|Kodaikanal Lake||Positioned just 500 meters from the central bus stand of Kodaikanal|
|Berijam Lake||Located about 21 kilometers from Kodaikanal|
|Green Valley View||Nested close to the Kodaikanal Golf Course about 5 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Silent Valley View||Located at a short distance from the famous Pillar Rocks|
|Dolphin's Nose||About 8 kilometers from the center of the city|
|Bryant Park||Situated to the east of the Kodaikanal Lake in the heart of the city Kodaikanal|
|Coaker's Walk||Around the Mount Nebo launches opposite the Van Allen Hospital|
|Bear Shola Falls||Located roughly 3 kilometers from the Kodaikanal Bus Stand in a Reserve Forest|
|Thalaiyar Falls||Stationed approximately 20 kilometers from Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills|
|Pambar Falls||Placed close to the Dolphin’s Nose and nearly 4 kilometers away from the heart of the city Kodaikanal|
|Silver Cascade||Located just 5 kilometers away from Kodaikanal|
|Pillar Rocks||Positioned about 8 kilometers from the Kodaikanal Bus stand|
|Guna Caves (Devil's Kitchen)||Lie between the famous Pillar Rocks of Kodaikanal|
|Pine Forest||Situated on the way to Guna Caves|
|Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple||Nested about 4 kilometers from the heart of the city Kodaikanal|
|Subrahmanya Temple (Kartikeya Temple)||Located about 65 kilometers away from Kodaikanal|
|Lutheran Church||Located in the proximity with the Kodaikanal School|
|Shembaganur Museum of Natural History||Located nearly 6 kilometers from the city bus stand of Kodaikanal|
|Kodaikanal Solar Observatory||Positioned on the southern tip of the Palani Hills roughly 4 kilometers away from Kodaikanal|
|Telescope House||Located close to the threshold where the Berijam Lake Road launches|
|Bison Wells, Palani Hills||Located in the Palani Hills near Kodaikanal|
|Moer Point||Located close to the threshold where the Berijam Lake Road launches|
|80 Mile Round||Trekking trail near Kodaikanal|
|Kodaikanal Golf Club||Located nearly 6 kilometers to the southwest of the center of Kodaikanal|
|Perumal Peak||Positioned just 11 kilometers from Kodaikanal|
|Dolmen Circle||Located in proximity to Parvatha Vihar and the Pannikadu village|
Kodaikanal Lake, also referred to as ‘Kodai Lake’ is the most prominent geographical landmark of this Hill Resort and the most popular tourist attraction of the city. Positioned just 500 meters from the central bus stand of Kodaikanal, this manmade star shaped water reservoir was constructed in the year 1863 under the initiative of the then Collector of Madurai; Sir Vere Hentry Levinge. Centrally located in Kodaikanal, this lake spreading over the expansive area of 60 acres is enclosed by the verdant green hills of Palani Mountain Range. The famous Kurinji flower of Kodaikanal is seen blooming in the catchments area of this lagoon once in every 12 years. A gracefully laid 5 kilometers long promenade that surrounds the periphery of this gorgeous lake is a favorite spot to hang out and indulge in the leisurely strolls both for the locals as well as the tourists. Tourists even hire bicycles or horses and take a joyride around the Lake. The Boat House established here provides opportunity to enjoy boating (Rowing Boats, Pedaling Boats and Public Ferry) in the serene and composed waters of the Kodai Lake. Various flowers shows and boat pageants organized at the Kodaikanal Lake in summer draw thousands of tourists to this land of immeasurable beauty and exquisiteness.
Berijam Lake located about 21 kilometers from Kodaikanal is a Freshwater Reservoir which is considered to be the most pristine and immaculate amongst the three lakes of this ‘Princess of Hill Stations’. Nestled amidst the upper Palani Hills at the previous site of Fort Hamilton, the Berijam Lake was at first a swamp popular as the Berijam Swamp. Under the patronage of Sir Vere Levigne, the then Collector of Madurai, Berijam Lake was artificially created by damming a certain stream in the year 1867. This is a very placid and halcyon lake set up against the balmy backdrop of the compelling natural panorama. As this lake is a source of water for Periyakulam Town and other surrounding towns and villages, boating is not allowed here. To visit the Berijam Lake, tourists are required to obtain prior permission from the Forest Department. Only a limited number of vehicles are permitted entrance to this vicinity per day and you can visit this lake only between 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Wildlife such as deer, bison, snakes and even panthers are frequently spotted in this area. Other attractions close to the Berijam Lake include Silent Valley, Fire Tower and Medicine Forest.
