Kodaikanal – located in the state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the perfect getaway destinations for people living in Bangalore. The best way to reach Kodaikanal would be to drive down from Bangalore. Thanks to the “Golden Quadrilateral project”, road conditions are excellent and you will breeze past the beautiful landscape to reach your destination. 

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Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. It is also referred to the the “Princess of Hill Stations” and is one of the most sort out tourist destination in the state of Tamil Nadu. We had in the past planned many a times to visit Kodaikanal , but somehow the trips never materialized. This time around we had a long weekend to look forward and had few functions to attend in Madurai (which is pretty close to Kodaikanal), which ensured that we packed our bags 🙂

I did few checks online regarding the route and checked with my relatives and everyone suggested the following route:

Bangalore -> Hosur (40 Kms) -> Krishnagiri (90 Kms) -> Dharmapuri (140 Kms) -> Salem (201 Kms)-> Namakkal (253 Kms) -> Karur (296 Kms) -> Dindigul (373 Kms) -> Kodaikanal (463 Kms)

Route from Bangalore to Kodaikanal.JPG

Drive from Bangalore to Kodaikanal

We packed all the essentials and left our home at 5 AM. It is always a good idea to leave early in order to avoid the city traffic that you might encounter near Electronic city. We took the NICE road and reached Attibele at 5:45 AM. Since it was a long weekend, there was a long queue at the Attibele toll and it took us a good 15 mins to cross it.

Immediately after crossing the Attibele Toll, you will cross the Karnataka – Tamil  Nadu border and will enter into Hosur. You should be able to cross Hosur by around 6:15 AM and will find the roads open up. Continue driving towards Krishnagiri on the NH7.

As the sun started to shine over the wide open highway, we were reminded that we had to stop to have our breakfast. We always stop by the A2B restaurant for our breakfast (I have marked this place on the map above). You will find this restaurant around 30 Kms after crossing Hosur. When this stretch was a 4-lane highway, the restaurant used to be right beside the highway, but post the 6-lane expansion, the hotel is tucked away from the highway. You will have a keep an eye on the board which  directs you to the hotel.

Google Maps  Co-ordinates: 12.639939, 78.064301 (Plug these co-ordinates into your GPS)

A2B restaurant
You will have to take the diversion towards the old highway to reach A2B Restaurant

After having a sumptuous South Indian breakfast, we continued driving towards Krishnagiri. Snaps that I clicked during the drive. 

Conversion of 4 lane to 6 lane - Hosur to Krishnagiri
This was the picture that I had taken last time when I drove the Hosur – Krishnagiri stretch. The road widening work was going on.
Krishnagiri Toll
After driving for another 30 minutes you should reach the Krishnagiri toll at around       8:00 AM
NH7 from Bangalore towards Salem
NH7 – Road leading from Krishnagiri to Dharmapuri
Krishnagiri by-pass - towards Salem
Krishnagiri By-pass – The city would be on the left side of this road

As you drive further, you will reach the junction where National Highway 46 (From Chennai) would join the NH7 – to reach Dharmapuri, you should keep driving straight on NH7

Krishnagiri to Dharmapuri.JPG

Keep driving on NH7 for another 120 Kms and you would be reaching the city of Salem by around 10 AM. Below are few snaps that I took en route to Salem from Krishnagiri.

NH7- Towards Salem
Picturesque drive from Krishnagiri to Salem. There would be greenery on both sides of this road. It is one of the most fertile belts that you will find in Tamil Nadu and you will be driving through miles and miles of paddy field
A very fertile belt - Greenery all around
Small villages that you would be driving through
That moment when you see 2 slow moving truck driving in parallel
You will find traffic till you reach Salem. Do not expect much of lane discipline – there were many instances where I found 2 slow moving trucks racing each other 🙂 . There is no point honking as they simply wont give way. Be patient and overtake when you feel there is enough gap to drive through.

Continue driving on NH7 and take the Salem By-pass. The city has grown significantly and to be honest, the By-pass also looks like a drive through the city of Salem :). Keep driving on the By-pass and keep a watch on the sign boards which mention “Madurai – take right”. If you miss this you will get off NH7 and would continue on NH 68 to reach Ulundurpettai. I have highlighted below the point where you need to take a right to continue on NH7.

