Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's finest hill stations. It is situated 7,200 feet above sea level amongst the picturesque Western Ghats of India.

Kodaikanal is located in the Palani Hill Range and is under the administrative control of Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu.

Understand

The Kurinji plant

Get in

View of Kodaikanal

By plane

The closest airports to Kodaikanal are Trichy 150 km, Madurai 120 km and Coimbatore 175 km. You can get regular flights from Mumbai, Trichy, Bangalore and Chennai. From any of these airports you can hire a private taxi, cab or take train to reach Kodaikanal.

Trains are available in frequent intervals but you can choose to go by private taxi if you are in real hurry.

By train

The nearest railway station is Kodai Road, at a distance of 100 km. From Kodai Road station, one can travel only by road. Taxis are available for hire up to Kodaikanal but since these might be the only mode of transport here, the prices are often not negotiable.

Another railway station that is quite close is Dindigul Railway Station. It is easier to come to Kodaikanal using this station, as Dindigul is a much bigger city. Once you get off at the Dindigul Railway station, you can get an auto rickshaw for around ₹50 to come to the Dindigul Bus Stand. From there, there are frequent buses to Vathlagundu from where there are many buses to Kodaikanal. Straight buses are available from Dindigul to Kodaikanal as well, but you might have to wait for an hour or so. It takes around 30 minutes from Dindigul to Vathlagundu (Batlagundu) and then about 2 hours from Vathlagundu to Kodaikanal by bus.

By bus

From Dindigul city, Kodaikanal is located at a distance of 90 km approximately and there are plenty of buses plying from various parts of the state.

Buses ply from Chennai, Pondicherry, Trichy, Madurai, Dindigul, Palani and Coimbatore.

Buses are available from Madurai (Arapalayam) to Kodaikanal at regular timings.

By car

Reach Kodaikanal from Kodai Road (80 km) for ₹1300/- approx, Dindigul or Madurai and then take a cab/taxi to Kodaikanal. You can arrange for pickups from nearby places with the few Kodaikanal cabs (Check out kodaicabs.com) websites available. The drive from Kodai road takes approximately 2 hrs while the drive from Madurai takes approximately 3 1/2 hours and from Dindigul it takes about 2 hrs.

From Kochi, it is 295 km via the hill station of Munnar. The route to be taken is Kochi-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Devikulam-Poopara-Bodi-Theni-Kodaikanal which is the NH49 Kochi-Madurai.

From Alappuzha or Kottayam, the route is via Kumily along Kottayam-Kumily road, KK Road.

Get around

The central region of Kodaikanal is highly compact which makes it extremely easy to get around on foot. Though auto-rickshaws are not available in this part, taxis are there to take you to different sightseeing destinations. The charges are fixed and significantly high. The entire sightseeing tour may cost you ₹300 for couple of hours to ₹700 for five hours.

If you think that you are fit enough to challenge the hills then you can hire mountain bikes from different bicycle stalls located around the lake. These bikes may cost you ₹10 per hour or ₹75 for entire day.

See

Kodai (Kodaikanal) Lake
Dolphin's Nose
Pillar Rock site
Silver Cascade Waterfall

Do

Buy

There is a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM near the petrol pump at the Seven Road Junction which accepts other banks cards as well.

The Potters Shed was born from a dream. It all started about 20 years ago in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, when a teacher at the Kodaikanal International School happened to see a village potter at work. Enchanted by the beauty of the teenaged potter's hands, as they shaped the clay on his rustic wheel, the germ of an idea sprouted in his mind. The realization that village potters lead a hand-to-mouth existence, always on the verge of dire poverty, and his commitment to help disadvantaged children prompted him to begin turning his dream into a reality. Quite ignorant of the technicalities of training a village potter in the intricacies of glazed stoneware production, he boldly asked master potters in Pondichery, India, if they would take on the young man, Subramaniam, as a trainee. For them it was a bold experiment and an act of extraordinary generosity. Four years later, Subramaniam was ready to move to Kodaikanal, and the Potters Shed Trust came into being. The production unit and sales outlet are both located in the hill station of Kodaikanal, in South India.

The trustees who manage the production and sale of pottery are all committed to keeping the dream alive, and ensuring the success of the experiment. More village potters have been trained since then, and they have lifted themselves out of poverty, into a life of self sustenance and dignity. Since its creation the trust has changed the lives of other rural children by providing financial assistance for their education and health. Each year, the number of children who benefit from the profits generated by the production and sale of pottery, increases.

Today more than 147 children are educated by the Potters Shed. The children are all from economically disadvantaged families. Parents of these children are either employed as unskilled or part-time workers, or unemployed due to illness or disability. The trust provides tuition and an annual medical examination for children ranging in age from 3 to 18 years in ten different local schools. Once a child is admitted into the programme, the Trust funds her/his education through school.

The trust is aided in its efforts by donations from people who want to make a difference in the lives of children. It appreciates this assistance because, with it, the trust is able to increase the number of young people who benefit from the advantages of a formal education.

For more information on how you can contribute visit www.ruralpreventures.com

Eat

Drink

There is a shop near the bus stand where you can get some standard Indian whisky, beer, vodka, etc.

Bars & Lounge

Sleep

Budget

Staying in Cottage or a Bungalow is probably better than staying in a closed AC room in some random hotel. If you stay somewhere 3-4 km from main city you might get cheaper cottages and bungalow that too with good view. But it is always preferable to stay near the Lake, where one doesn't need to worry about food and you can have nice walk in the evenings.

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

You will see lots of monkeys in some parts of Kodaikanal, so be extra careful when moving with kids and carrying food. Try to ignore monkeys while passing by. Any abrupt move from you may convey the wrong message to these unpredictable creatures.

Don't leave cash or any valuables in the hotel room. Cross check all hotel, restaurant and lounge bills for errors.

Stay healthy

Prefer to eat healthy breakfast. After arriving at your desired destination, the chances are very high that you will not be paying any attention to your meal. So, do yourself a favor and consume healthy food while traveling around the destination.

Drink plenty of water and consume lots of multivitamin, mainly if you are flying. It will save you from dehydration and keep your immune level high.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.