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Kodaikanal – Travel Guide to the Princess of Hill Stations

Kodaikanal is one beautiful hill station tucked into Tamil Nadu which is the southernmost state of India. I have visited Kodai multiple times considering its proximity to my hometown. Kodai reminds me of misty mountains, delicious homemade chocolates, fresh vegetables and lovely people. This travel guide to Kodaikanal which is often referred to as “The Princess of Hill Stations” will give you an idea on how to plan a perfect weekend trip to Kodaikanal.

Kodai Park Royale
The mist

How to reach Kodaikanal?

Major Southern CitiesBy RoadBy TrainBy Flight
Chennai – Kodaikanal513 kms – 11 hours420 kms – 8.30 hours462 kms to Madurai + 116 kms drive – 5 hours
Bangalore – Kodaikanal462 kms – 10 hours421 kms – 8.40 hours430 kms to Madurai + 116 kms drive – 4.50 hours

If one cannot find a direct bus to Kodaikanal, you can go to Madurai from where you will find plenty of buses to visit the beauty.

Where to stay?

Umpteen number of hotels, hostels and guesthouses are available in Kodaikanal but the challenge lies in finding one which is good, not just in the pictures. We stayed at Park Royale which is approximately 2.5 kms from the bus stand and next to Chettiar park.

View from our stay
View from our stay

Note: I have booked cheap hotels in areas which are nowhere close to the places of interest only to realize and cancel the booking. So, I would recommend a stay near the lake, bus stand or Chettiar park.

What kind of food we get?

Since it is a tourist place you will variety of cuisines. If you want to try the regional food, you can go Tamil with idli and dosa?

How to commute within the town?

You can either drive or rent taxis to tour within Kodaikanal. The taxi rent starts from Rs.1200/day, depending on the number of places you want to tour. Recently in few places they have started renting 2 wheelers in Kodai for which you can approach your hotel reception. There are local city tour buses that take a group of tourists to a set of places. The cost for group city tours start from Rs.300 for a day.
Note: There are no auto-rickshaws since it is not suitable for the hilly terrains.

On the way to Kodai

When to visit Kodaikanal?

I would say it is good to visit all year round leaving the monsoon months of July-Sept. The temperature hovers between 8 – 17°C most of the times.

My itinerary goes as follows:

DAY 1:

Silver Cascade Falls

You will be welcomed to Kodaikanal by the 180 feet high Silver Cascade as you drive on your way to the main town. If you are looking for the best scenic spot to take a picture, then look no further. You can also find hot and yummy snacks here to gorge on which will also satisfy your tum.

Silver Cascade Falls
Silver Cascade Falls

Note: I first visited Silver Cascade falls even before checking into my hotel because it was on the way to Kodaikanal town. You can either visit this first or save it for the last but do visit.

Timing: 9.30am – 3pm
Entry ticket: Nil

Chettiar Park

This park is maintained by the State Government and is on the way to Kurinji Andavar Temple. One must see the beautifully manicured plants, shrubs and a huge variety of flowers. This park is ideal for photoshoots.

Chettiar Park
Chettiar Park

Timing: 9am – 5pm
Entry ticket: Rs.10 (kids), Rs.15 (adults)

Kodaikanal Lake

This is the most sort after tourist place in the main town which offers not just boating in the lake but also cycling and horse riding around the lake. The path around the lake has good roads and pavement for walking. You can also find numerous shops on the periphery of the lake to buy snacks, chocolates, sweaters and accessories.

Kodai boating
The boat hub 😉

Timing: 8.30am – 6pm
Entry ticket: Nil
Boating cost: Varies with respect to the type of boat you prefer. Boating for 30mins in a 6-seater row boat costed us Rs.360/-

Cycling around the Kodaikanal lake for 5kms in the evening is a bliss with hot snacks to munch around the lake.
Bicycle: Rs.50 (an hour)
Double Bicycle: Rs.100 (an hour)

Day 2

Coakers walk

This place gives a panoramic­­­ view of the Kodaikanal town and is more crowded during sunset. It is a 10-minute walk from the lake. You can feel the clouds while you are taking a pleasant walk and the amazing view from here will leave you spell bound.

Timing: 7am – 7pm
Entry ticket: Rs.10
                         Rs.20 (telescope house)
Rs.30 (with camera)

Green Valley View

This place was formerly known as suicide point. It is fenced because many people have sadly jumped from here and ended their lives in the past. When it is not foggy, the amazing view of the valley from a height of 1500 metres can be seen. It is fully commercialized. One must be very careful if carrying food in their hands because of the monkeys here.

Colors at green valley view

Timing: 7am – 6pm
Entry ticket: Nil

Pillar Rocks

Sighting these rocks is mostly a hit or miss. The mist decides whether you are lucky enough that day to get the view or not. A small stream runs from the view point. These rocks are majestic. The veiled beauty is one of the most famous attractions in Kodaikanal which is not to be missed.

Pillar Rock
Unveiled beauty

Timing: 9am – 4pm
Entry ticket: Rs.5

Guna Cave

Formerly known as Devil’s kitchen, this cave got its new name after filming of Kamal Hassan’s Tamil movie titled ‘Guna’ in this very cave. Exploring the cave involves some walking and climbing which might not be suitable for the elderly. The giant roots of the trees are twined together which gives it a spooky look. Entry into the cave is disallowed due to the risk involved but there is a view point which gives you a glimpse of the cave and the depth of the valley below.

Timing: 9am – 4.30pm
Entry Ticket: Rs.5

Pine Forest

A trip to Kodaikanal is not complete without visiting the famous Pine Forest. This place has always served as a good (film) shooting spot. You can go for horse rides amidst the pine trees which are available at a cost of Rs.100.

Pine forest

Timing: 10am – 6pm
Entry ticket: Nil

Kodaikanal is said to be a famous destination for honeymoon couples but I must say that it is an amazing place to visit with your friends and family too. This is only a 2-day travel guide to the Princess of Hill stations. There are also quite a few places like Berijam lake for which you might have to get prior permission from the forest department before visiting.

Note: Visiting hours to tourist spots in Kodaikanal might vary on public holidays:)

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Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rathiya Angeline

    This is awesome 🙂

  2. Shakeel

    Hey Aarthy, I wanted to go Kodai it is really gonna help me.. thank you for sharing such awesome journey…

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