Kodai means hill, kanal means fog, Kodaikanal means fog on the hill - during all seasons.
Kodaikanal was first discovered by a foreigner Thomas Moyar (came with family for horse riding and trekking) during 1872. Kodaikanal got developed during past 20years. The tourism has been developed and promoted by Govt. of Tamilnadu to a great extent. Coffee plantation is more in Kodaikanal. Unlike Ooty, Kodaikanal has vast area of hill and valley region which are approachable. Kodaikanal is also nick named as Raja while Ooty is called Rani, Munnar son and Thekkadi daughter.
Kodaikanal best views are seen at Coaker's walk, Upper lake view, Pillar rock view and Palani view from Kurinji temple.
People require 3-4 hours time to spend near Kodai lake. There are other activities which can be planned near lake area. These include,
Cycling - INR 30 per cycle for one hour. You can ride along the lake and there are excellent forest areas approachable, don't miss it.
Horse riding -
Scating circle - INR 30 for half an hour and INR 50 for one hour. The floor is wooden. Not so good for smooth skating. Skates are available with all sizes.
Balloon shooting - INR 15 for ten shots
7D Cinema - Excellent experience, INR 150 per person for 15 mins, two movies. Only 18 people allowed for a show.
3D shooting - Better than balloon shooting. INR 50 for 15 shots
Cricket - Inside a cage, with auto bowling machine. INR 50 for 15 balls. If all the balls are played, another 15 balls are free.
The weather is cold most of the period in an year. Cold is severe during January (starts from October) and normal during April and May.Wollen clothes are available locally at a very reasonable price.
Best time to visit Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal attracts tourist throughout the year but tourist rush increases during summer holidays ( April – May – Jun ) and Dussehra vacation period. Tourist from nearby areas travel to Kodaikanal to enjoy X-mas and new year celebration in December - January.
There are total 12 waterfalls in Kodaikanal. During August and September there will be more water in all the falls. Agricultural (carrot, garlic), spices (pepper, ilachi, lavang), fruits (apple), local chocolates (must be approved by Government) are available and these have been the occupation of the locals. Take care of duplicate items, buy only Govt approved.
There are two dams nearby, Manjalar and Vaigai dam. There is a short cut road to Munnar from Kodaikanal which is only 70Kms (normal is 180Kms) but the road is blocked for general public.
There are several cottage industries in Kodaikanal and worth buying some of the local products. These include,
Home made chocolates - Cashew, Almond, Pista, Fruit and nuts, Plain, valnut, Rum 'n' Raisins, Crunchy and raisins, Nutties, Almond, Cream, Strawberry, Wole nuts, Pista creams, Marsh Mellows, Jujups, CHerry, Raisins, Butter Scotch
Tea Powder (Organic) - Leaf tea (good for black and lemon tea), masala tea, Chocolate tea, Ginger tea (mixture of tea and ginger - good for throat and digestion), organic dust tea and Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) - best for normal tea.
Natural oils - Eucalyptus, Winter green oil, lemon grass oil, Citronella oil, Citridora Oil, Clove oil, Almond oil (Extract of Badam), Rose oil, Jasmine oil, Tulsi oil, Olive oil (for massage), Sandalwood oil, Tea tree oil, Lavender oil.
Spices - Cardamom, Cloe, Pepper, Cinnamon (available in Kodaikanal forest), Star Anise, Nutmeg, Nut mice, Hills Jeera, Souf, Anise, Elachi (big), Green pepper, White pepper (used in Chinese food).
Dry fruits of Kodaikanal - Fig Anjur, Dry grapes
Herbal products for face and body - Alo vera gel, Multhani mitti
Visit Silver Cascade falls while reaching Kodaikanal or during departure. Don't include this with any other tour packages.
Tour packages in Kodaikanal:
5 days are required for visiting all the places in and around Kodaikanal. Keep one day coming and last day departure. Reaching Kodaikanal is travelling 65kms in Ghat section, journey time is 3-4 Hours. Roads are good and wide, no much sharp curves.
Local tour - includes total 17 places within Kodaikanal city and outskirts, charges INR 1200
Forest tour - Silent valley, Fire tower, Berijam lake, Cap's fly valley, Mathikettan forest, charges INR 1500
Village tour - Neptune pool (Kundar falls), Poombarai village, Mannavanur lake, Charges INR 1300
Trekking - Bear Shola falls, Vattakkanal falls, Dolphin nose, charges INR 1100
Kerala border trip
5 days trip charges - guide charges INR 4000 including permission, car parking, excluding entrance fee,
Where to stay:
Normal to excellent accomodation facilities with good food is available in Kodaikanal. The price ranges from INR 1000 to INR 5000.
2 and 3 bed rooms houses are available. Home made food is served on payment and order basis. The price ranges from INR 2500 to INR 9000.
Best hotel for Veg food is Hilltop (seven road junction) and for Non-Veg Hotel Albek (normaly rush) is good which is on the main road.
Book your accomodation before starting your trip at Kodaikanal.
How to reach Kodaikanal
By Road: Kodaikanal is 65 Kms from Palani, 110 Kms from Madurai, 160 Kms from Munnar, 170 Kms from Coimbatore, 175 Kms from Palakkad, 250 Kms from Ooty By train: Nearest Railway station is Palani ( station code - PLNI ) By Air: Nearest Airport is Madurai ( or Coimbatore )