Kodaikanal is endearingly known as the "Queen of Hills", better as "Princess of Hills" and it really does justice to the title it is crowned with. With umpteen gorgeous spots, and picturesque views of the surrounding hills and valleys, the place is no doubt a haven on earth. There are also a number of activities and things to do in Kodaikanal, including boating, trekking, hiking and visiting the several vantage point. From Shikhara rides, to the ultra beautiful lakes and high hills and stunning valleys, there is absolutely no dearth of things to do in Kodaikanal. Have a look at the several activities and list of things to do in Kodaikanal, given below!
Here is the list of 31 Things to do in Kodaikanal for a Laidback yet Adventurous Vacay
Kodaikanal Lake is a manmade lake in the Kodaikanal city which is also known as Kodai Lake. Vera Levinge was the man responsible for the creativity and resources of this lake amidst Kodaikanal town. This lake was developed by the British and early missionaries from the USASA. The star-shaped lake is centrally located in Kodaikanal and is surrounded by the rich green Palani Hills Range the main watershed for the lake. The most popular activity at the lake is enjoying a boat ride which is also one of the topmost things to do in Kodaikanal, among both the locals and tourists.
Located at a mere distance of 2 kilometres from the Kodaikanal Lake, the Bear Shola Falls is a popular tourist spot in the region. This cascade is a seasonal attraction which comes to life in its fullest during the monsoons, when the water flows down from the hilltop making its way through the verdant greenery of the region. The quiet and peaceful atmosphere of this destination is a true haven for those who want to escape from concrete forest parks. If you are a nature lover, you should definitely visit here and put this activity under your list of things to do in Kodaikanal.
Formerly known as Suicide point, the Green Valley View offers a breathtaking view of the plains, deep valleys and hills. The mesmerizing view of the Vaigai Dam is an unforgettable experience. It used to be known as suicide point because of the dangerous valley which is dense and deep; below the point of more than 5000 feet drop. Along with several major attractions and things to do in Kodaikanal, visiting the Suicide Point tops the charts.
Berijam Lake is a quaint reservoir near Kodaikanal town in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. It is at the old site of Fort Hamilton and is situated in the upper Palani hills, overlooking the surrounding landscape. The sparkling blue waters of this attraction makes for a tranquil spot for nature lovers to enjoy in the lap of Mother Earth, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Berijam Lake is a flourishing ecological hotspot that hosts many species of animals, birds, plants and fish. Rich in its flora and fauna, the Berijam Lake is a popular picnic spot amongst locals and is open between the months of October to May for all to enjoy, and you need to obtain formal permission from the Forest Department for the same.
Known as the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal is a popular destination for those seeking adventure. The town of Kodaikanal is established on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the Upper Palani Hills at a height of 6, 998 ft. There are nearly 17 famous trails in the hills of Kodaikanal, the Kodai-Palani being one of them. The trek usually begins near the Kukkal caves. The trail passes through the wonderful spectacular Shola forest ends at Kuthiraiyaru dam. Trekking through the forest is sure to give you an adrenaline rush and is one of the most thrilling things to do in Kodaikanal.
Situated in the 'Princess of Hill stations', Kodaikanal, the Pillar Rocks have become a lovely picnic spot. Constituting a beautiful mini garden; the place is named so as it has three vertically positioned boulders reaching up to a height of 400 feet. The aura here is full of affection and is evidence of a great love story. The 'white cross' which once existed on these rocks represented David Gell's excellent tribute to love. The view of rocks is not something to be missed. They stand as an untouched miracle for the tourists visiting Kodaikanal. The place provides a bird's eye view of the city and visiting the spot is among the best things to do in Kodaikanal.
