There is no shortage of awe-inspiring sights and incredible activities to engage within Tamil Nadu. The natural beauty combined with the looming element of sheer peace are two very valid reasons for tourists to flock to the state by the thousands.
One of the most frequented destinations in the state, especially for the new generation of travellers, is the hilly town of Kodaikanal. Centered around the man-made marvel that is the Kodaikanal lake, the hill station is encompassed by the endless charm of nature and is filled to the brim with interesting and breathtaking tourist spots that are simply waiting to be explored. There are numerous interesting things to do in Kodaikanal that will surely make you capture the best memories of this serene place.
Top 13 Things To Do In Kodaikanal
If you’re planning a trip to this charming “gift of the forest”, here’s a list of things to do in Kodaikanal that you most definitely shouldn’t miss. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, traveling with friends or family, you’ll find all kinds of activities to your suit your interests right here:
- Night Safari: Have An Adventure Of A Lifetime
- Kodaikanal Lake: Take A Misty Boat Ride
- Coaker’s Walk: Take A Stroll
- Dolphin’s Nose: Gaze At Stunning Panoramas
- Caps Valley Viewpoint: Try The Bottle Boomerang Challenge
- Pillars Of Nature: Hike To The Top
- Guna Caves: Feel The Thrill Of Treading In Dark Crevices
- Bear Shola Falls: Spend A Day Chilling
- Bryant Park: Have A Fun Picnic
- Pine Forest: Wander In The Wilderness
- Berijam Lake: Go Birdwatching
- Karuna Farm: Rejuvenate With Yoga
- Kanyakumari Road: Enjoy Biking
1. Night Safari: Have An Adventure Of A Lifetime
Preferred mostly by couples, the night safari in Kodaikanal is not an experience fit for the faint of heart, and yet, is one of the most preferred things to do in Kodaikanal at night. The adventure is a one-of-a-kind experience and offers travelers a chance to take a thrilling peak into the daily lives of the natural fauna that calls Kodaikanal home.
The best part is, getting up close and personal with the fauna of the area is not the only thing to look forward to. Apart from observing bisons, wild boars, and porcupines in the natural habitat, the safari will also take you to soak in the breathtaking views of Mango City and Palani Temple.
Additional info: It pays to remember that an adventure activity such as night safari should only be undertaken under an experienced and certified expert. For this reason, it is a smart decision to hire one of the local travel agents to arrange the same for you.
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2. Kodaikanal Lake: Take A Misty Boat Ride
As mentioned earlier, the Kodaikanal Lake is one of the most noteworthy attractions in the city and thus naturally, boating in the lake has to be a part of a top top things to do in Kodaikanal. With that said, the magic of Kodaikanal Lake is simply enchantments, especially on the days that are a bit chilly.
The lake is covered with a light mist that offers a charm that most have only seen in the films. Even on the days there is no mist, the star-shaped lake offers fantastic views of the surrounding flora and is a budget friendly way to spend a few serenity-filled hours connecting with mother nature.
Additional info: The lake is closed for boating on Sundays and on the rest of the days, the operational timings are between 9 AM and 5:30 PM.
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3. Coaker’s Walk: Take A Stroll
While the Coaker’s is open from 7 AM to 7 PM this activity is especially recommended for the early birds. Approximately 1 kilometer in length, it is a lovely walking plaza that involves an uphill walk on a beautifully constructed parth surrounded by views that are often described as awe-inspiring and breathtaking.
Situated in close proximity to the Kodaikanal Lake, a walk along the Coaker’s Walk pathway is the perfect activity to pair with boating in the lake. At the end of the pathway, there is a telescope house that visitors can use to witness better views of the surrounding hills, valleys, and lakes.
Additional info: While the entry fee for Coaker’s Walk is just 10 bucks, taking a camera inside the premise will set you back by 30 rupees. There is an additional entry fee of 20 rupees for the telescope house.
4. Dolphin’s Nose: Gaze At Stunning Panoramas
Clear skies, rugged terrain, plunging valleys, and natural beauty as far as the eye can see. If all these things sound appealing to you, a hike to the Dolphin’s Nose is one of the best things to do in Kodaikanal.
The short 3 kilometer hike is extremely easy and the peak which, as the name suggests, is shaped like a dolphin’s nose, offers fantastic views of the hill station. The hike feels extra special on the days the city is blanketed by a mysterious fog. If you are the kind of traveller that values soulful introspection over clicking photographs, mysteriously foggy days are the best to take the hike. Even if you fall in the latter category, Dolphin’s Nose will not disappoint.
