Two months back or so, when my work pressure reduced a bit, I knew I had to go for a rejuvenating trip. And since I only had a week’s leave, the place had to be somewhere close to my location. Oh, by the way, I live in Bangalore, Karnataka – and as much as I love the city, the traffic takes its toll on me. After a lot of thinking, I narrowed down to Kodaikanal and god this place is awesome. Some of the sightseeing places in Kodaikanal are beautiful beyond compare.
Located in the beautiful state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is one of the most scenic places that our country treasures. I was pretty awestruck with the natural aura that the state has and frankly, it is amazing to see the efforts of the state government in preserving the natural beauty of the place. I always knew that Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hills” and my visit to the state actually made me see why. However, the literal meaning of Kodaikanal in Tamil means “Gift of the Forest” – something which I learned during my visit. Covered with dense jungles, picturesque valleys, cascading waterfalls – this place holds true to its meaning.
For the record, there are as many as 40 local sightseeing places in Kodaikanal. But, to my misery – my holiday was a short one and covering so many places was next to impossible. Wondering what I did? Well, the day I reached Kodaikanal, I spoke to Veena World for a sightseeing tour itinerary. After a nice, long chat with them about the places that one should visit, I had a fair idea about how my itinerary would pan out.
Based on my recent trip experience, here are my top 10 destination picks that made my Kodai sightseeing trip a memorable one:
1. Trek to Canopy Hills
I am a big adventure freak. And not going for a trek during a sightseeing trip to Kodaikanal would have just made me sad later. I had the option to choose between Canopy Hills and the Kodai-Palani Trek but with my time constraint, the former was a better option.
Canopy Hills is one of the most beautiful places in Kodaikanal – the view of which left me mesmerized! The trek was of 15 km through the dense forest of the Western Ghats during which I spotted some wildlife creatures like wild goats, bison, porcupines, and some birds (whose names are unknown to me). Adding to this, there is a small village named Vellagavi on the trail where I stopped after completing the first 10 km of the trek. The residents of the village were very hospitable and offered me some delicious food from the local cuisine. Since it was a 24-hour trek, I had to leave early from the village but I made sure to make a stop while coming back to the base.
2. A Visit to Dolphin’s Nose
As cute as the name sounds, this is yet another breathtaking sightseeing place in Kodaikanal. It is a beautiful viewpoint which is shaped like the nose of a dolphin and offers a scenic view of the plunging valleys, rocky landscape, and blue sky that is perfectly embodied in the arms of lush green trees. The sight was a treat to my eyes and to be honest, I really didn’t want to leave that place. I had been there somewhere at 8 o’clock in the morning but the place remains open till 5:30 pm. So, you can choose the time according to your convenience. Another place that I got to see en route is the Catherine Falls; that was also quite nice.
3. Serene Time at the Kodai Lake
Having heard of this place from my friends so much, I literally couldn’t contain my excitement about visiting the Kodai Lake. And now I know why a sightseeing tour to Kodaikanal is incomplete if one doesn’t visit this place. Located in the city, it is a star-shaped lake which is surrounded by the beauty of the Palani hill range. I just sat there for almost an hour and all I did was soak in the serenity that the place offers. The lake offers boating activity too so you can go for it. An interesting fact about this place is that it is a man-made lake and was developed by the British with the help of missionaries from the USA. Kodaikanal is truly a tale of lakes and nature!
4. Historic Beauty of Moir Point
Said to be the hotspot for tourists, Moir Point made its way to my list of sightseeing places in Kodaikanal because well, it is beautiful. Besides a picturesque view, what amazed me more was the history that surrounds the point. Till the year 1929 CE, Moir Point was known as Fore Mile Road and derived its new name after Sir Thomas Moir began the construction of Goschen Road. This point serves a path that eventually leads up to the beautiful Berijam Lake.
5. The Spell of Berijam Lake
Located in the upper Palani Hills, for me, Berijam Lake is a must-visit sightseeing destination in Kodaikanal. And since I had been to its entrance – Moir Point, it was easier for me to walk through the trail and reach the lake viewpoint. The beauty of this place is unhindered and I’ll be honest here; it felt like a cast has been spell over my heart, mind, and eyes.
6. A Swim at the Fairy Falls
This justifies its name because the splendorous view that it offers. It is not only a famous local sightseeing destination in Kodaikanal but also a famous picnic spot. Fairy Falls had me enchanted with its beauty. The water is not that deep and one can easily swim or just dip their legs in the water and sit for hours. Since I always enjoy a good swim, this place was a treat for me.
7. A Divine Visit to the Kurinji Temple
The reason why this temple made it to my list of sightseeing places in Kodaikanal is very special. I don’t know how many of you are aware of the Kurinji Flowers but it is said that this floral majesty blooms only once in 12 years – I got to know this from my Mom who visited Kodaikanal at the time when the Kurinji flowers bloomed in 2006. And though the last bloom was 2018, I had to visit the temple associated with it. Located approximately 3 km away from the Kodai Lake, this temple is dedicated to Lord Murugu and offers one a peaceful time inside its periphery.
8. A Dream Snack at the Coaker’s Walk
Yet another breathtaking sightseeing place in Kodaikanal, Coaker’s Walk made me realize what a beauty our country is. I just loved being there. The view from Coaker’s Walk is an epitome of beauty and will help you unwind like no place else. There are small hut-like shops situated on the trail wherein one can find some local shopping items. I also fulfilled my long-time wish of having a cup of tea with a plate of Maggi at a hill-point while soaking in nature’s beauty.
9. A Holy Time at Christ – The King Church
I don’t know what the reason is but hill-stations and churches always go hand in hand. And since Kodai is a hill-station, it was mandatory that I visit one of the most famous churches in the city. I like to visit churches in the evening because the aura makes me feel at peace. The church has a Gothic architecture and is considered as one of the most divine sightseeing places in Kodai. Since it is located near the Coaker’s Walk, it became a two-in-one visit for me.
10. A Learning Experience at the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
I am a big fan of science and stars, so visiting the solar observatory had to follow. Quite a famous sightseeing destination in Kodaikanal (a lot more than I initially anticipated), it offers the greenest of views. The observatory is located in the southern tip of the Palani Hills and was established in the year 1899. I enjoyed learning all about the solar behaviour and I am sure you would like it too.
This completes my list of 10 places for local sightseeing in Kodaikanal, but there’s a lot more that you can do. You can visit places like the Silver Cascade Falls, Dolmen Circle, and Devil’s Kitchen, to name a few if you have the time. If it is a planned trip like mine, I would definitely recommend you to select Kodaikanal trip packages that include these amazingly beautiful and breathtaking destinations.