Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. Almost all distances from Kodaikanal are calculated with the lake as the central point of reference. The nearest airports are Madurai (135 kilometres or 84 miles), Coimbatore (170 kilometres or 110 miles) and Trichy (200 kilometres or 120 miles). The nearest Railway stations are Palani Railway Station (64 kilometres or 40 miles) north, Kodaikanal Road Station (80 kilometres or 50 miles) south east and Dindigul Railway Junction (100 kilometres or 62 miles) east.
Green ValleyThe place was earlier known as the suicide point and now it is known as the green valley view. It is about 5.5 kms away from the Kodai lake. It provides an excellent panoramic view of the hills, valley, plains and the Vaigai dam. The valley below this point is about 5000 feet deep. The point can be best visited between 10 am and 3 pm because mist will be covering the valleys during the early morning and evenings.
Pine ForestThe 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.
Thalayar FallsThalayar Falls is visible from the Dum Dum Rock viewpoint on the Batalugundu-Kodaikanal Ghat Road, 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) away to the west. It appears across the valley as a long thin white strip of cascading water on a background of black rock cliff face that juts out of the foothills. The very edge at the top of the Falls has a low concrete wall on either side concentrating the flow of water to focus the falls into a better rat tail shape.
Coaker’s WalkCoaker’s Walk, 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus-stand, constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872, is a 1-kilometre (3,300 ft) paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. The 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.
Guna CavesGuna caves, made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devils 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 deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.
Dolphin’s NoseDolphin’s Nose, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus stand, is flat rock projecting over a breathtaking chasm 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen.
Silver Cascade FallsSilver Cascade, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Kodaikanal at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at altitude 1,800 metres (5,900 ft), is a 55-metre (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing. This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first-time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here.
Pillar RocksPillar Rocks, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus-stand, is a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 122 metres (400 ft) high. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, The viewpoint can be crowded but is not commercialized. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.
Kodaikanal LakeKodaikanal Lake, is an artificial, roughly star-shaped 45 ha (60 acres) lake built in 1863. It is recognized as Kodaikanal’s most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists alike.
Bryant ParkBryant Park: Just east of the lake and 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season.
Berijam LakeBerijam Lake is a reservoir near Kodaikanal town in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is at the old site of “Fort Hamilton”, in the upper Palani hills. The lake, created by a dam with sluice outlets, is part of a micro watershed development project. Periyakulam town, 18.7 kilometres (11.6 mi) to the SE, gets its public drinking water from the lake. The lakes water quality is excellent.