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Places to visit in Kodaikanal

Discussion in 'Tamil Nadu' started by Chiman, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Chiman

    Chiman New Member

    I am taking my family to Kodaikanal for a seven day holiday. The destination is a very popular tourist area, but unfortunately, I do know much about it or what places there are to visit there.

    Which places can we visit in Kodaikanal as a family, which would not only interest my wife and me but also our kids?

    I am not sure but is there a steam train which goes to Ooty from Kodaikanal?
  2. Abinaya_14

    Abinaya_14 New Member

    Hi Chiman,

    They are so many Places to visit in Kodaikanal

    Here is list of places to visit
    1. Coaker's Walk
    2. Bryant Park
    3. Kodai Lake
    4. Bear Shols Falls
    5. Pillar Roacks
    6. Silver Cascade
    7. Chettiyar park
    8. Kuriji Andavar Temple
    9. Pambar Falls
    10. Shenbaganur Museum
    11. Fairy Falls
    12. Dolphin's Nose
    13. Guna Cave
    14. Moir Point
    15. Perumal Peak
    16. Berijam Lake
    17. Kukkal Cave
    18. Thaliyar Falls
    19. Palani
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi @Chiman, welcome to the forum!

    Kodaikanal is one of the best hill stations in the country, yet it isn't as popular nor as commercialised like its counterparts in other regions. It has remained relatively pristine and beautiful, with its lakes, waterfalls and forests. Many of these attractions in the hill station can be covered by foot or even by bike so even if you don't have your own vehicle, you can still visit them. Because Kodaikanal has a pleasant climate all-year round, it can be visited at any time, even at the peak of summer season. And of course, when in Kodaikanal, it's a must to try the local cuisine which is incredibly delicious but affordable. Here are some of the best attractions in Kodaikanal that all members of the family would enjoy visiting:

    • Kodaikanal Lake - This star-shaped manmade lake is located right at the heart of the city. It was built around the middle quarter of the 18th century by Sir Vere Henry Levinge. Swimming is not permitted in the lake for safety reasons but you can opt for boating instead. There are several boating facilities so that guests can enjoy cruising along the mild water of the lake. Jogging, cycling and walking around the lake are also great activities, which are usually what you can see the locals doing especially during the early morning. There are also horses around the lake which kids and parents can ride in. Numerous small eaters also surround the lake in case the guests become famished.
    • Berijam Lake - This lake is about 24 kilometres away from Kodaikanal. To access the lake though, you need a special permit from the Forest Department which costs around Rs. 150 per vehicle. If you don't have your own car, there are government buses plying from Kodaikanal to Berijam Lake which costs Rs. 150 per person. The lake is not commercialised and has less tourists probably because it's located at a distance from the city centre. There are also no boating facilities here nor eateries nearby. However, the lake is very serene and suitable for families that are looking for some bonding time. You can have a picnic beside the lake and enjoy the views.
    • Mannavanur Lake - This is a bit further away at about 32 kilometres away from Kodaikanal. The location of the lake is amidst a sheep farm so you would find a number of sheep grazing into the lush green grass. There's not much you can do in the lake except for the coracle boat ride. Just be careful if you go during monsoon season as leeches can be found everywhere near the area. You can also visit the nearby sheep and rabbit farm as children would enjoy seeing these animals up close and personal.
    • Vattakanal Waterfalls - This is about seven kilometres away from Kodaikanal. The last three kilometres have to be trekked though. There are actually three waterfalls located within the area. The first waterfall is the smallest and the most easily accessible out of the three. However, the last two waterfalls are larger and more beautiful but they can be tougher to reach. It's best to hire a local guide that can help you in reaching these waterfalls. The trek can be a bit challenging though especially for smaller kids and those who aren't physical fit. The journey to reach the waterfalls is quite enjoyable though as you pass through forests and trees.
    • Bear Shola Waterfalls - This is just two kilometres away from Kodaikanal Lake. The trek to reach the waterfalls is quite easy and short. The water from the waterfalls cascades at a slanting height which is quite a treat to the eyes. During monsoon season, the waterfall is thicker and thus, apt for a visit. But during the other seasons, the water from the falls can be quite thin and sparse. So you can actually skip this attraction if you're visiting during the winter or summer. It is believed that bears used to drink water from the waterfalls and shola is the forest type surrounding the waterfalls, hence the name.
    • Fairy Waterfalls - The presence of tall and thick trees surrounding the Fairy Waterfalls add to its beauty. Best visited during the monsoon season, its relative distance to the main railway station of the city makes it accessible to most tourists. There are small seating areas around the waterfalls for tourists to rest in. You can also visit the nearby herb garden located within the waterfall premises. It's a nice place for having a little picnic with your loved ones.
    • Silver Cascade Waterfalls - This is located en route to Kodaikanal, about eight kilometres away from the city centre. Because of its glittering silver water, it was named the Silver Cascade Waterfalls. However, during monsoon season, the water from the falls can be quite muddy and brownish. Swimming is also not permitted here as there are barrages to keep visitors out. You can enjoy the views though while eating in the nearby snack stalls to the waterfalls. It can be very crowded though as it's a usual stopover for tourists travelling to Kodaikanal.
    • Guna Cave - Perhaps you are familiar with the movie named Guna, which is from where the Guna Cave got its name. Initially though, the cave was known as Devil's Kitchen, owing to the disappearance of a group of 12 people who explored the cave and was never found until now. So now, exploring the caves is prohibited although you can still view it from the outside. It's fenced around so visitors cannot go inside the cave apart from its entrance. The cave is more like a pathway through two pillars of rocks and surrounded by trees in which their roots are visible from above the soil.
    • Kukkal Caves - These caves are accessible from Poombarai, which is about 20 kilometres away from Kodaikanal. Trekking through the forests to reach the caves would take you around pine trees and grasslands. These caves were once the residence of the ancient tribes called the Paliyans. There are some stalagmites and stalactites that you can see hanging in the caves. From the outside, the views of the valleys are quite stunning as well.
    • Bryant Park - Probably the best attraction in Kodaikanal for families would be the Bryant Park. The park is surrounded by many different varieties of flowers and plants. The park was built in the early 19th century by a British official of which it was named after. Aside from the beautiful flowers, there are also over 300 species of trees and shrubs in the park. There's also a glass house here which houses ornamental plants. There are also annual flower shows conducted within the park premises. Children can appreciate the wonderful scenery all around and also run and play because of the spacious garden here.
    • Chettiar Park - A little less known than the Bryant Park, the Chettiar Park is another good place to spend an afternoon with your family in. It has many flowers, including the very rare kurinji, which blooms once every twelve years only. It is less crowded and thus, more serene than the former park. It is also located at a nearby distance from the Kurinji Andavar Temple.
    • Coaker's Walk - Built around the 18th century by another British official named Coaker, this is a kilometre long pathway in which you can enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys in. It's not rare to find locals jogging or walking around here as it's one of the most easily accessible places in the city. There's even a telescope here that you can use, for a nominal fee, to clearly see the surrounding views. For families, the place is an excellent location for their much needed photography sessions.
    • Kurinji Andavar Temple - This temple, with its light blue facade, doesn't look out of place in the city, especially when the clouds are a clear blue. It was built around the 19th century and is dedicated to Lord Muruga. The temple's name was derived from the kurinji flowers that grow besides its surrounding gardens, but only once every twelve years. The proponent for the building of the temple was Leelavathi Ramanathan, a European woman who professed Hindu faith. Now, the Kurinji Andavar Temple is one of the most well-known attractions in the city and throngs of devotees flock to it especially during the summer festival of May.
    • Lutheran Church - With is pure white exteriors with accents of light blue, the Lutheran Church is a pleasant sight to the eyes. It has beautiful stained glass windows depicting the scenes in the life of Jesus. The walls are equally beautiful and also has paintings depicting scenes from the bible. The church has a long history having been built around the 19th century. The best part about it is the scenery and quietness it evokes that makes one calm and peaceful on the inside.
    • Christ the King Church - From a distance, the Christ the King Church is unassuming, with its bricked exterior and very minimalistic design. Built around the end of the 18th century, the church was made using pure granite. It's quite a contrast from the gleaming Lutheran Church but still eludes a sense of beauty. Its glass windows are also painted with scenes from the bible. Its architecture is quite simple but stunning which draws tourists and worshippers from all over the country and the world.
    • Silent Valley View Point - This is located a few kilometres away from the Berijam Lake. The views from the peak are quite stunning, with mist-washed mountains and deep valleys. However, care should be taken when you visit with kids as there are no fences around the view point. This place is a must-visit as well for photography lovers as it is here that you can get a good opportunity to snap the deep valleys around Kodaikanal.
    • Upper Lake View Point - This view point is about three kilometres away from Coaker's Walk. It's the best place for seeing the star-shaped beauty that is of the Kodaikanal Lake. The hills surrounding the lake can also be seen from here. It is definitely a photographer's haven as you can get a clear shot of the lake from the peak. There are no other facilities here though so it can be skipped if you plan to go to the lake anyway.
    • Shembaganur Museum of Natural History - A must visit attraction especially for those with kids. The museum houses an interesting taxidermy collection of over 500 animals. Here, the kids can learn more about the various species of animals. Skeletons of animals like leopards, bisons and hyenas can also be seen here. There are also collections here pertaining to the tribes of the region with artefacts like weaponries, armouries and utensils. Other collections here are of ancient coins, orchids and sea shells.
    • Astrophysical Observatory - Although a visit to the observatory itself isn't permitted, you can visit the museum within its premises. Here you can find exhibits about the solar system which are sure to render the children interested. There is also a guide here which can throughly explain different terms and phenomenon that might be unclear to guests. There's also a simple telescope in the museum which guests can use to see the sunspots.
    • Ice Skating Cafe - When you're done visiting all the attractions of the hill station, then you can end your day here at the Ice Skating Cafe. There's an instructor here in case you need some guidance with ice skating. There are ice skating equipments as well for rent. Since this is mainly a cafe, there are also beverages and snacks that you can indulge in after getting tired from ice skating. The cafe is located in the Satya Commercial Complex, opposite to the BP Petrol Bunk.
    There you go, I hope this helps you!


