Top 35 Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal

May 8, 2024

Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal : As soon as you step into Kodaikanal, you start to believe the saying that “the best things in life are free.” The refreshing aroma of pine needles in the breeze, the glistening dew on rose petals, trees basking in the morning sunlight, and the mesmerizing sight of Kurinji flowers painting the hills in purplish-blue hues—all of these leave visitors speechless, ushering in a sense of magic. Kodaikanal is a town dotted with numerous charming spots that collectively create a paradise-like ambiance. Although a list of 35 places to visit in Kodaikanal might not fully capture its old-world allure, let’s attempt to showcase its beauty!

1. Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal lake through bushes

When the skies are clear and a gentle breeze sweeps through Kodaikanal’s forests, take a trip to Kodaikanal Lake. Spanning 60 acres, this star-shaped lake, crafted by Sir Vere Henry Levinge in 1863 during his time as the Collector of Madurai, has been a beloved destination for tourists for generations. Fed by the waters of the Palani Hills, the lake’s overflow cascades down into the stunning “Silver Cascade” waterfall, standing at a majestic height of 180 feet. This cascade is among the top attractions that draw visitors to Kodaikanal.

2. Berijam Lake

a bridge extending in a lake

Nestled amidst exotic trees and expansive meadows, Berijam Lake is a gem located just a short distance from Kodaikanal, earning its place among the top attractions in the area. Its verdant surroundings and serene ambiance make it an ideal spot for a relaxing picnic. Accessible via motorable roads, reaching the lake is convenient. However, visitors must obtain a forest pass for entry, and fishing enthusiasts should secure permission from the Fisheries Department. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a delightful boat ride to take in the scenic beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

3. Mannavanur Lake

Mannavanur Lake under clouded sky

Mannavanur Lake stands out as a tranquil haven amidst the beauty of Kodaikanal, offering a slice of paradise to visitors. The journey to the lake itself is a scenic treat, with roads flanked by eucalyptus and pine trees that create a picturesque drive. The Mannavanur region is teeming with diverse wildlife, providing opportunities to witness exotic birds in flight and catch glimpses of wild animals. Nestled within a sheep farm, the lake offers a unique experience of observing grazing flocks of sheep. Moreover, the Forest Department facilitates coracle rides at a reasonable cost, and visitors can also opt for horseback riding adventures in this serene setting.

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4. Guna Caves

Guna Cave - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Situated 12 km away from Kodaikanal, Guna Cave remained undiscovered for many years until the release of the 1991 Kamal Hassan movie “Guna,” which brought it into the limelight. Originally found by English officer BS Ward in 1821 CE, this cave holds a mysterious allure within Kodaikanal’s pine-laden landscape. It’s a must-visit spot for those keen on uncovering the hidden wonders of the area, making it an essential part of any Kodaikanal tourist itinerary. For adventure seekers, Kodaikanal offers a range of thrilling activities like hiking, camping, and more, promising unforgettable experiences in its scenic environs.

5. La Saleth Church

the white and blue church

La Saleth Church, renowned for its captivating architecture, was constructed in 1846 and underwent expansions throughout the following century. Combining elements of Tamil and French architectural styles, this shrine beautifully merges cultural influences. Perched at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level, it provides a stunning panoramic vista of the verdant mountain ranges. As a prominent Catholic church in Kodaikanal, La Saleth attracts a significant number of visitors and stands as one of the cherished landmarks in the region.

6. Vattakanal Falls

waterfall in a jungle

Nestled amidst a serene forest setting, Vattakanal Falls ranks among the mesmerizing sights of Kodaikanal. Its allure peaks during the monsoon, showcasing a grand and picturesque spectacle. Known for its safety, this waterfall is a must-visit spot in Kodaikanal where visitors can safely enjoy its beauty. Although it’s generally safe to be around, wearing non-slip footwear is recommended to enhance your experience.

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7. Pambar Falls

a small waterfall

Just a short 3 km journey from Kodaikanal Bus Station, Pambar Falls stands as one of the hill station’s most spectacular natural wonders. Originating from the town’s reservoir overflow, the enchanting “Fairy Falls” cascades down, merging with the Vaigai River to form Pambar Falls. Below this picturesque cascade lies a serene pond-like area, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the refreshing and crystal-clear waters. Surrounded by lush greenery and untamed wilderness, this spot epitomizes natural beauty and offers an ideal setting for capturing breathtaking photographs.

