Places to Visit in Kodaikanal
If you are in Kodaikanal for weekend, I’d say 2 days in Kodaikanal are not enough to cover all the places to see in Kodaikanal.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when somebody mentions Tamilnadu in summer? You’d hardly believe your eyes (and your brain which might be tricking you) when you’d see people walking on the street wearing sweaters and jackets bang in the afternoon of months of April and May. I mean seriously this is your eighth wonder of the world right there!
Tamilandu is littered, quite literally, with hill stations – Ooty, conoor and so on… But what takes the iron throne is the beautiful, wonderful Kodaikanal hill station.
The word Kodaikanal literally translates to The Gift of the Forest. And rightly, so it an amazing gift of the nature.
Kodaikanal Travel Attractions
Located dead at the center of the town is the pristine Kodai Lake. The lake gives you three options to explore it – bicycling, boating and walking – all three of them being highly enjoyable. Note that bicycles are available for rent near the lake and somewhat close to the entrance of Bryant Park
The one km walk around Mount Nebo starts near the Van Allen hospital and ends near St.Peter’s Church. The place is perfect for Sunrise, but do account for the clouds which might play spoilsport. I remember I was so disappointed when I missed the Sunrise at Tiger’s Hill, all because of the cloudy weather.
Take a walk on this nice pathway and relish the great scenic views of the Kodai valley.
A word of advice, skip the telescopes, they are very cheap, around 5 rupees, but they are not even worth that!
Bryant is a decent park, nothing to rave about it. Due to its proximity to the lake and Coaker’s walk you can easily combine the three or explore them in a combination of two. The flower beds near the main entrance (close to the lake) are a sight to behold.
Lake View Point
Of all the viewpoints listed in the travel guides and tourist information brochures, this is the one worth visiting. As the name suggests from here you get excellent views of the Kodai Lake and the green cover surrounding it.
Berijam is a calm, serene body of water located in a protected forest area just outside the town of Kodaikannal. The lake is officially a plastic free zone, but you’d still see the lot of plastic waste littered around in the area. Damn those tourists, can’t follow a simple rule?
There are two ways to get in, one is by private vehicle and other is to use the minibus run by the forest department. If you are coming by the private vehicle you need to obtain the permit at the gated entry. Note, that only limited number of permits are everyday so get in as earliest in the morning as possible. Now, the second option if you are going by the forest department bus, here are few things to remember:
The buses don’t run frequently so there could be a queue of passengers waiting. The bus tickets are issued in the bus itself.
It takes around 45 minutes for bus to reach the lake – but the bus only stops for 15-20 minutes at the lake which really is a bummer. The whole lake and the area around the lake is extremely beautiful and peaceful; if you ask me I can spend hours there, just sitting, doing absolutely nothing but soak in the beauty of the nature.
The Kurinjiandavar temple dedicated to Lord Muruga is located around a distance of four km from the Kodai town. You can either walk upto here or take a jeep. The temple gets its name from the Kurinji flower which is said to bloom in twelve years (much like Brahmakamal in Uttarakahand). From the temple compound you get decent views of Palani Hills and the nearby Kodaikanal town.
Bear Shola falls
This gets a mention only because the waterfall is located close to the Kodai town and one can simply take a walk to the fall. But once there you’ll notice that there is no water, not even a trickle in the summer, while even in rainy season the fall is anything but spectacular.
Note: Maybe my taste for waterfalls is little spoiled, having been to all those splendid – work of nature -waterfalls in Iceland.
Tourists Traps/ Not worth your time & money
You can safely classify the whole gamut of the viewpoints which are sold aggressively as packages in tourist booklets as tourist traps. The list includes – Dolphin nose, Guna caves, Suicide Point/ Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks.
The other must avoid places include – Pine forest, Devil’s Kitchen, 500 years Old Tree, Golf course, 1000 years old temple.
Travel – How to get around town
Walking – There are no auto rickshaws in the town, which though a good news from environment standpoint, but definitely not so good news for your legs as you will have to do lot of walking around.
Get up, and start walking you lazy bums! Why do even travel if you are reluctant to walk? Why not just browse through the pictures of the place in Google images and/or imgur?
Bicycles – You can rent a bicycle and go around the lake. It will be very difficult to travel through town with bicycle as the town is too hilly.
Shared Taxi – Shared taxi are generally used by locals and are difficult to spot. It’s easier to ask a local who might be able to help you how to get into one.
Jeep – As a general rule of thumb jeeps are bit cheaper than a reserved taxi but in turn Jeeps lack safety (as they are open) particularly so if you are traveling with luggage.