Kodaikanal: Wikis


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"Kodai " கோடைக்கானல்
Anna Salai, the primary business street in Kodaikanal
"Kodai " கோடைக்கானல்
Location of "Kodai " கோடைக்கானல்
in Tamil Nadu and India
Coordinates 10°14′06″N 77°29′10″E / 10.235°N 77.486°E / 10.235; 77.486
Country  India
State Tamil Nadu
District(s) Dindigul
Established 1845 [1]
Nearest city Madurai 121 km (75 mi)
Chairman S. Mohamed Ibrahim
Vice Chairman Thiru.P.Chelladurai
32931 (2001)
1,100 /km2 (2,849 /sq mi)
Sex ratio M 51% F 49% /
Literacy 66% 1991%
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
21.45 km2 (8 sq mi)
2,133 m (6,998 ft)
• Summer
• Winter

     1,650 mm (65 in)

     19.8 °C (68 °F)
     8.3 °C (47 °F)

Kodaikanal (Tamil: கோடைக்கானல்) is a city[2] in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest".[3] Malayalam meaning Kodaikanal is referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. It's a lot cooler in temperature than lower elevation cities such as Chennai.

Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains.[4] Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism.



It is not known who first used this name or what they intended it to mean.

However the following explanation makes much sense. By pronunciating with long Tamil 'O' as KO....DAI means the "The Summer" and KANAL means "T0 see", which means a place to see in Summer. Kodaikanal is actually a summer forest.

The other interesting explanations are, the Tamil language, has four versions are defined to the name "Kodaikanal". It's interesting but it is not known who invented this name. The word Kodaikanal is classified into two words as Kodai and Kanal. Here "Kanal" means in Tamil that the dense forest or the closed forest. Then "Kodai" has four different meanings. With its meanings Kodaikanal meant in four ways. By pronunciating with long Tamil 'O' and KO....DI means "the end". So that KO...DI KANAL means "The End of the Forest" in the bygone days, Kodaikanal is situated at the end part of the thick forest. Nowadays it is developed but the beauty is still kept.[3]

By pronunciating with short Tamil 'O' as KODI means "The Creepers". So that Kodaikanal means "The Forest of Creepers". "The Forest of Creepers" is also thought to be the English language meaning given in 1885 during the early western habitation of the place,[5] and is still accepted.[6] They called like this with its beauty.

By pronunciating with long Tamil 'O' as KO....DAI means that the "The Summer". So KO...DAI KANAL means "The Forest of the Summer". Kodaikanal is actually a summer forest. By pronunciating with short Tamil 'O' as KODAI means that "The Gift". So that "Kodaikanal" means "The Gift of the Forest" Kodaikanal was created by the forest and it surroundings. So it may be called as the gift of forest.[3]

By pronunciating with short Tamil 'O' as KODAI means that "The Gift". So that "Kodaikanal" means "The Gift of the Forest" Kodaikanal was created by the forest and it surroundings. So it may be called as the gift of forest.[3] Another Tamil word for creepers is Valli, the honey collecting daughter of the chief of the Veddas mountain tribe. The chief and his wife prayed to the Mountain God for a girl-child and their prayers were answered when the chief found a new-born girl child during a hunting expedition. As she was found among creeper plants, they named the child Valli and she grew up as princess of the tribe in Kurinji and became the consort of lord Murugan. [7] The romantic traditions of Murugan in Sangam literature are thus associated with the name Kodaikanal.


The earliest residents of Kodaikanal were the Palaiyar tribal people. The earliest specific references to Kodaikanal and the Palani Hills are found in Tamil Sangam literature of the early Christian era.[8] Modern Kodaikanal was established by American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats in 1845, as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains.[4] In the 20th century a few elite Indians came to realise the value of this enchanting hill station and started relocating here.[9]

Tourism has been impacted by industrial pollution issues including the closure of a mercury factory owned by Unilever's Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever after evidence of widespread mercury pollution.[10] to date no proper clean-up operation has been mounted.


1955 Topographic map of Kodaikanal

The town of Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palni Hills at 2,133 metres (7,000 ft), between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys. These hills form the eastward spur of the Western Ghats on the Western side of South India. It has an irregular basin as its heartland, the centre of which is now Kodaikanal Lake a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) circumference manmade lake.

