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“KodaiKanal-The Misty Land”
Review of Kodaikanal

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1 review
2 helpful votes
“KodaiKanal-The Misty Land”
Reviewed 3 November 2008

Me and my Husband visited this place during October. It was drizzling throughout but we could cover most of the places. Its a good weekend getaway provided you have not seen Munnar or Ooty before. We were there for 2 days. It was a package trip by Sharma transports. Everything was well arranged. The only thing we disliked abt the trip is that it takes a long time to reach kodai. We started at around 8:30 PM in Bangalore and reached the hotel at arnd 11 AM the next day. It was long tiresome journey. The 3 hour ghat section drive is beautiful. There are lot of water- falls enroute to kodai. There are plenty of travel agents available where u can do a day trip of kodai for less than 200 Rs. If you prefer a private taxi, the fare can go upto 600 INR during off-season and upto 1000 INR during peak season. Overall, a good place for a getaway. The place can be maintained well. Its not that clean esp during the rain season, its all mess. A good place to visit as a weekend getaway with a reasonable budget in hand.

2 Thank apirags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
808 helpful votes
“Off season mountain delight”
Reviewed 18 January 2008

At the outset, avoid in peak season. The best time is off season when there are few tourists, and hotels give huge discounts. Kodaikanal at 2100m in the Palani ranges of S. India is another perfect combination of High Altitude, Low latitude just like the Nilgiris district also in Tamil Nadu. Madurai [famous ancient Meenakshi temple] is the nearest airport from where you can hire a taxi Rs2000 - 4 hrs. Coimbatore is a more convenient airport having many more non stop connections to other cities. From CJB it takes about 6-7hrs. via Palani (famous Murugan temple) route. The drive from Madurai becomes interesting and uphill after Vattalakundu, passing first through scrub, then deciduous forests, tropical wet evergreen rainforests and ultimately high altitude montane evergreen forest. For nature lovers and botanists, a walk every now and then by the road is most rewarding as the forests are replete with orchids and ferns. The Silver cascade [seasonal] waterfalls are on the way. You will pass the Shenbaganur museum which is now decrepit, owing to vandalism by uncaring tourists [according to the rector]. At Kodai, choose a hotel by the lakeside, this is the best location. Lakeside hotels are a bit more expensive but well worth the extra. If you can swing it, choose the Kodaikanal Club for members and affiliates only. Its the best located by the lake in heritage old stone cottages with a lush lawn in front. kodaikanal.org gives a comprehensive list of hotels and tamilnadutourism.org gives bookings for the govt run Hotel Tamil Nadu - very cheap in off season but overlooks a littered valley. At least once, walk or cycle or horse ride around the lake - 4 to 5 km. After you pass all the hotels, the lakeside is fronted by estates of eucalyptus, with lots of birdlife. Visit Bryant botanical Park and exit on the uphill side from where you can go to Coakers Walk which is basically an escarpment over the valley. Clouds often creep in and the atmosphere is heavenly. Hire a cab [negotiate hard] and go via Upper Shola Rd and Fairy Falls[strictly seasonal] to Suicide Pt nr the Golf Club - great valley views, then on to Guna Caves and Pillar Rocks for even more fantastic views. Tip: At GC and PR, go about 500m further down the road, cut through the forest and get better views without other tourists or litter. look out for Malabar giant squirrels near Guna caves, and bisons near the Golf course [early morning or late evening is best for this]. The road goes on to Moyar Pt, from here you are not permitted to continue on the road to Berijam lake and Munnar in Kerala unless you get permission from the Conservator of Tamil Nadu Forests in Chennai. But you can get permission from the DFO in Kodai to go partially down this road accompanied by a ranger. You can take another route further down to Manavanur lake, the lake is surrounded by barren land but the route passes through some eerie looking Pine forests well worth walking through. You will find 'magic mushrooms' growing on the forest floor here. Highly avoidable. Look out for bisons and Giant squirrels here too as well as deer. You will also pass some patches of shola [rainforest] on this route. Do go in and explore, it is quite different with lots of unique flora and birdlife. From Dec to Feb look out for the blood red nilgiri rhododendrons. Another pleasant way to spend the day is to go to Gundar lake near the Observatory[only open Fri]. It is restricted but there is no guard so you can walk through the forest until you reach the pristine lakeside. Pack your lunch. A lovely walk is from Coakers Walk via TV tower, past La Salette Church, along the Pambar shola forest, Pambar falls[seasonal] through to Vattakanal [where hordes of young Israelis prefer tostay] and then down a steep downhill path along pear and plum orchards down to Dolphins Nose. This is a rectangular rock projecting over a VERY DEEP valley. Echo Point is close by. Good photo ops and nice walk. A friendly bison frequents the Pambar shola forest and quite obligingly poses for photographs if you are fortunate and patient enough to spot him. Dont worry, there is a wire mesh fence separating the bison and you which he is not likely to tear through assuming you are nice to him. The area near Vattakanal is usually in full bloom with the magenta purple melastoma malabathricum blooms. You can sample all kinds of Israeli food at Vattakanal at rock bottom prices ! From the Pambar falls junction, there is a short cut walking path that goes to the Suicide Point and Pillar rocks road. The best is that you never feel tired walking miles in Kodai thanks to the good road surface and cool fresh weather. The locals are very courteous and helpful. Good buys are the ubiquitous home made chocolates, tea, spices, aromatic oils and warm clothing. Kodaikanal cheese, home made dark roast peanut butters and jams are excellent and ridiculously cheap. Dont leave without them. Do try the street food of chili bhajjis - chillis fried in batter and the shundal - boiled chick peas or boiled peanuts mixed with chopped onions, coriander, green chili and lime. I personally found the famous Tibetan restaurants a tad disappointing. The one and only bakery was always packed with hordes of Israelis and I did not feel like pushing through. South Indian meals, tiffin and other indian food is easily available at all the hotels and restaurants near the busstand. For those who want to travel via Coimbatore I can wholeheartedly recommend Jagadeesan mobile no:[--] he is a safe driver, very honest and knows the roads well. If coming or going via Coimbatore you can detour at the Top Slip Wild life sanctuary and contiguous Parambikulam WLS. You could also detour via the famous Silent Valley of Kerala which is very close to Coimbatore via Anaikatti, Attapadi and Mukali. Kodaikanal is lovely between Jan and March. Enjoy it and post your experiences for others to share.