A natural and unique heritage site also known as the Devil's Kitchen, the Guna Caves are situated on the outskirts of the town of Kodaikanal which can be reached from the Moir Point. This place was earlier not very famous and was visited only by hikers. However, it got famous after a Tamil movie with the name 'Guna' was shot here in 1992. This is a group of caverns located amidst the three huge boulders known as Pillar Rocks. In addition to being a great location for photography, the gorge also remains filled with thick clouds in the monsoon and winter seasons. To reach the hilltop, visitors need to walk 400 meters from the main entrance. Trekking here is one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
Coakers Walk is a beautiful man-made one-kilometre-long walking plaza built on the mountains in the mesmerizing city of Kodaikanal. The lovely path of Coakers Walk that curves by the edge of the gorgeous mountain have been constructed mainly for visitors to get a glimpse of Paradise on Earth. It is a preferred location for morning and evening walks, and admirers of nature visit the location often to capture the wonderful lush green valleys and the hills of Kodaikanal. One can also choose to ride a bicycle to explore the scenic location. The sight is breathtakingly beautiful, and it almost makes one feel like they are walking in the clouds. Be sure to include visiting here in your bucket list of things to do in Kodaikanal.
Kurunji Temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Murugu and is dexterously based at a distance of 3 km from the lake. Along with several other attractions, visiting the temple is one of the prime things to do in Kodaikanal, for both the locals and tourists. Providing delightful views of small villages, Palani Hills and Northern plains, and carrots plantation on the terraced slopes, the temple is also associated with the Kurunji Flower which blooms once in 12 years carpeting the whole area with purple flowers.
The Mother Salette church is one of the oldest churches, about 133 years old. The statue of Our Lady of La Salette is present inside this exquisite church giving the pilgrims its blessings with a serene poise. The church beautifully exhibits the excellent Tamil French architecture. The interior of the shrine is worth looking at since it is adorned with graceful statues of Our Lady of La Salette above the altar along with a statue of St. Joseph. The Bishop of the Grenoble Diocese in France gave these statues. Visiting here to admire the excellent architecture is one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
Old rock shelters which are believed to be the home to the descendants of the Palaiyar tribes who used to wear leaf clothing, the Kukkal Caves are the overhanging slabs of various types of metamorphic rocks known as granulite and charconite. The old hand paintings present on the walls of the temple indicate the presence of the Paliyan tribes. The now camping site of trekkers was once the earliest settlement of the Paliyan tribals. Situated at the height of 6200 feet above sea level, the Kukkal caves reside on of the highest altitudes in Kodaikanal which is why it receives a yearlong frigid climate along with misty and never-ending rains. Make sure to definitely include this activity in your top things to do in Kodaikanal.
One of the many elements that add to the serenity of Kodaikanal is the infamous Bryant Park. Situated on the eastern side of the Kodai Lake, the park is bejewelled with various species of plants and shrubs. They vary in a range of flowering plants, hybrids and grafts. Once you've had a stroll on the Coakers walk, the pathway will lead you towards the park. It is a popular spot amongst families as they can set up a picnic area in the park and watch their kids run around and tumble in the grass. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Kodaikanal.
Situated in the southwest of Kodaikanal, Pine Forest is one of the most famous tourist spots in the city and exploring the woods is one of the most thrilling things to do in Kodaikanal. It showcases the mesmerizing nature around which has been preserved to date which is why it is also an important preserved heritage in the town. The sight of pine trees present in abundance and welcoming you to their world is nothing but nature's wonder with the forests appearing grey with dried cones and leaves. The forests are surrounded by a vegetation of mushrooms popularly known as the magic mushrooms, which are believed to be hallucinogenic.
Also known as Rat Tail Falls, Thalaiyar Falls is located in the lush green slopes of Palani Hill ranges in the Dindigul District, in Kodaikanal. With a height of 297m, it is the highest waterfall in Tamil Nadu, sixth highest waterfall in India and the 267th highest in the world. There is view tower in the park at the Dum Dum Rock, from where you can get a beautiful view of the falls and the Manjalar Dam. On a bright day, the falls is visible from the Dum Dum Rock viewpoint on the Batalugundu-Kodaikanal Ghat Road; where it appears like a white long and narrow strip of water on a background of black rock cliff face.