Meadows and grasslands cover the hillsides. Gigantic Eucalyptus trees and shola forests flourish in the valleys. Mighty rocks and cascading streams. rise up from the valleys. There are many high waterfalls and ubiquitous gardens and flower beds in bloom.[9]

North of the town, high hills that slope down into the villages of Pallangi and Vilpatti stand guard. On the east the hill slopes less abruptly into the lower Palnis. A precipitous escarpment facing the Cumbum Valley is on the south. On the west is a plateau leading to Manjampatti Valley, Indira Gandhi National Park, the Anamalai Hills and the main body of the Western Ghats.


Anna Salai, Street bazaar, with Mount Perumalmalai in distance
Season Months
Peak Season April-June
Low Season Feb-March; July-September
Second Season October-January

The economy of Kodaikanal is predominantly run by tourism.[11] The town's infrastructure changes every year in preparation for the peak tourist season. Major roads are converted into one-way lanes to regulate the constant inflow of traffic and special police are brought in for the safety of the tourists and protection of local businesses. Hotels are often fully booked during the high season, and remain virtually empty during the off-season. Due to the rapid development of nearby cities such as Madurai and Coimbatore, the town is starting to enjoy year-round tourism.

There are at least 50 hotels catering to all categories of tourists[12] and over 30 south & north Indian, continental, western and Chinese restaurants, and many more small eateries and tea stalls.

A waterfall enroute Kodaikanal

There are at least six retail bank branches and five automated teller machines (ATM) in Kodaikanal. The Bank of India has a branch and ATM at S.G.J Thangadurai Building, Anna Salai. The Canara Bank has a branch and ATM at CLS book shop complex, Anna Salai. The Central Bank of India branch is at M M Street, Law's Ghat Road, Perumalmalai. The Indian Bank has a branch and ATM at Anna Salai. The State Bank of India has a branch at Anna Salai and also has an ATM on Lake Road, outside Kodaikanal International School [13]. The Union Bank of India has a branch at Naidupuram and also has an ATM on the 1st Floor of Municipal Shopping Complex opposite the Old Bus Stand, Anna Salai.[14],[15]

The Kodaikanal Co-operative Land Development Bank, The Kodaikanal Co-operative Urban Bank at Anna Salai and the Madurai District Central Co-operative Bank at Post Office Road offer only local Commercial banking services.[16] There is an excellent bazaar where residents, local villagers and tourists come buy woollen clothing, flowers, fresh grocery, meat, handicrafts, hot snacks, cheap toys, medicinal herbs and oils, hardware, dry goods and cooking fuels. The cosmopolitan nature of Kodai is evident on Anna Salai, the main business street, where it is common to see local villagers, European and American students and backpackers, foreign retirees and families from other parts of India, all mixed together in their common activity of shopping.

Plums, pears, chile peppers, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic and onions are cultivated by terrace farmers in surrounding villages.[17] Most are trucked to other parts of India and some are sold in the local market. Popular tourist souvenirs include handcrafts, home-made chocolates, postcards and Eucalyptus oil.[11]


The three major medical facilities are the Kodaikanal Health and Medical Services (KHMS), Van Allen Hospital and the Government Hospital. These hospitals treat patients with common ailments and injuries and perform child delivery and care, but are not equipped with modern medical equipment for complicated diagnoses and surgeries.

KHMS is a modern hospital and is well-suited for the basic needs of the people, including child delivery. The local residents and those from the nearby villages, do not have to travel down to the plains, thanks to KHMS. KHMS is an integrated hospital, wherein both mordern medicine as well as other forms of medicine are practised, this includes, homeopathy,reflexology, reiki, cold pack treatment, spinal bath, naturopathy, murma (diagnosis through the pulse). KHMS offers x-ray (radiology); sonography (ultrasound); pathology laboratory, pharmacy, OT, OPD. KHMS has a mordern dental clinic as well.

In April 1915, Dr. Van Allen raised funds to construct the first unit of the hospital at the entrance of Coaker's walk. It was named after him. Facilities got updated from time to time and now it has X-ray machine, well equipped pathological lab, and operation theatre with blood transfusion facilities.

