The man-made Kodaikanal lake is one the most popular tourist attraction in Kodaikanal and can be easily accessed as it is centrally located. Hardly would you find anyone visiting Kodaikanal and not visiting the lake and enjoying a boat ride on the calm waters.

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Kodaikanal lake and Bryant park are located very close to each other and you can plan your day by visiting these two attractions together. Both the landmarks are pretty close to Coaker’s walk – which is another attraction which is visited by many tourists.

Read my blog on Coaker’s walk for more information

Kodaikanal Lake

  • Timings: All days of the week – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Duration of visit – Around 2 hours

The lake is also called by the locals as “Kodai Lake” and is at a distance of around 3 Kms from the central bus stand of Kodaikanal. The lake came into existence due to the efforts of Vera Levinge (District collector of Madurai), who settled down in Kodaikanal post his retirement in the year 1863. It is said that he used his personal wealth to convert the once marshy land with several streams to a lake by constructing a strong bund around the periphery.

The lake is situated at an elevation of 2285 metres above sea level and is nested amidst the lush green slopes. Kodaikanal receives rainfall during the “North- East” monsoon during the months of October to December and visiting Kodaikanal during the month of February is ideal. The lake is spread over 60 acres and has an average depth of 3.0 meters (the deepest part of the lake apparently is around 9 meters)

 

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The boat house from a distance. Notice the 2 seater and 4 seater boats lined up.

The key activities that you can look forward are:

  • Boating: This has to be the main attraction here. Most of the tourists hire a boat and take a ride around the lake. My wife and I hired a 2 seater peddling boat for an hour. Following are the tariff:
    • 2 seater pedal boat – Rs 70 for 30 minutes & Rs 140 for an hour
    • 4 seater pedal boat – Rs 140 for 30 minutes & Rs 280 for an hour
    • 6 person boat – Rs 245 for 20 minutes & Rs 490 for 40 minutes
    • Shikara boat (they call it the honeymoon boat) – Rs 415 for 30 minutes & Rs 830 for an hour

Note: The safety standards are not that great. There were not life jackets provided to us, even though we were peddling the boat ourselves. If you do not swim, I would not recommend you to hire a boat by yourself and venture into the waters

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The stretch of lake where we were enjoying our ride
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Another shot of the boat house from the distance.
  • Cycling: We found many tourists hiring a cycle and taking a ride around the periphery of the lake. Instead of cycling, we took a good walk around the pathway which has been neatly laid around the lake. On a bright sunny day, a walk around the lake would be a very good option
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Took this snap during our walk around the lake. Nature has the best colours to paint a picture

You can spend 2 to 3 hours by the lake. There are some restaurants that you can find here which serve fast foods, South Indian dishes and other Indian Cuisines.

Bryant Park

  • Timings: All days of the week – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Duration of visit – Around an hour

Byrant park is adjacent to the lake and can be easily accessed through an entrance from the lake. The park is decent and was well maintained when we visited it.

Entry fee: They will charge you an entry fee of Rs 30 for adults and Rs 15 for a child. You also need to shell out Rs 50 if you are carrying a Camera. It was a bit confusing as they had mentioned Camera / IPad would be charged Rs50 :). Thankfully they did not charge us for carrying our smart phones.

The reviews on Tripadvisor were mixed and we did not know what to expect. To be honest, you would not be awed by the park, but what worked for us was the month that we visited Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal in February is not that crowded and the weather is also pleasant (Temperatures during the day are in the low 20’s).

We were greeted to a well maintained park and there were very few tourists around. There was greenery all around and we had a great walk through the park. The highlight of this place is the glass house, which is a 5 to 10 minute walk from the entrance. They have a very good collection of exotic flowers which are found in Europe – guess the weather suits them. The people who were working there seem to have good knowledge about the flora and fauna and we knowing the local language did come in handy. 

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The neatly laid pavements – the entire park was pretty clean.
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We had the entire park for ourselves. There were very few tourists and the people who you see are the one’s who maintain the park
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Another view of the pathway. Few tourists were relaxing on the lawn. We had a great time exploring the park
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The trees in the park were pretty old – many of them more than a century old
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Another photo that we took while walking through the park
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Nature at it’s best 🙂

We spend an hour or so at the Park and headed back to our resort. Though the park was not something out of the world, we had a great time strolling through the park.

 

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