3 days in Kodaikanal – Princess of Hill stations

This post is about how best to spend 3 days in Kodaikanal. It will help you make the best of your available time when visiting here.
Hills and mountains always keep fascinating me. So, I always keep looking for a chance to travel to some hill station and spend some time in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city. And the best part is, same is true for my wife also. Thus, in the course of keeping my passion alive, I have traveled some of hill stations in south India (like ooty, munnar, coonoor). But this is the first time I am crafting my journey in words : a trip of 3 days in Kodaikanal, my first blog. Through this, you will also get an idea how best to spend 3 days in Kodaikanal.
 Kodaikanal

About Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil NaduIndiaIts name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest” . Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations.” Although nearby hill stations like Ooty and Munnar have become highly commercialized, Kodaikanal still enjoys the advantage of being a quaint hill station. As, it doesn’t have so much of foot fall. So, it retains all its essence. It mostly comprises of a close community, a few beautiful schools, hospital, other basic infrastructure. And, on top of that, it has some beautiful visiting spots. And then, it’s economy is mostly driven by the hospitality industry.

Our travel plan to spend 3 days in Kodaikanal

Though I am proud owner of a car. But when I decided to spend 3 days in Kodaikanal, I also decided not to drive but to rent a cab and just enjoy the journey on the backseat with my wife. Staring on panoramic views and scenery on the way which runs from Bangalore to Kodaikanal. Mostly, you will be traveling through NH7 and NH44. And these highways contain very exciting and refreshing view all around. Road till Kodaikanal is in very good condition and if you are a driving enthusiastic, definitely you will enjoy each and every bit of your driving. Even the ghat section is not so dangerous with almost no hair pin bend. So with regular driving skill you can be able to enjoy the driving.

Travel Plan highlight – 3 days in Kodaikanal

Our plan was to start early morning on 29th Dec (which was Saturday),2012.  And again come back to Bangalore by evening of 1st January. 2013. So we booked a cab for 4 days. Although, we spent close to 3 days in Kodaikanal and rest 1 day in travel. Since it was a year end holiday season. Although there was some rush for hotel booking. And most of good hotels were getting unavailable. So considering this we had already booked our hotel long back. We booked a cottage in Kodai Resort for 3 days.

Route followed for our trip of 3 days in Kodaikanal

Bangalore->Hosur->Krishnagiri->Dharmapuri->Salem->Namakkal->Karur->Dindigul->Kodaikanal.
This is NH7 route and the most straight and shortest route. You can easily find this route on google map by selecting option NH7.

1/ 3 days in Kodaikanal – Journey Start Day

Finally our journey for Kodaikanal started on 29th December, 2012 at 4:15 AM. And we decided to start little early in the morning so that we reach Kodai as early as possible and spend most of our holiday time in the hills. Hence we called our cab at 4:00 AM in the morning. And the cab reached our residence at Old Airport Road at 4:05 AM. Thus we started our journey for spending 3 days in Kodaikanal from there at 4:15 AM. It was complete dark outside and city roads were also empty. So our cab started zooming within city itself and in no time we reached Karnataka-Tamilnadu boarder near Hosur where cab has to take RTO permit. And, here only we had to pay the first toll also. In total, in this route you will find total 7 tolls booth till Kodaikanal which will cost you around 300 one way.Include electronic city elevated expressway toll  to it, and it will be a total  of 8 and sum up Rs 40 more. Thus, if you are going by cab then RTO permit will cost you an extra Rs 400.
 
Anyways after taking RTO permit and paying the first toll, we again started our journey. The road is so nice that you can easily drive at a speed of 100-120 kmph and that’s what my cab driver was doing (but for private vehicle driver I will suggest to drive at a speed in which they feel comfortable) . And, after around 2 hours of drive morning light started spreading gradually and we were amazed by the enthralling view of the highway. There were green fields on both side of road, small hills and nicely placed flowers on divider.

Crossing Salem

At 7:00 AM we entered Salem. The driver wanted to have some tea and we stopped in Salem city for 10-15 mins. He quenched his thirst for tea. After that again we stared our journey towards Kodai. Salem is around 200 KM from Bangalore and we covered this distance in around 2 hours and 45 minutes (including the 20-25 minutes time spent on RTO permit and tolls). As we kept moving ahead, we were enjoying the nice view of highway. I couldn’t restrain myself from clicking some pictures of highway from high speeding car. Though due to speed of car, it was very difficult to take proper snaps , but still was able to take some view-able snaps which are posted below. 