Google Maps  Co-ordinates: 11.6251081, 78.1497685 (Plug these co-ordinates into your GPS)

Salem - Right turn to Madurai.JPG

From here, the traffic becomes very thin and you can zoom past Namakal and Karur to reach Dindigul by around 12 PM. Few snaps that I took en-route from Salem to Dindigul.

NH7 - Photo4
Wide open road from Salem to Dindigul
Another shot of NH7 - excellent road conditions
Another shot of the NH7  from Salem to Dindigul
Drive from Krishnagiri to Salem - The road opens out
Even though the roads are practically empty, do not over speed as you will find locals driving on the wrong side of the road and many pedestrians crossing the highway at random points.
NH7 - Photo3
NH7 – roads are in excellent condition

Once you reach Dindigul, continue on NH-7 and take the Dindigul By-pass.  Continue driving for around 4 Kms on the By-pass road and keep looking out for the left exit which would allow you to take a right turn towards Dindigul  – Theni highway. It would be a good idea to slow down and look out for this turn as soon as you enter the By-pass road. The roads are so good that you might practically zoom pass this exit and end up continuing towards Madurai on NH-7.

Google Maps  Co-ordinates: 10.3483816, 77.9523049 (Plug these co-ordinates into your GPS)

Dindigul junction.JPG

The road from here is a 2 lane state highway which is in excellent condition. When we drove down, it was freshly laid and was a pleasure to drive. The snaps below will reiterate my point 🙂

From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 3
The 2 lane state highway from Dindigul to Kodaikanal – the road condition was excellent
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 1
Newly laid roads – even the markings were not done
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 2
The route is picturesque and will take you through villages

After driving for around 30 Kms on this road, you will reach the town Batlagundu. Take a right form here and continue your drive towards Kodaikanal.

Google Maps  Co-ordinates: 10.1633837,77.7592367 (Plug these co-ordinates into your GPS)

Batlagundu junction.JPG

After driving for around 7 Kms, keep looking for a right turn which is the road leading to Kodaikanal.

Google Maps  Co-ordinates: 10.155219, 77.692374 (Plug these co-ordinates into your GPS)

Turn to Kodaikanal road
Do not miss this turn. We missed this turn and kept driving for another 5 kms before realizing we were in the wrong direction. GPS connection is bad and we had to check with locals to get back on track

You will have to drive on the Kodai ghat road for another 50 odd Kms to reach Kodaikanal. The ghat section roads were not in great condition and it took us a good 2 hrs to reach our resort. The ghat roads are pretty narrow and steep, so be alert and drive slowly through the hair-pin and blind turns. 

Read the following blog for “Driving tips on Ghat roads”. I would come in handy to know few unwritten rules related to driving through ghat sections in India. 

From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 6
The 2-lane Kodai ghat – Trees on both sides create a canopy to drive through
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 8
En-route to Kodaikanal – check post before you start the ghat section. Roads are in good condition till the ghat section begins
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 7
The hill station welcomes you with a pleasant change in the weather. Shut down your car’s AC and roll down your windows to feel the gush of cool air 🙂
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 11
Ghat section – roads were not in great shape and drive through them was pretty slow
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 10
Blind turn ahead – drive slowly
From Dindigul to Kodaikanal - 12
Silver Cascade Falls: You will find this falls just before reaching Kodaikanal (Around 6 Kms before the city). The falls comes to life during the rainy season and is bone dry during summers. We were travelling in the month of February and were lucky to see some water flowing down this falls.

At around 2:00 PM you should be entering the city of Kodaikanal. You would be surprised by the sudden change in the weather – temperatures drop significantly and a cool breeze will keep you in high spirits. Relax yourself after a 9 hr drive in your resort before exploring “Princess of Hill Stations” – Kodaikanal !


Updates on road condition:

  • March 2017 – Thanks to Kumar for providing the updates – Road condition from Bathalagundu to Kodai is Good. Few rough patches but overall drive is Good. From Perumal Malai to Kodaikanal road is very narrow as some telecom work is happening.



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