20 Places to Visit in Kodaikanal | Visit Kodaikanal Tourist Places | Visit Kodaikanal with Family
Travel - Sep 12, 2018

Top 20 Places to Visit in Kodaikanal During Family Vacation

‘Kodaikanal’ literally translates to ‘the gift of the forest’ in Tamil. True to its name, this place is indeed a gift of nature nestling in the hills of Dindigul district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Nestled between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys, the beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal is situated on the plateau of upper Palani hills at an approximate height of 6,998 feet.

If you are planning to visit Kodaikanal with your family, do not have second thoughts; go ahead and book your tickets immediately. This is surely a vacation you will cherish for a lifetime. This is a very popular destination for vacations, and not just for families, but for couples too. Get together with nature, and calm your mind and senses. You will feel the stress leave your body!

With diverse terrains and rich fauna and flora, Kodaikanal is known for its numerous waterfalls, lakes and gardens. It is truly a sight to behold! Look around and you will see only water and lush greenery. No wonder Kodaikanal is also known as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations’.

Kodaikanal is popular among travellers all around the year thanks to its pleasant weather throughout the year. The temperature is about at 27 degree Celsius for the most part with no extreme cold weather as such. Tourists find that they can enjoy their stay in Kodaikanal at any time.

Of the several things Kodaikanal is famous for, the Kurunji flowers are definitely deserving of a mention. It is very difficult for tourists to witness the blooming of these flowers since they only bloom once in 12 years. However, Kodaikanal more than makes up for being unable to show you the beautiful flowers; it offers visitors plenty of other activities and a plethora of places that they can make a lifetime of memories in.

You may find many other travel lists available online, which mention only the lakes and waterfalls in and around Kodaikanal. We assure you that our list of top 10 is not a mere replica of these lists. Look forward to discovering some special options instead of the just lakes and gardens that most tourists are familiar with.

20 Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal

1. Pillar Rocks

2. Devil's Kitchen

3. Coakers Walk

4. Green Valley View

5. Pine Forest

6. Fairy Falls

7. Kodai-Palani Trek

8. Kukkal Caves

9. Shembaganur Museum Of Natural History

10. Silver Cascade

11. Kodaikanal Lake

12. Berijam Lake in Kodaikanal

13. Dolphin’s Nose in Kodaikanal

14. Mannavanur Lake in Kodaikanal

15. Vattakanal Falls in Kodaikanal

16. Pambar Falls in Kodaikanal

17. Astrophysical Observatory in Kodaikanal

18. Lutheran Church in Kodaikanal

19. Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple in Kodaikanal

20. Perumal Peak in Kodaikanal

1. Pillar Rocks

This sightseeing spot is home to three huge rocks vertically located in a way that gives them an appearance of pillars, thus giving them their name. These boulders are approximately 400 feet tall. Pillar Rocks has spectacular panoramic views around it, too, making it a great spot for enjoying a relaxing time with your family. Click some spectacular photographs of your family and make the spot an unforgettable one, but be very careful!

Pillar Rocks has an unfortunate story linked to it. However, unlike other popular love stories, this one has a tragic ending. This is the story of David Gelli and his wife, Irene Gelli. David was an Englishman and frequented Kodaikanal. He was in awe of this place; he loved its beauty and fabulous weather. He got married and decided to visit Kodaikanal with his wife soon after his wedding. When the newly-wed couple was clicking photographs of the majestic pillar rocks and enjoying its view, the tragedy struck. His wife, Irene slipped from the pillar rocks and passed away. Days after her death, David visited this place again and brought a huge white cross made out of wood. He placed this cross on the top of the rocks in loving memory of his wife. He revisited the place again after 3 days after which he was never seen again. It is believed that David committed suicide in agony of his wife’s death, by jumping from the top in the same fashion as his wife had died. David joined his Irene at the same spot.

Tourists look for the lost sign of that love story–the white cross–which has since disappeared. It is said that the symbol of David’s love for his wife was tragically lost in the hills.

Do make it a point to visit this spot to feel the all-encompassing love and magnificent views. Children can enjoy themselves in the beautiful garden, an excellent place in itself for a family picnic. You may carry your own food along or relish dishes that are available at the eating joints at this place. The exquisite view of this garden with its vibrant flowers is a delight. You and your family will feel rejuvenated after spending some quality time together at this fabulous spot.

