Puducherry is one of the most popular hill resorts in India.

About Puducherry

Away from the hustle and bustle of big city, Pondicherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast. The unmistakable French connection,the tree lined boulevards,the quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual scene, the endless stretches of unspoilt virgin beaches, backwater, a surprising choice of restaurants serving a melange of cuisines, provide a heady mix that draw travellers from near and far. It is the perfect place dto come to if you wants tko take the pace of life down a few notches.
Pondicherry Hotels provides you the convinience of booking you accommodations and hotels for your visit to this city. We provide online booking of Pondicherry hotels with instant confirmation system. Some of our hotels in Pondicherry my be on request bookings. In that case our customer Services will need atleast 24 hrs... more about Pondicherry


More about Puducherry

General Information

The capital city of this union territory is Pondicherry. It covers a total land area of 492 Square Kilometers. The population of this town is 9,73,829. The main languages spoken here are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French. There are four districts which comprise this territory namely Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahe. The best season to visit Pondicherry is between July and February. This town is connected by airways, by railways, and by roadways. Pondicherry is a peaceful city. Pondicherry is referred by names such as 'Quintessence of French Culture', 'India's Little France' and 'The French Riviera of the East'. This territory was under the French rule for nearly 281 years. Still it has the French flavor in it as one can see by the grand colonial mansions, beautiful boulevards, and placid promenades, spellings on sign boards and buildings, names of roads and public places.

Pondicherry Its uniqueness

This unique union territory, Pondicherry comprises of four scattered coastal enclaves- 1.Pondicherry now called as Puducheri, 2. Karaikal which is in Tamilnadu, 3.Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and 4.Mahe in Kerala which lies on the west coast. These places have preserved the French heritage and its cultural aspects which are unique in India. Pondicherry is a combination of cultures. The people here speak about 55 languages. The natural beauty mesmerizes and influences the visitors. People who love to go for shopping can select Pondicherry as goods in this town can be bought for cheaper prices and the shoppers can bargain and pay the minimal charges for goods to their satisfaction. The golden sea shores, the exclusive sunset cruises, the enchanting moonlit dinners and the blissful lagoons have given the lovely resort a reputation of being the most appropriate place for those in quest of a relaxed and leisurely holiday. Bicycle is the best mode of transport for moving around and visiting the beauty of Pondicherry.

History of Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

Kodai has been put on the anthropological map by the presene of prehistoric remains scattered around the Palani Hills. Some of these may date to 5000 BC in the Stone age: others are more “recent” , a mere two thousand years old. Walking around tge gaint stone slab dwellings (how on earth did they lift them?), the low box-like structures, the mysterious circles of stones perched on bare promontories, questions bubble in the mind. What sort of people were these? How did they live, what did they ear? What, or whom did they fear?

There is plenty of room for this sort of speculation because very few studies have been done on these fascinating ruins. What we do know comes from the work of the Anglade Institute of National History in Shenbaganur. A. Anglade, after wrote, it 1954, “These crude stone structure, dolmens, cists, stone circles, were the work of an agricultural people with fixed ways of habitation. They built their dolmens on the high spurs of the hills, while they cultivated the lower valleys. Hunting, fishing and gathering forest products skilled potters. They were good masons too, able to build strong perfectly vertical walls with rude unhewn stones and without ay cementing material.

“They lived in days when hey must have had to struggle for their life, against wild beasts and men and tribes. Then, the old men, children and women had the shelter of the dolmens higher up, and when they were safe within the strong walls, the men would fight to keep the invaders at bay.”

There are two types of structures: dolmens, some of which were dwellings or hiding places as well, and kistaven’s or burial sites. It seems, however, that it was the person’s possessions and not the body which were placed in these. Students from the Anglade Institute have found copper and brass implements and ornaments. Hopefull the stone habitations of our ancestors will not be totally destroyed before further academic light is shed on their life and times.

Kodaikanal Tribal settlements

Several thousand years later, two tribews migrated into the Palnis, the Palaiyans and Puliyans. History books suggest that they were fleeing persecution on the plains, and found sfety in the uninhabited hills, Of the two, the Palaiyans seem to have been the real jungle people. Kukkal, Caves, some 40 kms form Kodai, show traces of Palayan occupation. They wore dresses made of grass and leaves, ate roots , wild fruit and honey, and smoked out flying squirrels from trees.

They made fire using steel and quartz and by lighting floss from silk cotton seeds. Compared to them, the Puliyans were a tame lot. But they were probably the first architects and builders of the hill terraces which characterize the lower slopes around Kodai. Early missionaries reported that their social customs were simple and practical; Divorce, for instance, was a quick little ceremony.

But happy times were over when, in the 14th century, there was another migration to the hills. This time it was the kannuvar Vellalans, farmers from the Coimbatore plateau. Energetic and industrious they took over Pulaiyan lands and made them their slaves, The 17th and 18th centuries saw further invasisons during vijayangar, Maratha and Muslim rule. Heavy taxes imposed by alien rulers, cholera, famine and the persecution of the lower castes drove more and more people hill-wards, soon to form the first settlement of the upper palnis, Vellagavi.

Discovery of Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

The British in India were always looking for places where they could escape the hear and germs of the plains, for “salubrious air devioid of malarial vapours, lofty enough to escape the scourge of typhus and other parasites”. The number of children’s graves in colonial cemeteries bears, witness to the gravity of thus problem. In South India, with summer temperatures soaring to 45°C, escape plans began in March. The punkahwallas only churned up warm land breezes, gardens began to wilt, children became irritable.

If you happened to be “in tea” you were lucky, living year round in a climate somewhat like England in spring and summer. But what about the civil servant in trichy, the trader in madras or the army colonel in madurai? Elaborate arrangements had to be made for the women and children, often with a battery of servants, to flee to the hills. Master would follow as and when his work allowed, often with horse and syce in tow.

