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The 'Gift of Forest' in Tamil Nadu

Kodaikanal Hills

Visiting Kodaikanal is like unraveling the exquisite and beauteous magic of a paradise. One can see the beauty in everything here, from valleys, caves, waterfalls, to lakes, churches and even the indigenous local markets.

Kodaikanal is located in a small hill station that is situated on the Palani Hills in Tamil Nadu. According to the Tamil language, the term ‘Kodaikanal’ means ‘Gift of the Forest.’

The mesmerizing beauty of this South Indian hill station is so captivating and bewitching that it is called as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations.’

It is known for high waterfalls, shoal forests, eucalyptus trees, grasslands, meadows and flower beds. It was established in 1845 and the British evolved it into an appealing hill station in order to escape from the sweltering summer months in Chennai.

Over the past few decades, along with being one of the most popular leisure destinations in India, Kodaikanal has also evolved into a romantic destination hotspot. It not only offers an enjoying and leisure experience but it also offers little respite from the hustle bustle, stress and unwanted anxiety of the city life.

Following are few of the attractions of Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal Lake

Green Valley: This valley is known for its picturesque panoramic views of the hills, Vaigai dam, plains and distant valleys. The sylvan garden located around the Vaigai dam is also called as ‘Little Brindavan.’ Tourists also visit the Green Valley view point to buy exquisite aromatic oil and spices.

Silent Valley: Its one of the most dazzling viewpoints in Kodaikanal. It is situated a little distance from Pillar Rocks. Several amateur and even well establish painters often come here to pain the large enthralling vistas. Very often, the valley is shrouded by cotton like clouds and mist, giving it a very mystical appeal.  There are local shops around the valley view point which sell delicious chocolates.

Lutheran Church: With towering Gothic architecture, the Lutheran Church was established in 1932. The inside layout also contains manual wax resistant Batik style embellishments along with modern paintings revealing integral episodes related to Jesus Christ’s life in a very artistic manner. The stained glass windows add to the illuminated wall décor of the church, thereby endowing a very religious peaceful ambience. In some stained glass paintings, the designing is kept figurative and abstract.

Kodai Lake: The raw contours of Kodai Lake appear as a star shaped water body, especially when seen from over the valleys, with the bird’s eye view precision. Its paradisiacal view, in fact has been artificially created. The lake was constructed in 1863 by Sir Vere Hentry Levinge who at that time was the collector of Madurai. He also started the boating club in Kodai Lake. Now, even pedalos are also available here for boating around. This man made fresh water lake adds to the artistic beauty of Kodaikanal.

Kodaikanal Forest

Pillar Rocks: These rocks are made up of three large granite boulders which measure up to 400 feet in their height. It’s a brilliant location for the adventure tourists, especially with their bird’s eye view location. Interestingly, the chamber in between the rocks is called as the ‘Devil’s kitchen’.

It is known for its very panoramic yet eerie background which helps the tourists to be enthralled and mesmerized by being just present in the location. This rock is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Forest Board. The Pillar rocks also have a small waterfall and a garden hidden within its vicinity adding to its beauty.

Excursions from Kodaikanal
The nearby places to Kodaikanal include Indira Gandhi National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Vaigai Dam reservoir and Palani.

Shopping in Kodaikanal
It includes exploring Kashmir Handicrafts Centre, Spices Corner, Corsack, Eco Nut, Potter’s Shack, Khadi Emporium and Bazaar Road. Tourists often buy Kodai Cheese, chocolates, aromatic and massage oils, dried flowers along with exquisite embroidery items. Home-made chocolates sold in Kodaikanal are made up of rum, raisins, peanuts, mints, almond and white chocolates.


When to visit
It is favorable to visit Kodaikanal at any time of the year. The summer months from March to May offer a pleasant respite. During the winter months from November to February, the tourists also get a chance to celebrate the popular Pongal festival. Those who want to experience the beauty of rains can visit Kodaikanal during the monsoon months of June to September.

How to reach
Reaching Kodaikanal is not at all a difficult endeavor.
By Air: Madurai is the closest airport to Kodaikanal. It is located 120 km away from this hill station. The other airports located near to Kodaikanal are Coimbatore and Trichy.
Rail: The Kodai Road Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Kodaikanal. The tourists normally take a taxi from Kodai road to reach the hill station.
Bus: One can easily reach Kodaikanal through regular bus service that starts from cities like Madurai, Pondicherry, Coimbatore and Chennai.

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