Please do keep in mind that the summer season (from the months of April to June) is considered to be the best time to visit Pillar Rocks; the views will not be blocked by monsoon clouds or winter fog. With clear skies, you and your family can spend a wonderful day here. In the monsoon season, though, this whole place becomes slippery due to rains and it is best to avoid going in this season. Similarly, in winter, the dense fog can be a dampener to your wholesome enjoyment. Neither will you be able to enjoy the view from the top nor would the flowers in the gardens have bloomed. Along with Pillar Rocks, here is a list of other lesser-known tourist places in Kodaikanal one should definitely visit during family vacation.

This place is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It has an entry fee of INR 5 per person.

2. Devil's Kitchen

Near Pillar Rocks are some natural caves known as the Devil’s Kitchen. It is another interesting sightseeing place in our list of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

Do not think that this sightseeing spot has anything to do with the devil and his proverbial kitchen! This place derives its name from the presence of natural dark caves, home to numerous bats. The caves were formed due to unusual rock formations and were formed due to constant eroding of soil. These caves, known as the ‘Guna Caves’, are a unique place to visit in Kodaikanal. Your family members will surely get a thrill with a trip here.

Located in the outer part of town, these caves were earlier popular only amongst adventurists, hikers and photographers, who visited this site for enjoying the exceptional caves and breathtaking views from the top of the hills. Not many visitors thronged these caves then.

It was in the year 1992 that a popular movie–Guna, starring actor Kamal Hassan–was shot in these caves that helped make these caves so popular among fans and travellers. In fact, these caves were even renamed after this movie released and have been called Guna since. It is also believed that these caves are linked to the Hindu mythological epic, The Mahabharata. The Pandavas might have resided here. This exciting revelation has spiked the interests of many visitors to locate the spiritual association of this place with The Mahabharata.

Like many other places in and around Kodaikanal, these interesting caves were discovered by the English Officer B.S. Ward in the year 1821. They are at an approximate height of 2230 meters, which give visitors an interesting feeling of the caves nestling among clouds, especially during the rainy and winter seasons. The view from the top of the hill is clear in the months of summer.

Only 1.5 km from the Pillar Rocks, this place is easily accessible and must be enjoyed on a leisure day with your family members. Your family will love the intriguing paths amongst the tall pine trees which lead to these caves. The beauty and aroma of pine trees will always stay fresh in your minds even after the vacation is long over.

With the advent of large numbers of visitors, some of the deeper and narrower caves have been closed off for visitors. These can only be observed from a distance in order to ensure the safety of people. However, visitors can still enjoy stunning views from the hilltop.

You will cherish the peace this place offers in the middle of your busy, bustling life. Instead of work pressures at the office or at home, this is the time to chill and bond with your family. Make sure you make the most of it!

Devil’s Kitchen is open from 9:00 in the morning to 5:30 PM in the evening. Visitors need to pay a nominal entry fee of INR 5.

3. Coakers Walk

As a wise man once said, "walking is the best gift you give to yourself". Right amidst natural trekking paths and interesting spots in the mind-blowing city of Kodaikanal is this mesmerising man-made walking path–Coakers Walk. This trail is approximately a kilometre long. You and your family members across all age groups can enjoy the long walk here and remind yourself of how blessed you to be able to enjoy these stunning and unadulterated views. In case you and your family are interested in riding cycles in the lap of nature, then this is the best choice to do so, too. Rent a bicycle and go for a joyride! Coakers Walk is one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

The picturesque path provides a holistic view of the stunning hills and views of Kodaikanal. Perfect during the winter months, this place delights adventure enthusiasts and photographers alike. With your morning or even evening walks in this pleasant location, you are guaranteed to think of it longingly once you are back to your routine. The morning walk here is nothing short of a delight. Breath in fresh, clean air and soak in the aroma of pines. A walk here shows you many things; you can see the valley of River Pambar towards the south-east and the Dolphin's Nose, along with the city of Madurai on the south of Coakers Walk. The views are truly magnificent at each and every step of this trail.

If you are lucky, you may even witness the Brachem Spectre here. It is a phenomenon which causes the shadow to appear in the clouds. A halo of the rainbow occurs when the sun shines at the back and clouds and mist are present in the atmosphere. This magical moment can only be enjoyed at this place.

Due to its height from the sea level, this spot is never hot. The temperature here ranges from 20 degree Celsius in months of summer to 8 degree Celsius in winters. It can be enjoyed the most during the months of winter as it gives you a feeling of walking in the clouds thanks to the dense winter fog. This sort of walk can distress your mind and body completely.