 Bangalore to Kodaikanal highway , 3 days in Kodaikanal

To Dindigul

We kept crossing different towns and “Patti” (villages) which came into the way and finally reached to the road approaching Dindigul. Here you will find a flyover and before starting of flyover a signboard will be placed indicating Kodaikanal on left. Take the left to service road. After going some distance, take right to Vathaalgundu (at this place a sign board will be placed indicating Dindigul 4 KM).From this place till Vathalagundu,road repairing and widening work was in progress and hence slow and careful driving was required in this stretch (of around 10-15 KM). After Vathalagundu, one can see an Indian Oil Petrol Pump on the right side (here a board will be placed indicating ‘Dindigul 43 KM’). Take right from here. 

And on the Ghat (hilly) road

Now we reached to a place where a board was placed indicating Kodaikanal 48 KM. From here onward ghat road starts. As I had already indicated this ghat road is not so dangerous and easy to drive. This full stretch of 48 KM is very scenic , full of greenery,valleys and sight of hills and clouds hanging on top of hills. In between you will find a number of water falls and valley view points, among them the first will be “Rat falls”. You will find “Silver cascade fall” also on the way.
Bangalore to Kodaikanal highway , 3 days in Kodaikanal

Read about the highway experience in details here.

Our Destination : Kodai Resort

Finally we reached to our resort – “Kodai resort” at 12:30 PM, it is very near to Kodaikanal bus stop (around 500 mtrs). Trip-meter was displaying a total distance 463 KM.Time taken for this journey was around 8 hours and 15 minutes including lots of toll stopping and two breaks for tea and breakfast.
Kodaikanal resort , 3 days in Kodaikanal
Entrance to Kodai Resort

The resort has a huge lawn, very well maintained. In the center of the lawn there is an arrangement for campfire. Further, two sides of the lawn have the rooms. While other two sides are open to the mountain views. There is a small zoo also at one end. Some local birds and animals are kept in this zoo for the entertainment of the kids that travel here with their family. Although we must say, the animals didn’t look into very good shape.

Kodaikanal resort 2
Kodai Resort Ground

 

Kodaikanal resort 3
Kodai Resort Room entrance

 

Kodaikanal Resort 4
Kodai resort room
After checking-in resort we decided to have lunch in the restaurant of resort. After lunch we started exploring the resort. We took a walk in resort and in its garden and explored different facilities/amenities of resort which included game,library, shop etc.

Coaker’s walk , Kodaikanal

After resort exploration, we went to the Coaker’s walk which was just 150 mtrs away from our resort. Coaker’s walk is a very famous tourist destination in Kodaikanal. It is 500 metres from the bus-stand, constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872. It is a 1-kilometre paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. On a clear day one can view the deep valley and stunning panoramic view of the plains. Entrance fee for walk is Rs 5 per person and Rs 10 for camera.
Coaker's walk Kodaikanal
View of clouds in the valley from Coakers Walk
We completed the full 1 Km of walk (one way). Finally we settled ourselves on a bench placed on side of walkway from where one can enjoy the panoramic view of valley, plain and towns. Overall, it was full cloudy day and clouds were coming and touching us.The valley was covered with layers of cloud and nothing was visible. After 15-20 mins clouds started moving away and we got a glimpse of the green valley. Here clouds kept playing hide and seek. They were coming and going. But it was a nice experience to find ourselves in between the clouds. After spending 1 hour there we came back to our resort for taking rest and enjoying the view from our cottage’s big glass windows. At night we had dinner in the resort itself and then we took a walk in our resort’s garden.
In the center of the garden, there was a place for camp fire. Resort staffs brought woods for lighting camp fire. They placed and assembled woods nicely but the Rain God was not in favor of camp fire that night and it couldn’t happen. Though it happened on the night of 30th and 31st.

 

Kodaikanal resort 5
Kodai resort bonefire

2 / 3 days in Kodaikanal :Sightseeing

We had decided not to rush for numerous sight seeing. We rather wanted to spend time peacefully in the resort and nearby places, spending enough time on each spot.So, we had kept day 2 for visiting some selected places.We started around 9:30 AM from our resort for sight seeing. Places visited on the day were:

Guna cave

Named after Kamal Haasan movie Guna whose shooting was done here.It is a very deep cave with dangerous slopes. Area around the cave is guarded with iron grills.You can get the view of cave from a distance only.I came to know that around 40 accidental deaths have happened at this place and hence under precautionary measures it has been guarded with grills. Be careful on slopes. From here you can get a view of valley also. Full path is covered with many parallel lines of long trees with many many hanging-jumping monkeys on the tree.
Kodaikanal 8
Guna caves

Pillars rock

A nice valley where two rocks are standing side-by-side and will give you a feeling of “Petronas Towers” of Malaysia. View of the valley is very nice from this place. It was a very cloudy day and after a wait of 15-20 mins we were able to see the Pillars rock, which was covered under clouds till then. Clouds were coming and going, giving a hide and seek view of pillars rock.
Kodaikanal 9
Pillars rock

                                      

Green Valley view

Again this is a view point with excellent panoramic view of the plains. There were lots of shops there, ranging from woolen clothes to wood crafts to fruits. We bought some fruits and few of wooden stuff.