Americans in Kodaikanal

But it wasn’t the British civil servant as much as the American missionary who laid the foundations of modern Kodai. By the earl 1800s several Americans missions were functioning in India and one of these was the American Madura Mission. There had been many deaths among its staff and it was decided that the need of the hour was a recuperation centre in the hills. By then, Lieutenant Ward had surveyed the Palnis, making his headquarters at Vellagavi. His report of beautiful hills, wonderful climate and accessibility from Periakulam encouraged a slow byt steady trickle of settlers, Coffee had been planted in the lower parts of the hills. In 1845 the American missionaries moved in, building two bungalows on th southern dege of the plateau which is Kodaikanal. They are Sunnyside and Shelton, which still stand; the latter is occupied by an American family with a long connection with American missions in India.

The American Madura Mission was pleased. Kodai was an excellent spot for the “restoration of health”. There were bitter opponents to this rival of established hill stations such as Ooty. And perhaps a touch of chagrin about Americans invading the hill domains of the British. “The settlement of Kodaikanal consists of a dozen or more small and ugly houses. The situation is not well chosen in respect of beauty and scenery”. But later there was a change of heart. “ the houses are picturesquely grouped about a natural theatre of hills.” Before the turn of the century, rich Indians were buying property. Kodai was becoming hill station.

Kodaikanal Travel Information, Tamilnadu


One of the main attractions for the tourists of Kodaikanal is the Kodai lake which is at a distance of 3kms from the bus stand. In 1863, Vera Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai settled in Kodaikanal after his retirement. He was the man of resource and creative ideas for this lake. By spending his own money he converted the marshy land with several streams of lake by constructing a strong bund and brought boats from Tuticorin. It is reported that the foreign resident's even used to swim in the lake.

The lake is situated at 10 deg 14' n latitude and 77 deg 28' longitude at an elevation of 2285m above sea level and it looks magnificent with star shaped glittering water, in the midst of evergreen lush slopes. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December. The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. The average depth is 3.0m. The boat club provides boats for hire. There are luxury boats also. The famous Carlton hotel is facing the lake and the hotel is having their our boats for their customers.

Today lakhs of tourists walk around, sail on, ride on horses & cycles and admire the lake. Fishing can also be done obtaining permission from Inspector of Fisheries. Ponyrides by children and adults walking around the lake are part of Kodai Holiday.

The lake at Kodai is beautifully landscaped and it appears to be de rigueur for Indian families to get out on a boat. Both the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club and Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation hire similar boats for similar prices: Rs. 20 to 40 for a two-seater pedal boat to Rs. 125 (including boatman) for a kasmiri shikara (covered gondola - like boat) for 30 minutes.


Bryant Parks : The practical utility of this park is, in every May a horticultural show is conducted by the department of Horticulture. On that occasion enormous vegetables and flowers from neighbouring villages compete for the prizes, which draws big crowd. They exhibit flowers, vegetables, fruits and other products. It serves as a practical centre for education on Ornamental Horticulture and as a demonstration centre. The various methods of training, pruning, budding, grafting, potting seed collection etc, are taught to the students of Horticulture as well as to the visitors.

Chettiar Park : Chettiar park, managed by the township, is on the way to the Kurunji Temple. It is 3.2 kms from the Bus Stand. Unlike other areas this park is very quite, and those who love calm timepassing can prefer this park.


Silver cascade : This water fall is located on the main ghat road, 8 kms away as one approaches Kodai from Kodai Road. Overflow of Kodai lake takes 180 ft leap over a steepcliff, to crash into a pool beside the ghat Road.

Bear Shola Falls : An ideal picnic spot 1.6 km from bus stand and within 2 Kms off the lake, where once bears came to drink water. Hence the name of the falls became Bear Shola falls. Cross the lake bund, pass the Telephone exchange on your right, and at the junction take the lower road there comes Clifton Hotel. The approach is rugged hill path. The falls are at the best in rainy season.

Pambar FallsPambar Falls : "Grand cascade" is another name for this magnificent falls. It can be reached by a steep, precipitous path behind Pambar house. Racing down Pambar Raivine is Zig-zagging leving stream that cascades over a series of rock formations. It is 4kms away from Kodaikanal.

Thalaiyar Falls : This is also called as Rat tail falls.The widest falls, ranging from 13th kilometer on the ghat road to kodai.It is one of the highest falls in India, with their 975ft sheer drop.

Kukkal Caves

To reach Kukkal Caves which is at a distance of 40 kms, travel by bus upto Poombarai and then give a walk. It is preferable to take a local guide. After walking through geranium plantations, pine and wattle forest, the Kukkal forest rest house can be reached. The early morning hike from the rest house will lead to beautiful shola with wild large orchids. One should be beware of leeches. The caves here are actually overhanging slabs of rocks. This rock shelter is at an altitude of 1500 m.

The cave reveals traces of earliest settled tribals, Paliyans who used to wear leaf clothing. Overviewing the caves are Manjampath valley where bisons can be seen.

Shenbaganur Museum

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

Coaker walk

It is a narrow pedestrian path, constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872, a one kilometer mountain road which runs along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai road which is 1/2km away from Kodai. The walk winding around mt. Nebo starts near van Allen hospital and joins the main road above St. Peter's Church provides a wide-angle spectacular view of the plains. On a cloudless, clear day one can have interesting sights, such as.... Dolphin's nose in south, valley of the pambar river in South East, birds eye view of Periyakulam and even city of Madurai.

One must be aware of a fascinating phenomenon called 'Brachem Spectre' . A very lucky person can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo, when sun is behind and cloud and mist is in his front.

