Located about 7,000 feet above sea level, Kodaikanal is a cozy little hill town in Tamil Nadu that has an abundance of awe-inspiring activities that are accompanied by equally amazing views. Kodaikanal is a Tamil word that translates to ‘The Gift of the Forest’ and the place does hold up to that claim.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a romantic place, an adventurous one, or a spot just to spend a relaxing weekend, the Queen Of Hills, as this hill station is often called, will give it to you with umpteen options. From boat rides, to trekking, to bicycle trips, to visiting a temple, you’ll have an impossible time choosing what you want to see. In order to make that process a little easier, keep on reading our list of things to do in Kodaikanal!
As a hill station, Kodaikanal has the inherent benefit of having beautiful mountains as its neighbors. This means, there are numerous trails that will lead you to some beautiful points and peaks all across the map. So, if you’re visiting this hill town, why not get on a trail in the morning and figure out what all the hype is about?
If you’re having a hard time deciding which trails you should follow, here are our recommendations. If you want a short trek, you can visit Dolphin’s Nose. It’s a moderately difficult trek that is about a kilometer long and takes you to the summit. After this, you can continue towards Echo Point, where the views are even more mesmerizing. If you want to make it a little more interesting, you can hike to Pillard of Nature, which is famous for its pillar-like rock formations and a valley full of unique flora and fauna.
Where: Dolphin’s Nose, Pillars Of Nature
Also Read: Best Homestays In Kodaikanal
As beautiful as this hill station is during the day, the nights turn it up a few notches. So, if you want to experience nature and the flora and fauna in their most natural form, you cannot miss the night safari in Kodaikanal.
However, the plants and animals are not the only things you get to marvel at during the safari. This adventurous trip into the night lets you observe animals like wild boars, porcupines, and bison. Apart from that, it takes you to see the mind-blowing views of the Palani Temple and the Mango City.
Where: JC Residency, Convent Road
Price: INR 1,000 onwards
There is a valley between two peaks called the Caps Valley Viewpoint, or ‘Thoppi Thooki Parai’. This name directly translates to ‘cap lifting rock’. It is weird how much this place is focused on people’s caps!
The thing is, since this point is in a valley, it experiences very strong air currents. These currents are known to flow upwards along the walls of the valley, effectively turning thrown items into boomerangs and returning them to the owners. Of course, these items need to be light in weight, like a cap. Other than this phenomenon, the Caps Valley Viewpoint offers a beautiful view of the hills, the forests on the hills, and the fog that very frequently plays with both of them.
Where: Berijam Road
Also Read: Tamil Nadu Travel Guide
There are multiple spots and activities in Kodaikanal that will get your adrenaline pumping. However, the landscapes that this hill station offers might make you want to sit down, breathe, and rejuvenate a little. Well, Kodaikanal has that in store, too!
Karuna Farms, located in the heart of the town, is known to be one of the best yoga retreats in India with the views of a gorgeous ecological farm and the guidance of a few yoga experts. After all, what better place to disconnect from the world and spend some time with just you, your mind, and your soul?
Where: Karuna Farms, Prakasapuram Village
Price: INR 2,240 onwards
Also Read: Best Beachside Hotels And Resorts In Chennai
Kodaikanal is an area that is very rich in terms of religious history. You’ll find places of worship from multiple religions, all coexisting harmoniously and sharing stories of the days gone by. The best part is, most of these places are adorned with beautiful carvings, sculptures, and architecture. These places of worship are truly the creme de la creme of Kodaikanal.
To get you started, you can check out La Salette Church, Kurinji Temple, Palani Temple, and Subramanya Temple. All of these places have stories, myths, and views out of a fairytale. You might need more than a day to explore them all, but all time given to this part of the trip is worth it.
Where: All across the town
Like a lot of other hill stations in India, Kodaikanal is host to a lot of ‘points’ that have been a tourist attraction for as long as the place exists. These points are laid on the trails in the forests that surround the hill station, while some have made their way into the town’s limits. Getting to most of these points requires you to travel by a vehicle or by foot on a trail. However, their distance from the main city is a matter of each individual point.
If you’re wondering which of these points you should visit, here is our list of points to visit in Kodaikanal - Green Valley View, Silent Valley View Point, Moir Point, Lake View Point, Upper Lake View Point, and Devil’s Kitchen. All of these points have some characteristics that make them different and attractive. We suggest you have a quick chat with the locals or a Google search in order to figure out what point attracts you the most.
Where: All over the town
Also Read: 6 Best Road Trips From Chennai
One more category of attractions that Kodaikanal hosts very well is its lakes. You get manmade lakes, natural lakes, and even a reservoir that is quite well-known amongst the locals as a picnic spot away from the crowds of tourists flocking at the other locations.