Government Hospital is situated on the hillside near Rock cottage on lower shola road. It was a small municipal hospital until 1927. Now it has X-ray, Dental, Maternity ward and other facilities.[18]

Air and water-borne mercury emissions have contaminated large areas of Kodaikanal and surrounding forests. A study conducted by the Department of Atomic Energy confirmed that Kodaikanal Lake has been contaminated by mercury emissions.[19],[20]


Kodaikanal is renowned for the Kodaikanal International School,Brindavan Public School, St.PETER'S Matriculation Higher Secondary School [21] and the Kodaikanal Public School [22] The other schools are:Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Bhavan's Gandhi Vidyashram, Brindavan Matric Higher secondary School, St. Joseph's Public School , St. Xavier's High School and St. John's Girls Higher Secondary School.

The two colleges here are Kodaikanal Christian College and Sacred Heart College. Mother Theresas University is distinctive as India's only university devoted to exclusively women's issues.[23] [24][25] In 2005 a new engineering college specializing in Information Technology, Kodaikanal Institute of Technology under Anna University, has been established 22 kilometres (14 mi) below Kodaikanal town. It has a 25 acres (10 ha) Wireless networked campus including of state-of-art Laboratories, Digital Library & Learning Management System, 24/7 high-speed 8 Mbit/s Internet facility and a Hostel.[26].Recently a new business school, ISBR has been established near the Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the bus stand. [27]


La Sallete Church

Since Kodaikanal was founded by the American and European Missionaries, Christian churches are abundant in Kodaikanal. They include Church of South India - opposite Bryant Park, Gorapur, Lake End, La Salette, Lutheran Mission, Sacred Heart - Munjikal, Saint Antony’s - Antonyar Kovil street, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Joseph's, Saint Mary's and Saint Peter’s - Cockers Walk road. Amongst the most popular is Union Church with a large Tamil congregation and Margaret Eddy Memorial Chapel at Kodai International School with lively services in a typically American style and distinctive stone architecture.

There are many Hindu Temples in Kodaikanal including the Durgai Amman Kovil, Kurinji Andavar Kovil, Mariamman Kovil, Observatory Murugan Kovil and Vinayagar Kovil. The Muslim mosques are Ellis Villa and Munjikal. There is an active community of Tibetan Buddhist refugees.

Civil Society

Kodaikanal Golf Club

Kodaikanal has several clubs and civil society organizations operating for social, charitable and environmental goals. Established clubs in Kodaikanal are the Kodaikanal Lions Club (est. 1985) under the jurisdiction of Lions Clubs International (district 324B); Kodaikanal Boat Club (est. 1890) with nearly 650 permanent members; Kodaikanal Golf Club (est. 1895) with over 600 members and an 18 hole golf course, spread over 143 acres (0.58 km2); and The Indian Club (est. 1915) on Poet Thyagarajar road.[28]

In 1890, the Kodaikanal Missionary Union (KMU) was formed to enable missionaries of the various demominations to come together for recreation and to develop mission strategy and outreach in cooperation with each other. In 1923 it built an Edwardian style clubhouse with large central hall for social events and afternoon teas, 6 tennis courts, a reading room, and other spaces for meetings.[29] With the decline of missionary activity in India, the KMU was wound up in the 1980s, and the property was turned over to Kodaikanal International School. The KMU library with many valuable old books besides newer materials, is still functioning in one room, and provides something of a social venue. The valuable original KMU archives materials have been incorporated into the archives of the school, which has hired an archivist and is in process of converting the whole original KMU building into an archives and display center for the school and the community.[30] (2008)

Kodaikanal lake View showing: Mount Perumal, Boat house, Carlton Hotel, Kodaikanal International School, Fish hatchery, Lake Road.

Kodaikanal has several Social service societies which promote local trade and increase employment of rural villagers in the town's periphery by participating in its tourism fueled growth. These include the Kodaikanal People Development Group (KOPDEG) which has been successful in providing employment for marginalized women and marketing their products. The Made-in-India tagged products from Kopedeg are unique to Kodaikanal and are targeted at foreign tourists who regularly buy them as souvenirs.[31]

The Cottage Crafts Shop at Anna Salai, is run by the voluntary organisation, Coordinating Council for Social Concerns in Kodai (CORSOK). They sell goods crafted by development groups and uses the commission charged to help the needy.[11]