Palani Hills

The Palani hills are at eastern offshoot of the Western ghats covering an area of 2400 Sq. Kms, and the town of Kodaikanal is centrally located. There are 2 main divisions of Palani - the Upper Palani (1800 - 2500 m)and the Lower Palani (800 - 1500 M). The Palani is the main watershed for the Vaigai (South) and Amaravathi (Cauvery) (North) Basins. The climate of the Palani varies with altitude from the typical climate of the Tamil Nad. The average rainfall in Palani is 1600 mm. The major contribution being from the North East monsoon though there is some rainfall during the South West monsoon period. The Palani is a source of unique genetic diversity as well as of water for the thirsty plains below.

Kodaikanal Culture, Tamilnadu

In 1879, seventy-five Europeans come to Kodai for the ‘season’ the summer months. In 1883 the new hill station had a permanent nucleus of 615 residents, and by the mid 1900 s there were about a hundred Europeans living in kodai. Who were they? Probably missionaries, retried civil servants and army officials, coffee planters and a small smattering of entrepreneurs like Mr.Tapp who, later, started a cafe the Tea House, opposite the Boat House. You could order a tray of hot scones to be brought to yuour boat, or a bowl of strawberries and cream, But we cannot talk about boats without introducing the lake, and this cannot be done unless Sir Vere Levinge is brought into the picture. Before his time the lake was a swamp where boys shot snipe, shepherds watched their flocks and sambar and even tiger came down for a drink in its streams. In 1867 Sir Vere, Collector of Mudarai from 1860, decided to settle in Kodaikanal. He was the type of citizen we rarely see, someone who actively nurtured his surroundings for the good of everyone. (Today, he’dbe called a conservationist). He introduced new varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers, improved and built roads and was every willing to donate his own money for public works. But his major achievement was the creation, in 1863, of the lake. Apparently spending money from his own pocket, he had the swampy valley bunded to form the star-fish shaped attraction that lakhs of tourists walk around, sail on and admire.

It was put to use immediately; boats wer bought, a boat club started. Those early British and American residents and visitors took great pleasure in the outdoors, and soon every little stream and forest had a name. Many of these names have an interesting history. Chandler Falls was so named because one Mrs.Chandler carried a stout stick, but in spite of this, she had an accident one day. She heard a snap, and fell into the steam, Thinking the “snap” was her leg breaking, she lay in the stream yelling for help. When lifted out it was discovered that it was the stick, and not her leg, which was broken. And so chandler falls born.

Another early Kodai resident must be mentioned here, whose name ha been given to a dormitory in Kodai International school. Viriginia Boyer was a missionary based in Rajamundry, and later transferred as a teacher to Koai. In May 1922 after her furlough she boarded the “Egypt” for the journey to India. But 29 hours after setting sail, the ship was rammed by a French steamer and sank. Survivors who were rescued on lifeboats remembered her as a heroic figure who helped and calmed panickig passengers, She finally gave up her place in a lifeboat so that all members of a family could be saved together. She herself went down with the ship.

Kodaikanal Landscape,Tamilnadu

The Palani Hils are an offshoot of the Western Ghats, the oldest mountain rage in the world where underlying rocks are billions of years old. They are 87 kilometers long 24 kilometers wide and occupy an area of about 2000 square kilometers. The highest point is Vadaravu Hill, which rises to 2533 meters. The Palnis comprise two distinct geographical zones, the Upper Palnis and the Lower Palanis. The Lower are at an elevation of 1000-1500 meters. This is coffee, banana and orange country, not to mention avocado, pineapple and cardamom. The Upper Palnis at 1520-2250 meters border the state of Kerala. Here we have terraced potato and garlic farms and pear, plum and peach orchards.

But let us go back to the time before peaches, plums and potatoes invaded these hills. It was a rich and species packed environment. Hapitats varied from humid evergreen ground-cover where damp-loving frogs liver, to rolling natural meadows, home of the Black Panther.

Hill Fauna

The high elevations of the palanis were typified by three natural eosystems: steep rock escarpments, frasslands and shoals. The rock bluffs and precipices, sometimes overlooking sheer drops of two to three thousand metres, were the home of the Nilgiri tahr, an endangered “goat-sheep” whose nearest relative is the Himalayan tahr across the span of the country. Once seen in great herds in the Palnis, they have been hunted down to a few small groups which are ever alert to the approach of humans and seem to disappear as soon as sighted. In the lower elevations the shoulders of rock made perfect homes for the Indian rock python. Five and six metre individuals are still around and often settle near villages to enjoy to enhoy the easy supply of rats and chickens.

Kurinji blooms in Kodaikanal

Slung between the high roock outcrops like acres and acres of green velvet and criss-crossed by clear sparkling streams, were the grasslands. According to the botanist Fr K M Matthew, “These rolling downs of the undulating plateaux once occupied here fourths of the Upper palnis. The herbivorous wildlife grazed in the grasslands which was also the home of countless insects. These grasslands were a unique feature of the upper plateaux.” It was wild, isolated country, its only calendar the twelve-yearly flowering of the Strobilanthus or kurunji flower, which covered the hillsides with its purple blooms.

In the valleys there are dense patches of broad-leaved, evergreen rain forests called shoals. Unlike rain forests on the plains, the trees here do not reach majestic heights because of the high altitude and constant, heavy wind. These moss and lichen laden forests are prime watersheds. They absorb water during the monsoon and release it judiciously all year round. When we cut forests we are breaking down what Fr Mathew calls our water tanks, resulting in floods during the monsoon and drought to follow.

Kodaikanal Agriculture, Tamilnadu

The main occupation of the people of Kodaikanal is agriculture. The place is rich in the extensive farming of a lot of vegetables and fruits. Various varieties of fruits are found in Kodaikanal like peaches, pears, grapes. In addition to this a lot many vegetables are also grown here. The people of the place are very hospitable and are ready anytime to welcome the visitors open handedly.

