Travel guide to Kodaikanal

Travel to Kodaikanal: A Traveler’s Dream Destination in South India (2024)

Explore the serene beauty of Kodaikanal, nestled amidst the lush hills of Tamil Nadu, India. Discover breathtaking vistas, tranquil lakes, and verdant valleys as you embark on an unforgettable journey through this picturesque hill station. From scenic hikes to peaceful boat rides, Kodaikanal offers many experiences for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Plan your perfect travel to Kodaikanal and immerse yourself in this enchanting destination’s natural splendour and cultural charm.

I adore Kodaikanal. Unlike other hill stations like Ooty, it’s wonderfully uncrowded. I’ve visited this stunning destination twice, which has been pure bliss each time.

PIN for later reference – Travel to Kodaikanal

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PIN for later reference – Travel to Kodaikanal

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About Kodaikanal

Nestled in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, India, Kodaikanal earns its title as the “Princess of Hill Stations.” Its name, derived from the Tamil words “Kodai” and “Kanal,” translates to “Gift of the Forest,” aptly reflecting its lush surroundings. Established in 1845 as a refuge from sweltering temperatures, this hill station sits at 2133 meters and was initially inhabited by the Paliyar tribal people.

While Kodaikanal welcomes visitors year-round, the optimal time to experience its charm is during the summer, from April to June. Ideally, plan a 3- to 4-day trip to fully explore Kodaikanal’s myriad attractions and surrounding areas.

Roads at Kodaikanal

How to Get to Kodaikanal?

By Air

The closest airport to Kodaikanal is in Madurai, approximately 120 kilometres away. Major airlines such as Air India and IndiGo serve the Madurai airport, offering convenient travel options for visitors to reach their destination.

By Road from Bangalore

The distance from Bangalore to Kodaikanal spans approximately 460 kilometres, with a travel time averaging around 9 hours by road. Optimal passage is achieved via the Hosur road, renowned for its excellent road conditions, save for a few sections within the ghats.

Route: Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Salem – Karur – Dindigul – Kodaikanal.

The preferred route navigates through Bangalore, Hosur, Krishnagiri, Salem, Karur, Dindigul, and Kodaikanal. The last 100 kilometres entail a challenging ghat (hill) section, demanding the expertise of an experienced driver, particularly during nocturnal journeys due to the winding and narrow roads.

Along the way, numerous fast-food establishments offer respite for travellers, with Krishnagiri and Salem recommended for breakfast and lunch, respectively. Expect several tolls along the route, with an estimated cost averaging around INR 500.

Exercise caution during the journey as monkeys and cows occasionally traverse the roads, necessitating a slow and vigilant approach to ensure a safe passage.

By Public Transport

The closest railway station to the hill station is located at Kodai Road, approximately 80 kilometres away. For current and accurate information regarding train schedules and bookings, travellers are advised to visit the IRCTC website.

Things To Do in Kodaikanal


  • The entrance fee stated in the post excludes camera charges, which incur an additional cost.
  • Entrance fees are obtained at the entrances of the respective locations.
  • For the most recent information on entrance fees, visitors can refer to the entrance points of the places.


Kodaikanal Lake

Established in 1863, Kodaikanal Lake is an artificial reservoir fashioned in the semblance of a star. It is an idyllic spot for leisurely pursuits, offering visitors a delightful retreat for a few hours.

Boat rentals, available in either rowing or pedal varieties, extend the opportunity to explore the lake’s tranquillity for 30-minute intervals. Pedal boats, accommodating two individuals, can be hired at INR 150 per boat. A scenic walkway encircles the lake, inviting strolls amidst serene surroundings.

Kodaikanal lake
Kodaikanal lake

Berijam Lake

Update! The lake is closed as of now because of the pandemic.

Situated approximately 26 kilometres from Kodaikanal, Berijam Lake is a tranquil water body amidst natural splendour. Visitors seeking access to the lake must obtain permission from the forest department. An entry fee of INR 150 per vehicle is required for admittance.


