Visit Kodaikanal: 7 Amazing Places to Visit in ‘Princess of the Hills’ (2021)
One of the most breathtakingly beautiful hill stations of Tamil Nadu is Kodaikanal. Also known as the ‘Princess of the Hills’, the name Kodaikanal actually means ‘The Gift of the Forest’. And rightfully so. Nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats, Kodaikanal is overflowing with the grace of lush greens, majestic roaring waterfalls, well-cultivated hills, and is today the second-most visited place in Tamil Nadu.
There are many places to explore in Kodaikanal. From boating in the star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake to offering prayers at the beautifully sculpted Subramanya Temple, there is no shortage of places to visit in Kodaikanal. Here are some of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.
1. Kodai Lake (also known as Kodaikanal Lake)
The star-shaped Kodai Lake is a manmade lake which is also known as the Kodaikanal Lake and is one of the most beautiful attractions of the Kodaikanal hill station today. The lake has been developed by the early and British missionaries from the United States.
The lake is centrally located in the city and surrounded by the lush green Panali Hills Mountain Range, which is the primary watershed for the lake. Situated at the height of 2285 meters above sea level, this manmade lake has an average depth of 3 meters.
One of the unique features of the Kodai Lake is the flowering plant Kurinji, for which Tamil Nadu is famous. This flowering plant is found in the catchment area of the lake and blooms once in every 12 years. It last bloomed in 2016.
Visiting hours for the lake is from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm, and you can easily reach here by taking a bus from the Kodai bus stand.
2. Green Valley View (Also Known As Suicide Point)
Green Valley View is a must-visit destination in Kodaikanal since it offers a perfect bird’s eye view of the Vaigai Dam and it is also the one place in Kodaikanal from where you get the most wholesome view of the surrounding greenery, the lush mountains, and the cloud-kissed valley.
This used to be known as the Suicide Point because of the dangerous way up to the valley, which is deep and dense, and also below the point of over 5,000 feet drop.
The Green Valley View is located a stone’s throw away from the Kodaikanal Lake, at just 5.5 km away. While the site is open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, it is important to know that the mist can take over the view post later afternoon, which may disrupt the gorgeous spectacle from the Green Valley View. However, many tourists actually visit the point to check out the misty haze that engulfs the mountains and valleys post afternoon.
3. Bear Shola Falls
Kodaikanal is known for its majestic rumbling waterfalls, and one of the most popular ones is the Bear Shola Falls. If you want to get a glimpse of nature at its roaring best, then a visit to this waterfall is a must. The area around the Bear Shola Falls is also known for housing many exotic species and fauna. Interestingly, the place gets its name from the fact that bears are said to visit this water body regularly to quench their thirst.
During the monsoons, this waterfall gets a new lease of life as the water rushes down the green mountains and the jutting rocks. This frothing white waterfall is a perfect place for sightseeing in Kodaikanal as you get to take a trek through the thick forests here to reach the water body. A great tip for travelers – make sure to wear comfortable shoes which have a good grip as the area is slippery and there are many monkeys in the area.
The Bear Shola Falls is located just 2 kilometers from the Kodaikanal Lake and is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
4. Coakers Walk
One of the best ways to see the natural beauty of Kodaikanal is to visit Coakers Walk. Walking a whole kilometer on this beautiful path while looking at the surrounding lush green valley and mountains will prove to be a fascinating experience. This path is a popular place for locals who can be seen using this path for their morning and evening walks.
There is a telescope house here that allows you to get a closer view of the valley. However, this is chargeable. The weather at Kodaikanal remains pleasant throughout the year, but remember that due to the sheer height at which Kodaikanal is located, the place tends to become cold and foggy during the evenings. So it is best to visit Coakers Walk during the morning or afternoon.
5. Pillar Rocks
This is a grand majestic sight to behold in Kodaikanal. The pillar rocks make up the edge of the Guna Caves in Kodaikanal, and there is a certain mysterious element attached to this place. These rocks are a witness to a legend of a great love story, and there is a ‘white cross’ that was once put on these rocks as a representation of David Gell’s tribute to love.
The Pillar Rocks are today famous for providing one of the best bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. The chambers located between these two huge rock pillars are known as the Devil’s Kitchen, and when the view is clear, you can see all the way to the furthest hills of the region.
There is also a mini garden nearby which has some food stalls that offer delicious fried potato and onion fritters.
6. Subramanya Temple (also known as Kartikeya Temple)
This 3,000-year-old temple is one of the most marvelous places to visit in Kodaikanal. Located on Sivagiri, around 65 km away from the main town of Kodaikanal, this temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya. The engraving at the top of the temple is breathtaking, but you will need to climb 659 steps to reach the temple.
This temple can be visited at any time of the year, but it is best to visit the Subramanya Temple during the months of January and April when the festival of Thaipusam and Panguni Uthiram take place.
The temple timing is from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 on any day of the week.
7. Dolphin’s Nose
Kodaikanal is also known as the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, and the Dolphin’s Nose is another viewpoint where you can truly enjoy the breathtaking view of Kodaikanal at its best – the deep plunging valleys, rugged mountainous terrain, clear skies, and the all-around greenery.
This viewpoint is named as Dolphin’s Nose as it is based on a flat and protruding rock that is shaped like a dolphin’s nose. This has turned into a visible cliff at the height of 6,600 feet. Open to the public, this spot is perfect for adventure lovers who want to experience Kodaikanal is a different way.
8. Kodai-Palani Trek
There are over 17 popular trails that intertwine in the hills of Kodaikanal, and the Kodai-Palani trek is one of the most famous ones. Many adventure lovers come to Kodaikanal for trekking. The Kodai-Palani trek begins at the Kukkal caves and passes through the beautiful Shola Forest, ending at the Kuthiraiyaru Dam.
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu. This ‘Gift of the Forest’ will genuinely leave you feeling rejuvenated amidst the bounty of nature. There are many other beautiful places to visit in Kodaikanal, including Silver Cascade Falls, Bryant Park, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Thalaiyar Falls, Canopy Hill, Pambar Falls, and many more. Blessed with an abundance of natural wonders, Kodaikanal is a must-see if you are planning a trip to Tamil Nadu.