The vegetables and fruits in Kodaikanal are famous for their freshness and quality. Peaches, Pears, Grapes , Plums and all the other fruits of temperate hills are grown here. Potatoes in huge volumes, Cauliflowers and other vegetables attract the picnickers which are seen everywhere in markets. The weather helps for cultivation of these fruits and vegetables in large volumes.

Apart from coffee estates in the plantations, cultivating orchards, flowers, blue gum, eucalyptus trees, pines, wattles and fruit trees are most profitable business here. Among the different kinds of flowers, sweet smelling Madonna lillies, Daturas, Dahlias, etc., are notable which are available for sale.

Shopping in Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

Although Kodai residents still talk of going “shopping to Madurai”, Kodaikanal’s range of consumer goods expands from year to year. You can now buy banking pans (when in stock), socks (of a kind) and pressure cookers (but no spare parts). But the resident grumbles because everyday household thigs are always I short supply, everything has to come up in lorries.

What sort of shopping dies a tourist usually indulge in? You won’t be looking for pressure cookers or plastic buckets, most probably. You may want to take back souvenirs, or gifts for friends. Cottage craft is the place for you. This is rather a unique institution, which promotes and sells the handiwork of development projects. Some of these produce exquisite embroidery, among the finest to be found in the south. There is a wode range of pricesl from candles for a few rupees to heavily embroidered table cloths for a thousand. Following in Ooty’s footsteps, Kodai is also becoming known for home-made chocolate.

There is a chocolate shop in the bazaar as well as one on Seven Roads, across the road from Tava restaurant. You must also try and take back some Kodai cheese. The cheese factory was started twenty years ago by its enterprising proprietor after training in Switzerland, and makes cheddars, gruyere and processed cheese. These, as well as cheese make at the Kodai Milk Union are on sale at several shops including Ravi’s, across the road from Kodai School. And if you haven’t brought enough warm clothes, pop down to the Goodwill centre on the Milk Union Road. They have knick-knacks as well as second-hand sweaters and clothes from the States; on a lucky day when new boxes have been opened, you can pick up a smart sweater, very cheap. Proceeds from sales go to social work projects in the local community, so you’re doing a good turn to someone else as well as second-hand sweaters and clothes from the States; on a lucky day when new boxes have been opened, you can pick up a smart sweater, very cheap. Proceeds from sales go to social work projects in the local community, so you’re doing a good turn to someone else as well. Opposite the dental clinic on the lake is the” Art Gallery” where you can buy driftwood art pieces, dried flowers and other souvenirs.


Kashmir Handicrafts center in Anna Salai is famous for shawls, Jewellary, Brass, Leather items, Bone and Walnut wood articles. Cottage Crafts Shop (Anna Salai), run by the voluntary organisation Corsock, (Coordinating Council for Social Concerns in Kodai), sells goods crafted by development groups and uses the commission charged to help the needy.

On PT Rd you'll find Kashmiri shops, as well as the Potter's Shed (Time: 9am - 8pm Thu - Tue, 9am - 5pm Wed) with fine ceramics; proceeds go to help disadvantaged children. The road leading south to the lake is sometime lined with stalls run by Tibetans selling warm clothing, Shawls and other fabrics - good, cheap stuff to keep you warm on chilly nights.

Animals in Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

In the not sodistant past, big game was one of the features of kodai life. When carrying visitors up the Coolie Ghat in chairs and doolies, porters sang and yodeled to keep panther and elephants away. It is said that the Raja of Podukottai would sit over tiger kills at the Golf Courses; another nimrod shot a bison near Coaker’s Walks from his window, in the 1950s. An underground occupant of the old cemetery was killed by one. And up until fifteen years ago, the baleful chorus of a pack of jackals was often heard as darkness descended.

Like the tale, a few years ago, of the panther at the bottom of the ghat road. The watchman at the “Rock Garden” compound was sitting at the fence, watching life go by – cars, bicycles, and cattle. But then he sat up with a start: there was a panther, sedately plodding along the road towards the village. He’d hardly recovered when back it came with a puppy in its mouth!

Bison or Gaur

Surfacing at the crack of fawn or before then is difficult; your warm bed sems to have some kind of magnetic power. But it is worth the misery. If you drive out into the high hills towards Berijam there is a fair chance of seeing bison, a single bull or a herd. There is one enormous muscle-bound fellow who often grazes in Marin shoal at this time, his blue-black form starkly silhouetted among the grass and bracken. Further north towards Mannavanur herds of twenty or thirty are often seen. On the Berijam drive you may also hear the eerie, ascending call of the Nilgiri langur, a black monkey endemic to the Western Ghats. Heavily hunted for their supposedly medicinal meat, these primates have become thoroughly man-shy and will not all a close approach. Their calls often elicit an immediate response from the giant Malabar squirrel -a loud, rolling chuckle.

We have twice seen barking deer on this route, bouncing away at our approach. Sambar are also still around but their size makes them easy poacher’s targets and they like to stay hidden in the denser forest. Mouse deer inhabit the lower elevations, towards Shenbaganur. But the most startling herbivores for this altitude are the elephants, which used to occasionally visit the Kodai area from their homes lower down Several herds seem to stay up here year round now, probably victims of dire habitat alteration.

In the early 1990s there were panther down by the lake near Sunnyside , one of the first houses built by the American Madura Mission. “ They were rather bold, because they took the cows right out of the sheds.” There are occasional reports of tigers in the Palnis, but people often confuse them with panther and hyenas. In fact the Tamil name for hyena is donkey-tiger. Other rare remanats of these hills are the sloth bear and the brilliantly spotted leopard cat. Scattered groups of Nilgiri tahr still roam the high slopes and steep escarpments; but the increasing conversion of grassland to plantations may well drive them away from the Palnis altogether.

