Head into the hills of the Dindigul district to walk through forests, explore botanical gardens and enjoy dramatic views.
Kodaikanal was founded in the first half of the 19th century to provide missionaries with a sanctuary from the heat and tropical diseases that plagued the plains below. Since that time it has evolved into a major tourist destination.
There are many ways to experience Kodaikanal’s scenic charms. Rent a rowboat or peddle boat for a trip across the star-shaped Kodaikanal Lake. Alternatively, take the ferry across the 60-acre (24-hectare) man-made body of water. When you are back on dry land, cycle or walk along the path that encircles the lake.
Stroll through several acres of flowers at Bryant Park. This extensive botanical garden is home to hundreds of varieties of trees, flowers and shrubs. Don't miss the eucalyptus tree that dates back to 1857. During the summer, attend one of the park’s flower shows or horticultural exhibitions.
Hike through dense forests and valleys and pass by waterfalls and spectacular rock formations. Take in the views from Dolphin's Nose, a large flat rock that juts out over a chasm that is 6,600 feet (2,011 meters) deep. Enjoy a picnic in the shadow of Pillar Rocks, three massive vertical rock columns.
Learn more about the Kodaikanal’s environment at the Shembaganur Museum of Natural History. There are hundreds of stuffed birds, mammals and reptiles on display as well as a dried collection of insects and living orchid species.
Along with its scenic and natural attractions, the town has a scientific institute known for its research of the sun. At the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory in the Palni Hills, tour the astronomy museum that concentrates on the work of the observatory's astronomers.
The closest international airport is in Madurai, 71 miles (114 kilometres) away and the nearest train station is Kodai Road, at a distance of 50 miles (80 kilometres). Rent a car for the freedom to explore Kodaikanal's mountainous scenery. The roads leading into the town offer beautiful views of the Ghats mountain ranges.