Green Valley View
Green Valley View, formerly popular as ‘Suicide Point’ is nested close to the Kodaikanal Golf Course about 5 kilometers from the heart of the city. Perched at the elevation of 4900 feet overlooking the Vaigai Dam to its south, the Green Valley View has a sheer drop of 1500 meters. From the top of the Green Valley View, captivating vistas of the surrounding plains, enchanting valleys and lofty wooded hills can be beheld. The stairway that leads up to this vantage point is highly commercialized and the shops lined along the road really tempt the tourists to buy Kodaikanal Souvenirs from here. You will also come across plethora of monkeys on the way up to the Green Valley View. It is recommended that the tourists should visit this perilous viewing point only between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
Silent Valley View
Silent Valley View is yet another vantage point near Kodaikanal which is located at a short distance from the famous Pillar Rocks. Visible from the Berijam Lake Road, this observation point offers the most awe inspiring outlooks of the surrounding valley brimming with incredible natural pulchritude. One can spend hours gently sipping the never ending essence of charismatic nature. As the valley skirting this surveillance acme is deep and dangerous, the parents need to take care of their kids very precautiously. The perfect time to visit the Silent Valley View of Kodaikanal is from early morning to late afternoon.
Dolphin’s Nose, placed about 8 kilometers from the center of the city is a flat rock suspending over an overwhelming 6,600 feet deep gorge lying beneath. Reckoned to be one of the chief attractions of this Hill Station, the Dolphin’s Nose offers the most delighting bird’s eye view of the entire landscape of this mountainous region. To reach the Dolphin’s Nose one will have to undertake a one kilometer steep rocky trail down the Pambar Bridge. Numerous orange juice sellers will confront you on the way that would tender you with the instant energy drink you would be craving for at that moment. Stunning views of the steep stony ridges projecting from the plains can be witnessed on the way up the Dolphin’s Nose. The Pambar Falls locally known as Liril Falls are also located close to the Dolphin’s Nose. This waterfall is the famous cascade that served as the backdrop in the famous advertise of Liril Soap filmed in 1985.
Bryant Park situated to the east of the Kodaikanal Lake in the heart of the city Kodaikanal, is a fantastically upheld botanical garden expanding over a wide area of 21 acres. Designed and set up in the year 1908, this garden was built under the direction of H.D.Bryant, the knowledgeable British forest officer from Madurai. Named after him, this botanical garden of Kodaikanal houses over 325 different species of trees, shrubs and cactuses. During the peak seasons when the floral plants are in full bloom, the park turns out to be the most dazzling rainbow teeming with beautiful multihued flowers. A big section of the park is dedicated to rose where more than 740 varieties of roses are cultivated. A Eucalyptus Tree dating back to the year 1857 and a Bodhi Tree still haughtily standing in the Bryant Park add to its historical and religious significance. A nursery in the park grows ornamental plants which are available for sale. A glasshouse of the park holds a wide range of flowers, ferns and other decorative plants. Several flower shows and horticultural events are organized and hosted by the Bryant Park of Kodaikanal that draws myriads of tourists as well as nature lovers and horticulturalists to this Garden of Eden incarnated. This park is open for the visitors all round the year and the tourists are charged nominal entry fee.