In 1994 the "Potter's Shed" was inaugurated. This pottery and craft Shop in Kodaikanal has made and sold hundreds of thousands of fine pieces of locally made pottery. All profits from this business are contributed to the Bethania Kids, Center For Children with Disabilities.[32]

The Kodaikanal Lake Protection Council and Vattakkanal Organization for Youth, Community and Environment (VOYCE) are active in preserving Kodaikanal's environment. Plastic bags are banned and almost all shops and roadside vendors heed the rule and use recycled paper bags in fear of a social reprisal. Local hotels have also participated in improving the environment by placing garbage cans all across the town, with their prominent donated by signs acting as silent salesmen.[33]

Places of interest

Kodaikanal lake
View from Coaker's Walk
Eucalyptus plantation
Green Valley View (formerly called Suicide Point)
Pine forests, Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal has several scenic natural attractions which are enjoyed by its visitors and make it a popular romantic destination for newlyweds. These are described in order of distance from the bus-stand.

Kodaikanal Lake, 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is an artificial, roughly star-shaped 45 ha (60 acres) lake built in 1863. It is recognized as Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club with its main entrance near the only five-star hotel in Kodaikanal, The Carlton. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists alike.

Bryant Park: Just east of the lake and 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is a 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. Entrance fee to the park is nominal and it is open all year.[34]

Coaker's Walk (1900)
Bear shola falls
Pillar Rocks
Silver Cascade
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

Coaker's Walk, 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus-stand, constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872, is a 1-kilometre (3,300 ft) paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. The walk, winding around Mount Nebo, starts in front of the Van Allen hospital, running parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road and joins the main road beside St.Peter's Church, providing a stunning panoramic view of the plains. On a clear day one can view as far as Dolphin's Nose in the south, the valley of the Pambar River in the southeast, Periyakulam town and even the city of Madurai. A fascinating rare phenomenon called Brocken spectre can be witnessed, when a person can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo. This occurs when the sun is behind the viewer and clouds and mist are to the front. There is an observatory with a telescope halfway along the walk. Entrance fee to the walkway is nominal and it is open all year.[35]

Bear Shola Falls, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the bus-stand, is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot-path.

Green Valley View, (formerly called Suicide Point) 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) from the bus-stand and near the golf course, has an excellent panoramic view of the plains and a sheer drop of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The stairway leading up to it is highly commercialized and lined with rows of shops to tempt tourists.[36]

Pine forests: In 1906, with a view to growing valuable timber, Mr. Bryant started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal.[37]

Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the bus-stand, founded in 1895, is open to the public for viewing their outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes people whose descendants still live in these hills.[38]

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the bus-stand on Observatory Road, at 2,343 metres (7,690 ft) is the highest location near Kodai. The first observations were commenced here in 1901.[39] Former Director John Evershed, discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots, now known as the Evershed effect. The Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope can view a grand panorama including: Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and Varaha river. This Indian Institute of Astrophysics facility has a comprehensive Astronomical Science museum with organized public tours, access to the astronomy library, and scheduled night-time telescopic sky viewing. It is open daily to the public during peak season, and a few hours each Friday the rest of the year.[40]

Dolphin's Nose
South facing escarpment from Dolphins Nose

Pillar Rocks, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus-stand, is a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 122 metres (400 ft) high.[41] Managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, The viewpoint can be crowded but is not commercialized. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.

Guna caves, made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devil’s Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there.[citation needed] These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.[42]

Silver Cascade, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Kodaikanal at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at altitude 1,800 metres (5,900 ft), is a 55-metre (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake.[43] The water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing.[44] This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first-time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here. There is also a smaller but more serene waterfall below the bridge which crosses the stream here.