Trekking to the Plains, Tamilnadu

There is something highly satisfying about walking from the top of a mountain to plains, and there are many spectacular hikes along well-trodden paths that take you from misty heights to the sweltering heat. Many of these are regular routes taken by barefoot fruit and vegetable vendors who nimbly run up to Kodai on steep trails with heavy loads, leaving the puffing hiker far behind! Fr.K.M. Matthew of the Anglade Institute of Natural History at Shenbaganur has identified 21 hiking routes from the Kodai plateau to the plains. Five of these are described below.

Kodai Dolphin’s Nose Vellagavi Kumbajarai

It is a 10 km hike to Dolphin’s Nose (described earlier). Continue on the well-beaten path to Vellagavi. Just before entering the village and before th small school, is a path to the right which will take you down to Kumbakarai or Tope, as it’s familiarly known. This hike can take anything from three to six hours, depending on how fit you are. It is a steady downhill trudge and a bit hard on the knees. At “Tope”, there are several places where one can swim. Stay overnight or take a bus back to Kodai. There is usually one which leaves for Periakulam around 3 pm. From there one can get buses to Batlagundu, and on to Kodai. Ideally hire a car which will meet you at Kumbakarai. Some stalwarts hike back up; but it is very tough!

Kodai Thopi Thukki Varai Periyur Periyakulam

Proceed to Thoppi Thukki Varai, which, incidentally, means Hats-Off Point! It is said that if you fling your hat over the edge, the updraft will sail it back to you. It is about 18 kms. From Kodai, on the Kodai-Berijiam road. From here, a footpath leads to Periyur village. There are lovely views, including that of Sathanur reservoir, one of the large water catchments of South India. The path is very steep. Make sure you don’t bump into any gaur, which are numerous here. On reaching Periyur hamlet you will no doubt be ready for a short rest. Continue on through coffee plantations and forest until you reach the road; follow it to Periakulam.

Kodai Vilapatti Ganesapuram Puliamanathope Palani

A 16 km, roughly six-and-a-half-hour walk. From the telephone exchange, take Convent Road and walk past Presentation Convent and on to Valpatti village, past Naidapuram. From here, ask for the path to Ganguvar Kodai Forest Bungalow. Then go down the zigzag path along the Palar river, which is very steep. This is elephant country, so keep eyes and ears open and don’t get to close to them, however much you want to take a photograph. After the Palar-Porundalur reservoir you will come to a bridle path and a pipe line which will take you to the foothills. Get a bus to Palani from here.

Kukkal Kudiraiyar Dam

This is a difficult hike. . The distance is 13 kilometres and a good hiker will take about 5 hours. It is best to have g guide along. From Kukkal, follow a foot-path leading to Pappampatti. After three kilometers this crosses the Kudiraiyar River and continues along the river. A waterfall 90 metres high can be heard to your left. Elephants are not uncommon here. You’ll walk though shoals, and deciduous forest. On getting to Kudiraiyar Dam, take a bus to Palani and back to Kodai or, better still, have a car meet you.

Pallangi Porundalur Dam

14 kilometres, about 5 hours. This is a very beautiful but very tough hike. Take a guide. You’ll walk through plantations, teak forest and shoals. After a refreshing swim in the river, follow the path which runs parallel to the river. When you reach the dam, you have to walk three kilometers on the bridge, which seems like a LONG way if you are tired and its’s hot! From here take a bus to Palani, and on back to Kodai.

Trekking to the Plains, Tamilnadu

Kodaikanal Fast Facts
Police Emergency
+ 91- 4542 - 241800
Police Station
+ 91- 4542 - 240262
Government Hospitals
+ 91- 4542 - 241292
Veterinary Hospital
+ 91- 4542 - 240683
Distirct Forest Officer
+ 91- 4542 - 240287
Sub Collector Office
+ 91- 4542 - 240296
Panchayat Union Office
+ 91 - 4542 - 240204
Fire Service Station
+ 91 - 4542 - 240785

Eating Out in Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

Kodaikanal Restaurant
  • Kodai Resort Hotel
  • Noyce Road (Continental & Indian, veg. & non-veg) Punjabi Dhaba
  • Shopping Complex
  • Anna Salai (North Indian, veg. & non-veg.) Tava
  • Sathya Complex, Seven Roads (North Indian, veg. Snacks) Cloud Street Cafe
  • P.T.Road, Opp tourist information center Hotel Astoria - Vegetarian Restaurant near bustand Punjab Hotel Near 7 Road Junction (North Indian Tandoori Veg / Non-Veg) Carlton Hotel
  • Lake Road (Continental & Indian Veg. & non-Veg).
  • Pastry Corner
  • Shopping Complex
  • near bus stand (Snacks and Pastries) Meenaskshi Bhavan
  • Lake Road ( Vegetarian) Hill Top Inn. Club Road (Chinese & Indian, Veg. Non-veg.) Hotel Woodlands, Convent Road
  • Bazaar (Indian, veg. & ice-cream) Tibetan Brothers
  • Poet Thyagarajar Road (Tibetan & Chinese, veg. & non-veg.)

About Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is one of the most popular hill resorts in India. It is a charming hill station, stands amidst sylvan beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. With its rocks, woods, lovely lake and bracing air, Kodaikanal is an ideal hill resort for the tourists.

The unique flowering plant 'Kurunji'(Strobilanthus Kunthanus) that last bloomed in 2004, is nature's gift to Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills is one of the most popular serene hill stations in India, which mesmerises any visitor and is frequented all through the year.

Kodai is situated at an altitude of about 2,133-m high and covers an area of 21.45-sq-km. The hill town is renowned for its educational institutions of international repute. The hill-plantain fruits and plums are known for their freshness and taste. Berijam lake, one among the beautiful lakes of South India, spreads over an area of 24 hectares.

