Kodaikanal travel guide – The princess of hills, Kodaikanal, is one of the prominent tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.
The “Granite hills” are covered with greenery accompanied by a cool breeze and misty weather makes this place popluar tourist destination. The picturesque places on this hill offer a feast to the eye, also provide an amazing experience.
Previously, Summer was the most happening season here. Tamil Nadu is one of the hottest states with scorching heat during the summer months. For those who are looking for solace from the hot summer, this place is the best vacation destination.
However, this changed in recent times. Tourists are surging to Kodaikanal in all the seasons. Also, this place is one of the top 5 Honeymoon destinations in South India. Even though it is a popular honeymoon destination, you will notice many families and bikers here.
What to expect from the Kodaikanal travel guide
Kodaikanal is a hill station which offers numerous activities for tourists. If you are looking for adventurous activities like trekking in the Jungle, there are numerous trekking and camping places.
Along with waterfalls, Man-made lakes are surrounded by Jaw-dropping beauty.
Naturally formed Rocks and Caves are the main attractions here. If you are looking for serene place where you can relax, then Kodaikanal offers you a Coaker’s walk and Gardens. Curious to know about Forest tribes?
Then go on a day tour to nearby tribal villages and explore their culture and lifestyle. If you are in a hurry, here is our perfect one daya Kodaikanal Itinerary.
How to reach Kodaikanal
It depends on the place from which you are living, inside Tamil Nadu you can travel by train or bus. If you are from other states the best way will be Airway.
The nearest airport will be Madurai airport. From there one can hire a cab and reach Kodaikanal. In this way, you can save time during your visit.
Recently when we visited Kodaikanal, we took Pandian express train from Chennai Tambaram station to Kodai road. From there we went in the cab which was arranged by the hotel authority.
We started from Chennai around 10 PM and reached Kodai road at 4.20 AM. It took around 2 and a half hours for us to reach the hotel(Moonjikal area) from the station. In between, we stopped to have some coffee as a refreshment before going on uphill.
A room booking in Kodaikanal
Unlike other hill stations here you have numerous options. You can select based on the budget and number of people traveling. Here, you have resorts which are a bit costly, homestays with reasonable prices, villas and hotels are available for stay.
If you are traveling with a family of more than 5 members, it is better to opt for a homestay surrounded by nature. Otherwise here you have cottages as well.
During our visit to Kodaikanal, we stayed in Hotel Tamil Nadu. Their reception was warm and they have different packages. We took honeymoon packages in which they offered free food for 3 days with a maximum consumption limit of 1200 rupees.
Besides this, they give free breakfast to all the guests who are staying there. The best part about the hotel is there is no advance payment. They just charge for our stay there. The room and washroom are clean with good room service.
Here they have a travel desk where you can arrange a cab or bus for you sightseeing from the hotel by paying the amount. If you feel they are asking too much then outside the hotel local cabs are available where you can hire them.
Beware of Cab frauds as here there are no other means of transports apart from cab services. Traveling in own vehicle is one of the best options here. Otherwise, talk with other local cab services, compare the price, and decide the best option for going on sightseeing.
Here they have cottages as well for families, the advantage here is the Cab driver will be your tour guide and he even takes good photos of you during your visit to places for sightseeing. They gave us fruits while we are returning back to Chennai. We felt happy as we never received such a gesture from any hotel.
Do’s and Don’ts in Kodaikanal
- Since the weather here is cold throughout the year, carry warm clothes with you during your travel. If you are planning on visiting during monsoon month, that is June to September, carry a raincoat or umbrella with you.
- Avoid vising during winter month that is from December to February as the temperature here drops to 3 degrees which is consider extreme weather by locals themselves.
- Beware of leeches when going to waterfalls, wear fully covered clothes.
- Don’t litter in the sightseeing places.
- Don’t carry liquor or any intoxicating material with you. Also, avoid taking plastic covers. Here plastic is completely banned.
Kodaikanal travel guide -Top 15 tourist places to visit
If you choose local cabs, they have a package system, in that they have a list of places which they cover for the day. Based on my tour list I am writing the order.
#1 Vattakanal Falls
The first place which we visited was the Vattakanal waterfalls. The place was quite amazing, surrendered by forest and it’s quite safe. Here you can go near the falls and take few photos.