Coaker’s Walk is a one kilometer long tiled pathway running along the boundary of the Kodai Lake towards its southern face. Constructed in the year 1872 by Lt. Coaker and also named after him, the Coaker’s Walk that winds around the Mount Nebo launches opposite the Van Allen Hospital, runs parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road and links the main road at the side of St. Peter's Church offering a striking panoramic view of the adjoining plains. From the Coaker’s Walk to its south even the Dolphin’s Nose is visible on a clear day and an eye catching spectacle of the valley of the Pambar River is perceived to its southeast. Even the Periyakulam Town and the far-off city of Madurai can be seen from the Coaker’s Walk at times. Sometimes an intriguing and uncommon phenomenon known as ‘Brocken Spectre’ can be witnessed at the Coaker’s Walk when a person can spot his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow corona. This rare event occurs when the sun is at the back of the watcher and the clouds and the mist are to his/her frontage. An observatory is located halfway along the walk where a telescope is mounted from where tourists can view the far-flung prospects of the surrounding countryside. This walkway is open all 12 months of the year and tourists can visit the Coaker’s Walk after paying nominal entry fee.
Bear Shola Falls
Bear Shola Falls located roughly 3 kilometers from the Kodaikanal Bus Stand in a Reserve Forest is a giant waterfall that receives its name after the phenomenon that bears used to drink water from this cascade in olden days. Acclaimed as one of the most ideal and idyllic picnic destinations around Kodaikanal, Bear Shola Falls is a must visit tourist attraction nested in the woods of this supreme Hill Station. The guests of Kodaikanal make it a point to visit the falls particularly in monsoon when the cataract profuse with water is at its fullest and best. The encompassing environs heaving with the verdurous greenery all over the place and the Bear Shola Falls surging down the precipice with tremendous gusto against the backdrop of juvenile nature is indeed an enrapturing sight to behold.
Thalaiyar Falls, stationed approximately 20 kilometers from Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills happens to be the highest water cataract in the state of Tamil Nadu and the third highest waterfall in India. Also known by the name ‘Rat Tail Falls’ owing to its rat tail like figure, the Thalaiyar Falls are perched at the elevation of about 2,690 feet and forms the 975 feet tall torrent. Thalaiyar Falls receive water from the Manjalar River and flow in one single stream. On a clear day when you look at the Thalaiyar Falls from the Dum Dum Rock Viewpoint located on the Batalugundu-Kodaikanal Ghat Road, long slender milky band of gushing water against the scrim of the black rock cliff embellished with sprouting greenery everywhere appears just incredible. At the peak of the Thalaiyar Falls a short concrete wall has been constructed where one can walk along the wall and look straight down to watch the soundless water in freefall. To reach the top of the falls the tourists have to undertake a challenging and treacherous trek while there is no proper road that leads you to the bottom of the falls. In dry season some adventurous souls go for an extremely hazardous hike beginning at the Manjalar Dam which reaches them to the bottom of the cascade. A temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi is situated nearby and it is believed that the Goddess Kamakshi was born in this region.
Pambar Falls, placed close to the Dolphin’s Nose and nearly 4 kilometers away from the heart of the city Kodaikanal is a majestic waterfall that would unquestionably mesmerize every tender hearted soul and every romantic lover of nature. Popularly referred to by the epithet ‘Grand Cascade’, the Pambar Falls particularly came to limelight with the airing of the famous Liril Ad shot here in 1985. The locals of Kodaikanal and surrounding villages also know Pambar Falls by the title ‘Liril Falls’. A steep trail originating from the back of the Pambar House leads to the Pambar Falls that collects water from the Pambar River and meanders down with compelling energy over a chain of evenly cut step-like rock formations. The watercourse from the Pambar Falls later joins the Vaigai River. At the foot of the cataract a basin like natural pattern has been created which is apt for bathing. In the proximity with the main current of the Pambar Falls you will see three to four small flumes pouring down with unequalled grace and elegance. The prettiness of this enamoring and at the same time soothing vicinity is even augmented by the rare flora and fauna flourishing here.
The ‘Silver Cascade’ is the very first spectacle that grabs your attention by its ensorcelling appeal on the way from Kodai Road to Kodaikanal. Located just 5 kilometers away from Kodaikanal, the Silver Cascade is formed out of the excess water in the Kodai Lake. The 180 feet high Silver Cascade that gushes down the steep rocky plateau with immense vigor is renowned as an ideal retreat for the people of Kodaikanal for picnicking and a must visit destination for the tourists on a trip to Kodaikanal. Bathing in the cool water of this cascade abundant with scores of minerals is a refreshing and rejuvenating experience in itself. Silver Cascade is an undeviating stoppage on the way to Kodaikanal from Madurai as the cajoling vista of the regal silvery waterfalls, the Eucalyptus woods and the shops selling fruits, carrots, fresh vegetables and other jungle products dotted around definitely beseech the by passers to halt for a while and savor the extensive banquet of beauty laid down by nature especially for us.
