An Insider’s Guide to Kodaikanal

Summer is here and along with it come heat waves (not referring to the song, unfortunately :P). Heading to a hill station is the best way to find a little escape from the unpleasant heat. 

Today, we bring to you a guide to Kodaikanal, a beautiful hill station resting in Tamil Nadu. Adorned by lush greenery, lakes, waterfalls and gorgeous mountains, this destination will remain etched in your memory for a long time to come. 

How to reach? 

By Train: The nearest railway station is Kodai Road, which is located around 80 kilometres away from Kodaikanal. 

By Road: Kodaikanal has good bus connectivity with several cities, including Bengaluru, Madurai, Chennai and Coimbatore. 

By Air: The nearest airport is Madurai, which is less than 140 kilometres away from Kodaikanal. If you’re travelling solo, the cab expense will hurt your pocket so it’s a good idea to enquire about buses from Madurai. Or just drag your friends along and give them an unforgettable vacay! 

Best Time to Visit

Even though summer is a great time to visit Kodaikanal, the hill station offers pleasant weather all year round. A testament to this is the absence of ceiling fans that you may notice in your hostel or hotel room here. Can you imagine a life without the need for a fan?! 

Sightseeing in Kodaikanal 

Three days are more than enough to explore Kodaikanal but if your workplace is still offering Work From Home, you must take advantage and stay back here for longer! 

Below are some of the unmissable sites to visit, when in Kodai: 

Kodai Lake

Whether you’re travelling solo or with your family or friends, biking along Kodai Lake is the first thing to do. There are many bicycle rental shops around the lake. You can rent tandem bicycles as well, if you’re one to try new things. But if you want to race with your pals or do somersaults (jk, I only mean standing while riding the bicycle), tandem bicycles are a no-go. 

In case you don’t want to splurge on cabs (which are the only way of going around in the town), biking will really come to your rescue. Are you a water baby? If yes, you must indulge in boating in Kodai Lake. 

Coakers Walk

This was undoubtedly my favourite part of the time I spent in Kodaikanal. I had read about it, seen the pictures and ventured here only to understand (and probably smirk at) the fuss. 

But one step onto the trail and I accepted defeat before the beauty that was lying ahead. Named after its creator – Lieutenant Coaker – every inch of Coakers Walk is full of peace and serenity! If you’re a nature lover, you will surely be tempted to sit here for some time, reflect and introspect, or walk along it a couple of more times. If you wish to dive deeper into the views of the valley, do check out the Telescope House here. 

Bryant Park

If you’re with your friends or family or partner, picnicking in Bryant Park must be on top of your to-do list in Kodaikanal. Located near Coakers Walk and Kodai Lake, the park has a rich variety of flowers and shrubs. 

Bryant Park also plays host to an annual flower and horticulture festival that’s sure to leave you impressed and wanting for more. Make sure to click some pictures here for your Instagram! 

Pine Forest

Were you fascinated by the echoes that boomed in Bollywood movies when the protagonist was looking for someone in the woods? If yes, the pine forest in Kodaikanal is a must-visit site for you. 

Many films have been shot here and if you avail the services of a guide, you’re sure to find out the entire list of such popular flicks. Even without a guide, the forest will satiate the nature lover inside you just by its existence.  

Dolphin’s Nose

Once you reach Kodai and enquire about sightseeing options, you’ll certainly hear about Dolphin’s Nose. In case you’re wondering what it is or why it’s called that, we have the answer. Dolphin’s Nose is a peak which looks like, you guessed it, the nose of a dolphin. 

But it’s more than just a cliff and a checkmark on your sightseeing list. The trek to it is full of quaint shops offering hot coffee and chai, snacks and refreshments. The locals’ welcoming and helpful nature will warm your heart. And the view from the cliff will make you want to fight with others for more time on it. Balance barabar, right? 

Here are some more sights to behold on your visit to Kodaikanal: Guna Cave, Berijam Lake, Silent Valley View Point, Bear Shola Falls, La Salette Church, Pillar Rocks and Perumal Peak. 

What about shopping? 

No, we didn’t forget about the shopaholic in you. Kodaikanal offers a plethora of items that one can purchase and pack back home (hello, airline charges :P). 

The best of these is perhaps the chocolates. Opposite Kodai Lake, you’ll see a small yet busy market. Head over there and try a wide variety of home-made chocolates. You might just forget about Cadbury and Ferrero Rocher after exploring these shops so, beware!  

The other things that you can browse are jewellery, trinkets, woollens, spices, cheeses, organic oils, vintage clocks and handicrafts. 

So, when are you booking your tickets to Kodai? Soon, we hope. 🙂 

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