Additional info: The trail to Dolphin’s Nose is also close to a waterfall that travelers must explore during their hike. Moreover, it is worth noting that the trail also offers a few points where tired hikers can purchase fresh juice and snacks. However, these are relatively expensive, thanks to the effort involved in offering these services at a higher altitude.
5. Caps Valley Viewpoint: Try The Bottle Boomerang Challenge
Ever played with a boomerang? If you’re part of the majority that hasn’t, Kodaikanal has something very special in store for you. Known as Thoppi Thooki Parai in the local language, which directly translates to “cap lifting rock” the Caps Valley View point is a valley between two peaks (duh!) that features an unusually strong air current.
Thanks to this, light objects (caps) thrown in the valley return to the owner, much like a boomerang.
Additional info: If you are visiting the Caps Valley Viewpoint, and are considering skipping it because there’s just one amusing activity to undertake, you might want to get rid of such thoughts. Apart from the amusing natural phenomenon, the view point offers brilliant views of the surrounding hills and valleys, something that you will regret missing.
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6. Pillars Of Nature: Hike To The Top
One of the most frequented places by visitors of Kodaikanal is the Pillar Rocks viewpoint. As the name suggests, Pillar Rocks are pillar-like rock formations that tower over a valley filled with exotic flora and fauna.
Reaching the top of pillar rocks involves a 7 kilometer hike that is well worth the effort. The top is also a famous camping site as it offers superb views of the sun setting in the evening and equally awe-inspiring views of the night sky dotted by billions of stars.
Additional info: The hike trail goes through a dense forest area and is best embarked upon under the guidance of a local guide that is familiar with the route.
7. Guna Caves: Feel The Thrill Of Treading In Dark Crevices
Guna cave is the cave formed by the Pillar Rocks. The dark and mysterious cave system is often part of the itinerary for those visiting the Pillar Rocks, and for good reason.
While the interiors of the cave are not accessible to tourists any more, the surrounding natural beauty and the element of mystery still attracts them by the hundreds.
Additional Info: The cave system and its surroundings places near Kodaikanal are best experienced in the colder months, thanks to the thick fog that encompasses the area. This added mystery makes a visit to Guna Caves one of the top things to do in Kodaikanal in December.
8. Bear Shola Falls: Spend A Day Chilling
Kodaikanal is home to eight unique waterfalls that offer a heady combination of great views and quaint surroundings that make you forget about all your woes. Travelers can choose to visit and spend a full day in the company of the Bear Shola Falls or can go “waterfall hopping” and try to cover as many falls as they can.
Other noteworthy waterfalls in Kodaikanal are Liril Falls, Silver Cascade Waterfall, Pambar Falls, Fairy Falls, and Thalaiyar Falls.
Additional Info: Some of the waterfalls on this list have specific opening hours that travelers must take note of. For instance, Thalaiyar and Pambar falls are open to tourists only between 10 AM and 6 PM. Similarly, Liril Falls are open between 8:30 AM and 5 PM.
9. Bryant Park: Have A Fun Picnic
One of the most fun things to do in Kodaikanal for kids is having a refreshing picnic at the Bryant Park. This well-maintained botanical garden is filled with colourful, blooming flowers and is a great spot for family picnics and walks. There are designated play areas for kids, a vast glass house for nurturing young plants, cycling paths, a small lake for boating, as well as an attractive rose garden.
Location: Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal
Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM
Additional info: If you’re visiting Kodaikanal in summer, you can also witness the awesome flower show organized here.
10. Pine Forest: Wander In The Wilderness
Lying on the way to Guna Caves, the Pine Forest in Kodaikanal is a dreamy and refreshing terrain where you can do anything from simply taking a stroll to camping to spotting nilgai and deer. A walk in the picturesque Pine Forest is sure to make you feel like you’re walking in a fairytale. Various Bollywood and South Indian movies have been shot in this beautiful forest area. Various tour operators also organise treks near Chennai of which trekking in this particular forest is a major part since it gives people an up close and personal encounter with Tamil Nadu’s wilderness. Trekking through this forest is among the top things to do in Kodaikanal.
Location: Kodaikanal Ghat Road, Kodaikanal
Timings: Open 24X7
Additional info: It’s a good place for a casual picnic and photoshoot, as long as you don’t litter.
11. Berijam Lake: Go Birdwatching
The freshwater Berijam Lake is located at a distance of just 24 km from the centre of the town. This reservoir is easily accessible via a highly scenic route and is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Gorgeous water lilies and a range of medicinal plants thrive here that adds to the scenic charm of this lake and makes it visit-worthy. Another thing that attracts people here is the range of migratory and resident birds that you’ll be able to spot here. In fact, birdwatching and bird photography are among the most exciting things to do in Kodaikanal for kids and adults when you’re at this spot.