Dolphin's Nose, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the bus stand, is flat rock projecting over a breathtaking chasm 6,600 metres (22,000 ft) deep. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through a rugged bridle path here. A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls (which is also locally addressed as 'Liril Falls' after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985).[45]

Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the bus-stand, is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who on coming to India, converted to Hinduism. She changed her name to Leelavathi and married a Mr.Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan. This temple is under the management of Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani.[46]


Almost all distances from Kodaikanal are calculated with the lake as the central point of reference. The nearest airports are Madurai (135 kilometres / 84 miles), Trichy (200 kilometres / 120 miles) and Coimbatore (170 kilometres / 110 miles). The nearest Railway stations are Palani Railway Station (64 kilometres / 40 miles) north, Kodai Road Station (80 kilometres / 50 miles) south east and Dindigul Railway Junction (100 kilometres (62 mi)) east.[47]

The 2 to 3 hours drive to Kodai via the steep and winding Ghat roads from Batlagundu or Palani is a memorable experience. Travelers may stop at turnouts on the road and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Palani hills.[48] There is a 28 km shortcut from Periyakulam to Kodaikanal via Kumbakarai . Bicycle rentals, taxis, vans and limited city buses are available.[49] Rickshaws are not available.[50]


  1. ^ Kodaikanal Department Of Municipal Administration And Water Supply, Historical Moments, 2005
  2. ^ city definition: Town#India
  3. ^ a b c d "About City". Government of Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal Department Of Municipal Administration And Water Supply. http://www.municipality.tn.gov.in/kodaikanal/abcity_city.htm. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Mitchell Nora, Indian Hill Station: Kodaikanal, University of Chicago, Dept. of Geography, ch 2, Rational for Tropical Hill Sations, pp13-15, 1972. Original from the University of California Digitized Jan 28, 2008
  5. ^ The Cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia by Edward Balfour, Published by B. Quaritch, 1885, Item notes: vol.2 H-NYSA, P583, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Jan 29, 2008
  6. ^ Mitchell Nora, Indian Hill Station: Kodaikanal, University of Chicago, Dept. of Geography, place creepers, p. 98, 1972. Original from the University of California Digitized Jan 28, 2008
  7. ^ Sangam_landscape#Kurinji_.E2.80.93_Mountainous_Region
  8. ^ Mitchell Nora, Indian Hill Station: Kodaikanal, University of Chicago, Dept. of Geography, Kodaikanal Sangam, p97, 1972 Original from the University of California Digitized Jan 28, 2008
  9. ^ a b Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and Department of Tourism, Kodaikanal Princess of Hill Stations
  10. ^ "Unilever Environmental Pollution". Corporate Watch. http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=260#env. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  11. ^ a b c kodaikanal.com, Kodaikanal - Shopping
  12. ^ www.kodaikanal.com, Kodaikanal - Hotels
  13. ^ State Bank of India, ATM Locator
  14. ^ kodaikanal.com Kodaikanal Banks
  15. ^ atmbankindia, ATM Bank Locations in Kodaikanal
  16. ^ kodaikanalonline.com Banks
  17. ^ kodaikanal.com, Agriculture
  18. ^ kodaikanal.com, - Hospitals
  19. ^ The Hindu, "Prevent mercury pollution”, (2007-8-23),
  20. ^ Studies of mercury pollution in a lake due to a thermometer factory situated in a tourist resort : Kodaikkanal, India, Author(s): KARUNASAGAR D. (1) ; BALARAMA KRISHNA M. V. (1) ; ANJANEYULU Y. (2) ; ARUNACHALAM J. (1) ; Author(s) Affiliation(s) (1) National Center for Compositional Characterization of Materials (CCCM), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Department of Atomic Energy, ECIL Post, Hyderabad 500 062, INDE, (2) Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kukkatpally, Hyderabad, INDE Studies of mercury pollution
  21. ^ http://petersschoolkodai.com St. Peters School
  22. ^ Kodaikanal Public School.
  23. ^ Theresa University
  24. ^ Mother Theresa Women's University, retrieved Feb 25, 2007
  25. ^ Mother Theresa Womens University
  26. ^ Kodaikanal institute of technology, About us
  27. ^ [http://www.isbr.in/campuskodaikanal.htm ]
  28. ^ Kodaikanal General Information, retrieved 4/12/2007Hotels/Restaurants, Banks, Hospitals, Schools, Temple, Recreation
  29. ^ Heideman, Eugene P. From Mission to Church: The Reformed Church in America Mission to India, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing,"Kodaikanal Missionary Union" (KMU), p. 348 (2001) ISBN 0802849008, 9780802849007 512 pages
  30. ^ Kodaikanal International School, KIS Archives
  31. ^ Kodaikanal People Development Group
  32. ^ Bethania Kids Potter's Shed, Kodaikanal
  33. ^ R.W. Stewart and Tanya Balcar,Shola - Environmentla Newsletter, The Anglade Institute of Natural History, Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur, Kodaikanal 624104, India, pp318-319, No. (26 December 2000) Environmental Information System - ENVIS : India, Pambar Shola : A Success Story in Conservation-V - Profit from Waste
  34. ^ Kodaikanal Travel Guide, Bryant Park, 2007
  35. ^ www.kodaikanal.com, Kodaikanal - Coaker walk
  36. ^ TripsGuru Travel Services, Switzerland of the East, Green Valley View
  37. ^ Madras (India : State); B. S. Baliga (Rao Bahadur) (2002). Tamil Nadu district gazetteers. Printed by the Superintendent, Govt. Press. p. 166. 
  38. ^ NLC Ltd. (2004) "Important places -Kodaikanal" retrieved 4/12/2007"Important places -Kodaikanal"
  39. ^ Indian Institute of Astrophysics - A Brief History, Solar Observatory at Kodaikanal, retrieved 3/13/2007.[1]
  40. ^ Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, Kodaikanal Observatory
  41. ^ Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and Department of Tourism, "Kodaikanal-Princess of Hill Stations", [2] p. 2
  42. ^ Saravanan Ang Mo Kio, Life is 2 Alive, The Guna Cave - Devils Kitchen (2006-10-9)
  43. ^ , By Indian Academy of Sciences, Published by Indian Academy of Sciences (1972) Item notes: v.76 1972 Jul-Dec, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Apr 12, 2006, Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, p. 126
  44. ^ TripsGuru Travel Services, Switzerland of the East, Silver Cascade
  45. ^ www.kodaikanal.com, Kodaikanal - Dolphin Nose
  46. ^ Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani, Kurinji Andavar Temple
  47. ^ Kodaionline, Kodaikanal Travel Mode, 2008
  48. ^ Dindugal District Collectors Office, retrieved 4/12/2007About Dindugal District
  49. ^ Kodai Travel Guide,Kodaikanal a Beautiful Hill Resort
  50. ^ NLC Ltd., Important places around Neyveli Kodaikanal