Wax Museum

Featuring wax replicas of Indian and renowned personalities, this museum offers an intriguing glimpse into history and culture. While it may not claim the finest title, it remains a worthwhile destination for admiring lifelike wax sculptures and investing approximately an hour in exploration.

  • Operating hours span from 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily, ensuring ample opportunity for visitors to experience its offerings.
  • Entry to the museum requires a nominal fee of INR 50 per person.

Solar Observatory Museum

Operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, the Solar Observatory Museum is a dedicated facility for studying solar phenomena and gathering pertinent data. Equipped with specialized telescopes, the observatory allows visitors to observe the sun firsthand.

  • Visiting the observatory during the morning is recommended for optimal viewing conditions, specifically between 9 AM and 12:30 PM.
  • Entrance to the observatory is free of charge, allowing enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore its offerings without financial constraint.

Coaker’s Walk

Established in 1872, Coaker’s Walk offers a scenic one-kilometre promenade boasting breathtaking vistas of the cityscape and the surrounding valley.

  • The walkway welcomes visitors from 7 AM to 7 PM daily, providing ample opportunity to soak in the panoramic views.
  • Access to Coaker’s Walk entails a nominal entrance fee of INR 10 per person.

Pillar Rocks

Pillar Rocks is a favoured tourist destination within Kodaikanal, offering captivating vistas of its majestic cliff formations.

  • Visitors can explore the viewpoint from 9 AM to 4:30 PM daily, embracing the natural splendour at their leisure.
  • Entry to Pillar Rocks requires a nominal fee of INR 10 per person, granting access to its awe-inspiring scenery.
Pillar Rocks
Pillar Rocks


Silver Cascade falls

The Silver Cascade Falls is a striking natural waterfall, cascading steeply from the heights of the Kodaikanal Lake. Its majestic height of 180 feet captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring beauty.

Silver Cascade waterfalls
Silver Cascade waterfalls

Vattakanal Falls

Approximately 3 kilometres from Kodaikanal City, Vattakanal Falls is characterized by a series of rocky steps that create a picturesque cascade. Accessible via a short 10-minute trek from the parking lot, it offers a rewarding excursion into nature’s tranquillity.

  • Notably, there is no entrance fee required to enjoy this natural marvel.

For avid trekkers, the trek to Vattakanal Falls stands out as one of the most memorable experiences in South India.



Upper Lake View

The Upper Lake View offers a breathtaking bird’s-eye perspective of the Kodaikanal Lake, providing visitors with an unforgettable panoramic vista.

  • Remarkably, no entrance fee is required to access this stunning viewpoint.

Green Valley View

Situated approximately 5.5 kilometres away, the Green Valley Viewpoint offers mesmerizing vistas of the lush valley below. Please be advised that numerous monkeys frequent the area.

  • Notably, there is no entrance fee to enjoy this captivating natural spectacle.

Pine Forest

The Pine Forest is renowned for its towering, majestic trees, creating a picturesque landscape that’s a photographer’s dream. With hundreds of pine trees dotting the area, it offers a perfect setting for capturing stunning photographs.

Guna Caves

Guna Caves is a highly sought-after tourist destination in Kodaikanal, known for its discovery in 1821 and the iconic three-pillar rock formation.

  • Visitors can explore the caves from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, immersing themselves in the fascinating natural wonders they hold.
  • Access to Guna Caves requires a modest entrance fee of INR 5 per person, ensuring an affordable and enriching experience for all.

Churches and Temples

Kodaikanal boasts several stunning South Indian Hindu temples and churches, adding cultural richness to its landscape. Exploring a selection of these religious sites is highly recommended.

While visiting these temples, it’s essential to respect the religious beliefs and traditions of the local community. Additionally, dressing modestly and appropriately is advised as a sign of reverence and cultural sensitivity.

Temple at Kodaikanal
Temple at Kodaikanal

Poombarai Village

Renowned for its charming brick-red tiled houses, Poombarai village is a quaint settlement celebrated for its prolific garlic cultivation.

Nestled approximately 18 kilometres from Kodaikanal, this picturesque village offers a glimpse into rural life amidst stunning natural surroundings.