There are three famous lakes in the area that go by the names of Berijam Lake, Mannavanur Lake, and Kodaikanal Lake. Out of this bunch, Kodaikanal Lake is one of the more famous places that offers all sorts of tourist activities, including boating. However, this also means Kodaikanal Lake is the most crowded of the three.
On the other hand, Berijam Lake is only accessible in the months between October to May, and even then you need to arrange for permits from the local Forest Department. However, once you get there, the serenity and beauty of the place will make you forget all that you miss. Lastly, Mannavanur Lake is located around 30 km away from the city and is home to a sheep farm. This is one place that is away from the city, from the crowds, and costs only INR 10 to explore.
Where: Around the town
As the name suggests, Coaker’s Walk is a beautiful walking plaza near Kodaikanal Lake. It is a beautiful place that perfectly embodies the essence of a South Indian hill station. Surrounded by trees in the foreground and the beauty of Kodaikanal in the background, Coaker’s Walk is a walk you’ll definitely remember for the rest of your life.
As you enter the kilometer-long walk, you are welcomed by a telescope house that shows you almost all the points in the town. As you cross this place, you are welcomed by stalls of fresh snacks and the best part is, this walkway often meets the fog that covers the valley, making a trip down here seem like it is from a dream. For the honeymooners in Kodaikanal, this is a must-go, while everybody else can also rent a cycle and go take a trip on Coaker’s Walk.
Where: Near Van Allen Hospital
Price: INR 10 for entry, INR 30 for entry with a camera, and INR 20 for using the telescope
Also Read: Best Homestays In Coimbatore
We have put this point at the very bottom for one important reason: we know you are going to forget to actually relax and spend some time with yourself in the spirit of vacation, and an attempt to cover as many places as possible. We understand that you might not want to sit down because it would be a once-in-a-long-time trip. But, to truly experience and absorb the beauty of a place, you need to sit down and actually look at it, unlike doing so in the passing.
So, whenever you are planning a trip to a place like Kodaikanal, keep a day to yourself. Preferably, keep your first day in the town for this as it will allow you to get rid of the travel-tiredness and give you an opportunity to figure out what the rest of your trip looks like. After all, what better place to just take a break and look out of the window than Kodaikanal?
Where: Wherever you are!
Also Read: Madurai Travel Guide
Kodaikanal is very close to the top of a lot of travelers’ lists because of one simple reason: it is nothing like your typical tourist destination. Depending on your taste, you can decide what season of Kodaikanal you want to experience, whether you want to sit back and relax or go through the entire town with maximum speed and adrenaline, or you want it all!
Kodaikanal will welcome you with a smile on its face and fog on its forehead. It will give you the experience you were looking for and a little bit more. Most of all, one trip to Kodaikanal will definitely tell you what you like most about the hill town but will also keep you coming back for more.
Is Kodaikanal Worth Visiting?
Yes, absolutely! The hill station of Kodaikanal, which is often called the ‘Queen Of Hills’ for its natural beauty, is a place that offers so much more than just the glory of its green cover. It has some architectural marvels, some beautiful viewpoints, and all of this in a different color with the changing seasons!
Do We Need An E-pass To Visit Kodaikanal?
Yes. While the central government has discontinued the e-pass system for inter-state and intra-state travel, they have made it mandatory for visitors of certain places to have these passes. Kodaikanal happens to be one of those places, along with the Nilgiris, Ooty, and Yercaud.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Kodaikanal?
A place like Kodaikanal is best visited when it experiences fresh showers and less sunlight than usual. In this area, climate like that is seen in the monsoon season, which can be seen from June to September. However, going around Kodaikanal from June to August can be tricky as a lot of the town is covered in water and mud. September sees receding rains, making it an ideal time to visit this hill town.
Does Kodaikanal Have Snow?
Yes. Although inconsistent, this hill station receives slight snowfall at the peak of its winter, i.e. January, if the temperatures dip enough. If you are looking for an uncrowded vacation spot with snowfall, you can try your luck visiting Kodaikanal in its off-season!
Does Kodaikanal Have An Airport?
No, Kodaikanal does not have an airport. The closest airport that you can use to get to this location is in Madurai, about 120 km away.
Do We Need Sweaters In Kodaikanal?
Yes, you do need to carry sweaters since Kodaikanal sees quite a lot of mists and fog all throughout the year. Also, carry ear muffs and monkey caps to avoid getting sick.
How Far Is Kodaikanal From Ooty?
Kodaikanal is 255 km away from Ooty by road.
How Far Is Kodaikanal From Munnar?
Kodaikanal is 162 km away from Munnar by road.