Kodaikanal (also known as Kodai) is one of the most fascinating holiday destinations of South India. Nestled in the upper Palani hills of the Western Ghats, it is a misty hill-station with mesmerizing scenic beauty, spectacular viewpoints, lakes and waterfalls enables tourists to experience various things to do in Kodaikanal.
From wilderness camping to trekking routes, from museums to gardens, waterfalls and lakes, one can have more things to do in Kodaikanal than any other hill station in this part of India. Stroll along the hilly roads and pine forests, take a bicycle ride along the lakeside, sail along the pristine lakes or simply be delighted by the view.
Gifted with striking natural beauty and a calm and soothing environment, Kodaikanal is the perfect holiday destination for all kinds of tourists (except beach lovers) including the nature-lovers, adventure-freaks, and also ideal for family trips and honeymooners. If you are a beach lover, check out the most popular things to do in Goa. Similarly, if you love rivers and boating, check out a few awesome things to do in Munnar.
A visit to Kodaikanal will surely release your stress and help in quick rejuvenation. Just make sure you don’t miss out these most famous things to do in Kodaikanal.
Five top things to do in Kodaikanal for couples
Visit the Kodai Lake
The Kodaikanal lake, which is also known as the Kodai lake, is centrally located in the Kodaikanal city and surrounded by the virgin forests of the Palani hills. It is one of the famous sightseeing destination around the city. In the summer season, flower shows and the boat pageant are the major tourist attractions. The Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation offers boat services (including Kashmiri Shikaras and luxury boats) so that the tourists can sail around and enjoy the scenic view.
Take a Coaker’s Walk
The Coaker’s Walk is a narrow wayfarer’s path that is constructed along the slope of mountains. The outlook of the Coaker’s Walk defines the lustrous view of the valleys, mountains, lakes and waterfalls. On a clear and cloudless day, you can spot numerous viewpoints namely, Dolphin’s nose, Pambar river valley, Pillar Rocks and also the Madurai city.
Have a Couple day outing in a Kodai estate
For a couple, this is a perfect getaway and among the best things to do in Kodaikanal. It includes a day outing to spend the short break far from the rush of cities. Indulge in the beauty of green hills and misty peace of Kodaikanal with your loved ones. The Kodai Estate is surrounded by forest cover including pine, coffee, orange, cardamom, pepper, pear, avocado, passion fruit and lots of other trees.Spend some time in the lap of nature and visit popular sites like the wondrous Kovilaaru waterfalls, Kodaikanal Whole Hills, Silver Falls, Saamal Kaadu and Museum as you proceed onto the trip.
Experience the Silent Valley View at Echo Point
Silent Valley View Point is a significant tourist spot and among the top things to do in Kodaikanal if you enjoy watching the beauty of mother earth. You can have an awestruck panoramic view of the deep valley that soothes your eyes and soul. The tranquil and picturesque views, the calm ambience and the lush greenery will mesmerise you. The valley is seen mostly covered in mists, so if you want a clear view, you have to visit here in the early morning or late afternoon.
Stay at the Cinnabar Farm
If you are on a trip to take a break from your daily life, the Cinnabar Farm Stay comes on top of the things to do in Kodaikanal for you. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, a quiet and peaceful farm-stay at Kodaikanal sounds like a perfect holiday experience. The homestay is blessed with a calm atmosphere and surrounded by trees and gardens, where you can just sit back and relax. You may also choose to wander through the lawns and gardens and engage yourself in farming and horticulture activities.
Activities you can try: Farming/ harvesting, Cheese making, Bread making etc.
Six most popular things to do in Kodaikanal for nature lovers
Unleash the photographer within you at Berijam Lake
The Berijam Lake is a reservoir, which is hidden amidst the dense forests of the upper Palani hills of Kodaikanal. The lake, surrounded by pine and acacia trees, is blessed with some breathtaking natural landscapes. As the lake is quite rich in flora and fauna, it is a heavenly spot for the nature lovers and wildlife photographers. However, one needs to obtain a forest pass in order to enter the area.
Have a view of Palani hills and Vaigai dam from Kurinji Andavar Temple
As to the Tamil literature, Kurinji refers to ‘hilly area’ and Andavar means ‘God’. The Kurinji Andavar Temple is a renowned shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga, who is referred to as ‘God of the hill’. This temple is surrounded by the Kurinji shrub, whose lilac-blue flowers bloom in every 12 years. You can have a wonderful view of the Palani hills and Vaigai dam from this temple. A visit to this temple is considered as one of the best things to do in Kodaikanal for the people of religious nature.