Kodaikanal is well-known as the Queen of Hill Stations in India. The Dolphin's Nose viewpoint is where you can experience Kodaikanal at its best - plunging valleys, rugged terrain, clear skies, and the splendour of green embellishing the scene. As the name suggests, this viewpoint is based on a flat, protruding piece of rock that is shaped like a dolphin's nose. This forms a visible cliff at the height of 6,600 feet, with the best part being that it is accessible to the public. This destination is perfect for those who desire an adventurous addition to the otherwise laidback trip that Kodaikanal offers. Do not forget to include this in your top things to do in Kodaikanal.
A trekkers delight, Kodaikanal has some exquisite locations to offer to both the professional trekkers and the novice ones. Trekking through the forest here is one of the prime things to do in Kodaikanal. Trekking routes with varying difficulty levels are present and a tourist can select the route according to the fitness, time factor and one's trekking ability. One of the toughest routes is from Periyakulam Adukkam- Kodaikanal which has a trekking distance of about 18 kms which can be covered within 7 hours. For the trekkers who prefer easy walk, the route from Kodaikanal to Berijam will be the suitable one and the trekker will be able to enjoy the green valleys and the mountain ranges surrounding Kodaikanal.
The perfect stop over in-between a long journey, these silver cascade falls demand your attention while you travel from Kodaikanal till Madurai. The Silver Cascade Falls formed as a result of the over flowing of the famous man-made Kodai Lake, are the perfect way to have a break while on a long road trip. One can also take a swim in the waters of the waterfall provided the temperature is right. The fruit sellers selling exquisite, mouth watering fruits which you can buy and enjoy under the falls is an experience unmatched.
Silent Valley View is located in close proximity to the Pillar rock garden in Kodaikanal. The point is famous for proffering some astounding and stunning views of the Silent Valley. Tourists are advised to travel the billowy path carefully. The best time to visit the valley point early mornings or late afternoons, as during this time the scenic beauty of the place is at its maximum.
Located at the southern tip of the beautiful Palani Hills, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory was established in 1899 and is owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Its longitudinal position makes it an unrivalled site for the study of solar behaviour. The scientific abode also houses the largest collection of solar data, dating way back to the 19th century. Its unique geography makes the spot particularly ideal for accurate cosmic observations (especially related to the sun).
Shembaganur Museum in Kodaikanal makes up for one of the most famous tourist spots and is an exciting place to visit. The museum is also one of the best orchidoriums in the country and is located 5.6 km away from the Kodaikanal Lake. Anthropology, handicrafts, and flora & fauna are the categories in which all the major holdings of the museum can be divided. There is a herbarium in the museum as well with almost 2500 varieties of plants along with a vast garden. There are nearly 300 species of trees and flower plants in the Orchidorium with a compilation of a variety of butterflies, snakes, mammals, and moths. Visiting here is one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal, especially among the history buffs.
Situated at the entrance of the forest which leads up all the way to the exquisite Berijam Lake, Moir Point is one of the most significant viewpoints present in Kodaikanal. The place is named after Sir Thomas Moir who started constructing the Goschen Road in 1929 CE. There is a monument which mentions this and stands on the road joining the Kodaikanal-Berijam Lake. Since this place offers amazing views of the valleys, it remains one of the most crowded places in Kodaikanal. And visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Kodaikanal.
Also known as the 'Grand Cascade' and situated at a distance of 4 km from the Kodaikanal Bus Station, the Pambar Falls are formed by the town reservoir flowing towards the south and forming the Fairy Falls which further continue to join the Vaigai River. The falls can be reached by following a steep and slippery path from behind the Pambar house. One can enjoy a picnic with family and friends along with indulging in many activities. There is an 80-mile road situated at a short distance from the falls which is famous for the amazing trekking experience that it offers. Since the place provides numerous adventure activities, experienced as well as amateur trekkers visit the site.
A prominent CSI Church situated in Kodaikanal, Christ the King Church has a history of over a hundred years. It is a very sacred shrine that is located near the Coakers Walk in Kodaikanal. Built by an American Madurai Mission in 1895, this church was known as the Union Church in the past and has an evident influence of colonial architecture. The church is a perfect example of the Gothic style of architecture, is made up of granite, and leaves the visitors awestruck. Also, regardless of the religion, you belong to, the church welcomes all visitors with open arms and above all, offers the most peaceful and serene ambiance.