Further reading

  • Charlotte Chandler Wyckoff: Kodaikanal: 1845-1945. London Mission Press, Nagercoil, Travancore, Indien. 1945.
  • Nora Mitchell: The Indian Hill Station Kodaikanal. Research paper, University of Chicago, Department of Geography, No. 141. Chicago Ill., 1972.
  • Volker Winkler: Kodaikanal. Land of the Clouds. Hillsboro Press, Franklin (Tennessee) 1999.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's finest hill stations. It is situated 7,200 feet above sea level amongst the picturesque Nilgiri Hills.


The Kurinji Flower is in full bloom around December once in 12 years, and it bathes the valley in a beautiful sea of blue. Its because of this the hills are known as Nilgiris (Nil means Blue and Giri means Hill). It was last in full bloom in 2006; its next bloom is expected in 2018. Kodaikanal is also sometimes referred to as "Princess of Hill stations." Kodaikanal off course is situated in the Palni Hills.

Get in

By plane

The closest airports to Kodaikanal are Madurai 120 km and Coimbatore 175 km.

By train

Nearest railhead is Kodaikanal road. Kodairoad Station is nearly 80 km.

By car

Reach Kodai Road80kms Rs.1000/- aprrox,Dindigul or Madurai and then take a cab to Kodaikanal. Ask the resort to arrange for the pick-up. The drive from Kodai road takes approximately 2 hrs while the drive from Madurai takes approximately 3 1/2 hours and from Dindigul it takes about 2 hrs.

From Cochin/Kochi(kerala) it is 295 kms via the hill station of Munnar(kerala).The route to be taken is Kochi-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Devikulam-Poopara-Bodi-Theni-Kodaikanal which is the NH49 Kochi-Madurai.

