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.
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)
You can read my blog for more details on the drive, directions and itinerary
We started from Bangalore at around 5:00 AM and reached Kodaikanal at 2:00 PM – almost 9 hrs with a 30 minutes stop for breakfast.
Hotel we chose to stay:
There are multiple options available in Kodaikanal for tourists to stay and it ain’t a surprise that people have a hard time picking the right option. We were also in a similar dilemma during our visit to Kodaikanal. After hours of research (online and speaking to friends), we zeroed on “Hotel Villa Retreat”, a boutique hotel right next to Coaker’s walk.We stayed in “Villa Retreat” for couple of days during our Kodaikannal visit in the month of Feb. This has to be one of the best hotels in Kodaikanal. Situated right next to Coaker’s walk, this is an ideal location to camp.
For more details about the hotel and the stay read my following blog
A Tentative itinerary for the places to visit in Kodaikanal:
Day 1 Evening – Kodaikanal Lake and Bryant Park
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.
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)
- Timings: All days of the week – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Duration of visit – Around 2 hours
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. 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).
- Timings: All days of the week – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Duration of visit – Around an hour
For more details on Kodaikanal lake and Bryant park, read my following blog
Day 2 Morning- Dolphin nose and Guna caves
Dolphin nose is one of the famous landmarks at Kodaikanal and is around 8 Kms from the main city. Dolphin nose provides a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountainous landscape and is a flat rock projecting from the face of the mountain.The shape of the rock resembles the nose of a Dolphin and thus is called as the “Dolphin’s nose”.
This point is at an elevations of around 6600 feet and is one of the central destinations for tourists visiting Kodaikanal. The summit offers an uninterrupted panoramic view of the valley and if you are lucky enough, on a clear day you might be able to see the Periyakulam Town and the Vaigai reservoir.
For more details on Dolphin nose, read my following blog
“Devil’s Kitchen” – which is locally called as the Guna caves would figure in all the tourist sites as one of the places to visit in Kodaikanal. The caves are bat-infested and are formed by the imposing boulders or pillar rocks in three directions.
This place has been know as “Devil’s kitchen” until Kamal Hassan (one of the legends of Tamil Cinema) chose this place to depict a kidnapping plot in the movie “Guna” in early 1990’s. Prior to this movie this place was not very famous and was a favourite spot for hippies and hikers who were looking for adventure. The hike to the cave is extremely dangerous and would require you to wade through dense vegetation and hop over boulders and rocks which are very slippery – one wrong step and you end up hundreds of feet below in the thick vegetation.
- Entry tickets are very nominal – Rs 5 and camera ticket costed Rs 10.
- This place is open between 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
For more details on Guna caves (Devil’s kitchen), read my following blog
Day 2 afternoon- Drive to Mannavanur
Mannavanur is a very small farming village about 35 Kms west of Kodaikanal. The village is famous for its terrace farming technique. The village is a paradise for nature lovers and travellers who like to experience the tranquillity and simplicity of a village life.
To be honest, we did not have any plans of visiting Mannavanur when we had planned a trip to Kodaikanal – infact we did not even know about this place. We happened to see few photos of a picturesque village at the hotel that we were staying and checked with the front desk about the place. That’s when we got to know about this place and since the photos were so scenic that we decided to explore Mannavanur.
For more details on Mannavanur, read my following blog
Day 3 Morning- Coakers walk
Coaker’s walk is named after Lieutenant Coaker who in the year 1872, cut the steep south east facing side of the ridge to create a walkway for people. Coaker’s walk is around 1 Kilometre (0.6 miles) and as the name suggests, is a long walk around the edge of the valley.
The place opens at 7:30 AM and since we were staying very close to this place, we were one of the early birds to visit this place. It was not crowded and we had a great time walking through the walkway which was covered with fog. The place is around 15 minutes walk from the central market and thus can be accessed easily. Coaker’s walk is very close to Kodaikanal lake and Bryant park – which are other key tourist attractions in Kodaikanal.
For more details on Coaker’s walk, read my following blog
Day 3 – Start your drive back to Bangalore at around 10:00 AM
It will take you around 8-10 hours to reach Bangalore and it would be a good idea to leave Kodaikanal by 10:00 AM. You should be reaching Bangalore by around 6-7 PM, thereby limiting your drive after sunset.
Kodaikanal, the “Princess of Hill Stations” and an ideal get away for anyone planning a short trip during an extended weekend from Bangalore. The drive combined with the pleasant weather, makes Kodaikanal one of the favourite holiday destinations in Southern India.
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