Kodaikanal is one of the most visited hill stations in Peninsular India. The place is situated at the altitude of 2100 meters amidst beautiful Palani Hills. Kodaikanal is 120 Kilometers from the city of Madurai that is situated close to the foothills of Palani. Kodaikanal is a place that is completely secluded from the madding crowd and that is what makes it one of the very few loveable hill stations in India. This is the reason why those who visited this hill station have come back enchanted and thrilled.

The name Kodaikanal in Tamil means the "gift of the forest". Situated in the state of Tamilnadu, Kodaikanal is one of the very few unaltered and unadulterated destinations of southern India. Kodaikanal has created a niche for itself with its intoxicating air, breathtaking scenery and serenity that you can hardly find in any hill station in the Himalayas.

An early morning walk near the Lake marks the start of a perfect day in Kodaikanal. This can be followed by a Filter Coffee cuppa at any of the numerous cafés at the mall road. You are dead if you miss the Sunrise at the Astrophysical Observatory. For the rest of the day, you can just loiter around or stretch yourself in the sun with a copy of any of the masterpieces of Fredric Forsyth. In the evening, move towards the mall road where the Sun gives way to the billion night flies that twinkle in the sky. The evening marks the birth of real Kodaikanal when people start assembling in the marts. Shop around till your legs succumb to fatigue and seal the day with a dinner in one of the numerous joints available in the town.

Tourist Attraction

Kodaikanal is a hill resort in Tamil Nadu, which mesmerizes you with its beauty and tranquility. A honeymooners' haven, Kodaikanal nestles beautifully amidst the folds of the Pali hills. The pride of Kodaikanal is the 'Kurinji-flower', which blossoms once in 12 years, imparting an ethereal beauty to the hills. Kodaikanal seems to be bestowed with all forms of beauty by Nature-majestic hills, mighty rocks, beautiful waterfalls, a serene lake, fruit orchards, lush flora -which makes it one of the most popular hill stations in South India.

Museum at Shenbaganur

The Sacred heart College was started in 1895 for the training of young Jesuit priests, in Shenbanganr, which means the village of the ‘shenbangam’. This is a tree endemic ro the South India hill forests, Michelia nilagirica. Early students and professors, mostly European, set themselves the task of studying the flora and fauna of a Palnis. One of them was A. Anglade, and when the Institute of Natural Historu was started within the college, it was named after him. The museum is open to visitors and has collection of birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles.

Dolmen Circle

Kodai has been put on the anthropological map by the presence of dolmens and kistavens, dwelling and burial places from the Stone and Iron Ages. This dates some if these stone structures as early as 5000 Bc. Sadly, many if them have been destroyed, both willfully as well as through neglect. Two of the more intact sites are Dolmen Circle on the ghat road not far from Periakulam and the one two kilometers past Pannaikadu village, on the highest point before descending to Pattiveerampatti.

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The Observatory

The Kodaikanal Observatory is one of the oldest int the workd, and has been functioning since 1898. It is a well equipped, productive laboratory and has made its mark in research. In 1909 its director Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots; this is known as the Evershed Effect. The Observatory is open to visitors on Friday mornings.

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The Apple Research Station

A very pretty location on Fairy Falls Road. Run by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, the station studies new varieties of fruits and vegetables, to propagate those that grow best in Kodaikanal. It has been for fermers.

Mannavanur Sheep Station

This was started in the late 60s and functions under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research in Delhi. It is a beautiful campus, 1340 acres of rolling grassland where scientists work on sheep development programmes for South India. Several Varieties of sheep and rabbits have been bred for wool and meat including the angora, chinchilla, white giant and others with equally exotic names. Mannavanur is about an hour’s drive from Kodai and visitors are welcome. See the officer-in-charge at the main office building. This is one of the last extensive chunks of high altitude grassland left in the Palanis, the others have been taken over by eucalyptus, wattle and other plantations. Spottted deer, gaur, wild dogs, sambar and other animals are regular visitors to the campus. The small lake within it has common and morror carp, and otter. Educational institutions can get permission from the officer-in-charge for small groups to camp overnight.

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Bryant and Chettiar Parks

Bryant Park, named after the Forest officer who designed and laid it out in 1980, is situated on the lake. It has a wide selection of flowers and ferns, and residents oftern “shop” here for special varieties if plants. This is where the flower and vegetable show is held in May; enormous cabbages, carrots and potatoes from neighbouring villages compete for the prizes. Being so centrally located, Bryant Park is a hot tourist spot, especially on weekends and during the season. Chettiar Park, on the way to the Kurinji Temple, is more quiet.

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Bryant and Chettiar Parks

Bryant Park, named after the Forest officer who designed and laid it out in 1980, is situated on the lake. It has a wide selection of flowers and ferns, and residents oftern “shop” here for special varieties if plants. This is where the flower and vegetable show is held in May; enormous cabbages, carrots and potatoes from neighbouring villages compete for the prizes. Being so centrally located, Bryant Park is a hot tourist spot, especially on weekends and during the season. Chettiar Park, on the way to the Kurinji Temple, is more quiet.

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Kodaikanal Golf Club

It you are an avid golfer, you will be interested in what the honorary secretary of the KGC writes, “The Kodaikanal Golf Club was first started in 1895 by a handful of dedicated golfers. To start with there were only 9 holes and the putting surfaces were browns, In the early fifties it was extended to 18 holes and 1986 the putting surfaces were relaid with greens.