Pillar Rocks, positioned about 8 kilometers from the Kodaikanal Bus stand is a formation of three colossal rocks superciliously standing in the appearance of three pillars. These granite boulders vertically standing at rest for ages have today become a very popular excursion point around Kodaikanal. These rocks are nearly 400 feet tall and the hollow chambers projected between these three pillars are called Devil’s Kitchen. From the Pillar Rocks one can perceive the impressive bird’s eye view of the adjoining terrain swarming with immeasurable natural splendor. A well landscaped public garden is set up next to the Pillar Rock and in the peak season this region is crammed by the visitors deluging here to relish the taste of nature’s feast. The shaded and cool woods and the pillar shaped enormous boulders make a perfect niche for hanging out and picnicking. Though much crowded all round the year, Pillar Rocks Vantage Point, maintained under the administration of Tamil Nadu Forest Department is not commercialized till date.
Guna Caves (Devil's Kitchen)
Earlier known by the name ‘Devil’s Kitchen’ and now made famous as ‘Guna Cave’ after the popular Tamil movie ‘Guna’, these mysterious caves lie between the famous Pillar Rocks of Kodaikanal. The unfathomable and obscured ravines of Guna Cave inhabited by wild bats are very dangerous and deceptive. At first sight they just appear like small dark gutters but actually they unfold a deep free fall. As the devil metaphorically entices you to fall in his trap and convinces you to enter these fatal caves leading to a great risk of losing your life, these caves are known as Devil’s Kitchen. Even though quite thrilling for adventure seekers, Guna Caves are prohibited for general public these days after the lethal incident of the death of twelve young tourists. It is very dark inside the Guna Caves and despite the fact that this is a very beautiful place for taking pictures, people generally avoid going inside due to the certain jeopardy it involves.
The Pine Forest of Kodaikanal situated on the way to Guna Caves is a gift of Mr. Bryant to Tamil Nadu. Mr. Bryant started pine plantation in the south western region of Kodaikanal in the year 1906 with an aim of cultivating a precious timber. The endeavors of Mr. Bryant today live to tell his tale in the form of the thick Pine Forest of Kodaikanal. Tourists love to wander around in the Pine Forest and enjoy the sport of horse riding here.
Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple
Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple nested about 4 kilometers from the heart of the city Kodaikanal is a shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, the presiding deity of Kodaikanal Region. Lord Murugan is worshipped here as Lord Sri Kurinji Easwaran; the Lord of Kurinji i.e. Hilly Region. Kodaikanal is very famous for its Kurinji Flower blooming once in every 12 years. This temple of Kurinji Andavar Murugan was erected by a European lady in the year 1936 who had converted to Hinduism after coming to India. The most noteworthy event of the temple is the summer festival of Kodaikanal celebrated in the month of May every year. Thousands of tourists alighted to Kodaikanal for the summer festival make it a point to visit this temple of Lord Murugan and pay homage at his feet. From the hill where this temple of Lord Kurinji Andavar Murugan is perched, one can behold the charismatic vistas of the far reaching Palani Hills and the magnificent Vaigai Dam.
Subrahmanya Temple (Kartikeya Temple)
Subrahmanya Temple, dedicated to Lord Kartikeya (Dhandayuthapani); the elder son of Lord Shiva is located about 65 kilometers away from Kodaikanal. Popularly known as Palani Temple, this shrine is one of the most famous religious destinations of South India. Rested at the altitude of about 135 meters, this temple of Lord Kartikeya can be reached after climbing 659 steps. For those who cannot climb the steps, the winch facility is made available here. The most important festivals celebrated at this temple are Tai Pusam and Panguni Uttaram. Tai Pusam is celebrated in the month of January and Panguni Uttaram is celebrated in the month of April when thousands of pilgrims arrive at the Subrahmanya Temple to seek the blessings of Lord Kartikeya and also enjoy in the temple festivals commemorated with exceptional pomp and gaiety.