During our visit, it was a normal day without rain. So our tour guide suggested we get into the water so that we can experience the waterfall from close and take few photos.
The water was damn cold and after few minutes of getting into it, I couldn’t feel my foot. Besides that, it has sharp stones and slippery stones, so one should be very careful here. On the other hand, from there, we need to trek to another waterfall.
By walking in the narrow path, one side was covered with thick forest and the other side water flow. Quite scary and fun at the same time if you’re a trekker. I am sure you will enjoy the small trek towards the waterfalls.
Note: Beware of the blood-sucking leeches near the waterfalls.
#2 Moier Point
The next place we went is Moier point, by the time we reached the place it was fully covered by mist. It was a thrilling experience to be in a place where you are completely covered by mist.
One needs to take an entry ticket to enter the place. It is a Memorial of Sir Thomas Moir. When we went there, we couldn’t view much from the top as it was fully covered in mist. We just explored the place and took few photos.
Mist covered view from the top of the mountain is something one should experience. To get a clear view of the place, better to visit during the Summer month, that is from March to June. During these months the weather will be clear.
#3 Devil’s Kitchen
An overrated place, if you’re excepting any spooky or any cave experience, then this is not the place. Here in recent times, they closed all the cave entrances with iron grills due to accidents in which people died.
Kamal Haasan’s old Tamil movie Guna was shot in this very cave. From then this place got the name Guna cave. However, in recent times due to unfortunate incidents, these caves are closed.
We enjoyed the forest covered in mist, which looked like a scene from a scary movie, the walk from the entrance to the cave and the big roots of the banyan tree were interesting. If looking for an interesting place apart from routine waterfalls, mountain views, and lakes, give this place a try.
From here one has an amazing view of the valley and even pillar rocks. If you feel like Nah! I am here to enjoy a real cave experience then you can skip this place and go on trekking to Lion cave.
Note: Plan wisely by seeing the packages offered by the cab services people.
#4 Pine Forest
Better than Pine Forest in Ooty, this place looked like real spooky tall pine trees covered with mist. It was quite dark even in the afternoon, 2 Pm due to mist.
Here they have a horse ride, if you are interested then opt for it. We explored a little of the Pine forest where tourists are there. This forest looked quite big and dark with not many tourists.
If you are looking for an adventurous and thrilling experience, visit during Oct to Dec months. For a clear view, visit in the Summer months.
One can make Vlog or instant reels and take some good photos here. We took few photos of ourselves and started towards our next destination.
#5 Green valley view
If you are looking forward for shopping then it is a place. You get no view from here as the place is covered by clouds and mist. You can’t even stand and take proper pictures due to monkeys. Better skip the place and visit another one instead.
#6 Pillar Rocks
Pillar rocks are another picturesque place where you can see two 400 feet rocks standing vertical. The interesting fact is Guna caves is located on the backside of the Pillar Rocks. In clear weather, one sees the wonderful view of the Pillar rocks and valley and the water flowing from the waterfalls.
We took few pictures here, I still remember an incident where a huge monkey came and snatched corn from a little girl. She came running towards me and hid behind me. I didn’t understand for some time what exactly happened.
The monkey happily had the corn even though all the tourists were looking at it. A funny moment which I remember at the place apart from the beauty of the place.
A good place to hang around with family and friends, even though you won’t see many rose flowers here, it is a nice garden to visit. It lies in the vast area and if you are not able to walk, they have battery cars which you need to pay extra bucks.
However, we opt to walk and explore the vast garden, it was a place where one can just sit and relax. They even have a children’s play area as well. We took a lot of photos here.
If you are a botany person or well aware of rose variety types, then you will know the plants here. For others, a relaxing garden where you can have few clicks of yourself and the place.
#7 Coaker’s walk
A walk to remember, not the Nicholas Sparks’ book or the movie. In Kodaikanal, Lt. Coaker constructed a one km walking pathway. From here one can view Dolphin’s nose and the Pambar River valley while walking along the path.
When we reached here it was drizzling, not much crowded by tourists. On one side amazing view of the valley and greenery, and on the other side you have small stalls with eatables for tourists.
For the tourist who like to have a clear view of the area, they have two telescopes in a refreshment shop from which you can have a clear view. After you walk for around 500 m you will come across a refreshment shop where you can have some hot chocolates, tea, and coffee.