Kodai lake

A big lake in between the Kodai town. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club, The Carlton. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometres path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favorite walk for the locals and tourists alike. We preferred to do a complete walk of 5 km on periphery of the lake and enjoyed it a lot under the influence of a very pleasant weather.

 

On the way between the above places, we also visited some spots with nice tall trees standing in rows. They were very good spots for taking snaps.

Kodaikanal view

After this we came back to our resort around 2:30 PM and had lunch there. After lunch we used the gaming facility of resort and played chess and carom. In the night we enjoyed the camp fire for some time before dinner.
 

3 / 3 days in Kodaikanal : sightseeing continued

Bryant Park

It was a very pleasant morning, partially sunny and partially cloudy with pleasant breeze. A perfect time to take a gentle walk. And this is what we decided. After breakfast we went to the Bryant park ( a botanical garden around 150 mtrs away from our resort). This is also one of the most sought after tourist destination in Kodai. We did a full stretch walk in park and few photo shoots.We entered into the park from the gate which falls towards our resort(and Coaker’s walk) and we came out from the gate which faces the lake.Yes, from lake side also you can enter into this park. Again we spent 1 hour in walking around the lake and did some shopping in shops lining the periphery of the lake, preferably shop full with wood items (which was one of the most preferred shopping items for my wife).
Kodaikanal 10
Kodai lake

 

Kodaikanal 11
Around the kodai lake

 

Kodaikanal 11
Kodai Lake

And some games in the resort

Then we came back to our resort, had lunch there and again played carom. In evening we went to Coaker’s walk, enjoyed the flood of clouds once more. We spent some time watching flying clouds and the view of town and valley behind them. In the night there was an event organized in around the camp fire in the resort, for saying goodbye to 2012 and to welcome 2013.It was full of music, dance and some games. 
Kodaikanal resort 7
View of the valley and mountains beyond as seen from our resort

                                             

Finally at end of 3 days in Kodaikanal : Back to Bangalore

This was the day to say goodbye to Kodai and to start for Bangalore. We decided to start around 8:00 AM after breakfast so that we could reach Bangalore by 4:00 PM and meet some friends on the night of 1st Jan. As planned after breakfast we started from Kodai at 8:15 AM. Again back to home journey with completely refreshed mind on the same breathtaking views of highway. Again couldn’t refrain myself from taking some snaps of the highway.With all the tolls stop and one break of 20 mins, we finally reached back to our home around 3:50 PM.
This was the end of one more memorable and amazing journey, 3 days in Kodaikanal, full of fun and enthrallment.

Sight seeing suggestion

There are many other places in Kodaikanal which we didn’t covered since we spent just 3 days in Kodaikanal. But they can be considered for sight seeing. Some preferred one includes: Bear Shola Falls, Berijam Lake, Pine forests, Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple.

Other options for traveling

Other than private vehicle or cab, you can use buses or trains also for travelling to Kodaikanal from Bnagalore. You can use private bus services as well as state bus services like KSRTC.
You can take a train from Bangalore to Kodai road. Kodai road is the nearest station from Kodaikanal which is around at a distance of 80KM. From Kodai road either you can take bus running to Kodaikanal or a taxi.
Other option is to go to Madurai or Coimbatore from Bangalore by train or flight. From there you can take a cab or buses to Kodaikanal.
 

Food outlets on the way

A2B (Anand Bhavan), Kamat, MacDonald – but all these before Salem, in between Krishnagiri and Salem. After Salem, still you can find various restaurants, may be not so famous name but you can get decent food. Like we tried in one. 
 
 
 
***************************Wish you a nice and memorable trip*****************************
 
 Kodaikanal
 
 
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70 Responses

  1. kavita

    Can you please tell about the facilities for the drivers at kodai resort. we are hiring a driver to drive our car so that we can enjoy the scenic drive. What about their bf, lunch and dinner . do they hv to go to the city market for the same.

    • Neha

      Hi Kavita. As per what I remember, driver accommodation is available at Hotel Kodai Resort along with food, at some extra cost per day. You could call them and inquire about the cost part, as it must have changed since we visited here almost 5 years back

  2. Katchutravels (@Katchutravels)

    Next time you head there, go to Suicide Point and do the trek to Vattakanal. Its a very peaceful part of Kodai. The clouds come there are create a surreal scene on the top of the hill near Altaf Cafe. It was formerly a hippie village run by the Israelis who are now long gone.

