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 to as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
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. As of 2011, the town had a population for 36,501.
Kodaikanal is a awsome, a charming hill station, dating from the time the British ruled and needed an alternative for the hot lowlands. It can be reached easily by bus from Madurai. It is a nice change of scenery and the perfect spot to relax, do some hiking or row a boat on the lake. There are some good points from which you can have splendid views of the surroundings (that is, when the clouds don't take away the view). It can get quite foggy but normally it does not get really cold, so you don't have to carry a round winter coats.
The town of Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palani Hills at 2,133 metres (6,998 ft), between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys. These hills form the eastward spur of the Weastern Ghats on the Western side of South India. It has an irregular basin as its heartland, the centre of which is now Kodaikanal Lake a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) circumference manmade lake. Meadows and grasslands cover the hillsides. Gigantic Eucalyptus trees and shola forests flourish in the valleys. Mighty rocks and cascading streams lie above the valleys. There are many high waterfalls and ubiquitous gardens and flower beds in bloom.
Located in the Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal was a favorite hill station of the British administrators and missionaries who wished to escape the stifling summers of the South Indian cities, especially nearby Madurai. The air is scented with the smell of pine and eucalyptus forests. The artificial lake in the heart of the town was created by damming the lower marshy parts of the town.
Places to see in Kodaikanal
Kodaikanal Lake :
3 kilometers from the town bus stand, is ideal for boating. The banks are good for picnics, though swimming is not an option owing to the pollution.
The Croaker's Walk :
built by Lt. Croaker in 1872, is a narrow mountain road running around the southern slopes surrounding Kodaikanal.
The Kunji Andavar Temple :
North of Kodaikanal, is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It lies 3 kilometers away from the Kodai Lake. Lord Murugan is thought to be associated to the Kurinji flowers that grow on the hillside. They bloom once in 12 years and their honey is supposed to have miraculous properties.
The Solar Physical Observatory :
Built in 1898, is perched atop the highest point in Kodaikanal- the 8,000 feet high Kodai Hill.
St.Peter's Church :
Dating back to 1884, has an old stained glass window.
Dolphin's Point is a flat rock leaning over a 7,000 feet ravine. It can be reached by trekking across the Levinge Stream.
The Pillar Rocks :
7 kilometers away from the Kodai Lake, are threegranite rocks over 100 meters high. The view of the Kodaikanal town from this vantage point is remarkable.