If you live in the South and havent heard about Kodaikanal, you probably need to do a reality check. Unarguably the most popular hill station after Ooty, Kodaikanal has over the years became a popular honeymoon spot and continues to stand tall despite an onslaught of newbie hill stations. Fondly called as Kodai, the hill station has grown in recent times due to its offbeat, unexplored nature and terrific viewpoints. So, if youre raring to go to the Princess of Hill Stations, then were here to guide you in terms of what to see and where to stay.
How to reach
Bangalore to Kodaikanal: 462 km.
From Bangalore City, one can take the Tuticorin express or the Nagarcoil express to reach Kodai Road railway station which is about 100 km from the actual hill station. Train fare will be around Rs 250. Travelling by Road thus is the better option as one can take a KPN bus from Majestic bus stand which will cost you around Rs 800.
Kodaikanal is also centrally located from other major cities like Madurai and Chennai. The nearest airport is in Madurai (Madurai to Kodaikanal-120 km)
Kodaikanal is located at a height 2133 metres above sea level.
Kodaikanals weather is what makes it a favourite amongst honeymooners and youngsters with the average annual temperature hovering around 15 degrees. The best time to visit Kodaikanal is during February to May when the temperature is cool and pleasant and the city serves as the perfect retreat from the sweltering summer heat.
Places to Visit
Kodaikanal doesnt have any dearth of places to visit and here are the best of them:
Moir Point: Located far off from the town, the view here is just stunning with fog covered hills that are greener that stand tall in the piercing cold.
Image by Jbuchholz/CC BY-SA 4.0
Coakers Walk: The view here is so good that you would really wish that time would stand still. Offers a fantastic view of sunsets and you can literally see the sky turn 50 shades of pink.
Green Valley View: We have all wanted to touch clouds when we were young. At this site, it might just come true with wispy curls of fog caressing the deck resembling clouds. Fluffy!
Image by tshrinivasan/CC BY-SA 3.0
Kodaikanal Lake: A man made lake thats located right in the heart of the city, Kodaikanal Lake offers umpteen options for boating and paddling with tickets priced as low as Rs 40. There is also an option for hiring a Kashmiri shikara for Rs 150 for a 30 minute ride.
Bear Shola Falls: Located inside the mist-laden forests of Kodai, Bear Shola Falls might not have size by its side but makes up for it with its isolated charm and the shrubs surrounding it.
Image by Ishfaq shams/CC BY-SA 3.0
Silver Cascade: Aptly named, the 180 feet waterfall cascades down in multiple levels and reaches its full capacity during Monsoon. The origin of the waterfall is the famous Kodaikanal Lake.
Berijam Lake: A freshwater lake rich in Flora and Fauna, Berijam is serene and quiet and the walking trails around them offer a chance to see animals of all shapes and sizes (think elephants, bisons walking past you and youll get the point)
Chettiar Park: This ones for the families who will love the peaceful atmosphere here. Also has a dedicated kids section replete with swings, slides and merry-go-rounds.
Image by Ishfaq Shams/CC BY-SA 3.0
Bryant Park: Known for its vibrant flower shows, Bryant Park is located near Kodaikanal Lakes boat club and is a favourite amongst newly weds who love to take a stroll in the landscaped lawns filled with dew-laden flowers.
Green Valley View: Watching a 5000 foot steep drop is one hell of a sight and so green valley view is one of the most popular spots of attraction in Kodaikanal. It used to be called suicide point for obvious reason, till the government intervened and dissuaded lovelorn couples from taking the step.
Silent valley View: Watching a quaint, lush valley that is covered in mist is something we all want to see first thing in the morning. Silent Valley view is a great place to get such a view and is located near the Berijam Lake.
Image by Dhanil K/CC BY-SA 3.0
Pillar Rocks: Rock giants get a whole new definition with these 122 metre tall rocks that are a staggering sight to behold. The point is one of the most crowded places in Kodai and not without reason: adjacent to the point is a garden where people can relax after getting their dose of the pillar rocks.
Echo Point: As the name suggests echo point is a great place to experience the kiddie delight of creating listening to your own echo.
Old Suicide Point: While the place used to the be the end of the road for many in earlier times, now the point offers a great view of the pine forest below and the sight is glorious.
Image by Pixabay
Hotels and Resorts
No hill station article can be complete without a listing of the hotels and resorts that inundate it. Kodaikanal offers tons of hotels and resorts that cater to travellers across the monetary spectrum. Here are the best of them:
Hotel Spring Valley: Rs 700 per night
Hotel Pleasant Stay: Rs 2200 per night
Royal Hotel: Rs 1400 per night
Hotel Abirami Residency: Rs 1850 per night
Richwin Hotel: Rs 2400 per night
Hotel Jai: Rs 2500 per night
Hotel Kodai International: Rs 4500 per night
The Fern Creek: Rs 7000 per night
Le Poshe by Sparsa: Rs 5000 per night
The Carlton: Rs 10500 per night
Hill Country Resorts Kodaikanal: Rs 3800 per night
Villa Retreat: Rs 3500 per night
Sterling Resorts: Rs 6500 per night
Another stand-out feature, the homestays in Kodaikanal provide shelter to travellers who have a last moment plan to stay over. Some of them are:
Kodai Homestay: Rs 2000 per night
Cinnabar: Rs 6000 per night
Dalethorpe Homestay: Rs 2800 per night
And if Madonna ever visited Kodaikanal, she would probably sing Kodai another day. Geddit, Geddit?
The main image for this article was sourced from Wikimedia. Image by Thangaraj Kamaravel/CC BY-SA 2.0