Lutheran Church, located in the proximity with the Kodaikanal School is the famous church of Kodaikanal built in the year 1932. Still retaining its past glory and grandeur the Lutheran Church stands as the testimony of the British Era in India. Built in the gothic style of architecture, this church edifice is ornamented with stained glass windows, a number of modern and contemporary paintings and batik pieces of art portraying the episodes from the life of Jesus Christ related in Bible. Adjacent the Lutheran Church is located another renowned church of Kodaikanal; the King Church. This structure built in solemn granite and festooned with stained glass windows is also fashioned in the gothic order of architecture.
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History located nearly 6 kilometers from the city bus stand of Kodaikanal is affiliated to the Loyola College of Chennai. Also known as the ‘Flora and Fauna Museum’, this museum is administered and maintained by a Theological Seminary; Sacred Heart College. Established in the year 1895, this museum houses an outstanding collection of over 500 species of taxidermy birds, animals and insects and a living collection of more than 300 exotic orchid species. Apart from that, this museum is also noteworthy for exhibiting the artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes who have been dwelling in the Palani Ranges since 1st century AD approx. Other attractions of this museum are various archeological remnants, the general flora and fauna of Palani Hills and two huge maps of Palani Hills depicting all the natural structures and man made infrastructural developments. This museum of Natural History located in Kodaikanal is a fabulous attraction for anthropologists, archaeologist and historians as well as curious tourists and knowledge seeking students. Shembaganur museum can be visited all days of week except for Tuesdays.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory positioned on the southern tip of the Palani Hills roughly 4 kilometers away from Kodaikanal is a solar observatory possessed and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Nested at the altitude of about 2,343 meters, this Observatory is built at the highest geographical point of Kodaikanal Terrain. Functional since 1901, this observatory is particularly reckoned for the Evershed Effect discovered by John Evershed; the Former Director of the observatory. Evershed Effect is related to the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots. From the Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope we can observe an extensive panorama ranging from Sothupparai Dam and Vaigai Dam to Periyakulam and Varaha Rivers. Astronomical Science Museum of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics organizes public tours, planned night-time telescopic sky viewing and visit to the astronomy library. The Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is open to public daily during the peak season and for the rest of the year, it is kept open only for few hours every Friday.
The Telescope House set up on the northern ridge of the Coaker's Walk is a must visit destination of Kodaikanal. The powerful telescope mounted at the Telescope House provides the most stunning and pictorial prospects of the surrounding hilly terrain overloaded with inestimable beauty and finery. The enthralling vistas of the Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and Varaha Rivers, lush green valleys, verdant far flung mountains and even the far off city Madurai can be viewed from here. The best time to visit the Telescope House is before 2:30 when the weather is comparatively clear and there is more sunlight and less mist. Close to the Telescope House you will encounter a number of monkeys that create an additional attraction for kids.
Bison Wells, Palani Hills
Acclaimed as the paradise of nature lovers Bison Wells, renowned for their affluent wild life and rich vegetation is one of the must visit destinations of Kodaikanal. Ornamenting the lush and scintillating foliage of Palani Hills, the Bison Wells provide natural shelter to some of the vivid fauna including bison, deer, monkeys, elephants, tigers, beautiful and colorful species of birds and so on. The woods in this part of Palani Hills are well heeled with several natural wells where a large number of wild bison come to drink water which derives the name of this region. Bison Wells are much loved by those who are interested in further exploring the jungle and also by adventure enthusiasts. The loveliness as well as the prosperous flora and fauna of the vicinity beckon myriads of trekkers, hikers, naturalists and birdwatchers to discover the banquet of nature on foot. Bison Wells, the potpourri of nature & adventure and prettiness & thrill is indeed a treat to the eyes and the soul.