    Kodaikanal isn't directly connected to Ooty by the steam train. You have to reach Coimbatore first and from there, ride a train to Mettupalayam. Then, ride the steam train or toy train going to Ooty from Mettupalayam. From Kodaikanal, you need to go to the Kodai Road Railway Station, which has a direct train to Coimbatore. Here is the timing:
    • Nagercoil Coimbatore Passenger Train No. 56319 - This train departs daily from Kodai Road at 13:45 and arrives in Coimbatore at 20:50.
    Then, from Coimbatore, there are different trains going to Mettupalayam:
    • Nilagiri Express Train No. 12671 - This train departs daily from Coimbatore Junction at 5:15 and arrives in Mettupalayam at 6:15.
    • Coimbatore Mettupalayam Passenger Train No. 56146 - This train departs daily except Sundays from Coimbatore Junction at 9:30 and arrives in Mettupalayam at 10:20.
    • Coimbatore Mettupalayam Passenger Train No. 56148 - This train departs daily except Sundays from Coimbatore Junction at 11:50 and arrives in Mettupalayam at 12:40.
    • Coimbatore Mettupalayam Passenger Train No. 56150 - This train departs daily except Sundays from Coimbatore Junction at 15:15 and arrives in Mettupalayam at 6:05.
    • Coimbatore Mettupalayam Passenger Train No. 56144 - This train departs daily except Sundays from Coimbatore Junction at 17:55 and arrives in Mettupalayam at 18:45.
    From Mettupalayam to Udagamandalam (Ooty), there is only one train for this route:
    • Mettupalayam Ooty Passenger Train No. 56136 - This train departs daily from Mettupalayam at 7:10 and arrives in Udagamandalam at 12:00.
    Good luck and enjoy!

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