Coakers Walk was constructed in the year 1872 by Lieutenant Coaker and was subsequently named after him. Not very far from Kodaikanal’s city centre, this pathway is hardly at a distance of half a kilometre away from the famous Kodaikanal Lake. It was constructed on the steep mountain slopes and was a difficult project to complete. You can see proper fencing on the whole pathway for the safety and security of visitors.

This place open at 7:00 AM in the morning to 7:00 PM in the evening. The entry fee here is INR 10. You can hire a cycle at only INR 30 per hour to enjoy a completely different experience.

The visit to the telescope house must not be missed. There are also some interesting shops at the near-by Kurinji Mini Super Market which you may explore. Take back some quirky memorabilia for your friends or for yourselves as a reminder of this lovely visit.

Isn’t this one of the best places for a family vacation? It has all the required elements of a fun place for a family. Stay away from gadgets on your visit! Spend time with your loved ones in nature’s glory. This will not only help you all to destress and forget your worries, but it will also help the family members to communicate with each other and understand each other better. Happy times are surely here!

4. Green Valley View

This place has been renamed from Suicide point to Green Valley View. However, on your visit, you will find that the locals still call this place the Suicide Point. Do not get wary of the place thanks to its name, though. This is one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

It offers mesmerising views of the valleys and hills of Kodaikanal. At a distance of around 5 km from the popular Kodaikanal lake, this point provides an amazing view of the Vaigai Dam. It is a remarkable experience to witness the dense and deep valley from here. The drop from this point is close to 5000 feet, which led to the name – Suicide Point. It is a must-visit place to enjoy the ethereal beauty of Kodaikanal.

Fill your shopping bags with loads of hand-made chocolates available in this place. These chocolates are available in a wide array of colours and flavours, and the display will which will draw you towards them and force you to buy loads of these chocolates to be enjoyed later. These chocolate boxes can also serve as ideal gifts from this quaint town. You will also find other items worth buying here like wooden handicrafts and assorted flowers.

This place is open from 7:00 AM in the morning to 6:00 PM in the evening. Also, there are no entry fees for this place.

. Pine Forest

Unlike the dense natural pine forests of other hill stations, this Pine Forest was the result of efforts of Mr. Bryant way back in the year 1906. He began planting these pine trees with the intent to have a timber forest. His extraordinary determination has today turned this place into a must-visit sightseeing place in Kodaikanal. Not just nature lovers, but all visitors come here since it is one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

If you or any of your family members is a photography enthusiast, then you would like to spend a lot of time here. The pictures capturing sunlight falling on pine trees will always stay in your photo album and bring you a sense of calm. Breathe in the aroma of pine and the pollution-free rich air. It will help you feel energetic and destress you.

In this pine forest, it is delightful to be able to camp and enjoy the surroundings for a once in lifetime experience. You may have to book in advance for a camp in the pine forest.

If you and your family members follow meditation, then this is just the perfect location to meditate for some time. You will feel one with nature. It will help you grow further in your path of peace and spiritual growth.

There are no entry fees for a visit to this pine forest.

6. Fairy Falls

Along with the mesmerising natural sightseeing spots are these magical places, which have been created by the works of fellow residents of the town. These places feature in the best place to visit in Kodaikanal List. In addition to the likes of the pine tree forest and Coakers Walk lies this beautiful waterfall which was created as a result flow of excess water from the reservoir built on Pambar River. Thus, it makes to our list of best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

The magnificent falls also offer a little swimming pool at the bottom, which has turned out to be a treat for visitors. We are of the opinion that the end of monsoon season is one the best times to visit this place. The water overflows and fills up the entire space along with the swimming pool. Near the falls is a stone bridge which helps you admire the complete beauty of these falls. You are sure to never want to leave this spot! It is a great place to hang out with family and enjoy a few splashes in the water. Don’t be shy! Jump in the water and have some fun.

After the refreshing dip, you can relish the hot pakodas or bhajiyas from small eating joints along with a piping hot cuppa. Choose from a variety of eating options available at this place. Have a relaxing picnic and take back a multitude of memories from this vacation. Click selfies with picturesque backgrounds. You will find that you don’t even need to edit or add any special filters to your photos!

7. Kodai-Palani Trek

The breath-taking views of the hills in and around Kodaikanal can be experienced with a great trek. Be ready with your trekking gear and contact a trekking operator for a memorable experience. There are numerous options for treks that start at Kodaikanal. You can choose the one as per the choices and interests of your family members. From easy to hard and from one day to longer, there are many available ones. Amongst these, the Kodai-Palani trek is a very famous route thereby making it to one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal. It is at the level of moderate and can be completed in a day.

