Kodaikanal - Princess of Hill stations
Situated on the southern ridge of Palani Hills in the Western Ghats, Kodaikanal is around 120 km from Madurai. It is sitting on an altitude of 6,854 feet above sea level and is among the most visited tourist destinations of South. The 'Princess of Hill Stations' is how sometimes Kodaikanal is referred. It also has the distinction of being the only hill station in India to be established by Americans. The town is surrounded by thick dark forests and it seems as if the this gem of a hill station is actually being enviously guarded by this dark forest. In fact the name Kodaikanal itself means 'The Gift Of forest'. The hill station is full of natural marvels like Fairy Falls, Coaker's walk, Green Valley view, Pillar Rocks and Dolphin's Nose. For peace lovers, it offers serene and calm atmosphere that is intoxicating and refreshing whereas for adventure lovers, it proves to be a heaven with ample of trekking opportunities available through out the town. The town is not densely populated with only around 30,000 residents. Tamil is the main spoken language but English is also widely understood.
The Charms of the City
The beauty of the sights to see in this picturesque town is simply boundless. Here You will see the splendors of mother nature as closely as anyone can. If time permits, unfold the mesmerizing beauty of Kodaikanal with a leisurely walk to places like star shaped lake and Fairy Falls that add something special to the already ravishing beauty of this heavenly destination.
Star Shaped Lake
The star-shaped lake or the Kodaikanal Lake is located in the central point of the Kodaikanal and is one of the major tourist attraction of town. It is the brainchild of former Collector, Sir Vere Levinge, who transformed a marshy land into a breathtaking star shaped water body. The entire lake spread over an area of about 60 acres. The lake is surrounded by a variety of trees like Pine and Eucalyptus. Apart from enjoying the relaxing view of the lake, you have an option for boating courtesy the Boat Club or you can savor a small horse ride along the sidelines.
From the Kodaikanal Lake, it is just 3 km away. It is one of the three solar observatories in the world that were built more than 75 years ago. It is situated at an elevation of 2343 meters which is the highest point of the town. You have to book a ticket for the scheduled shows to get an experience of the solar system, which surely will be worth the money and time you spend on it.
Kodaikanal is famous among travelers for the most scintillating viewpoints from where you get the most panoramic glances of the entire Kodaikanal hill station. The best viewpoints here are Green Valley view point, Pillar Rocks, and the Dolphin's Nose. A visit to these viewpoints and a glimpse of the nature's marvel from them can be the best memory that you take from here.
Situated just 5 km away from the town center, Fairy Falls have become a famous destination for picnics among localities. Another fall named Glen falls is just around the corner and is equally famous. These falls are nothing short of a destination blessed by nature itself. A swim on the foot of these falls is very refreshing and is not to be missed.
Where to Put Up
Kodaikanal is full of top-end hotels and budget lodges. There is also a TTDC (Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation) run hotel on Fern Hill, that proves to be a good option for a pleasant stay. Carlton Hotel is another luxury hotel that you can look upon for a pleasing stay. Hotel Clifton and Hotel Garden Manor are other hotels that stand out.
The nearest airport to Kodaikanal is in Madurai and is around 120 km away. Flights operate to all major cities of India.
Kodai Road Railway station is the nearest rail head which is 80 km away from Kodaikanal. All major passenger trains passing through this network have a halt at this station.
Kodaikanal is well connected to all major cities of Tamil Nadu. Transport buses from nearby cities and towns ply to Kodaikanal with appreciable frequency. Luxury coaches are also an option.
You won't find any rickshaws or auto rickshaws operating in the town. Taxis and Buses are the only transport that you will find in Kodaikanal though they are available in good numbers.
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