3 Thank Gita-TA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 helpful votes
“Beware during your Summer travel.”
Reviewed 30 May 2007

I belong to Tamil nadu and been on a travel to Kodai hills as it is fondly called, for a week travel. This place can be reached from 2 ways as far as i know. From Madurai, via Batlakundu and then to Kodai hills. The other way can be from Trichy, Dindigul, Batlakundu, Kodaikanal. Palani to Kodai is another route which i am not aware of till I returned.

The sorroundings is serene. The must see places are

1) Silver cascade falls.
2) Pillar rock mountains ( A magnificiant place to see.) I wonder how a Cross could be placed there on top ! Great Adventurist indeed.
3) The Gardens
4) Cockers Walk (Go after 5:30 PM and be prepared to spend upto 8:00 PM) . The real enjoyment of Kodaikanal.
5) Lake (The water is so bad. Never touch it.). But the sourrounding is fine and never miss a bicycle ride around the entire lake stretchof approx 5-6 KM (Brand new Cycles are available for a meager rent of Rs.10 / hr)

Cautions :
1) Prepare your travel well in advance as summer rush is high.
2) Book the tickets at least 2 months in advance.
3) Never believe a travel operator - I found many from other parts of india nd as well innocents from Tamil nadu (like me!!) suffered at the hands of travel agents.
4) Within Kodai, try to walk wherever possible. Dont arrange for a CAB or the tour operator. All the places except the pillar rock and Silver cascade. Better arrange a CAB only for these two places.
5) Be careful with the drinking water . Buy genuine brands only.
6) I repeat, Dont book through the travel agents. Please plan on your own. Its so simple and easy then for an enjoyment.

5 Thank RajChennaiTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
21 helpful votes
“Liked just the Lake and boating in Kodai...”
Reviewed 25 September 2005

The central part of Kodai was noisy and just annoying....place was too crowded. Liked boating in the Lake and thats just abt the only praceful, enjoyable thing in this place - also try bicycles arnd lake!

1 Thank BKBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
1 helpful vote
“kodaikanal as a hill station”
Reviewed 31 October 2004

I visited Kodaikanal from Madurai by highered taxi. I did not stay there. But I find Shillong is much better as a hill station compared to Kodaikanal or Ooty. There is more of natural beaty in Shillong and Cherapunji (Assam and Meghalaya}. Travellers may see these places in summer season.
I trvelled to most of the important places in South India, Europe, Russia and United States of America. Shillong stands supreme.
Pabitra Kumar Sarma

1 Thank Voyage34246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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