What to See
Berijam Lake: This is one of the most beautiful picnic and trekking spots in Kodai, located some 30 kms from the town. This scenic spot was the discovery of the British, when it was only a swamp. Today the lake is lined with pine trees and options of boating and fishing make the spot particularly lively. The area around is also known for the abundantly growing Magic Mushrooms, which are believed to have hallucinogenic effects if consumed. However, don’t attempt to pick these on your own, since several poisonous varieties also grow here. The lake and forest are protected and you need to seek permission from the Forest Office in Kodaikanal. Remember to head out as early as you can, since the forest office closes by 12 noon.
Kodaikanal Lake: This magnificent man-made lake is star-shaped and set midst lush greenery. A paved road around it provides options of walking and cycling. In addition, the Boating & Rowing Club here offers options for enjoy a boat-ride on the lake. Children would especially have a good time with the pony rides here.
Open from: 9.00 am-5.30 pm
Waterfalls: The landscape of Kodai is dotted with sparkling waterfalls with extremely quaint names! The Silver Cascade waterfall is located on the Ghat Road and is particularly enthralling as it cascades down 180 ft. Bear Shola Falls is located close to the lake and is a popular picnic spot set amidst the hilly areas. An interesting legend about its name is that this site used to be haunted by bears. Fairy Falls is known for its natural basin where picnickers take a dip. The Thalaiyar Falls or Rat Tail Falls are one of the widest and highest falls in India, cascading to a drop of 975 ft! Pambar Falls or Grand Cascade Falls is accessible by a zig-zag path and gushes down a series of rock formations.
Telescope Houses: These are two telescope houses, which are ideal places to catch panoramic views of the town.
Bryant Park: Located on the eastern side of the lake, this botanical park is a beautifully maintained store house of flowers, hybrids and rafts. A large number of exotic flowers are found on the glasshouse. This park is the site of the annual Horticulture Show in May, when several varieties of flowers are put up on display.
Shenbaganur Museum: Located almost 5 kms from the lake, this Museum is the best place to watch the several remains of the varied flora and fauna of the region. Maintained by the Sacred Heart College, this is believed to be one of the best Orchidariums in the country with over 300 species of orchids and exotic plants grown here.
Pillar Rocks: Located 8 kms from the lake, this is a set of three boulders, each almost 400 ft high located next to each other, and providing a panoramic view of the region.
Coaker's Walk: This is a one kilometer walk around the lake and derives its name from Lt. Coaker who prepared the map of Kodai. The walk is through a steep slope on the south of Kodai and houses a Telescope House, which offers striking views of the valley.
Kurinji Andavar Temple: Located 3 kms from the lake, this temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, God of the Hills. The temple complex offers panoramic views of the plains, Palani Hills and Vaigai Dam. It is also the best place to watch the Kurinji flower blossoms once in 12 years, which swathes the hills in a shade of blue.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory: Located almost 6 kms from the town, this observatory is located at the highest point in the Kodai Hills. The phenomenon of radial motion is sunspots were discovered by John Evershed, now named Evershed Effect. You can catch glimpses of the hills, Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Varaha River and Periyakulam from the Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope kept here.
Perumal Peak: Located 12 kms from Kodai, this is the highest peak in the Kodai range at 2400 m and is an extremely popular trekking spot.
Kukkal Caves: These caves are actually overhanging slabs of rocks and a favourite spot for trekkers. These caves are believed to have been home to the Paliyan Tribe. While navigating your way through these caves, be careful of leeches who tend to stick to you.
Kodai Churches: Among the few churches that dot the landscape, Lutheran Church is a gothic structure housing paintings that portray scenes from Jesus’ life. Close to the church is the Christ the King Church made of granite and sporting stained-glass-painted windows.
Green Valley View: This is one of the most scenic spots of Kodai wrapped in a mist of clouds and at a height of almost 1000 ft, offering panoramic views of the valley.
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Top Landmarks in Kodaikanal
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