With its name meaning the ‘The Gift of the Forests’, Kodaikanal is a hill station located in the eastward hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Tamil Nadu. The place is a popular retreat from the hot and humid climate of the lower areas and is located 2,133 meters above sea level. Kodaikanal is also home to the rare Kurunji Flower which blooms just once in 12 years. The area is comprised mainly of meadows and grasslands with a thick forest cover containing eucalyptus, cypress and acacia and pear trees. The climate is usually cool throughout the year with temperatures not going beyond 20 degrees in the summer months of May and June. The economy is mainly supported by tourism and the people are quiet familiar with visitors. Here’s the list of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.
1. Berijam Lake
Berijam Lake is surrounded by a picturesque cover of greenery and is a home to a wide verity of flora and fauna and also serves as the source of drinking water to the nearby villages. A special permit from the forest department is needed to enter the place and only a certain number of vehicles are allowed. The fire tower, lake view and the medicine forest are the main attractions here. Entry to the area is restricted between 9.30 am to 3 pm as wild animals like panther, deer, snakes and bison are often spotted near the lake during these hours.
2. Coakers Walk
Coakers Walk is one place you must visit when in Kodaikanal. It is a 1 kilometre long pathway constructed on the slopes of a hillock and is one of the most serene places you will ever visit in India. The kilometre long walk provides the most picturesque views of the hills and a rare phenomenon where your shadow is cast on the clouds that envelop the area called ‘Brocken Spectre’ can be witnessed.
3. Kodai Lake
Also known as the Kodaikanal Lake, this is a star shaped lake that is located amidst the most calm and serene environment. This lake is a home to various birds and the 5 kilometre long path that is near the shores of the lake is one of the favourite places where tourist come for a casual walk and enjoy the beauty of the nature. Pedal boats and Row boats can be availed by the tourists here along with horses and bicycles.
4. Kurinjiandavar Temple
Kurinji Andavar Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan or Kartikeya and is home to the famous kurunji flower which blooms once in 12 years. The temple was established by the European lady in 1936 and after adopting Hinduism is known by the name ‘Lady Ramanathan’. The temple is a popular among the tourist due to the views of the surroundings and the famous spot of the flower.
5. Dolphin’s Nose
A popular trekking spot in Kodaikanal, Dolphin’s Nose is rock which projects over a wide chasm which is approximately 2,000 meters deep. Its peculiar shape is the reason behind the name and one can witness the most breathtaking views of the Western Ghats from here. One can also access the amazing Pambar or the Liril Falls here which is an amazing hidden attraction.
6. Bryant Park
A famous picnic spot, The Bryant Park is 20.5 acre botanical garden and is situated at the east end of the Kodaikanal Lake. The park is filled with a variety of flora which includes around 325 species of trees, cactus and shrubs and a massive 740 species of roses. The various horticulture and flower shows are organised every summer and is a popular place where you can relax and get lost in the lush green surroundings.
7. Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
Located at a point 2,343 meters above sea level the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is at the highest location at Kodaikanal. The observations first commenced in 1901 here and it was founded on 1st April, 1899. The spot not only offers various scientific attractions to its visitors but also provides the most breathtaking views from the top.
8. Green Valley View
The place was formerly known as suicide point but was later changed to Green Valley Point for obvious reasons. The place is known for its panoramic views of the mountains and has an approximate 5000 feet drop from the top. One can also view the amazing pillar rocks which were scaled and hoisted by an English adventurer.
Known as the Princess of the hill stations in India, Kodaikanal is a famous honeymoon destination and is known for its cool temperature all year round. The amazing weather and amazing tourist places in Kodaikanal will make you want to stay there forever.
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