Kodaikanal, ‘The Gift of the Forests’, is a beautiful hill station located in the eastward hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Tamil Nadu. Located at 2,133 meters above sea level, the hills are carpeted in meadows and grasslands with a thick forest cover.
It is also home to the rare Kurunji Flower which blooms just once in 12 years. The hills have pleasant weather throughout the year.
Here are the 10 Top Things to do in Kodaikanal that you can’t miss
- Kodaikanal Lake
- Kurinji Andavar Temple
- Berijam Lake
- Palani Temple
- Coakers Walk
- Pillar Rocks
- Silver Cascade Waterfall
- Dolmen Circle
- Sacred Heart Natural Science Museum
- Shopping in Kodaikanal
1. Visit the Kodaikanal Lake
The Kodaikanal Lake is the icon of the hill station. The man-made water body is spread over 60 acres. The star-shaped lake is fed by the waters that roll down from the Palani Hills. The outflow from this lake forms a beautiful waterfall called Silver Cascade, 180 feet in height.
The lakeside has a boat club and boathouse. During summers, boat parades and flower shows are organized. The glittering rays of the sun on the sparkling blue waters are a beautiful sight. Boat rides in the lake are one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
2. Get the blessings from Kurinji Andavar Temple
The Kurunji Andavar Temple is one of the revered sites of Kodaikanal. Situated near the Chettiars peak, the famous shrine is dedicated to Lord Muruga. The temple is authentic south Indian architecture. Get the blessings of the lord whenever you visit the temple. It is one of the must-visit places in Kodaikanal.
In Tamil literature, Kurinji means ‘hill region’ and Andavar means ‘God’. Lord Muruga is referred to as the ‘God of the hill’. The temple on the hill is related to the Kurinji flowers. It is covered with plants that grow the rare blue flowers that bloom once in 12 years.
3. Spend blissful moments at Berijam Lake
The Berijam Lake is rather one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal. The pristine expanse of calm and pure water is situated at the old site of Fort Hamilton in the upper Palani Hills. The beautiful landscape is the ideal backdrop for blissful moments in midst of natural beauty.
The forest department issues a special permit to the place. Only a certain number of vehicles are allowed. Entry to the area is restricted between 9.30 AM to 3 PM as wild animals like panthers, deer, snakes and bison are spotted. Do not miss a guided tour of the medicinal forest.
4. Feel divine bliss at The Palani Temple
Dedicated to Lord Subramanian, the Palani Temple is one the most famous in South India. It is said to be one of the Six Abodes of Murugan which is more than 2000 years old. The divine ambiance may inspire you to visit but the way is not so easy. Supporting the fact that spirituality does not come easy, the temple can be reached after you climb 659 steps to get to the temple.
The Palani Temple hosts the festival of Thaipusam (January) and the festival of Panguni Uttaram (April). Visit the temple, it is one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
5. A stroll in the clouds on Coakers Walk
One of the top things to do in Kodaikanal, Coakers Walk is a perfect place to enjoy leisurely walks. The narrow pedestrian path was constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872. It is a one-kilometer mountain road that runs along the edge of steep slopes. Click amazing pictures of the beauty of the hills or cycle or go for a relaxing stroll.
As you stroll you might witness a fascinating and rare phenomenon called ‘Brachem Spectre’. This phenomenon results in a shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo when the sun is behind and the cloud and mist are in the front.
6. Get a dose of Thrill at the Pillar Rocks
The famous Pillars Rocks of Kodaikanal are an exquisite picnic spot. Set in the midst of lush rainforests, the three vertically positioned boulders reach up to a height of 400 feet. The rock pillars with their many hidden nooks and corners ooze an aura of mystery. An important attraction is the Devil’s Kitchen, which is the space between the two rocks. A beautiful mini garden, glowing in the colors of the seasonal blooms lies nearby.
For an adventurous experience go trekking to the Pillar Rocks, walking through intense fog, appealing forest views and thick woods. It is one of the must-visit attractions of Kodaikanal.
Also Read: The 9 Best Places To Visit In Kodaikanal
7. Bathe in the Silver Cascade Waterfall
The Silver Cascade waterfall is a must-visit attraction in Kodaikanal. The beautiful falls are over 180 ft high. It is a spill off the Kodaikanal lake waters. The best time to visit is during the rainy season.
The water gushing over the rocks captivates visitors. The crystal clear water retains various minerals. A bath in the waterfalls is rejuvenating. The waterfall is a famous picnic spot. Rainbows, rare birds and medicinal plants are a frequent sight.
Also Read: 10 must-visit Waterfalls in Tamil Nadu
8. Learn Ancient Secrets at Dolmen Circle
The Dolmen Circle is one of the leading anthropological sites dotting the Indian subcontinent. The magnificent site is a pre-historic one. There are innumerable dolmens and kistavens which provide a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the primeval man. The excavations and extensive research have revealed that the site served as abodes or hideouts for ancient man.
While one dolmen circle is sited at the Ghat road near Periakulam, the other rests at a stone’s throw distance at Pannaikadu. Both of them form a fine spectacle as it dominates the Kodaikanal skyline. The mysterious dolmen circle has pretty intriguing secrets. Get a look at your Kodaikanal trip.
9. Get close to nature at the Sacred Heart Natural Science Museum
The Sacred Heart Natural Science museum showcases all aspects of natural biology. The pretty, the gruesome, and almost everything has been preserved here. The outstanding taxidermy collection has more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects.
The amazing and living collection comprises over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum also presents artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribe. The tribal descendants still live in the Kodaikanal hills.
Visiting the museum is definitely one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal. Get close to nature as you witness the creepy yet informative collection. It is for nature lovers who would not mind the eerie feeling of the exhibits.
10. Shopping in Kodaikanal
The mention of shopping in Kodaikanal excites your senses. From woolen shawls, bone and walnut wood articles, leather products, brass jewelry, etc., find some good bargains. Do get your hands on exotic spices like cardamom, nutmeg, clove, pepper, cinnamon, white pepper, etc.
Select from eye-catching paintings, jewelry, lampshades, shawls and crafts to take home as souvenirs. Support the upliftment of the needy with the amazing pottery products made by talented local potters namely Subramaniam and Prabhu. You can not only purchase wooden carvings, bamboo works, and metalwork, but you can also learn the art.
The popular places to go shopping include Kodaikanal Handicrafts Center, Spices Corner, Eco Nut, Corsack, Bazaar Road, Khadi Emporium, Potter’s Shack, etc.