Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest". Kodaikanal is referred as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. It's a lot cooler in temperature than lower elevation cities such as Chennai. Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism.
A magnificent star-shaped lake glitters like a jewel amidst the emerald green wooded slopes. This 24 hectare lake is skirted by 5 Kms long, black tapped road is focal point of kodai, This lake was created in 1863 by Sir Vere Hendry Levinge, who was the collector of Madurai, retired and settled in kodai.
A kilometre's walk from the lake. It derives the name Lt. Coaker, who prepared the map of Kodai. Coaker's Walk runs along a steep, emerald green wooded slope. From Coaker's Walk one can have a breath-taking view of the plains below.
This park is situated on the eastern side of the lake. It is noted for flowers, hybrids and grafts, Cut flowers are exported from here.A glass house which shelters fine varieties of flowers, Flower show is conducted every year in May as part of summer festival.
Green Valley View
It is about 5.5 Kms from the lake and located very close to Golf club, it commands a beautiful view of entire vaigai dam, As the valley is very deep, dense and dangerous, recommended to see with precautionary measures.
It is about 7.4 Kms from the lake. Three boulders stand shoulder to shoulder vertically measuring of about 122 meters.
Kurinji Andavar Temple
3 kms from the lake. A famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. This temple is associated with the Kuriniji flowers which carpet at hill sides blooms once in 12 years. Also Kurinji means hill region in Tamil literature. Andavar means God. Hence Lord Muruga is referred as God of Hill here. From this temple one can see a view of Palani and Vaigai Dam.
Solar Physical Observatory
3.2 Kms. From the Lake Elevation is 2343 meters. It was founded in 1989 at the top most point in Kodai. Visitors are allowed to closely observe the start, planetary movements etc., during visiting hours and Prior appointments.
To enable the visitors to have a Panoramic view of the valley and nearby towns, one telescope house is at Coakers walk. Enterance fee is coolected per head to see through telescope.
This museum is MNaintained by the Sacred Heart College – Theological Seminary founded in 1895. It is devoted to archaeological remains and the flora and fauna of the hills. One of the best orchidoriums in the country with more that 300 species of orchids is also housed here. It is about 5.6 Kms from the lake. A Spanish Father Ugarthe, contributed his major collections to the Museum. Entrance fee Rs one per head. Working hours – 10 A.M to 11.30 A.M and 3P.M to 5P.M
Kodaikanal is put on anthropology map mainly because of the presence of pre-historic remains dating back to 5000 BC, thease are called Dolmens and Kistavens which are the dwelling and burial places of people of stone age and iron age. The Dolmens and fantastic stone of two very large erect stone slabs topped by a larger flat slab.
This is also called as a Rat tail falls, The widest falls ranging from 13th Kilometer on the Ghat road to Kodai. It is one of the highest fall in India, with their 975 feet drop.
This is another big artificial lake in the upper regions of palani hills. It is a fine picnic spot offering beautiful scenery. It is 21 Kms from the Kodaikanal lake, Periyakulam town gets drinking water from the lake.It was first discovered and reclaimed in 1864 by Colonel Hamilton of the British Army. The Sheer beauty of the lake made it yet another tourist spot in kodaikanal.
A neat little park off the beaten tract is in north east corner of the town, on the way to kurinji Andavar temple.
It is 64 kms from kodaikanal, famous pilgrim center of the South and one of the six abodes of Lord, Dhandayuthabani. Direct frequent bus are available from Kodaikanal.
Bear Shola Falls
An ideal picnic spot 1.6-km from bus stand and within 2 Kms of the lake, where once bears came to drink water. Cross the lake bund, pass the Telephone exchange on your right, and at the junction take the lower road past clifton Hotel.The approach is rugged hill path. The falls are at the best in rainy season.
To reach Dolphins nose at a distance of 8 kms from the bus stand, one has to follow the route specified here.There is an old road after crossing Pambar Bridge near levinge stream. A rough curve rounds the hillside which leads to a point where a flat rock projects over an awful chesm of 6600 feet deep. This is Dolphins nose. On the way, beautiful views of plains and steepy rocky eascarpeints called rolling hills can be seen. The old village of vellagavi can be reached through the rugged.
Almost cheek by jowl with the Kodaikanal School is the Lutheran Church - a Gothic stone building with stained glass windows and modern paintings and batiks portraying scenes from the life of Christ. Nearby is an even more famous church - Christ the King Church - again, a very Gothic and solemn granite structure with stained glass windows. The names of the buildings in Kodaikanal are very evocative: 'Loch End' and 'Mansarovar' - these two houses by the lakeside bridge the time span from colonial times to the present. Hillbrook, Furzbank, Wood-cote, Whispering Pines, and Rock Cottage all conjure up the beauty and spirit of their natural ambience.
8 Kms from the lake. The overflow of Kodai lake comedown here as 180 feet high falls. If the water temperature suits, tourist can take bath.
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