8. Astrophysical Observatory

a white colour astrophysical observatory

One of the oldest observatories in the world, Astrophysical Observatory is perfect for Kodaikanal sightseeing. Located in the rolling hills of Palani, it was established in 1899. The observatory has a 20 cm refractor, which is sometimes used for cometary and occultation observations, and sometimes made available to visitors for night sky viewing. It also has an astronomy museum displaying models and pictures. This observatory deserves to be on the list of places to visit in Kodaikanal.

9. Kodai Chocolate Factory

Kodai Chocolate Factory Exhibition | Homemade Chocolates Kodaikanal | Chocolate Varieties |Chocolate

Established in 1999, the Kodai Chocolate Factory has emerged as a prominent producer and provider of chocolates, aromatic oils, coffees, and more. Renowned for their delectable homemade chocolates, all their offerings are 100% vegetarian. For chocolate enthusiasts, this factory is a must-visit destination in Kodaikanal. Don’t miss out on exploring places like Pot Luck, Cloud Street, Chocolate Factory, and SG Cottage Industries to indulge in a wide array of chocolate varieties and flavors.

10. Lutheran Church

a gothic style architecture

Constructed in 1932, the Lutheran Church in Kodaikanal stands as a remarkable example of Gothic architecture. Its grandeur is accentuated by stunning stained glass windows, contemporary paintings, and intricate murals portraying scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. If you appreciate exquisite architectural marvels, a visit to this church is highly recommended.

11. Perumal Peak

mountain peaks

Perumal Peak, nestled within the majestic Western Ghats, offers breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding valley, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Rising to an impressive altitude of 8,005 feet above sea level, this peak is a delight for trekkers seeking adventure and stunning vistas. While the trek may be challenging, the rewards include unparalleled views that make every step worthwhile. Along the trekking route, visitors can also explore the charming and scenic Perumal Malai Village, adding a touch of cultural immersion to their outdoor experience.

12. Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple

a beautiful temple

The Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple in Kodaikanal is a must-visit destination regardless of one’s religious beliefs. Devoted to Lord Muruga, the deity associated with the hills, this temple holds a special significance for its rare Kurinji flower bloom that occurs once every 12 years. Apart from its religious and botanical charm, the temple also offers mesmerizing vistas of the Vaigai Dam and the majestic Palani Hills, making it a top choice among Kodaikanal’s temples for its scenic allure and spiritual ambiance.

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13. Bear Shola Falls

Bear Shola Falls kodaikanal

Nestled just 2 km from Kodaikanal Lake, Bear Shola Falls ranks high among the most sought-after destinations in Kodaikanal. This seasonal waterfall, known for its impressive height, truly comes alive during the rainy season, as torrents of water cascade down the mountainside, weaving through lush greenery before forming a frothy pool below. Legend has it that this serene spot was once a favored watering hole for bears, lending the falls its unique name. Today, it remains a beloved retreat for nature enthusiasts, couples seeking tranquility, and adventurers drawn to its serene yet adventurous charm.

14. Pillar Rocks

Pillar Rocks kodaikanal

The Pillar Rocks of Kodaikanal are a natural wonder comprising 400-meter-long boulders arranged in a striking formation. This scenic spot has evolved into a delightful picnic destination, attracting families with children and couples alike. Adjacent to these majestic rocks is a charming mini garden, adding to the overall allure of the place. Visitors often describe the atmosphere here as imbued with a sense of warmth and romance, making a visit to these rocks one of the most enchanting experiences in Kodaikanal. The panoramic vistas of the surrounding hills and villages from this vantage point are truly captivating and shouldn’t be missed. And while you’re there, treat yourself to a plate of potato and onion bhaji from the vendors near the mini garden for a complete sensory experience.

15. Suicide Point

Suicide Point kodaikanal

The Green Valley View, known as the Suicide Point, presents a breathtaking panorama of the Kodainakal plains, sprawling valleys, and majestic hills. The mesmerizing sight of the Vaigai Dam adds to the awe-inspiring experience for travelers. Its name stems from its perilous and deep valley, featuring a staggering 5000 feet drop, making it a risky spot. Located approximately 5.5 km from Kodaikanal Lake, it stands as one of the most renowned attractions not just for its scenic beauty but also for the bustling local market offering homemade chocolates, ornamental items, and a delightful array of flowers.