Situated in the beautiful South-Indian station of Kodaikanal, the enchanting Fairy Falls is the source of the Pambar River which joins into the Vaigai River later on. This fall which is the excess of the rural community reservoir flows southwards of the hill. Due to its breathtaking scenic beauty, the Fairy Falls also makes up for a popular picnic spot. One can spend time here with their family and friends while admiring the natural beauty around and relax amidst the lush greenery and pleasant weather.
80 Mile Round is an exciting trekking route which begins at the Berijam Lake and lasts at the Poombaral Village of Kodaikanal. If you are an adventure lover, then it is the perfect place for you to experience the adrenaline rush. Since the trek can be a bit confusing for the first-timers, it is always advisable to take a local guide along whenever you are undertaking it with your family and friends which goes on for about 3 to 4 days. Scenic views of the valleys and villages too can be enjoyed on the way during the trek. Also, before going on the trek, permission should be taken beforehand to be able to stay at the jungle resorts. The place is a popular trekking spot and trekking here is one of the most thrilling things to do in Kodaikanal.
Situated 3.2 km away from the Coakers Walk, Upper Lake View is a famous tourist attraction in Kodaikanal and one which is worth visiting on the way to Green valley viewpoint. After you reach here, you will get an appealing view of the star-shaped lake situated here and the surrounding lush greenery which looks stunning. Also, since there are not many facilities present here, it is better to stop for a quick view at the site. One can even sit by the place and admire the breathtaking view of the lake along with all the surrounding landscapes while travelling to Green Valley View Point.
Dolmen Circle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kodaikanal which promises a unique experience to all its visitors. Located around 18 km from Berijam Lake and 8 km from Kodai Lake, the Dolmen Circle boasts of pre-historic remains which can date back to 5,000 BC. It is believed that this place was the burial as well as the place where the pre-historic men belonging to the Stone Age and Iron Age dwelled known as dolmens and kistvaens. The dolmen which is made up of two large erect slabs which are further covered with a vast flat chunk is situated close to the Parvatha Vihar and the Pannikadu Village.
Perumal Peak which is situated at the height of 2,440 meters is the highest peak of the Perumalai Hills. Nestled in the majestic Western Ghats, it is a place that is worth visiting on tour to Kodaikanal. Bestowed upon with enchanting natural beauty, the site is flocked to by nature lovers as well as adventure seekers. Situated around 18 km from Kodaikanal, this peak is the dream destination of every trekker out there. In addition to this, the Perumal Peak also provides stunning views of the surrounding Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Hills. Visiting here is one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
Vattakanal Falls situated at a distance of 3 km from the town of Kodaikanal is famous for its rich biodiversity. Surrounded by trees, hills and lush greenery all around, this attraction makes up for a perfect place to observe the wonder that is nature and all its elements closely. There is also a bridge present near the falls which is amazing for clicking pictures. Some food vendors set up their stalls near these falls and serve local delicacies. In short, this beautiful place is perfect for spending a cheerful picnic with your close loved ones.
Chettiar is a small park which is managed by the Kodaikanal Township and offers a calm and soothing environment to its tourists. Covered with lush greenery and exquisite scenic views all around, this place is worth spending your time at with your loved ones. A wide range of beautiful flowering plants too can be spotted in the garden with the main attraction being the Kurinji Flowers which bloom once every 12 years and create a distinctive purple haze everywhere. Last, the flower bloomed in 2004. The park comprises of floors which have been decorated with flowers in the park and the lush green lawns.
Endless mist pervading gorgeous and expansive hills, a breezy cool weather throughout the year, wide patches of lush greenery, a fun trekking experience, wild bisons idling amongst eucalyptus trees -- these are some of the things you’d associate with a trip to Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. Yet there’s a place just nearby that harbours the same charm and pleasantness, that offers the same enriching experiences but without the crowdedness that you’d expect out of the former.