Photo Credit : wikipedia
Kodaikanal, literally mean The Gift of the Forest is serving as a retreat and tourist destination from ancient times.
A city in the hills or popularly known as the Princess of Hill Stations was established in the year 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains.
Let’s travel around this beautiful city!
- Kodaikanal Lake:
A manmade lake also known as Kodai Lake is located in the Kodaikanal City, where the tales of history commemorates that, Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the then Collector of Madurai, was active in creating this lake in 1863, amidst the Kodaikanal town which was developed by the British and early missionaries from USA.
Today the Kodai Lake is said to be Kodaikanal’s most popular geographic landmark and major tourist attraction.
The governing body has set up a boat club, boathouse and boat service for the public and tourists. The rowing and pedalling boats and the public ferry is an aesthetic significance of tourism.
Boat Pageant and Flower Shows are regular events here during the summer season which attracts lots of tourists.
- Berijam Lake:
It’s a reservoir at the old site of “Fort Hamilton”, in the upper Palani hills. This lake, created along a dam with sluice outlets is a part of a micro–watershed development project. The water quality of the lake is excellent and used for drinking purposes.
- Poombarai Village View:
A village located in the heart of the Palani hills at an altitude of 1,920 meters is famous for its garlic. The Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple also known as Kulandai Velayudha Swami Tirukkovil that comes under Pazhani Devasthanam was consecrated by his holiness Bhogar has a history of three thousand years and the idol is made of Dasabashanam.
Every year Poombarai celebrates Ther Thiruvizha the famous car festival for Lord Murga
- Pillar Rocks:
It’s a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 400 ft high. It is managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Though the viewpoint is not commercialized but it is crowded. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.
- Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple:
It is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in this area once in every 12 years. The deity Lord Murugan here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran. Very interesting fact is that this temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who converted to Hinduism and came to known as Lady Ramanathan.
- Dolphin’s Nose:
It is an undisturbed area of 1 kilometre down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. A flat rock projecting over a breathtaking rift and it is 6,600 feet deep. The views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen and are really beautiful.
A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls also called ‘Liril Falls’ locally after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement.
- Silver Cascade:
A waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at an altitude of 1,800 metres (5,900 ft).
It is an impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first-time visitors. There are few gift stalls, fruit vendors and many monkeys here.
- Bryant Park:
A magnificently maintained 20.5 acres of botanical garden and the park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant which was named after him.
With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cacti, the park is colourful with spectacular flowers during the peak season.
A hefty section is dedicated to roses which have nearly 740 varieties. There is an 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. The entrance fee to the park is nominal, and it is open all year.
- Coaker’s Walk:
An one kilometre paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872. 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. The Coaker’s walk provide a stunning panoramic view of the plains.
A fascinating rare phenomenon called Brocken spectre can be witnessed here as a person can see his own shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo.
There is an observatory with a telescope halfway along the walk. Entrance fee to the walkway is nominal and it is open all year.
- Shembaganur Museum of Natural History:
This museum was founded in the year 1895 and is open to the public to view outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species.
Today, the museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artefacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes.
- Perumal Peak:
It is also known as Perumal Malai Peak and it is a high peak at Kodaikanal in the Perumalmalai hills, that are a part of the greater Western Ghat mountain ranges It has an elevation of 8,005 ft. It is a favourite spot for trekkers
- Guna Cave:
This cave was popular by the Tamil movie Guna and originally it is called Devil’s Kitchen. There 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.
These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.
- Vattakanal Falls:
A hill station cum village, an ideal place to retreat as the temperature is below 17 degree C during summer and is cold throughout the year.
The surroundings are rich with enormous trees, fruits and ever green trees. The population here is less than 100 people who are very co-operative and friendly to the tourists.
- Fairy Falls:
This beautiful fall is located in the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal. The water is reached to the cascade from the seepage of the Kodaikanal Municipal Reservoir. This picturesque hill station is based in the Palani Hills.