From Alappuzha or Kottayam, the route is via Kumily along Kottayam-Kumily road,KK Road


Boating on the Kodai Lake
Boating on the Kodai Lake
Pillar Rock site
Pillar Rock site
  • Berijam Lake - perhaps the most pristine of the three lakes in Kodai
  • Coakers Walk- If you wish to catch the scenic valleys, the best time to visit the place would be before 2PM. But if you want to watch snow-like clouds (only in winter) beneath you form an ocean, reach the place between 3PM and 6PM. Try and catch the sunrise here or in the nearby Greenlands Hostel. A marvel. Also try out the telescope near the main gate.
  • Bryant park - A must see. Its main entrance is on the road surrounding the lake and is a 10 minute walk from the entrance to the boat club.
  • Kodai Lake- If you are going in Winter, do the boating in the evening, as its an amazing experience to boat through fogs settling on the lake.
  • Kurinjiandavar Temple - about 4 km from the lake is a temple whose presiding God is Lord Muruga. The flowers inside the temple bloom once in 12 years. One can get a view of the Palani Hills and the Kodaikanal Town from this temple. During the winter, the view of Kodai city and Palani from the two ends of the temple is blocked. However, in summer, the visibility is good and hence the experience too.
Flowers of the Kurinji plant that bloom once every twelve years
Flowers of the Kurinji plant that bloom once every twelve years
  • Green Valley View/Suicide Point- has a more than 5000 ft steep drop from this point. The monkeys are a good attraction at this point. Renamed Green Valley View, apparently to prevent people from being lured to commit suicides.
  • Pillar Rocks - huge steep cliffs which look like "Pillayar" (Lord Ganesh in local language Tamil). Watch out for the cross at the top of the mountain hoisted by an English adventure enthusiast.
  • Silent Valley View
  • Devil's Kitchen - a cave known more to the locals, First being "Green Valley View" and "Pillar Rocks" and then finally "Guna Cave". Watch out for the deep hidden ravines. What would appear like mere dark gutters are actually a deep fall. Many unsuspecting people have fallen prey to the "devil's trap". So,watch your step!
  • Guna Caves - a cave which became very famous after the movie GUNA. Very steep and risky to get in. Think public are not allowed to enter this cave nowadays. A very good place to take pics..

References : Kodaikanal Tourist Places

Kodaikanal Tours

  • Cycle around the lake - and watch the clouds while they slowly descend onto the water; cycles are available for hire at the lake on an hourly basis. It is possible to cycle to other places although cycling one way will be difficult due to the hilly terrain. Do check the cycles before setting out.
  • Boating at the Kodai lake - paddle and row boats are available at the lake. Entrance is via the Kodaikanal Boat Club.
  • Trekking - Kodai offers several scenic trekking spots, including one which is to walk along the stream which goes to dolphin nose. Kodai tourist office has a trekking guide which is available for free there, which lists all the possible trekking routes and difficulty levels. The tourist office advises people to take guides and offers to provide them, although this is not necessary. An easy trek is the Perumalmalai trek which is the tallest mountain that area.
  • Wander About - Kodai has numerous waterfalls and beautiful views not mentioned in the tourist guides, so wandering about can bring you to some spectacular place.
  • Horse Riding - Right near the front of the entrance to the boat club, you can rent a horse (with the trainer) to take you around the lake.
  • Watch a Tamil movie - go down the PT road, continue to S-road. Then turn left, after the petroleum station. Just ask which way is to cinema, almost every local knows it. Vellaiyappan cinema theatre - is old building with relatively big screen and cheap tickets - great experience. Ticket cost 30 rs (15 may 2009)
  • Kodaikanal Public School, [1].
  • Kodaikanal Christian School.
  • Zion School.
  • Kodaikanal International School (KIS).
  • Kodaikanal Christian College - Prakashapuram, Kodaikanal.
  • Bhavan's Gandhi Vidyashram - part of the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan.
  • keypeeyes
  • St. Peter's Matriculation School
  • South Indian Zen Meditation retreats with Master Ama Samy http://www.bodhizendo.org/.


Annai Therasa University

  • Cheese Factory - Various Cheeses.
  • Home made Chocolates - Kodai's shops are stocked with home made chocolates. These are a lot cheaper compared to the major brands.
  • Eucalyptus Oil and herbal oils- A Variety of oils that claim to relieve joint pains and other aches are also available at every shop.

There is a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM near the petrol pump at the Seven Road Junction which accepts other banks cards as well.