16. Devil’s Kitchen

Devil's Kitchen kodaikanal

The Devil’s Kitchen is a natural wonder and cave system nestled in Kodaikanal, set amidst the imposing Pillar Rocks. Its charm lies in its unique geological formations and the ethereal ambiance it offers. During the monsoons and winters, thick clouds and mist often envelop the area, creating a mystical and picturesque setting, perfect for photography enthusiasts. Located near Moir Point on the outskirts of the city, this site gained popularity after being featured in a prominent movie in the 1900s, attracting a steady stream of tourists ever since. Accessible via a 400-meter trek from the main entrance, reaching the hillock is an adventure in itself and ranks among the top experiences in Kodaikanal.

17. Thalaiyar Falls

Thalaiyar Falls kodaikanal

Thalaiyar Falls stands as a captivating gem among Kodaikanal’s waterfalls, nestled amidst the verdant slopes of Palani Hill ranges in Dindigul District. Known locally as the Rat Tail Falls due to its distinctive appearance, this waterfall is a sight to behold. Plummeting from a height exceeding 290 meters, it reigns as Tamil Nadu’s tallest waterfall and ranks as the sixth highest in India, marking its place as the 267th highest globally. A view tower situated at Dum Dum Rock within the park offers photographers an ideal vantage point to capture stunning views of this enchanting Kodaikanal attraction, along with the picturesque Manjalar Dam.

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18. Coakers Walk

Coakers Walk kodaikanal

Coakers Walk stands out as one of the most captivating attractions in Kodaikanal, offering visitors a unique experience on its 1 km-long man-made walking plaza nestled in the Tamil Nadu mountains. This scenic pathway gracefully winds along the edge of the mountain, providing breathtaking views of what many describe as Paradise on Earth. It’s an ideal spot for leisurely morning and evening strolls, immersing oneself in the serenity of nature while being treated to mesmerizing vistas of Kodaikanal’s lush valleys and hills. Walking along this platform is not just a leisure activity but also one of the most rejuvenating experiences one can have in Kodaikanal.

19. Dolphin’s Nose

Take a drive up to Dolphin's Nose ooty

Dolphin’s Nose stands out as one of Kodaikanal’s most enchanting destinations. Offering panoramic views of picturesque valleys, verdant landscapes, rugged terrain, clear skies, and gentle breezes, this viewpoint encapsulates the essence of Kodaikanal’s beauty. Its name is derived from a flat rock formation resembling a dolphin’s nose, yet its true allure lies in the breathtaking vistas it presents rather than its shape. Perched at an elevation of 6,600 feet, it provides an idyllic setting for a delightful picnic, allowing visitors to unwind amidst tranquil surroundings while enjoying quality time with loved ones.

20. Bryant Park

Bryant Park kodaikanal

Bryant Park contributes significantly to Kodaikanal’s allure and sophistication in Tamil Nadu. Situated on the eastern shores of Kodai Lake, this picturesque park is adorned with an array of plant and shrub species, attracting a large number of nature enthusiasts and botany aficionados each month. From vibrant flowering plants to unique hybrids and grafts, the park boasts a rich diversity of botanical treasures. Positioned adjacent to Coakers Walk, a visit to this park offers the opportunity to indulge in two delightful experiences: a leisurely stroll amidst serene surroundings and a close encounter with nature’s captivating creations.

21. Pine Forest

Pine Forest kodaikanal

The Pine Forest in Kodaikanal is a haven of tranquility and natural beauty, evoking the enchanting atmosphere of a beloved fairytale. Nestled in the southwest region of Kodaikanal, this forest stands as one of the town’s premier attractions due to its unparalleled scenic charm. Maintained under strict supervision by the Tamil Nadu government, the Pine Forest is a testament to the serene and unique aspects of nature that have been carefully preserved over time. Its historical significance is underscored by its establishment in 1906 by Mr. Bryant, adding to its status as a cherished heritage site in the area.

Visitors to the Pine Forest can partake in a variety of activities such as horse riding, nature walks, hiking, trekking, and camping, making it a favored destination among nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photographers alike.

