Surrounded by tall green bushes, narrow zig- zag roads, misty rolling mountains, spotted lakes and ornamental temples, the summer capital of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is an immediate respite for those seeking the pleasure of slowness amidst a greenish yellow natural setting. The Palani Hills in Kodaikanal brings with it the most scenic mountain drives in India. Kodaikanal is one of those unadulterated destinations of South India where sheep graze over green pastures, gardens bloom with red roses and wildflowers and onlookers are delighted with might rocks and cascading waterfalls.
Travelers in Kodaikanal are blessed with a lot of sightseeing opportunities where the impressive views of valleys and lakes leave them astonished. The Kodai Lake is one of the main tourist attractions of Kodaikanal. The lake has been developed from a marshy swamp and was created in 1863 by Sir vere Hendry Leving. A pleasant walk around the lake is the best experience ever. The road surrounding the lake is flat and clean and the wooden benches at regular intervals allows tourists to rest their heels over a cup of steaming masala tea or a bar of homemade chocolates. Boating in Kodai Lake is the most sought after outdoor activity, especially during evening. Through an economical to a luxury boat ride, one can behold a picturesque sight of sun settling down over the green landscape.
In one word, the path to Berijam Lake is as gorgeous as the lake itself. The long drive to the lake from the main tourist Centre is not at all boring, but relaxing and picturesque and rejuvenating. Though restricted from boating or any other water activities, the idyllic setting of the lake with verdant trees and land resulting in serene aura gives it a heavenly look. Acacia and pine trees garland this heavenly looking water body. This is an ideal destination for nature photography, bird watching and unwinding a day’s toil.
Kodaikanal does not dissatisfy pilgrims too. The hilltop Kurinji Andavar Temple dedicated to Lord Muruga or ‘God of Hills’ attracts pilgrims from every part of the world. Apart from being a holy destination, the temple also offers splendid views of the Palani Valley and forest cover surroundings. Kurinji flowers blanket the hill side and create a natural splendor to the holy destination.
Perumal Peak is a trekker’s delight. Trekking from the base to the highest peak in the Perumalmalai Hills brings with it lot of thrill and adventure. Trekking here is as easy as water and no special permission or expertise is required. This artistic expression of nature is a sure delight to the eyes of trekkers.
Coaker’s Walk is a narrow walking track constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872. Be it a cloudless summer day or a black cloud covered monsoon morning, Coaker’s Walk offers interesting sightseeing like Dolphin’s nose, Pambar river valley and bird’s-eye-view of Periyakulam. Even the city of Madurai looks like an artistically dotted scenery on a clear white sheet of paper. This 1km stretch of mountain road runs along the steep slopes edges on the south of Kodai road. All around the walk the Palani Hills stretch out like a green carpet resembling a polished nature. The Bryant Park is just on the opposite side of Coaker’s Walk. It is a simple horticultural garden dressed with tall and short trees, cactus plants and flower beds and a section of the park is specially designated to rose plants.
Bear Shola Falls is the most famous waterfalls in Kodaikanal. Loud sound of cascading water through the steep rolling hills creates a unique cool ambience. The road to the waterfall is somewhere smooth, somewhere rugged, creating a blend of adventure and beauty. The world famous solar observatory, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is located at highest point at 7700 ft. This well equipped prolific laboratory always tickles the scientific instincts of visitors.
Surrounded by the Palani Hills, the summer retreat of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is less dominated by shopping zones unlike any other hill stations. The vivid beauty of Kodaikanal and its Shola forests are not to be missed by those coming for a South India trip.