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Kodaikanal Travel Guide

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Chahal, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    Kodaikanal is a beautiful town located in the hills of the state of Tamil Nadu. The town is known along with Ooty as one of the most impressive Hill Stations in the state. Based at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level, the town consists as part of the Palani Hill Range. Features of this truly beautiful picturesque place consist of spectacular waterfalls and incredible vantage points with stunning views of the landscape. Unlike most of the places in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal has a very mild temperature that makes it bearable for tourists.

    The earliest known existence of Kodaikanal consisted of the Palaiyar tribe whilst the earliest mention of the town was in the Tamil Sangam Literature. The town, in modern terms was founded and established by the Americans and the British, and more specifically Christian Missionaries and Bureaucrats in 1845. The town, located up in the hills was the perfect location to get away from humid and warm temperatures whilst also avoiding the possibilities of catching tropical diseases. During the 20th century, the secret of Kodaikanal was out and Indian people of prestige started flocking to the Hill Station to exploit its growing value.

    Due to being founded and established by Missionary organizations, there are many churches around the area including the famed Church of South India. Other churches in the region include Saint Mary's and Saint Joseph's. The Union Church, which is a big church of a vast Tamil following is one of the most prominent and well-attended churches whilst the Margaret Eddy Memorial Chapel has an American feel about the place due to an impressive construction.

    As well as there being many churches in the area, Kodaikanal also features a large amount of Hindu Temples. The best temples in the area are the Vinayagar Kovil, Mariamman Kovil and also the Durgai Amman Kovil. For follower of Islam, there are two mosques called the Ellis Villa and the Munjikal. Although the official language of the Kodaikanal is Tamil, visitors won't have to worry about communicating with the locals as English is also widely spoken throughout the region.

    Best Season

    Kodaikanal has subtropical climatic condition and the period from September to May is regarded as the best time to visit Kodaikanal.

    Getting There

    The closest train station is at Kodai Road which is roughly 70 miles away. From Kodairoad, it is only them possible to reach Kodaikanal by road and taxi. By bus, Kodaikanal is around 60 miles from Dindigul city where there are plenty of buses plying from various parts of the state.

    Tourist Attractions

    Bryant Park - Peaceful and displaying true beauty, Bryant Park is a huge area of green-land of botanical gardens stretching over an area of 20 acres. The park is impeccable maintained and is at the forefront of most popular attractions to the area. Built by a forest inspector called Bryant in 1908, the park took name from him due to his incredible work ethic to establish area. Bryant Park has over 300 species of trees and shrubs which creates such and calm and friendly aura about the place. The highlight of the park is the wide range of different rose types contained in one section of the park. The prized possessions of the park are the Bodhi tree which provides vast religious contributions and also over a century old Eucalyptus plant. Visitors also have the option to visit the nursery located in the park and are able to purchase ornamental plants as gifts and souvenirs. The park is open all year round.

    Berijam Lake - Out of the three lakes that are in existence in the city, it is widely perceived that the Berijam Lake is cleanest and most prestigious of the three. The lake is strictly commanded by the rule that there is no plastic to be brought by the lake that helps protect its beautiful and alluring feel. In order to visit the lake, tourists will need to obtain permission that you can get from the forest office. Beware that during the peak season, only a few vehicles per day are accepted in. One of the best things about the lake is beautiful and scenic route required to take to get to it.

    Coakers Walk- For nature and peace seekers, you should head to Coakers Walk, which is one of the most beautiful valley in the state of Tamil Nadu. The perfect place to bring a camera, you will have a front row seat to watch the clouds.

    Shembaganur Museum of Natural History - Located roughly four miles from the city, the Shembaganur Museum of Natural History is a very interesting way to spend a few hours. It is open six days per week apart from Tuesdays and visitors will get a first-hand of viewing the impressive taxidermy collection that contains over 500 species of animals, birds and insects. Many artifacts in the museum come from the Palaiyar tribes people whose descendants still living in the hills today.

    Pillar Rocks - Pillar Rocks is a spectacular form of three huge rock pillars that are over 400 ft tall. To reach the block, it is roughly a 5-mile drive, but taxis are cheap enough. The vantage point is often crowded so be sure to arrive early.

    Guna Caves - Guna Caves is best known amongst Indian people from a hit Tamil movie, which was called Guna. The caves are bat influxed chambers that lie between three Pillar Rocks. The ravines are deep and tight and were a main cause of 12 school children being killed there. The state has made sure that the caves are protected, as to maintain safety. Sadly, tourists can only now see inside the caves from a distance.

    Pine Forest - Located on route to the Guna Cave, the forest has an incredible view of a sea of pine trees who incidentally, were planted by the British, during their rule. A great place to get away from reality and delve into a world of tranquility. Locals also sell fresh fruit and vegetables to visitors.

    Kurinjiandavar Temple - Kurinjiandavar Temple is the main temple in the area and is roughly around 2 miles from the lake. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga. An interesting fact about the temple is that the flowers inside only bloom every 12 years. The temple also has great views of the Palani Hills which make a great photograph.

    Chettiar Park - Chettiar Park, like Bryant Park is a beautifully scenic park which is dominated by an array of bright colored flowers. A great place to bring the kids due to the play area, it is a true wonder, and also a great place to get some chirpy photographs.

    Must Do Activities

    Cycle around the lake - The perfect way to chill out in peaceful nature is by hiring a bike and cycling around the beautiful lake and watch as the clouds slowly reach and land on the water. Bikes are available to rent by the hour on site.

    Trekking - Kodaikanal has truly tremendous scenic trekking routes with the best one very well known to be the one where it is only possible by walking along the stream. Situated at the start of the trail is the Kodaikanal tourist centre that supplies maps and routes. The tourist office also sells and provide tour guides for those with good sense of direction. There are a mixture of both hard and easy treks, so tourists are able to choose.

    Horse Riding - With so much landscape to exploit, it is the perfect excuse to rent a horse with a trainer for a few hours and sense true freedom while riding around the lake.

    Accommodation

    Despite it's remote location, Kodaikanal is well served by hotels and for visitors on all budgets. Recommended hotels are as follows;

    Club Mahindra Hill Country Resorts

    Serenità Homestay

    Cranberry Residency

    Greenlands Youth Hostel

    Kodai Retreat

    One of the most beautiful Hill Stations in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is a place where you will be able to achieve ultimate relaxation. Nature and freedom here is heavenly and only made better by the fresh lake that people often parade around. With plenty of landmarks to visit and activities to do, visitors, when they have reached full relaxation, are then presented with options to release the calm energy by exploring the culture and history of the area.
     

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