If you have never trekked before, then do not be afraid of it! It is an experience which will always remain close to your heart. Be prepared for the unforeseen. It is one of the best places where you can start trekking and be ready for the adrenaline it gives you. While going for trekking, ensure that you wear good comfortable shoes and clothing. Dress in winter clothing and not just shorts. Also, do carry your mosquito repellents. During the trek, you may want to pluck some medicinal herbs or plants available in that region. Please be reminded to do the same under the guidance of your trek operator.

After the trek, you will be amazed by the experience. Your family will thank you for the special time during the trek. It will remain a talking point for long if all you are first-timers and want to experience it together. If you all are pro in trekking, then the suggestion is to choose a harder trek.

8. Kukkal Caves

Kodaikanal was the home to Paliyan tribes. It is believed that the descendants of these Paliyan tribes resided in the Kukkal Caves. These caves are not man-made, but are naturally made out of metamorphic rocks (namely, granulite and charconite). It is an interesting place to understand how the tribals resided and lead their lives in one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal. The temple and old hand paintings on the walls of this temple are from the Paliyan tribe providing a closer look at their culture.

These caves are now not used by Paliyan tribe, but have become a haven for trekkers and visitors. It is not easy to visit these caves since the walls of these caves are quite steep. Even till date, the number of visitors to this place is very low in number. It is an experience to visit these caves and enjoy the peace and tranquillity there.

This place is classified as a special diversity site and requires permission to be taken from the department before the visit. Please ensure that you seek the permission in advance so that you are not disappointed on your visit.

The untouched and unadulterated beauty of this place will leave you speechless.

The caves are open from 10:00 AM in the morning to 5:00 PM in the evening. There is no entry fee for visitors.

9. Shembaganur Museum Of Natural History

Shembaganur Museum in Kodaikanal is an exciting place and must not be missed for anything. It is considered to be one of the best orchidoriums in India. The exquisite varieties of plants available here will baffle and makes your experience memorable. This is truly one of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal.

This place is located approximately 5 km from the Kodaikanal Lake.

This museum is the result of the hard work put in by Spanish Father, E. Ugarthe and creator, A. Anglade, who started it in the year 1951. It is currently maintained by the Sacred Heart College of Kodaikanal.

The museum is divided into the following key sections–anthropology, handicrafts and flora and fauna. There are more than 2500 varieties of plants present here along with a vast garden. There are more than 300 species of trees and flower plants in the orchidorium along with an assortment of butterflies, snakes, mammals and moths.

Even a short visit to this place will be enough to open your eyes to the miracles of nature.

The museum opens at 10.00 AM in the morning and closes at 5.00 PM. It also closes for lunch from 11.30 AM to 3.00 PM. It is closed on Thursday every week.

10. Silver Cascade

This waterfall is a visual delight in Kodaikanal. On your visit, you cannot miss being charmed by the splendour of this waterfall.

Almost 8 km from the city of Kodaikanal is this 55-metre (180 ft) wide waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake, which is known as the silver cascade due to its shining colour and shape visible from a distance.

In this waterfall, the water quality is not fit for bathing, so you are not advised to take a dip. However, the beauty of this waterfall is absolutely mesmerising.

It is a popular stop for tourists. The surroundings are loaded with shops for food and gift items. In case, you have not already done your shopping of souvenirs, then this is the place for a perfect bargain. You will find assorted wooden items and other handicrafts, which can purchase as gifts.

However, be careful of the numerous monkeys present in that area who can rob you of your eatables and even other handy items.

11. Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal Lake is a star-shaped, man-made lake spread over 60 acres. The water coming from Palani Hills feed this beautiful lake, whose outflow has created a 180 ft stunning waterfall known as the ‘Silver Cascade’. You will be left mesmerised by not just the beauty of the place but also the sound of the water gushing over the rocks.

Timing: 24 hours

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

Have a look at some fun facts about Kodaikanal lake before planning your family trip here.

12. Berijam Lake in Kodaikanal

Sightseeing in Kodaikanal is not complete until you visit Berijam Lake. The lake is situated at the old site of Fort Hamilton in the upper Palani Hills and features a stunning setting and lush greenery. If you wish to take a relaxing boat ride, this is the place to visit in Kodaikanal.