22. Moir Point

Moir Point kodaikanal

Nestled at the gateway of a tranquil forest path that meanders to the stunning Berijam Lake, Moir Point is a standout vantage point in Kodaikanal that should not be missed. Its name honors Sir Thomas Moir, the architect behind the Goschen Road constructed in 1929 CE. This monument serves as a tribute to his significant contributions, marking the starting point of the Goschen Road connecting Kodaikanal and Berijam Lake.

Beyond its historical significance, Moir Point offers captivating vistas of the verdant valleys and hills of Tamil Nadu, attracting a steady stream of tourists each month. It’s a place where nature’s beauty intertwines with historical remembrance, creating a memorable experience for visitors.

23. Wax Museum

Wax Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Kodaikanal boasts India’s inaugural Wax Museum, located near the picturesque Green Valley, adding to the region’s array of tourist attractions. This compact museum showcases a variety of exhibits, ranging from religious scenes like the Crib and the Last Supper to wax figures of globally recognized personalities. Moreover, it features a unique collection highlighting Indian saints and notable figures such as Adi Shankara, Sai Baba, Gandhiji, Lord Krishna with the Gopikas, along with depictions of Indian musicians and even Veerappan, the infamous sandalwood smuggler.

24. Upper Lake View Point

View Of a Lake From Top

At the Upper Lake View Point, you’ll gaze upon a star-shaped lake nestled amidst verdant surroundings, conceived in 1863 by Sir Vere Henry Levinge. Visitors often remark on the captivating contrast between the lake’s azure waters and the lush greenery, creating a picturesque scene perfect for photography enthusiasts. Besides admiring the view, visitors can enjoy various activities such as boating, cycling, and horseback riding atop the hill.

25. Anna Salai Market

Anna Salai Market

A must-visit spot in Kodaikanal, the Anna Salai Market reflects the vibrant metropolitan culture of the city, bustling with people from all walks of life. This lively market offers a plethora of shopping opportunities, allowing you to explore numerous shops and find something for every member of your family. From fresh fruits and vegetables to a wide array of homemade chocolates, crafts, shawls, jewelry, bone and walnut items, as well as leather and brass goods, the market is a treasure trove of diverse products. It stands out as one of the premier shopping destinations in Kodaikanal.

26. Silver Cascade Falls

A Waterfall

Introducing yet another magnificent attraction in Kodaikanal, nestled in a breathtaking natural setting amidst lush greenery. These picturesque waterfalls are born from the Kodai Lake, cascading from a height of 180 feet. Take a rejuvenating pause, marvel at the frothy waters, or indulge in a refreshing dip known for its medicinal properties. Photography enthusiasts will find this spot Instagram-worthy, offering stunning photo opportunities. During the rainy season, brace yourself for a powerful cascade as the waterfalls near Kodaikanal exhibit a robust flow.

27. Silent Valley View Point

View of a Valley

Every experience in Kodaikanal promises to be unforgettable, making it a destination where memories are made. One of our top travel tips for Kodaikanal is to explore the serene beauty of Silent Valley. Besides the peaceful atmosphere, the lush greenery and towering trees will captivate you, enticing you to consider camping amidst this natural wonder. However, the real gem lies in a hillside observation point known as a viewpoint. This spot offers a tranquil retreat, showcasing majestic mountains kissing the clouds, making it one of Kodaikanal’s premier destinations for rejuvenating natural therapy.

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28. Shembaganur Museum Of Natural History

Cat Family Taxidermy Statues

A museum tour in Kodaikanal is a serene experience not to be missed. One of the city’s hidden gems is the Shembaganur Museum Of Natural History, a lesser-known yet captivating destination cherished by historians and travelers alike. This museum boasts a remarkable collection spanning 123 years, featuring 500 taxidermy animals, an orchidarium showcasing 300 species, and exhibits of various wildlife specimens including snakes, butterflies, and moths. Additionally, the museum houses remnants of the Paliyar tribes, offering insights into the lives of the former nomadic inhabitants of lower Kodaikanal.

