Kodaikanal, popularly known as Kodai, is situated among the Palani Hills at 2133m from sea level. With its enchanting landscape, it is a trekker's delight and nature lover's paradise.
Kodaikanal is the only hill station setup by Americans in India. Later the British joined them. American missionaries established a school around 1845 for the education of European children. Today this Kodaikanal International School is one of the most prestigious private schools in India.
Unique to the Western Ghats and flowering once in every 12 years, the 'Kurinji' shrub is found in abundance in Kodai. The next blossoming will be in 2004. Kodai provides a soothing escape from the heat and haze of the plains. The best time to visit Kodai is April-June and Aug-Oct. The temperature ranges between 8 deg. C to 20 deg. C.
Places of Interest
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.
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 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.
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.
Tourist Office (Govt. of Tamil Nadu), Municipal Bus Stand Rest House Complex, Near Bus Stand, Kodaikanal Festivals
It is a festival of dance, drama and musical concerts celebrated in the month of May. Many prominent artists will take part in this festival. Boat races, flower shows and vegetable shows are also held during this occasion. The festival is a major tourist attraction.