1. Chennai to Kodaikanal by Train
The distance of 420 kilometres by train from Chennai to Kodaikanal is covered by at least 32 trains daily, out of which nine of them are direct trains. These direct trains include but are not limited to the Pandian Express 12637, Pearl City Express 12693, Anantapuri Express 16723, Madurai Express 06019, Thirukkural Express 12642 and the Tiruchendur Express 16105. Out of these trains, the Pearl City Express 12693, Anantapuri Express 16723, Pandian Express 12637 and the Tiruchendur Express 16105 run daily.
Most of the trains run from the Chennai Egmore Station to the Kodaikanal Road Station. The fastest of these trains is the Tambaram- Nagercoil 06055 which is a one-way, special fare train that runs only on Fridays. This train takes approximately 6 hours and 10 minutes to reach Kodaikanal from Chennai. The cheapest route, however, is by taking the MS TN Link Express from Chennai Egmore Station till the Dindigul Station. From here you can board the Navyug Express till Kodaikanal. While this is the cheapest way to travel from Chennai to Kodaikanal, the travel time adds up to 10 hours and 14 minutes, and that is if the train does not get delayed.
The average amount of time taken to reach Kodaikanal from Chennai via train is 7 hours and 9 minutes.
2. Chennai to Kodaikanal by Bus
Several buses travel from Chennai to Kodaikanal daily. The bus operators include KPN Travels, Kallada Travels, Parveen Travels, YBM Travels and SRS Travels. The first of the buses begin their journey at 4:15 PM and the last of them travel as late as 11:40 PM. There may be special cases where buses ply earlier or later as well. There are as many as 12 buses at least that take this route daily.
Pick Up and Drop Points
Chennai: Vandalur Crescent Engineering College, Urapakkam Bus Stand, Guduvancherry Bus Stand, etc.
Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal Bus Stand.
The average duration of travel from Chennai to Kodaikanal by bus is 10 hours and 48 minutes.
The average cost of bus travel from Chennai to Kodaikanal ranges from INR 600 to INR 1000.
3. Chennai to Kodaikanal by Car
The road drive from Chennai to Kodaikanal covers about 513 kilometres and the average time to cover such a distance is about 9 hours. There is a standard route that is taken by everyone when travelling to Kodaikanal from Chennai. This route branches out into three when you reach closer to Kodaikanal. The standard route is as follows:
Chennai- Chenglepet- Tindivanan- Trichy Bypass- Dindigul Bypass
This standard route till Dindigul Bypass is a preferable route for most individuals who prefer to take the road journey to Kodaikanal. For stopovers and food, Café Coffee Days are found in abundance spread through the highway. Another famous hotel is the hotel Fantasy which provides a wide array of dishes including continental food. Entering the cities, you are bound to pass over is also an option for a wider selection of dishes to choose from.
When passing the Trichy Bypass and reaching Dindigul, you may find some traffic as you will have to pass around 8 to 10 kilometres from Trichy City. Once you reach the bypass, things are pretty smooth sailing as the road widens into a four-lane drive which is broken only by one toll.
From Dindigul Bypass, these are the three routes that can be taken:
Route 1: Batlagundu - Kodaikanal
This is the most preferred route as it is short and has the most efficient road system. If taken, the distance to cover from Chennai to Kodaikanal is 512 kilometres.
Route 2: Palani Bypass - Kodaikanal
This route is not as developed as the first one and is therefore less frequently picked. The distance to cover from this route is 536 kilometres.
Route 3: Kodai Road - Batlagundu - Kodaikanal
The third and final route is a sort of long cut to the first route and adds up to 530 kilometres. Due to this, individuals prefer to just stick to route 1.
Taxis are also available from Chennai to Kodaikanal and can easily be booked online through several portals. The base fare of taxis starts at INR 8344 for a one-way drive from Chennai to Kodaikanal.