Location: Near former Fort Hamilton, Palani hills, Dindigul district, Kodaikanal
Timings: 9 AM – 3 PM
Additional info: You’ll need to extract permission from the forest department in order to visit this lake area.
12. Karuna Farm: Rejuvenate With Yoga
If you’re looking for both relaxing and fun things to do in Kodaikanal, you can always opt to go on a Yoga retreat at the Karuna Farm near Kodaikanal. It’s the one enlivening place in the city where you can disconnect with the worries of the world and reconnect with your mind, body, and soul. The Karuna Farm in Kodaikanal allows visitors to practice different forms of Yoga to cleanse their souls and foster a healthier start to their life. It’s one of the best yoga retreats in India where you’ll be practicing under the guidance of experts at a pristine ecological farm.
Location: Prakasapuram Village, Kodaikanal
Additional info: Call ahead to book a place and session for yoga, meditation and meditative art class.
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13. Kanyakumari Road: Enjoy Biking
While Kodaikanal can easily be explored on foot or local transport, we’d not recommend you to stick to only that. There is a specific stretch of road near the city border where you can indulge in a thrilling feat of biking. This long, smooth, and uninterrupted road is apt for these kinds of adventure spots in Kodaikanal. It’s surely one of the most adventurous things to do in Kodaikanal for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies who visit this town. The Kanyakumari Road near Kodaikanal offers this unique experience that you will cherish forever!
Location: Kanyakumari Road
Additional info: You can rent a bike or bicycle at the Kodai Bike Services in Kodaikanal.
Kodaikanal is a wonderful hill station and one blog post can never do justice to the huge variety of attractions present in a quaint little town. With that said, there is so much to see and do in Kodaikanal that even spending a week in the town would not be enough. If you’re planning a trip to Kodaikanal, we hope that this blog will help you build an itinerary that you will thank yourself for, when you’re actually in the city. Final thought before wrapping up, please travel responsibly.
Frequently Asked Question About Things To Do In Kodaikanal
A. By road, the town is linked to several surrounding major cities such as Bangalore (460 kilometers), Chennai (530 kilometers), and Madurai (120 kilometers), among many others. Kodaikanal is connected to these cities with regular running bus services. The nearest railway station to Kodaikanal is Kodai Road, which is a 95 kilometer journey from the city centre. Cabs and other modes of public transport are easily available at the railway station. The nearest airport to Kodaikanal is the Madurai airport, at a distance of 120 kilometers. Madurai airport and Kodaikanal are well connected with cabs and other modes of public transport.
A. Hot “chai” coupled with sandwiches is the most sought after food combo in the city. The town is dotted with a number of picture-perfect Insta worth cafes that serve some incredible food including (but not limited to) chocolates, pastries, pancakes, omletes. If you are looking for a meal with a view, we strongly recommend checking out a cute little breakfast place called PotLuck.
A. The hill station is home to many resorts, hotels, and homestays. Those looking to splurge of luxurious holiday can go for a resort like the Fern Creek. Those looking for a more authentic experience should definitely choose to stay in a homestay with the locals. The Sterling Kodai Lake resort is also a great option for those looking for a stay with a view.
A. Kodaikanal is home to almost 10 unique waterfalls. The most visited of these are, Liril Falls, Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade Waterfall, Vattakanal Waterfalls, Fairy Falls, Kumbakkarai Falls, Pambar Falls, and Thalaiyar Falls.
A. Kodaikanal is famous for its scenic beauty that encompasses the town. It is home to lakes, waterfalls, and breathtaking view points that have attracted travelers from around the world for decades.
A. Kodaikanal presents visitors with a pleasant weather for most of the year. However, the peak tourist season occurs between the months of March and June when the abundant nature surrounding the town is blooming in its full glory.
A. While the answer to this question is totally dependent on your interests, spots like Kodaikanal Lake, Croaker’s Walk, and Dolphin’s Nose are usually the top spots that tourists short on time can visit.
A. Central Kodaikanal allows no taxis of buses and must be explored on foot. The rest of the town is well connected by cabs. A ride in a cab will set you back by a minimum of 60 bucks and the price can go up to 1500-2000 depending on the duration and distance of your journey. For those who prefer a more green mode of transportation by renting a mountain bike. Starting at roughly 10-20 bucks for an hour, these are perhaps the most cost-effective way of getting around in Kodaikanal.
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