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There is something about being ‘alone’ together over 2000 metres above sea level, where the clouds kiss the peaks and vales, that does wonders for a couple, especially when on a lonely trail, with only the sounds of birds, and squirrels, and the wind whistling through the vertical limits- with all the time in the world and this part of it all to themselves. I first visited Kodaikanal fresh from my experience of Yercaud, slightly prejudiced, expecting it would be just another hill station. I could not be more mistaken. Truly the title ‘princess of hills’ is not a misnomer. I was still a student and the stay at my classmate Vivek’s house in the town, with its street houses, still rates high in memories of days bygone. The house itself was a subject of great interest and abject wonder, since from its rear emerged a perpetual spring.Kodaikanal, a charming and serene hill station, and one of most popular in India stands amidst verdant beauty on the southern crest of the upper Palani Hills - an offshoot of the Western Ghats. Popularly known as Kodai this hill resort is 120 kms by road from Madurai. It is best to arrive by train and if absolutely necessary send the car in advance. One of the joys of Kodai is you can walk for hours without tiring- such is the weather.

Kodai is situated at an altitude of about 2,133-m high and covers an area of 21.45-sq-km and lies at the latitude 10 deg 7′ N to 10 deg 20′ N and longitude 77 deg 16′ E to 77 deg 45′ E. The pride of Kodaikanal is the ‘Kurinji-flower’, which blossoms once in 12 years. The hill-plantain fruits and plums are known for their freshness and taste and make a good gift to bring down for family and friends in the plains. The best season is –you guessed it right now! April, right up to June.


A 24-hectare lake skirted by 4.8 km-long blacktopped road is the centre of attraction of Kodai. A magnificent man-made lake, which spreads out in a star shape. Created in 1863 by Sir Vere Hentry Levinge, a retired Collector of Madurai. He constructed the bund to form a lake and stocked it with fish. He brought the first boat from Tuticorin. In 1890, a boat club was formed and the members rowed out in the boat. In 1910, a new boat house was constructed. From May 1929, a few tourists only were permitted boat rides as temporary members. Then in 1932 boat service was extended to the public and tourists. Kodaikanal Lake is Kodai’s most enchanting. Around the lake, you have such fun-filled activities like cycling and horse-riding. It has some the best views of the valley. After a breakfast of steaming idlis taken with `gun powder’ (pounded rice and red chilli) we would head for the lake at 8 a.m. and spend over three hours rowing in the lake. Evenings would be a repeat of rowing interspaced with social interaction with friends and newly introduced acquaintances, many of whom would troop in for the South-Indian delicacy next morning.

Other attractions are: Byrant Park, Solar Physical Observatory -3 km uphill from the lake. (It houses a small museum, which is only open from 10 am to 12pm on Fridays). Coaker’s Walk, so named because Mr. Coaker identified this hill-edge path in 1872. It’s a one-kilometer path, which runs along the steep slope on the southern side of Kodaikanal. When we tired of boating this is where we headed, replenishing body and soul.

Theres lots more -Kurinji Falls, Andavar Temple, Pillar Rocks, Shenbaganur Museum, Perumal Peak 11.3 km away, Bear Shola Falls, and Fairy Falls, but perhaps you should discover some of this yourself. The Silver Cascade is on the ghat road approach 8 km before Kodai and most families halt here for a while getting a feel of the wonders to come.

Berijam Lake is one of the beautiful picnic spots in Kodai, located 21-km away from the bus stand. This lake supplies drinking water to Periakalam town and is known for its pure water.

You can take short treks and hikes to tourist spots close by as well to local viewpoints. Overnight treks are also possible here where one can spend a night at a local village. We chose to trek to a village where the commodity called milk never reaches, the sweet coffee served there was laced with coconut milk

Dolphin’s Nose, located about eight km from the lake, is a flat projecting rock with a breathtaking view of the yawning chasm below. The Perumal Peak, about 11 km from Kodaikanal, is a trekker’s delight. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle. Green Valley View is about 6 km away. Pillar Rocks -full of caves and chasms for the adventurous.

Leisure Shopping
The famous places to shop in Kodaikanal are the Khadi Emporium, Handloom Co-operative Stores and Travancore Crafts Work, Government Sales Emporium, Kurinji Mini Supermarket, Spencer and Company. The road side stalls manned by people from Tibet and North East offer much by way of bargains. One can even pick up very rare books at the second-hand book store for a few rupees.

The Golf Club located 5-km from the Kodaikanal Lake is easily one of the greenest courses in India.

The climate of Kodaikanal is pleasant throughout the year, but the best time to visit is from April to June and from September to October. Rainfall 165 cms (average). Heavy rains occur during October-December. Winter: Max17.3ºC, Min8.3ºC Summer: Max 19.8ºC, Min 11.3 ºC

Clothing: Light woollen in the evening during summer and heavy woollen during winter.


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Responses to Vertical limits

  1. 1 rajeev singh

    yes; i like this concept.pls upgrade the inormation if possible.
    keep it up.
    good job

  2. 2 sushil


    Kodaikanal is one of the most famous hill stations in India.Kodaikanal is a hill station

    on the southern tip of the upper Palani Hills. Kodai is also a tourist attraction, and

    many of the locals make their living through tourist services. Kodaikanal is sometimes

    referred to as “Princess of Hill stations.” Tucked away among the Palani Hills in

    Tamilnadu, in South India, and jealously guarded like a prized jewel by the dark

    forests, is Kodaikanal. In fact, the name itself means ?gift of the forest? in Tamil.

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