  • Eden Paradise Restaurant, Paradise Compound, Laws Ghat Road. Serves Tasty Ethnic Keralite Cuisine
  • Astoria Veg Reasturant - This is one of the best vegetarian reasturant in the Kodai
  • Rasoi, 106 Maratha Shopping Complex, Annasalai. Serves excellent gujarathi and veg. punjabi thali. The Chola Batora and alu Paratha are their specialities.
  • Tibetan Brothers - PT Road. Your slice of Tibet in Kodai. The food is mouth watering and authentic Tibetan and Chinese. Try the steamed pork momo or the Thukpa. The owner who doubles up as a waiter is very courteous - and very passionate about his country. So the restaurant walls are plastered with photos of Lhasa, Potola palace and the Dalai and Panchen lamas.
  • Tava, 7 road junction. Outstanding Sindhi food, express service.
  • Pine & Petals, JC Residency,Convent Road,Naidupuram. Multi-cusine restaurant.


There is a shop near the bus stand where you can get some standard Indian whisky, beer, vodka, etc.

Morning View from Greenland Hostel
Morning View from Greenland Hostel

Staying in Cottage or a Bungalow is probably better than staying in a closed AC room in some random hotel. If you stay somewhere 3-4 km from main city you might get cheaper cottages and bungalow that too with good view.

  • Greenlands Youth Hostel, next to Coakers Walk. This is the best place if you want the best view and also the feel of the bygone times. You can get dormitories as well as single/double rooms and the prices are very reasonable. However, do book in advance.Fresh food both veg and non veg available. one kilometer distance from the crowded areas. Quiet place facing the valley view. Friendly people

However,If you wish to stay close to the main city area,

  • Hotel Astoria (Budget) would be a good option.
  • Hotel Bala International is another option. Both are at just 5 mins walking distance from Coakers walk and Kodai lake.
  • New Gold Nest, about 3 km away from the lake and on the way to the Kurinjiandavar Temple. This property comprises individual cottages which are located overlooking the valley and offer enchanting views of the clouds rising through the gaps in the mountains.
  • Lilly's Valley Resor, 17/178 Sivanandi Road (1 1/2 Km from Heart of town or 15 Mins walking), [3]. Lilly’s was the very first resort to be built in Kodaikanal back in 1982 by Mr. Raj A. Sukumar, who felt the place resembled somewhere in England he had seen.  edit
  • Mystic Mountain, Independent cotages. Available single and double bedrooms cottages.Nice place for honey moon couples and family get-togethers. Two kms from bus stand. Cottages are placed at the top of secured independent hills Ph: 9962087706.
  • Kodai Resort Hotel in front of Coakers Walk, [4]. Good Cottages and good lawn with Birds flying Ducks in the garden.
  • Snooze Inn, [5]. A well run budget hotel situated in the heart of Kodaikanal, known for its clean rooms and prompt service.
  • Villa Retreat, next to Coakers Walk, [6]. Strategic location, mind blowing views. A nice little cozy resort located bang on the Coaker's walk. On walking distance is Kodai lake, Coaker's walk and Bryant Park. The hotel staff is very courteous and helpful. The rooms are clean with simple decor. Best thing is they serve fresh food hence request the customer to order well in time. Good variety for both Veg and Non-Veg cuisine.
  • Valley View Inn, Luxury hotel in the true sense. Three star - Nearer to Coakers Walk, [7]. High quality veg food.
  • Carlton Hotel. This is one of the best hotels with a great view of the Kodai Lake. Book in the off season and you could get a 3 nights package for about 16K (for 2 people) with food and sight seeing. A good time for the honeymooners would be to go during the winter season. The hotel is within 5 minutes walking distance from restaurants and the local market. Also, there are small eateries and shops right outside the hotel.


Tourist Office (Govt. of Tamil Nadu): Township Bus Stand Rest House Complex (Next Bus Stand), Kodaikanal, Phone: 241675

  • Van Allen Hospital - The only hospital available in Kodaikanal. Established by American missionaries. For major treatments, you have to go to Madurai hospitals.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KODAIKANAL, a sanatorium of southern India, in the Madura district of Madras, situated in the Palni hills, about 7000 ft. above sea-level; pop. (1901), 1912, but the number in the hot season would be much larger. It is difficult of access, being 44 m. from a railway station, and the last 1 I m. are impracticable for wheeled vehicles. It contains a government observatory, the appliances of which are specially adapted for the study of terrestrial magnetism, seismology and solar physics.

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