    • Neha

      We went to suicide point but people were not being allowed very near to the actual point, you have to see it from a distance now it seems

  3. thatguywithstories

    Thanks to Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu is the topmost destination for foreign travelers. Beyond sounding cliche, I am waiting for the day when the two ‘Petronas Towers’ rocks become associated with some daityas like Ravana and Kumbhakarna. No?
    You have described the entire Kodaikanal trip vividly. Great blog, but I wish there was some less sunlight in your photographs, which otherwise are fantastic.

    • Neha

      I had no idea Kodaikanal is so popular amongst the foreign tourists and has so much of footfall. Are you sure? It’s locations like Ooty and even Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry that seem to have more footfalls from abroad. I have visited Kodaikanal several times and always found it least populated and very offbeat compared to the other TamilNadu destinations

  4. Momma To Go

    Ive never been to India, these are beautiful pics! Im ignorant but I had no idea there was a mountainous kind of region rain forest looking there!

    • Neha

      India has several rainforests and both snow covered mountains as well as the green hills..do try a vacation and you will be spellbound by the beauty

  5. Sabrina Andrea Sachs

    I spent a month in Kerala last year, but I really wish to visit Tamil Nadu next time I come to India! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post and pictures! 🙂

  6. Abigail

    The view on the road leading there is already stunning. Love that this feels like a true escape and the foggy mountains look so relaxing!!

  7. Joanna

    I love that Kodaikanal is surrounded by nature and that you have so many options of visiting waterfalls or hiking on the mountains. The camp fire from the resort is such a nice touch. There’s nothing better than sitting around a camp fire while after a day of hiking and sightseeing, especially in the mountains, where the weather gets chillier.

    • Neha

      The warmth of the camp fire is really one of the best things when in the mountains.

  8. Jackie Taylor

    Wow, it would be so cool to see Pillars Rock in person! I also like the details you’ve included in your 3 day itinerary, the Kodai Resort sounds like an amazing place to visit. Great read, thank you for sharing!

  9. Jessica Nemire

    Great post! I honestly hadn’t heard of Kodaikanal before this, which is embarrassing. So now I not only know more about it, but I also know how to spend 72 hours there should I ever find myself in India. Ya learn something new every day. Keep up the good work!

  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    Kodai and Ooty are two lovely getaways not too far from Bangalore. However they have now become over-exposed. Best thing to do is head out there during the off season, especially in the winter months when you can still find the old charm and magic.

    • Neha

      You are right. I have noticed that Kodai has least climate fluctuation. The temperature remains the same almost all through the year. So, you can visit anytime of the year. Choose a time with least crowd

  11. Indrani

    Wonderful itinerary of the place. I spent just 2 days here and I knew from then the place deserves a longer stay to soak it in completely.

    • Neha

      You are right Indrani. For someone who just wants to hop from destination to destination, even one day is enough. If a laid back holiday and tranquility amidst nature is what we seek, this place deserves longer stay

  12. Christina from Happy to Wander

    Wow I adore that photo of Pillar’s Rock! You’re 100% right that it’s reminiscent of the Petronas Towers. This is a super detailed guide and so I’m sure it’ll come in handy for anyone who decides to pursue the same route. Maybe even me one day! I’d love to see India 🙂

    • Neha

      Thanks Christina..it’s one of the most cherished trips that we took in the initial years

  13. Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth

    Oh wow, 4:15am is definitely an early start! But I would have wanted to get to my destination to soak it all in immediately as well.

    You’re very descriptive in your post which is definitely helpful – wouldn’t want anyone getting lost! It’s a bit of a pity that Zeus decided to rain down so you couldn’t have a bon fire on your first night.
    Could you see Pillars Rock from the road or did you have to hike somewhere to view it? I love how the clouds are still hanging around in the photo, gives it a bit of a mysterious effect!

    Sounds like a really great way to welcome in the New Year! 🙂

    • Neha

      Thanks Caroline. Pillar’s rock can be viewed from a view point across it. I am not sure if hiking there is allowed. On a separate note, it was a really great way to welcome the new year.. 🙂 Enjoyed thoroughly

  14. Soumya Nambiar

    It has been many years since I went to Kodaikanal and your blog reminded me of some of the places I visited when I was still in college. I keep driving between Bangalore to Trivandrum and I must say that the roads are excellent. Good job on your first blog, Abhishek.

    • Neha

      Thanks Soumya! I guess things have not changed much during all those years. Thats the beauty of many tourist places which are not highly commercialized.

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