We had hot chocolate and continued our wonderful walk. We clicked a few photos of ourselves and the place.
#8 Bryant Park
Bryant Park is a picturesque park for families and couples to hang out by enjoying the beauty this place offers. It is the best relaxing place in the Kodaikanal travel guide.
Bryant Park and Coaker’s walk are located nearby, after exiting from Coaker’s walk we bought some homemade chocolate and started to the Bryant Park in the full mist-covered road.
A moment to cherish walking on mist-covered roads. After reaching Bryant Park it started raining heavily, we thought of returning back.
Due to our fortune, the rain stopped after few minutes and we were able to roam around the place. But, the only problem is we couldn’t sit and relax here as the entire place got wet due to rain.
The park looked stunning after rain. The greenery of the place looked fresh and refreshing. Me and my spouse started running in the green grass gardens and took few pics.
You can visit the park any time, make sure you avoid it during rain. Here you can happily sit and enjoy the scenic beauty the place offers you.
#9 Pambar Falls
A small waterfalls where you can get into the waterfalls and enjoy yourselves. It is quite safe if the water flow is slow. But, one should be careful with the slippery rocks.
The rocks near waterfalls are so slippery due to the constant flow of water one should be careful if you going on top of the waterfall. They are chances you slip and fall down.
Besides that, if you’re looking for a safe way there are small mud steps to get down near to waterfalls where you can stand and enjoy the falls.
We took steps and went near the falls and spend some time there and took few photos.
#10 Wax Museum
A place which you can skip unless you want to explore every place in the Kodaikanal travel guide. If you are an artist who likes to view the artwork of other artists, then make sure you visit the place. Others can skip this place.
We visited this place as it is part of the sightseeing package, they have wax statues of Religious philosophers, Krishna and Gopikas statues, and the Last supper. Besides this, they have other statues as well.
#11 Kodai Lake
How can a trip be completed without visiting Lake? Kodai Lake is one of the prominent tourist attractions. The specialty here is they have numerous activities apart from boating.
Horse and pony ride, cycling near the lake where you can enjoy the view and also cycle with your partner they have two members peddle cycle as well.
If you had enough of all these then go on boating and enjoy the man-made Lake. They have activities for all age groups people. If you are going with kids make sure they play on the premises. Don’t allow them to venture alone near the lake.
#12 Dolphin’s Nose
If you are in the mood for adventure, then you should visit Dolphin’s Nose. If you are new to trekking and enthusiastic to see the place, hire a tour guide.
From the Pambar river bridge the actual trekking starts, all the cabs will stop near the Pambar bridge from there you need to trek for about 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the Dolphin’s Nose.
The hill formed is the shape of a Dolphin nose, a flat plane from where one has a magnificent view of the Kodaikanal greenery-covered hills and valley. From here one can trek uphill and reach Echo point, another tourist destination.
But one has to be careful while going to echo point, definitely not for newbie trekkers. The view from here makes the rocky path trek worth it.
Note: The trek to Dolphin’s Nose and Echo point is not for aged people, children, and couples who want just to relax and not looking for an adventure trek.
#13 Science Museum
Almost all the tourists visit this small museum, where they have the collection of ancient currencies and coins of many nations, Ancient Indian coins, the body of animals, birds, insects, reptiles, and other mammal bones safely preserved by adding chemicals to it.
Try to visit this place the money you pay as a ticket goes to the orphanage which is run by the trust. Near to the Museum, there is a college where you are not allowed to enter.
#14 Sliver waterfalls
This waterfall comes on the way towards the Kodaikanal. Beautiful waterfalls surrounded by hills and forest which is absolutely safe as tourists are not allowed to go near the waterfall.
You have to watch from far. They closed waterfalls gates so that nobody can go near them. Here water was flowing with full force, a beautiful sight to watch.
Near to the waterfalls, you will find numerous street vendors who mainly sell food items.
The place was crowded most of the time. Early morning around 6.30 we visited the place, on the way towards Kodaikanal. It was busy with tourists even at that time.
Back to Chennai
While returning to Chennai back again we stopped at the falls. It was even more crowded with busy street vendors, tourists, and groups of monkeys waiting for the opportunity to steal the food from tourists and vendors.
Plan a trip to the princess of hills and have a blast along with your family and friends. Read the Kodaikanal travel guide before planing your trip.
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