Moer Point is a fantabulous viewing point of Kodaikanal located close to the threshold where the Berijam Lake Road launches. Offering the enchanting vistas of the steep valley teeming with verdurous shrubbery, rolling hills flourishing with lush carpet of green vegetation and some of the surrounding villages like Chinnoor and Periyoor, the Moer Point is a noteworthy vantage locale of Kodaikanal. It receives its name after Sir Thomas Moer who cut the first grass here in the year 1929 for the sake of constructing the Goschen Road, popular as the ‘Forty Mile Road’ here. In the memory of this event as well as the inauguration of the road, a memorial pillar has been erected at the Moer Point. To reach this point one needs to cross a small hiking trail up and down a hill. A forest check point is stationed at this place that prohibits the unauthorized entry beyond. The road to Munnar via Berijam Lake leads to the Moer Point of Kodaikanal. Another road that directs to the Goschen Road originates from the Observatory Road and connects various neighboring villages such as Mannavanoor, Kookaal, Poombarai and Kavunji.
80 Mile Round
80 Mile Round is a famous point of Kodaikanal that unfolds a wonderful trekking route from where a 3 to 4 days trek can be undertaken. Usually the trail follows the southern escarpment from Berijem Lake and leads to the Kerala Border at Vandaraw and commences the return journey via Poondi, Kavunji, Kukkal and Poombaral villages through the big Mannavanur Sheep Farm. It is recommended to hire a local guide so that you don’t miss the track. En route one will witness the breathtaking views of the magnificent cliffs and the panoramic mountains festooned with a number of streams surging down with incredible enthusiasm. With the prior permission from the District Forest Office you can also stay in the forest rest houses established here. One must carry his/her own food along while trekking as the nearby villages only provide you with tea.
Kodaikanal Golf Club
Kodaikanal Golf Club, located nearly 6 kilometers to the southwest of the center of Kodaikanal is a private membership club having the par 71 Golf Course. Stationed at the elevation of 2220 meters above the sea level, the Kodaikanal Golf Club is placed close to the famous ‘Suicide Point’ of Kodaikanal. Established on 17th June 1895, this golf club is distinguished for its agedness and the wildlife recurrently frequenting the course. Designed and constructed by 12 British golfers, this golf course is 6,426 yards long and has 18 holes. This Golf Club recording over 600 members provides recreational, entertainment and comforting facilities to its guests. Apart from the 18 hole golf course, there are a practice net for driving practice, a designated putting practice area, a 12 seat conference room, a Billiards Room, a card games room, a member’s lounge with fireplace, a dining hall, lodging facilities and a BYOB bar. Some of the chief tournaments held at the Kodaikanal Golf Club are; Palani Hill Open, Rudrappan Memorial Cup, Veday Cup, Contessa Open and A V Thomas Tournament Palani Hill Open. The first regional round of the ‘TAKE Solutions World Corporate Golf Challenge' was played at the Kodaikanal Golf Club on 29th December 2010.
Perumal Peak, also known as Perumal Malai Peak is a lofty peak of Perumalmalai Hills perched at the altitude of 2,440 meters above the sea level amidst the ranges of the greater Western Ghats. Perumal Peak of Kodaikanal is a seventh heaven for trekkers and adventure seekers and the way to the Perumal Peak discloses the veiled splendor of the Nilgiri Hills. From the top of the Perumal Peak, the virgin magnificence of the Western Ghats can be captured. Perumal Peak is positioned just 11 kilometers from Kodaikanal and the path leading to the top is quite easy and less treacherous. This trek doesn’t call for previous experience and even the beginners can enjoy the hike to the peak. The impressive sight of the timbered regions around can be perceived from the summit. The trek to the Perumal Peak initiates from the foot of the Perumal Peak at Neutral Saddle and the ascent and the descent of the Perumal Peak involves a hike of about 4 hours. Trekking in the Perumal Peak does not necessitate any authorized permission and anybody can undertake this venture.
Apart from its significance as a much loved hill resort of South India, Kodaikanal also owns a status of magnitude on the anthropology map of India due to the pre historic remnants found here dating back to 5000 BC. Known as dolmens and kistavens, these remains are supposed to be the residential and burial places of the people of Stone Age and Iron Age. These dolmens comprise of two massive stone stabs towered by a bigger flat slab and they are present at Perumal Peak and Shenbaganur Museum of Kodaikanal.