Solo female traveler at Kodaikanal
Poombarai Village

Ideal Tours of the Sightseeing Places

Valley Tour

Embark on the Valley Tour, an ideal journey to revel in panoramic valley vistas and explore notable sightseeing spots and viewpoints. Traverse through Coaker’s Walk, Green Valley viewpoint, Pillar Rocks, Guna Caves, Pine Forest, Moier Point, and Upper Lake viewpoint. This immersive itinerary promises an unforgettable adventure, showcasing Kodaikanal’s natural splendour and iconic landmarks.

  • Path: Coaker’s Walk – Green Valley Viewpoint – Pillar Rocks – Guna Caves – Pine Forest – Moier Point – Upper Lake Viewpoint.

City Tour

Experience the City Tour, a captivating journey through Kodaikanal’s iconic landmarks. Discover the city’s charm with stops at Kodaikanal City View, a serene temple, Chettiar Park, and Bryant Park, culminating at the picturesque Kodaikanal Lake. This immersive itinerary offers a glimpse into the heart of Kodaikanal, showcasing its cultural heritage and natural beauty in a memorable adventure.

  • Path: Kodaikanal City View – Temple – Chettian Park – Bryant Park – Kodaikanal Lake.

Where to Stay in Kodaikanal?

When choosing where to stay in Kodaikanal, consider your preferences for accommodation style, budget, and location. Here are some popular options:

  1. Resorts: Kodaikanal offers a range of resorts, from luxury to budget-friendly, with amenities like spa services, scenic views, and recreational activities.
  2. Hotels: There are numerous hotels in Kodaikanal catering to various budgets and preferences, from boutique hotels to well-known chains.
  3. Cottages: For a more secluded and homely experience, consider renting a cottage amidst the lush hills of Kodaikanal. Many cottages offer privacy and stunning views.
  4. Homestays: Experience the local culture and hospitality by staying in a homestay. This option allows you to interact with locals and enjoy home-cooked meals.
  5. Campsites: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, camping in Kodaikanal can be a memorable experience. Several campsites offer tent rentals and basic facilities amidst nature.

Here are some 5-star hotels and resorts in Kodaikanal:

  1. Green Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels
  2. The Carlton Hotel
  3. Sterling Kodai Lake
  4. Le Poshe by Sparsa
  5. The Tamara Kodai
  6. Sterling Kodai Valley

In my two visits to Kodaikanal, I enjoyed staying at resorts that exuded sheer beauty and charm. For current pricing and availability, it’s advisable to visit the Agoda website.

Sterling Holidays Valley View Resort

I lodged at the Sterling Holidays Valley View Resort during my initial visit to Kodaikanal. Offering awe-inspiring vistas of the valley, it stands as one of the finest resorts I’ve experienced. The service was impeccable, and the staff exhibited warmth and friendliness throughout my stay. The rate for a standard room accommodating two individuals totalled INR 4000.

Le Poche by Sparsa

During my second trip to Kodaikanal, I resided at Le Poche by Sparsa, courtesy of my Club Mahindra membership. The resort comprises charming two-story cottages, each housing four rooms. The rate for one room amounted to approximately INR 5000. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this resort, thanks to the generous staff and the stunning vistas it offered—additionally, the delectable buffet meals provided as part of the package added to the delightful experience.

Is Kodaikanal Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Kodaikanal is undeniably a safe destination for solo female travellers. While navigating the winding roads alone, exercise caution and drive carefully. Apart from this, I encountered no issues during my visit. However, as with any location, it’s wise to remain vigilant, especially during nighttime.

Travel guide to Kodaikanal

Closing Notes

As previously mentioned, my affection for Kodaikanal knows no bounds. This serene retreat offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its residents lead simple, peaceful lives, and the destination boasts an abundance of activities to enjoy. I wholeheartedly endorse a visit to Kodaikanal for anyone seeking tranquility and rejuvenation amidst nature’s embrace.

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Travel to Kodaikanal: A Traveler's Dream Destination in South India (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Travel to Kodaikanal

    Travel guide to Kodaikanal - PIN for later reference
    Travel to Kodaikanal – PIN for later reference