Timing: Monday to Sunday; 9 am to 3 pm

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

13. Dolphin’s Nose in Kodaikanal

To experience Kodaikanal at its very best, visit the Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint. It gets its name from its perceived shape. Clear skies, deep valleys, lush greenery, and rugged terrain complete the scene, making it perfect for photography enthusiasts. It’s also a great place for a short picnic in the midst of nature.

Timing: Sunrise to sunset

Suggested visit duration: 2-3 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

14. Mannavanur Lake in Kodaikanal

One of the most serene and beautiful places to visit in Kodaikanal, Mannavanur Lake is blessed with exotic birds, thanks to the cool temperature. Pine and eucalyptus trees grow on both sides of the road leading to the lake. You can go coracle sailing for a nominal fee (check with the Forest Department), or go horse-riding.

Timing: Monday to Sunday; 9 am to 5 pm

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: Rs 10 per person

15. Vattakanal Falls in Kodaikanal

Another popular tourist site in Kodaikanal, Vattakanal Falls particularly appeals to nature and adventure lovers. You can visit these falls by trekking through a small and beautiful forest. These falls are best visited during the monsoon.

Timings: 24 hours

Suggested visit duration: 2-3 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

16. Pambar Falls in Kodaikanal

Picture-perfect Pambar Falls is 3 km from Kodaikanal Bus Station. The town reservoir overflows to create a waterfall known as Fairy Falls that proceeds to join the Vaigai River and form Pambar Falls. The cool water is excellent for taking a quick refreshing dip.

Timings: 10 am to 6 pm; all days

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

17. Astrophysical Observatory in Kodaikanal

The Kodaikanal Astrophysical Observatory is one of the oldest observatories in the world. Established in 1899, it is located in the rolling Palani hills and is sometimes used for occultation and comet observations. There’s a nominal fee for using the telescope. This is a must visit place in Kodaikanal

Timings: 10 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 4 pm (April 1st to June 15th; on other days it is open to the public only on Friday between 10 am and 12 noon).

Suggested visit duration: 2-3 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

18. Lutheran Church in Kodaikanal

The Lutheran Church of Kodaikanal was built in 1932 and features modern paintings, stained glass windows, and murals that depict the life of Jesus Christ. This impressive Gothic structure finds a mention in any list of places to visit in Kodaikanal simply because of the beauty of its architecture.

Timings: 7 am to 8 pm; all days

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

19. Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple in Kodaikanal

Dedicated to Lord Muruga, the Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple is best known for the kurinji flowers that bloom only once every 12 years. Situated near the Chettiyar Park, this place of sanctity embodies traditional south Indian architecture and attracts devotees from all over the country. You can witness the mesmerizing Palani Hills and Vaigai Dam from here. It is one of the important place to visit in Kodaikanal for devotees.

Timings: 7 am to 7 pm; all days

Suggested visit duration: 1-2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

20. Perumal Peak in Kodaikanal

Perumal Peak is an absolute delight for anyone who wants to enjoy a bit of trekking. You can enjoy sweeping views of the valley while traversing the quaint and gorgeous Perumal Malai village on your way back. Perumal peak is a must visit place in Kodaikanal for trekkers

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm; all days

Suggested visit duration: 1 to 2 hours

Entry fee: No entry charges

Here is a detailed Tamil Nadu tourism guide to know more about places to visit, things to do & places to visit in Kodaikanal to make the most of your family vacation.

With so much to do and so many places to visit in Kodaikanal, you can thoroughly enjoy your vacation only if your family is happy with the resort that you going to stay at. After a day well spent in the city, if you are not happy with the room that you are returning to, you will not have a wholesome, enjoyable experience. Have you checked the comfort aspect of the rooms? Have you checked the quality of services offered? Do you have any knowledge of the range of food which will be available at the resort? Do you think there are only tall claims on the internet? How can you believe that the reviews are genuine?

All of these questions can be answered by our research. Not just the best places to visit in Kodaikanal, we can also assist you with the best resort in Kodaikanal–an amazing resort which will be perfect for your family vacation. Look no further and plan a stay at Club Mahindra La Poshe resort in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.

The brand name of Club Mahindra is proof of quality and genuine reviews. You can also look at Club Mahindra reviews to know how much other travellers have loved this resort.

The property provides comfortable and spacious rooms which are equipped with a host of modern amenities. This resort has an in-house restaurant where one can relish various local cuisines of Tamil Nadu with your family. The resort also has lots of other indoor activities available which you all can enjoy together.

In order to book this resort, join Club Mahindra today and enjoy a magical family vacation.

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