“The course itself is situated on verdant green slopes and hollows at an elevation of about 7000 ft. A golfer teeing early in the morning is more than likely to come across herds of wild bison or gaur. Otherwise wild boar and barking deer are plentiful. However the only danger to the golfer are the monkeys who often pick up the unwary golf ball and smartly run up a tree! “While the club is run by its members for its members, tourists and other non-members are allowed to play, by either becoming temporary members or by paying the required green fees. The only proviso is that they have a handicap or required to take lessons before the are let loose on the course.”

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Festivals of Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu

Mother Salette Festival

Kodaikanal, a Hill station situated in Southern India, is known for its beautiful and ancient churches. Its rich Christian culture and tradition, still stands apart. One of the ancient churches is the "Mother Salette" church, which is 133 years old. Every year on the 14th and 15th of august, a unique carnival takes place at this church. This brings about the conclusion to a Nine-day festival.This festival attracts a congregation of people from all over south India, irrespective of religion, creed or faith. The festival is marked by special services and a special procession.

The sculptural elegance of the churches in Kodaikanal add to the natural beauty of the surroundings and provide not just inner but aesthetic pleasure as well. The meaning of Kodaikanal is "the Shade in Summer". The credit of being the first catholic priest goes to Father Louis Saint Ceer. Father Louis belongs to Christ Church. He came to Kodaikanal on 1952 for the first time. He reached Kodaikanal travelling by horse for 4 days even in Thunder and heavy rain. When he arrived Kodai, there was only Baynes, Parker, Clark, Parday bungalows. After viewing this he returned to the plain.

In the year 1860, May 24th Father Louis sait came with his father Rettary and stayed in Baynes bungalow at Kodaikanal. After some days they owned the Baynes bungalow under their responsibility on September 29. That bungalow was changed as a rest house for the members of Christ Church. Father Rettary became the first president of the church. La-providence, a lady, gave 20,000 rupees as donation for the reconstruction of the bungalow. So Baynes bungalow was now called as La-providence. But it's sold out now.

In 1858, Father Saint Ceer was severely affected by viral fever. With lots of hope he prayed to the Lady of La Salete. Soon after, the priest was cured and he vowed to setup a church in India that would mirror the church of La Salete in France. He happened to choose the mountainous region Kodaikanal to built this special House of God because the church he wished to emulate encased with in the mighty mountain rains of the alps. This church was made towards his feeling and to heel others as well.

The foundation for Mother Salete Church was laid on 1865 February 28. In the same year March 17 the building work was started with the blessings of Father Saint Ceer. In 1866 the day, when brother Lamothy built the body of the Church, thank's offering was fulfilled.

In the year 1866, the last sunday of May, Mother Salete Church was dedicated by Keanos. This is the first pilgrimage place in India for Mother Salete. So from 1866 onwards every last Sunday of May, the festival was celebrated for Mother Salete. Huge crowd of people will travel from plain for 3 days and reach Mother Salete Church. The British people complained about the disturbances of the crowd. So this festival was banned up to 1893. In the year 1904 the steps were taken to recelebrate the festival and it was succeeded on August 15th. Very few Europeans will be there at Kodai on this occasion.

Mrs. Kacondys helped hand to build up Mother Saleth Church. Her busy daughter felt sick and she was cured by the water of Salete inty with the advice of Saint Ceer. To show him gratitude she donated some amount which was helpful for raising the church. In the year 1869 Mr.Natigan the engineer at Dindigul gave 19 acres of land for Mother Salete Church.

In the year 1883, ' The entrance of Mother Salate Church ' was established. In between 1884 and 1885 the Church was extended 5 mtrs by its sides and the front portion is affixed with several spires that end in the figure of the cross and square bell tower was also established. The statue of Mother Salete was given as a gift to John, the Baptist by Fara Bishop of Grenoble. Holy Michael's statue was given as a memorial statue to Father Michael Besard.

Father Saint Ceer expired on January 17th, 1887. His Holy Body was burried at the entrance of the Mother Salete Church. Summer festival programmes in the month of May includes Flower Show , Dog Show and Boat Shows.

Funeral Ceremony

In Sikhism, display of grief over death is discouraged. After the death, the body is bathed and clothed by family members. Before taking the body to the cremation grounds, it is taken to the Gurudwara, to pay the last homage but it is not taken inside the premises. During the cremation process Kirtan Sohila is recited followed by Ardas. The ashes are disposed of in the river For Ten days Guru Granth Sahib is read at home or in the Gurudwara.

Other Ceremonies
Amrit Sanskar, Baptism, Amrit Chakna

To become a Khalsa Sikh, one participates in the sacred ceremony. After becoming Khalsa Sikh one has to recite the hymns of Japji, Jaap, Ten Sawayyas, Bainti Chaupai and 6 verses from Anand Sahib.

Akhand Path

Akhand Path is performed on all occasions be it joyous or sad. It is a non-stop reading of the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib. At the conclusion (Bhog), Karah Parsad is offered.


The birth and deaths of Gurus are celebrated as Gurupurbs. First installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the Golden Temple by Guru Arjan Dev, Birth of Guru Nanak (traditionally celebrated in November), Birth of Guru Gobind Singh, Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Martyrdom of The Sahibzadas (the sons of Guru Gobind Singh) are celebrated with great zeal in Golden Temple


On Baisakhi Day, Guru Gobind Guru gathered thousands of people at Anandpur Sahib to found the Khalsa order by baptizing 5 brave Sikhs who were willing to give their life for the Guru. This day is celebrated as birthday of Khalsa.


It marks the beginning of a new month. At the Gurudwara, portions of Bara Maha, Song of the 12 Months are read.


In the memory of the martyrdom of the Forty Immortals, Maghi is celebrated. Guru Gobind Singh Ji blessed them salvation and cremated them at Muktsar.

Hola Mohalla

Hola Mohalla falls on the Holi Festival of the Hindus. Military exercises swordsmanship and horse riding like are displayed by Nihang Singhs. Various competitions of Poetry and Music are held to celebrate this day.