29. Subramanya Temple

Subramanya Temple View

This temple in Kodaikanal is a standout among the city’s top tourist spots, gaining fame for its captivating architecture and increasing popularity. Perched at a high altitude, reaching the temple involves climbing around 650 steps, though you need not rush as you ascend. Take your time, savor the spiritual ambiance of the temple, and soak in the surrounding scenic beauty. For a vibrant experience, consider visiting in January during the Thaipusam festival, when the area bursts with energy and enthusiasm, adding a whole new level of vibrancy to your visit.

30. Kukkal Caves

Kukkal Caves

No matter if you’re trekking, hiking, or camping in Kodaikanal, the Kukkal Caves archaeological site is a must-visit destination. Regarded as one of the prime adventure spots in Kodaikanal, these caves, formed from rocks and situated at an altitude of 1500 meters, offer a glimpse into the past with traces of the ancient Paliyan tribes. Exploring the caves unveils breathtaking views of the Manjampatti Valley and the surrounding forests, adding to the thrill of your visit. Alternatively, if adventure isn’t your focus, you can also plan a comfortable stay at one of the excellent guest houses nearby, ensuring a memorable experience in Kodaikanal.

31. Dolmen Circle

Ancient Rocks In a Field

Dolmen Circle stands out as a favored spot for sightseers in Kodaikanal, offering a glimpse into prehistoric and anthropological wonders. Surveying the site, you’ll discover these are ancient burial grounds from the Stone and Iron ages. Over time, many of these structures have succumbed to erosion, yet a few resilient ones still stand tall, bearing witness to a distant past. Kodaikanal isn’t only about appreciating natural beauty; its historical and archaeological richness shines through sites like the Dolmen Circle, reminding us of the region’s deep-rooted heritage.

32. Chettiar Park

Chettiar Park In Kodaikanal

Exploring Kodaikanal during the summer months brings joy rather than difficulty, especially when visiting charming spots like Chettiar Park. Despite its small size, this park exudes a calming atmosphere and offers delightful surroundings, perfect for a sustainable picnic with your family or loved ones. You’ll marvel at the diverse flora, including the renowned Kurinji Flowers that bloom once every 12 years, adding to the park’s allure. Notably, this picturesque park has served as a prominent filming location for many feature films, further solidifying its status as a must-visit attraction in Kodaikanal.

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33. Poombarai Viewing Point

Aerial View of a Village

Poombarai, situated approximately 18 km away from Kodaikanal, is a picturesque village renowned for its captivating landscapes and invigorating hiking trails, making it a top tourist destination in Kodaikanal. Embraced by terraced hills, this village is famous for its garlic farming, adding to its unique charm. The serene mountains and refreshing breeze, coupled with panoramic views of the quaint colorful houses, create a dreamlike setting that’s sure to enchant you. Indulge in the local cuisine at an open-air restaurant to create lasting memories of your visit to this idyllic paradise.

34. 80 Mile Round

Embark on an exhilarating journey along the 80 Mile Round trek, a thrilling route that commences at Berijam Lake and culminates at Poombarai Village in Kodaikanal. This trek is tailor-made for adventure enthusiasts and thrill-seekers craving an adrenaline-packed experience. While the trail may be a bit perplexing for first-timers, consider hiring a knowledgeable local guide to navigate your way through. Although the trek itself spans around 2-3 hours, allocating 3-4 days allows ample time to explore the captivating spots en route. Prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking vistas of cliffs, peaks, mountains, valleys, and charming villages dotting the landscape. For accommodation, jungle resorts offer a rustic yet comfortable stay, but securing permissions beforehand is essential for a seamless trekking experience.

35. Canopy Hill, Vattakanal

Scenic Trek To Canopy Hill Vattakanal - Today's offer Rs.4719 ( 15 % off)

Canopy Hills stands out as a highly sought-after tourist destination in Kodaikanal, especially appealing to adventure enthusiasts. It offers an ideal setting for trekking adventures while providing opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife such as wild goats, porcupines, bison, and more. For anyone compiling a list of must-visit places in Kodaikanal, Canopy Hills deserves a prominent spot on the itinerary.

Best Places to Visit in Kodaikanal : Are you captivated by the beauty of Kodai? It’s time to pack your bags and immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of this quaint, time-honored town, where breathtaking vistas await your discovery. Embark on your journey to Kodaikanal and make sure to explore its finest attractions for an unforgettable experience.

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