Nestling amidst the folds of the verdant Pali Hills, is the idyllic retreat of Kodaikanal, popularly known as Kodai. Apart from being a much sought after tourist resort, Kodai is also famous for its educational institutions, which are globally renown.
The resort is, virtually, a heaven for trekkers and avid nature lovers. Amongst its other natural attractions is a star - shaped lake, set in a dreamy locale. The Boat Club offers umpteen pleasure and racing trips. The splendid Bryant Park, famous for its rare collection of flowers, graftings and hybrids, is the venue of great horticultural shows, held every year in May. Another major attraction of this area, is the country's only Solar Physical Laboratory, founded in 1898.
The Coaker's Walk offers some fantastic views of the surrounding plains. Another superb vantage point, is the Kurinji Andavar temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan, which provides a panoramic view of the lofty hills, that embrace Kodaikanal. Some of the popular picnic spots in the resort, are the Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks, and Bear Shola Falls. Nature seems to have blessed Kodai in all her magnanimity, a fact evident from the immense profusion of exotic flora and fauna of the area. The amazing orchid collection at the Shenbaganur Museum, has granted Kodai international fame. Kodai is also blessed with the rare bloom of the highly elusive Kurinji flower, that makes a dramatic appearance, once in 12 years. The Kurinji last bloomed in 1992. The resort is also home to various species of birds, thus rendering it a bird - watcher's delight.
Kodaikanal promises to be an ideal getaway, for those craving for an invigorating yet soothing holiday, away from the madness of the city.
PLACES TO VISIT IN KODAIKANAL:-
The flora and Fauna Museum is devoted to the archeological remains and flora and fauna of the hills. The museum is maintained by the Sacred Heart College and has one of the best orchid collections in the country. The museum is six km from Kodai.
Located 8km from Kodai on the Kodai- Madurai Ghat road, this waterfall falls from a height of 180 feet. The fall is formed by the overflow of water from Kodai Lake. One can take a bath here if the water temperature is to one's liking.
Kurinji Andavar Temple
Three km from the lake stands Kurinji Andavar Temple, a small shrine dedicated to Lord Subramanya. You may stumble upon some kurinji shrubs those blossomed and defied the 12-year time schedule. From the temple one can have a great view of Palani and Vaigai Dam.
The Walk is on the steep southern face of the Kodai ridge. It has a telescope house and an observatory. The view of the plains from Coaker's Walk is breath taking.
The star attraction of Kodaikanal is the star shaped Kodai Lake that is beautifully landscaped. Boats can be hired from the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club. The tourist department also has rowboats and pedal boats. Sir Vere Hentry Levinge who was the collector of Madurai created the lake in 1863 and settled in Kodai after retirement.
Situated 7km from Kodai is the Pillar Rock, three boulders standing vertically to a height of 120m. The Pillar rock is full of caves and chasms, a delight for the adventure seeker.
The part is located on the eastern side of the lake. Named after the British Officer, who landscaped and stocked it, the park has a large verity of flowering shrubs, hybrids and grafts. Flower shows are conducted here as part of Summer Festival during May.
Palani's Malaikovil (hill temple) is the most famous temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. One has to climb 650 steps to access the inner sanctum of the temple. During January, for the Taipusam, over 200,000 devotees gather at Palani. Palani is 64km from Kodai and 57km from Dindigul.
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary
Located along the Tamil Nadu - Kerala border, the sanctuary covers about 1000sq.km. The fauna includes elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, leopard, spotted deer, bear and many species of birds. The sanctuary is open throughout the year.