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kodaikanal

The first European to visit Kodaikanal was Lt. B.S. Ward a surveyor in the year 1821. His Head Quarters was Vellagavi village. There were many American missions in South Tamil Nadu. The foreigners could not bear the oppressive heat in Tamilnadu and they faced sickness from epidemic diseases and consequential deaths. They wanted neat and healthy natural surroundings near Madurai to rest and improve their health. They were happy to find from the report of Lt. B.S. Ward about the hills with wonderful climate and easy accessibility from Madurai & Periyakulam. Many English and American missionary people visited Kodaikanal through various routes. Notable among them are J C Wroughton -Sub Collector, C R Cotton Judge and Dr. Weight. Dr.Fane built two houses in 1845 in the lake road. More houses were built by British Govt. The American Missionaries moved in and built a lot of dwellings in the southern side which is still there and now called 'Sunny Side' and 'Shelton' . In the year 1860, the first church was built jointly by the Bishop. American Madurai Mission built the union church in 1895. From year 1860, there was all round improvement due to the visit of several dignitaries. Roman Catholics came, purchased a bungalow for Jesuit fathers, as rest house which is now called La Providence in upper shoal road. Governors of Madras Sir Charles Travelyon and Lord Napier visited in the years 1860 and 1871. One major JM Partridge of the army introduced Eucalyptus and wattle trees in the year 1867. Bier Leverage, collector of Madurai lived in Pamhar house after his retirement. Only through his tireless efforts and initiative the man-made Kodaikanal lake, the foremost attraction of the tourists was formed. He arranged boat rides in the lake. He planned and executed several approach roads to Kodaikanal. He introduced several foreign trees and vegetables such as Pine Forms and Pears. In the year 1872 Lt. Coaker cut a path along the ridge of steep south eastern side which commends a magnificant view of the plains below. The path was named after him as Coaker's Walk.

  • Area : 21.45 sq.kms
  • Population : 32,931 ( 2001Censes)
  • Altitude : 2,133 - Metres above sea level
  • RainFall : 165cms (average)
  • Temperature : Summer - 19.80°C Winter - 17.30°C
  • Best Season : April to June, and September to October, but can be visited throughout the year.
  • Cloth : Light woollens in the evening during summer and heavy woollens during winter.
  • Languages : Tamil and English
  • District : Dindigul
  • State : Tamil Nadu
  • ISD Code : + 91
  • STD Code : + 04542

 

KODAIKANAL SIGHT SEEING  
LAKE

One of the main attractions for the tourists of Kodaikanal is the Kodai lake which is at a distance of 3kms from the bus stand. In 1863, Vera Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai settled in Kodaikanal after his retirement. He was the man of resource and creative ideas for this lake. By spending his own money he converted the marshy land with several streams of lake by constructing a strong bund and brought boats from Tuticorin. It is reported that the foreign resident's even used to swim in the lake.

PARKS

Bryant Parks
The practical utility of this park is, in every May a horticultural show is conducted by the department of Horticulture. On that occasion enormous vegetables and flowers from neighbouring villages compete for the prizes, which draws big crowd. They exhibit flowers, vegetables, fruits and other products. It serves as a practical centre for education on Ornamental Horticulture and as a demonstration centre. The various methods of training, pruning, budding, grafting, potting seed collection etc, are taught to the students of Horticulture as well as to the visitors.

Chettiar Park
Chettiar park, managed by the township, is on the way to the Kurunji Temple. It is 3.2 kms from the Bus Stand. Unlike other areas this park is very quite, and those who love calm timepassing can prefer this park.

Coaker walk

It is a narrow pedestrian path, constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872, a one kilometer mountain road which runs along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai road which is 1/2km away from Kodai. The walk winding around mt. Nebo starts near van Allen hospital and joins the main road above St. Peter's Church provides a wide-angle spectacular view of the plains. On a cloudless, clear day one can have interesting sights, such as.... Dolphin's nose in south, valley of the pambar river in South East, birds eye view of Periyakulam and even city of Madurai.

kurinji andavar temple

This temple situated 3 kms from the lake, is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. In Tamil literature Kurinji means 'hill region' and Andavar means 'God'. Hence Lord Muruga is referred as 'God of hill'. This temple is associated with the Kurinji flowers, which carpets at hill sides and bloomes once in 12 years. From this temple one can have a view of Palani and Vaigai dam.

Physical Observatory

This oldest world famous institution was built in 1898. It is nearly 6 kms from the bus stand and situated at the highest point in Kodai hills at 7700 ft. It has a well equipped productive laboratory doing quality research work. Its director Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in Sunspots - known as Evershed effect.

Falls

Silver cascade
This water fall is located on the main ghat road, 8 kms away as one approaches Kodai from Kodai Road. Overflow of Kodai lake takes 180 ft leap over a steepcliff, to crash into a pool beside the ghat Road.

Bear Shola Falls

An ideal picnic spot 1.6 km from bus stand and within 2 Kms off the lake, where once bears came to drink water. Hence the name of the falls became Bear Shola falls. Cross the lake bund, pass the Telephone exchange on your right, and at the junction take the lower road there comes Clifton Hotel. The approach is rugged hill path. The falls are at the best in rainy season.

Pambar FallsPambar Falls

"Grand cascade" is another name for this magnificent falls. It can be reached by a steep, precipitous path behind Pambar house. Racing down Pambar Raivine is Zig-zagging leving stream that cascades over a series of rock formations. It is 4kms away from Kodaikanal.

Thalaiyar Falls

This is also called as Rat tail falls.The widest falls, ranging from 13th kilometer on the ghat road to kodai.It is one of the highest falls in India, with their 975ft sheer drop.

Kukkal Caves

To reach Kukkal Caves which is at a distance of 40 kms, travel by bus upto Poombarai and then give a walk. It is preferable to take a local guide. After walking through geranium plantations, pine and wattle forest, the Kukkal forest rest house can be reached. The early morning hike from the rest house will lead to beautiful shola with wild large orchids. One should be beware of leeches. The caves here are actually overhanging slabs of rocks. This rock shelter is at an altitude of 1500 m.

Pillar Rocks

Three granite boulders each vertically measuring a height of 400 feet stand shoulder to shoulder. It is located 8 Kms from the lake tower over the panoramic view. In the shadows of the pillars are shady woods that invite picnickers. The chamber between the two pillars is called Devil's kitchen.

Palani

The Palani hills are at eastern offshoot of the Western ghats covering an area of 2400 Sq. Kms, and the town of Kodaikanal is centrally located. There are 2 main divisions of Palani - the Upper Palani (1800 - 2500 m)and the Lower Palani (800 - 1500 M). The Palani is the main watershed for the Vaigai (South) and Amaravathi (Cauvery) (North) Basins. The climate of the Palani varies with altitude from the typical climate of the Tamil Nad. The average rainfall in Palani is 1600 mm. The major contribution being from the North East monsoon though there is some rainfall during the South West monsoon period. The Palani is a source of unique genetic diversity as well as of water for the thirsty plains below.

 

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