Visit the Sacred Heart Natural Science Museum
The Sacred Heart Natural Science museum is one of the most popular things to do in Kodaikanal for nature lovers. The museum houses more than 500 species of birds, animals, insects and exquisite collection of flora including over 300 orchid species. It also displays a collection of ancient artifacts of the tribal people (Palaiyar) who used to reside there.
See the glass house of Bryant Park
One of the most famous things to do in Kodaikanal for nature lovers. Lying on the eastwards of the lake, Bryant Park spreads across over 20 acres and boasts of more than 325 species of trees, plants, ferns, cactus and shrubs. There is a glasshouse that exhibits flowers, orchids, ferns and exotic plants. With this vast and vivid assortment of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, the park looks breathtakingly beautiful and colourful. Here, a flower and vegetable exhibition is organized every year during the month of May.
Stop by the Silver Cascade, swim in the fresh water
While on your road trip from Madurai to Kodaikanal, the Silver Cascade waterfall is a pleasant stop in-between the journey. The waterfall originates from the overflowing Kodai Lake, falling down from 180 feet to the ground with its sheer strength. You can also take a bath or swim in the fresh water.
Tranquil Kodaikanal Forest Trip
Kodaikanal is a natural heritage that has been preserved very carefully. The majestic pine forests greet you to visit them. Roam around the tranquil pine forest and take photographs. While you’re on the memorable forest trip, visit the popular spots in-between such as Green Mountain, Cap’s Fly Valley, Fire Tower, etc.
Five famous things to do in Kodaikanal for adventure lovers
Visit the Devil’s kitchen at Pillar Rocks Viewpoint
Close to the Silent Valley View Point, the Pillar Rocks Viewpoint is another famous sightseeing destination. Here, you can spot three granite rock-boulders standing vertically, reaching up to 400 ft. from the ground. These pillars are known for offering bird’s eye view of the beautiful valleys. The chambers between the two pillars are known as Devil’s Kitchen which is another place of attraction for the adventure lovers.
Get to the Suicide Point, feel the thrill
One of the most thrilling things to do in Kodaikanal. Located about 5 kms from the Kodai Lake, the Green Valley View offers gorgeous views of the valley and the Vaigai dam. Having a dense 5000 ft depth, the deep valley is known as Suicide Point. The best time to get a clear view of the Green Valley is in the early mornings.
Take a Night Safari at Kodai
The Night Safari at Kodaikanal is an exclusive retreat for the adventure-lovers. It is a nocturnal journey offering best opportunities to observe wildlife closely. If your luck strikes, you may get to spot bisons, porcupines, wild boars and several other animals. A night stay at this tranquil place with an enchanting night safari makes your trip even more unforgettable.
Go for Camping on an organic farm
Kodaikanal region offers a delightful ambience for wilderness camping. As you indulge in exploring the natural beauty, get even closer to nature by camping. Get to know about the eco-friendly living and farming techniques, trekking, and lots of other outdoor activities. Camp Kodai is a rural campsite that is remotely located in the buffer area of the Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary. The Kodai organic farm camping site is about 19 kms away from the main town and can be reached by cars and small buses.
Enjoy Picnic with waterfalls trekking in Kodaikanal
Mystic valleys, rolling green meadows, hilly slopes, soothing streams and waterfalls, Shola forests, towering Eucalyptus trees, terrace gardens and flower beds – all feature in the trekking experience of Kodaikanal. There are a number of trekking routes in Kodaikanal region like, the Kodai-Munnar trail, Kodai-Ooty trail, Kodai-Berijam trail etc. The trails are shorter but they can drag you deep into the heart of the jungle and through the waterfalls alongside tea plantations. You may choose to enjoy a picnic near the waterfall and also visit famous spots nearby, such as, Mountain View Echo Rock, Dolphin Nose, La Saleth Church, etc.
There’s more for everyone…
Kodaikanal is considered to be the paradise for the adventure-lovers and peace-seekers. Countless trail-routes, campsites, wondrous waterfalls and dense valleys – you have a lot of exciting things to do in Kodaikanal. It also delights the visitors with a number of exciting options for shopping.
Your trip to Kodaikanal cannot be completed unless you have a taste of Kodaikanal Chocolates, bakeries and organic coffee. You can also take away souvenirs, stylish jewellery, fabrics, Eucalyptus oil, clove, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon etc. from this hill-station.
Kodaikanal is among one of the most sought-after holiday destinations of India. Every year during summer season, a huge number of tourists including foreigners visit Kodail. You can also have similar experiences while touring to other hill resorts in Southern India. Especially, if you are fond of exploring the natural beauty, you will get lots of adventurous things to do in Ooty which is known as the Queen of Hill Stations. You can also plan a road trip from Bangalore on the weekend with lots of things to do in Coorg.