Ram Tirath Fair

Ram Tirath Fair is celebrated at Ram Tirath, located at a distance of 11 kilometers to the west of Amritsar. The fair is celebrated about a fortnight after Diwali. Pilgrims visit the Temple to plunge in the sacred tank of the Temple in the early hours of the Puranmashi (full moon night). After the plunge the pilgrims take a circumambulation of the tank along with incantations. Women light lamps of pure ghee (deshi ghee) or mustard oil (sarson ka tel) made from kneaded flour and put them in tank by placing them on leaf plates. It is believed that this ceremony absolves one's sins and is known as tulla toarna (meaning floating of tullas). Throughout the ceremony devotional songs and hymns are recited.


Diwali is celebrated with great pomp and show at the Golden Temple. It is celebrated even after three days of Diwali. It is believed that during the reign of Jahangir, after his release from Gwalior fort Guru Ram Das reached Amritsar on Diwali. People greeted him by illuminating lamps.
Basant Panchami at Chheharta Sahib is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright half of the month of Magh or Maghi (end of January or beginning of February). The celebrations commence early in the morning and end the next day afternoon. Whole night kirtan darbar (chanting of hymns, poems belonging to Sikh literature) is held. On the eve of Basant Panchami kites are flown and kite-flying competitions are held.


Gurupurbs are celebrated throughout the world. These are celebrated on the occasion of the birthdays and martyrdoms of Gurus. In Amritsar, Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Ram Das Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib are celebrated with great religious fervor and devotion.

Kodaikanal Location

Kodaikanal located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills is one of the most popular serene hill stations in India, which mesmerizes any visitor. With her wooded slopes, mighty rocks, enhancing waterfalls and a beautiful lake, Kodaikanal is a charming hill station. It Presents a Very Natural Eco-Environment, Which Provides You a Great Freshness.

There is proof of settlement of prehistoric tribes at Kodaikanal by visible artifacts such as dolmens homes of great stone slabs. After the primitive tribes of Paliyans and Pulyans in 14th century, villagers of Palani foot hills fled into Kodai Hills, to escape from the oppressive rule in the plains and also from the invasion of Tippu Sultan.

By Air

The nearest airport is Madurai, 120 kms south-east of kodai. From there, buses, tourist vans and taxis are easy to get. It is a three-and-a half hour drive. People coming from Bombay fly in to coimbatore, which is a slightly longer drive of about 5 hours. Trichy airport is about the same distance.

By Train

The Station you nee to get to is kodai Road, 80 kms from kodaikanal. Incidentally it was from here that, until 1920 or so, Travelers began their journey up to Kodai in bullock carts and palanquins. Today, old Kodai hands always take the Pandian Express which leaves Madras around 7 p.m. every evening. You have to get off at 5.30 a.m. Should you oversleep, however, you can just go on to Madurai and make your way up from there.

By Road

Kodai is 520 kms from Madras, a 12 hour drive. There are regular overnight buses to and from madras. There are also several buses a day to large nearby cities – Madurai, Palani, Coimbatorem Dindigul for example which have buses going in all directions. And if you really want out during a packed season period when tickets are hard to get, go to Batlagundu, two hours by van and head for the big bus station there.
The last lap of journey to Kodai has to be done by road. Just before the ghat section begins there is a tourist recreation area on your left called “Rock Garden” with tea, coffee and toilet facilities. As you leave the plains and start climbing you will see one of the highest waterfalls in the world: Rat Tail or Thalaiyar Falls. It is a spectacular sight in the monsoon but subsides to a mere trickle in the dry season. An hour or so later you will pass Silver Cascade on your right, in Tiger Shola. This is the run-off from Kodai lake, and during the monsoons has a Naiagara-like splendour, complete with roaring sound and foamy spray. Once every few years the ghat road may be closed when heavy rains cause landslips which have to be cleared away. But work is quickly begun and rapidly finished. In any case there is also another escape route out – or in – th Palani Ghat which leads to the town of the name on the plains.

Best Time to Visit

Kodaikanal can be traveled round the year. but the best time to visit Kodaikanal is from April to June and from September to October, Rainfalls, as this is the most ideal time for all visitors.

Travelers Document

For most of us, holiday is dictted by the children’s school, which usually means summer. April and May are the “season” months in Kodaikanal. The weather is mild and dry, plum trees are red with fruit and there is carnival-like atmosphere in town. If you are crowd hater, stay away at this time or plan to stay at a hotel far from the bazaar circuit; there are plenty of hotels away from the town. By regulating your timings a little, and choose excursions off the beaten path, you can “beat the tourists”. For example, heading for Coaker’s Walk on a Sunday morning at 10 is to avoided if are looking for peace and quiet!

There is another “season”; September-October, between the south-west and north-east and north-east monsoons. There is less of a tourist frenzy at this time. Avoid November if possible, because although there are some beautiful dry blue-sky days, the north-east monsoon is on its way. There are sometimes long periods or non-stop rain when clothes don’t dry, children are cooped up inside, and the electricity goes off (but most hotels have generators). In short, a November or December visit can be wonderful; on the other hand it can be pretty wet as well. January manages to shake off the rains but it gets very cold, with frost on the lake; you must come equipped with warm clothing and bedding. February and March are delightful, though the air is still a little nippy.

Travel Documents

All visitors are required to carry a passport valid at least for the next 6 months. Visa exemptions include:

  • Bhutanese and Nepalese visitors who are staying for less than 3 months,
  • Nationals from the Maldives, if they are staying for a maximum of 90 days (this includes any periods they may have spent in India up to 6 months prior to the visit in question),
  • Transit passengers who have a follow-on ticket within 72 hours of arrival as long as they are not going to leave the airport.

Special restrictions apply to Pakistani and Afghan nationals.