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|The name Kodaikanal means the gift of the forest. Situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, among the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is one of the unexplored destinations of southern India. With its intoxicating air, breathtaking scenery and serenity that you can hardly find in any other hill station, Kodaikanal is an ideal summer resort for the travel buffs of the southern plains.
The hill station was officially founded by American missionaries in 1845.The local museums here will give you a good idea about the place/’s past and its relevance in the present. The relics and artefacts of the Paliyans who lived in these Palani hills are carefully preserved in these museums. The abundant pear orchards in their blooming season leave scant room for leaves on the trees, making it a wonderful site to see.
Once you are in Kodaikanal, the list of places to visit is endless. You must try to visit as many of them as possible. The places to visit in Kodaikanal take care of your likes and tastes. Starting from picturesque natural sites like the Kodaikanal Star Shaped lake, the Coaker walk and Priest’s walk to scientific and astrological wonder the Solar observatory, the storehouse of botanical species Orchidorium, breathtaking Perumal Peak and Fairy Falls, the list goes on and on. Once you are through with your sightseeing schedule, you can also browse through the local market in the town to get a glimpse of the locally produced goods and knick-knacks to buy.
Kodaikanal has a number of excursion spots to visit. Abundance of natural beauty and variety of flora and fauna makes them more attractive and worth visiting. Madurai, Ooty are some of the distant excursion spots to visit from Kodaikanal. But Palani is a must visit site for it satisfies your religious cord as well as the nature lover inside you. Easily accessible from Kodaikanal, it is an important pilgrimage centre especially for the Hindus as it houses one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya in the temple here.
STAR SHAPED LAKE
The star-shaped lake of Kodaikanal is one of the major attractions of this quaint little hill station. Situated at the heart of the main town area, it is also a favourite evening spot for the locals as well. It is the legacy of former Collector, Sir Vere Levinge, who formed it by damming the valley where three streams flowed. The entire lake area is spread over an area of about 60 acres. Here you can also try out some boating courtesy the Boat Club that is located here. Moreover, small horse rides can also make a good pastime in the early evenings.
Situated at a distance of just 3.2 kilometres from the Kodaikanal lake, it is one of the only three solar observatories in the world that is more than 75 years old. Built at an elevation of 2343 meters, the Solar Observatory was built at the highest point of the town. You can have a look into the solar system by booking your tickets for the scheduled shows.
Kodaikanal has some of the best view points from where you can have a thrilling view of the entire Kodai valley. The hill station/’s best view points are Pillar Rocks, Green Valley View point and the Dolphin/’s Nose. You must not miss a visit to these places as they are known for their natural marvel and beauty. You could also find some of the locally made products here to take along as the memorabilia of your visit.
Kodaikanal has a wonderful Orchidorium having 300 species of trees and flowers. You can also visit the herbarium that houses around 2500 plants and a mass garden. The Orchidorium is a living storehouse of a number of trees that are of great scientific importance. The Orchidorium is open for visitors from 10 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.
COAKER WALK AND PRIEST’S WALK
Kodaikanal is ideal for lazy walks and to add up to your satisfaction it has some of the picturesque walks too. The Coaker Walk and Priest/’s Walk are the two of them. Situated at a distance of about 1 km from the Kodai lake is the Coaker Walk. It has been named after St. Coaker of the Royal Engineers. The walk offers you a fantastic view of the plains and the distant hills.
The Perumal Peak is another important tourist point in Kodaikanal. Situated at an altitude of 2,440 metres it lies at a distance of about 11.3 kilometres from the Kodaikanal town area. The peak also offers excellent opportunity for trekking for the adventurous tourists.
It seems as if mother Nature has bestowed all her treasures into this gifted forest area. Besides the lakes, the wonderful walks and the picturesque peaks, Kodaikanal also has two falls namely the Fairy Falls and Glen Falls that make a thrilling site. The Fairy Falls is just 4.8 kilometres from the Kodaikanal main town. Picnickers crowd this place during weekends.
Excursions for Kodaikanal
While visiting Kodaikanal you must not miss an excursion to Palani. Situated at a distance of about 64 kilometres from Kodaikanal, Palani is a famous religious as well as natural tourist spot. Palani houses one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya making it a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. The temple is built at a height of 140 m on the top of the hill. It is easily accessible by taking a walk or by taking the electrically operated winch. A large number of religious tourists gather here during festival times.
• Area 21.83 sq. km
• Population 27,423
• Altitude 2343 m above sea level
• Languages Tamil, English
• Best Time to Visit Throughout the year
• STD Code 04542