Tourist Places in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal has several scenic natural attractions which are enjoyed by its visitors and make it a popular romantic destination for newlyweds. These are described in order of distance from the bus – stand.
Green Valley View, located around 5.5 km from the Kodaikanal Lake, is the point from where tourists can enjoy the beautiful view of the Vaigai Dam. The place is formerly known as Suicide Point owing to facts that it is deep, dangerous and dense.
The valley is around 5,000 ft deep and the ideal time to make a visit to this valley is between 10 am and 3 pm. The major attraction of this valley is presence of plenty of monkeys.
Silent Valley View
Silent Valley View, situated at a short distance from Pillar Rocks, can be seen on the Berijam lake road. The best time to make a visit to this valley is during early morning and late afternoon. Since the valley is deep, children visiting this valley have to be accompanied by their parents.
Kodaikanal Lake, Half kilo meter from the bus stand, is an artificial, roughly star – shaped ( 60 acres ) lake built in 1863. It is recognized as Kodaikanal’s most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club with its main entrance near the only five-star hotel in Kodaikanal, The Carlton. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometers path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favorite walk for the locals and tourists alike.
The beautiful Gothic structure, Lutheran Church was built in 1932. The adorned Church was adorned with stained glass window while detailed paintings and murals depict the life of Jesus Christ on the Church walls.
Coaker’s Walk, discovered in 1872, has been named after Lt. Coaker. Located on the southern slopes of this beautiful hill station, Coaker’s Walk is a paradise for nature lovers. Situated at a distance of 1 km from the lake of Kodaikanal, this place is known for its long winding paths, forests and flowers present.
The major attraction of this place is the Telescope House that offers beautiful view of valley and its nearby towns. Tourists visiting this place are required to purchase a ticket for entering Coaker’s Walk. The ideal time to make a visit to Coaker’s Walk is before 2:30 in the afternoon. This is because after 2:30 pm, the mist starts setting all over by the late afternoon.
Bryant Park, Just east of the lake and 0.5 km from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is an 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. Entrance fee to the park is nominal and it is open all year.
Shenbaganur Museum of Natural History, 6 kilometers from the bus-stand, founded in 1895, is open to the public for viewing their outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes people whose descendants still live in these hills.
Bear Shola Falls
Bear Shola Falls, 3 kilometers from the bus – stand, is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot – path.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory 6 kilometers from the bus – stand on Observatory Road, at 2,343 meters are the highest location near Kodai. The first observations were commenced here in 1901. Former Director John Evershed, discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots, now known as the Evershed effect. The Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope can view a grand panorama including : Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and Varaha river. This Indian Institute of Astrophysics facility has a comprehensive Astronomical Science museum with organized public tours, access to the astronomy library, and scheduled night – time telescopic sky viewing. It is open daily to the public during peak season, and a few hours each Friday the rest of the year.
Pillar Rocks, 8 kilometers from the bus – stand, is a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 122 meters high. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, The viewpoint can be crowded but is not commercialized. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.
Guna caves, made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devil’s Kitchen, are deep bat – infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar.
Silver Cascade, 8 kilometers from Kodaikanal at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at altitude 1,800 meters, is a 55 meters waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing. This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first – time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here. There is also a smaller but more serene waterfall below the bridge which crosses the stream here.
Dolphin’s Nose, 8 kilometers from the bus stand, is flat rock projecting over a breathtaking chasm 2,000 m deep. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometer down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through a rugged bridle path here. A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls ( which is also locally addressed as ‘Liril Falls’ after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985 ).
Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple
Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple, 4 kilometers from the bus-stand, is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easware, who is in fact Lord Murugan. This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who on coming to India, converted to Hinduism. She changed her name to Leelavathi and married an Mr.Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan. This temple is under the management of Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thirukovil, Palani.
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