Lord Murugan.
This temple was developed by a European lady in 1936, who transformed to Hinduism on reaching Celon. She got herself renamed as Leelavathi and married Mr.Ponnambalam Ramanathan later. She is popularly recognized as Lady Ramanathan. The control of Kurinji andavar temple was then transferred to Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani by Mrs Devi Prasad Bhaskaran(also known as Padmini, niece and adopted daughter of Mr S Natesan Pillai, son in-law of Lady Ramanathan) and her husband Dr R. Bhaskaran.
Chettiar Park is a small precise garden park placed in the north east crook of the Kodaikanal town under the maintenance of the township, on the way to the Kurunji Andavar Temple. Being distinct from other areas, Chettiar Park is very silent. People who love peace this would be the best place for time passing. A huge variety of fascinating flowers can be seen here. The beautifully designed bushes adorn the garden.
The amazing purple bloom of the Kurinji flowers can be seen here once in every twelve years. The well-developed grass meadow and cool trees make the ambiance fresh and calm making Chettiar Park a pleasing tourist spot. It has decked floors for flowering plants, and lots of lush green lawns. Many South Indian films have been shot here turning Chettiar Park in Kodaikanal to be a favorite place for film shooters for decades.
After visiting all the places we came back to the Hotel at around 7 PM. We had cocktails, Fun and Teambuilding games, Bonfire DJ and Elaborate dinner at Hotel Hill Country.
Day 2: Woke up had our Breakfast and Checked out of the Hotel and headed straight to the most sought after place in Kodaikanal. The Kodai Lake (The Most crowded Place in Kodai)
Kodai Lake is the most popular place in Kodaikanal. It is a non-natural; close to star-shaped widely spread across 45 ha (60 acres) lake developed in 1863. Rowboats and pedal boats are available for hire at the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Horses and bicycles can be hired next to the lake on an hourly rent.
The 5 kilometer (3.1 mi) path that evades the margin of this exquisite lake is a favorite walk for the locals and tourists alike. The boat charges vary from Rs 50/- to Rs. 100/-.
Brayant Park, situated at the east of Kodaikanal, is a fantastically maintained botanical garden spread across 20.5 acres (8.3 ha). The Bryant Park was designed and developed in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, the same was named after him later. The Bryant Park is a rainbow of dazzling flowers during the peak season having 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses.
The major section of Bryant Park is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is a Eucalyptus tree since 1857 and a Bodhi tree which adds a spiritual importance to the Bryant Park. Decorative plants are cultivated in the nursery for sale. The Bryant Park arranges for horticultural exhibitions and flower shows every summer, which coincides with the peak season.A horticultural show organized by the Horticulture department during every summer as part of the summer festival. Enormous vegetables and flowers from neighboring villages compete for the prizes, on this occasion which draws big crowd. The exhibition comprises of flowers, vegetables, fruits and other items. It serves as a practical education center for students on Ornamental Horticulture providing a clear illustration. The students are taught about the different methods pruning, budding, grafting, potting seed collection etc., at times to the visitors too.
By now we were Hugry and headed straight to Astoria for Nice Vegetarian lunch (Specifically vegetarian because we had planned nice Yummy Dindugal Velu’sMutton Biryani for Dinner)
Alright its shopping time, Kodai Chocolates and other goodies, now head back to Dindugal and pick up the Most sought after mutton Biryani and head straight to the station. Train is well before scheduled time, jump in and the smell of Biryani makes you hungry. Let’s not make Biryani wait. The delicious biryani sinks in, I felt the quantity was little less and here we reach Tirchy railway station. We need Sprite, Chilled water, Lime Soda to wash our stomach and sleep peacefully.
Tring Tring wake up with the alarm sound and here you are at Eggmore station its 4.15 AM on schedule, look for my Ola, here it comes, sleep for a while and reach Home.rative plants are cultivated in the nursery for sale. The Bryant Park arranges for horticultural exhibitions and flower shows every summer, which coincides with the peak season.A horticultural show organized by the Horticulture department during every summer as part of the summer festival. Enormous vegetables and flowers from neighboring villages compete for the prizes, on this occasion which draws big crowd.