Kodaikanal, surrounded by misty hills, deep valleys and forested steep slopes, is an exquisite hill station of old world charm combined with nature’s bounty. The hill slopes are covered with patches of broad-leafed, evergreen forests of magnolia, mahogany, myrtle and rhododendron yielding bright flowers. The slopes lead to vast plains traversed by numerous meandering rivers and rivulets.
The resort city was established in 1845 by the colonial British rulers as a refuge from the seething temperatures of the tropical plains
How to each Kodaikanal
The nearest airports, located at Madurai (135 km), Coimbatore (170 km) and Trichy (200 km), provide easy air access to Kodaikanal.
The town is also well-connected to rail network through railway stations located at Palani (64 km, north), Kodai Road (80 km, southeast) and Dindigul Junction (100 km, east).
Bus journey from Madurai and Palani via steep and winding hilly roads gives a thrilling experience.
Places of Interest
Located at an altitude of 2,133 metres and covering an area of about 20 sq. metres, this quiet retreat town offers several tourist attractions, a few of which are the following:
- Kodai Lake – This star-shaped artificial lake built in 1863 is a popular romantic destination for newlyweds. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired here for recreational purpose. Bicycles are available on hire to go around the 5 km path skirting the lovely lake.
- Bryant Park – Located at east of the lake, this 20.5 acre well-maintained botanical garden was built in 1908 by H.D. Bryant, a forest officer from Madurai. It has a rich variety of trees, shrubs and cacti species; hundreds of varieties of roses and other colourful flowers stun the visitors during blossom time. A Eucalyptus tree of 1857 and a Bodhi tree give the park a historic and religious significance.
- Pillar Rocks – Three giant rocks, 122 metres high and usually crowded, provide the visitors a grand view of the plains. In between the pillar rocks lie bat-infested dark and deep chambers called Guna caves. Being unsafe and dangerous, these caves are now closed to public.
- Dolphin Nose – It is a flat rock, 8 km from the city centre protrudes over a breathtaking chasm of 2,000 metres deep. It is a quiet, undisturbed area down a steep, rocky trail.
- Murugan Temple – This temple, 4 km from the city centre, is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The temple area is famous for the Kurinji flowers which bloom once every 12 years, imparting a rare kind of beauty to the hilly area.
Top Attractions for European Visitors
- A museum of Natural History – Founded in 1895 this museum lies within 6 km from the city centre. It has an outstanding taxidermy collection of moe than 500 species of animals, birds and insects; and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchids. It also houses artifacts of ancient tribals whose descendants still live in the hills.
- Solar Observatory – Located at an elevation of 2,343 metres (the highest point withn Kodai) this observatory within 6 km from city commenced its operations in 1901. Its director John Evershed discovered the radial motion of sun spots here, a phenomenon named after him as ‘Evershed Effect’. A terrestrial telescope at the observatory gives a grand view of far off Vaigai Dam and distant rivers crossing the plains.
What to Eat and Shop in Kodaikanal
Delicious homemade chocolates, marshmallows and cheese are available at local bakeshops.
The shoppers’ favourites include aromatic oils, exclusive natural products, handicrafts and handloom materials
The Best Time to Visit
Kodaikanal climate is cool throughout the year. Summer (March to May) is the best time to visit the place. Avoid winters being freezing cold, and monsoon season being inconvenient for outdoor visits.
Hope the above information will help the travelling worth enjoying .
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