Kodaikanal is a hill station town in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It’s a scenic town set in a region that is full of granite cliffs, forests and valleys, lakes, waterfalls and lakes. It is situated 2,000 meters above sea level, and has a beautiful, star-shaped man-made lake (Kodai Lake), at its centre bordered by evergreen forests.
Kodaikanal is an attractive hill station with a pleasant weather, and is known to be one of the favorite getaways/vacation spots for people in south India. Here are some of the best things to see or visit in Kodaikanal:
- Kodai lake – A star shaped man-made lake in the center of the town, surrounded by evergreen forests on its borders.
- Suicide Point – Also known as Green Valley View; a stunning viewpoint with a beautiful pathway of forests and trails leading up to it.
- Bear Shola Falls – A waterfall, which is now a popular picnic spot; it is said that years ago, many bears used to drink water from this fall. Hence the name for it.
- Dolphin’s Nose – Another viewpoint; this is based from a rock that is shaped like a dolphin’s nose in horizontal position.
- Rat Tail Falls (also known as Thalaiyar Waterfalls).
Most popular Historical places in Kodaikanal are:
- Dolmen Circle
- Kuzhandhai Velappar temple
- Christ The King Church
- Lutheran Church
- Kurinji Andavar Temple
- Palani Murugan Temple
- St. Peter Church
- Lakeside Ganesh Temple
- Arockia Matha Church
The major festivals celebrated by people in Kodaikanal include:
- Pongal – A harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu state, in the month of January.
- Miladi Sherif – the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammed; a major Muslim festival in south India.
- Mother Salette Festival – An important church festival celebrated by the Christians in Kodaikanal.
- Natyanjali Festival – An annual classical (Bharatanatyam) dance festival.
- Tourist Fair (Summer festival).
- Tea and Tourism Festival – A festival held in the month of January each year in the Nilgiris Mountains that are known for tea plantations, due to which the place gets a good harvest of tea that is also exported to many parts of the country. This festival is to celebrate the tea harvest and the region’s love for tea, which attracts tea connoisseurs from all over the world.
- Deepavali – The Hindu festival of lights.
- Christmas – A popular Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Kodaikanal has a large number of Christians.
Kodaikanal also has some interesting museums, such as:
- Shembaganur Natural History Museum
- Kodaikanal Wax Museum
- Solar Physical Observatory Museum
- Sacred Heart College Museum (collection of historical artefacts)
Some interesting things to shop for in Kodaikanal are homemade local organic chocolates, tea, aromatherapy items (candles, incense sticks, oils, etc.), local cheese and spices, terracotta pots and other crockery, pure silk and wool shawls and scarves.
Some great shopping spots to check out in the town for these things are:
- Danish Display
- Kodai Cheese
- Bazaar Road
- Kaleeswari Supermarket
- Potter’s Shed
- Spices Corner
- PT Road
- Shalimar Weaves
- Anna Salai Street Market
Some of the popular foods and munchies available throughout Kodaikanal, and are a must-try include:
- Homemade Chocolates & Browniesv
- Fresh Cheeses
- Noodle Soups
- Street style Sandwiches
Some great restaurants in Kodaikanal that are a must-try for these dishes and a lot more are:
- Tava Restaurant
- Cafe Cariappa
- Cloud Street
- Hotel Astoria (Vegetarian restaurant)
- Sree Krishna Bhojanalaya (for lunch – thalis)
- Woody’s (Situated near Kodai lake)
- Tibetan Brothers
Being a popular vacation spot, Kodaikanal has many great hotels ranging from affordable to high-end/luxury. Some of the best places to stay at in Kodaikanal are:
- The Xanadu Meghadhootam
- The Fern Creek
- The Tamara Kodai (resort)
- Rowan Tree by Poppy’s
- Sterling Kodai Lake
- Pears Tree Suite
- Kodai Resort Hotel
- Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels
- Hotel JC Grand
- Benzz Park
- Kodaikanal STD Code – 04542 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered)
- Police Station – 240262
- Police Emergency – 241800
- Veterinary Hospital – 240683
- Fire Helpline - 240785
Tamil is the most spoken language in Kodaikanal. But, English is spoken as well.
- What's your name? - Unga peranna?
- My name is - En peru
- Where are you from? - Nienga engirundhu varrienga?
- Congratulations! - Paaraattukkal
- Good night and sweet dreams! - Nalla thoungunga!
- What Is This? - Idhu enna?