There is no denying the fact that Kodaikanal is one of the most breathtaking hill stations the state of Tamil Nadu has to offer. Nestled amidst towering granite cliffs, verdant valleys, tranquil lakes and cascading waterfalls, it is a true feast for the senses. Perched at an altitude of a little over 2,000 metres, this splendid place has been a popular summer getaway in the region, owing to its salubrious weather and eye-pleasing environs.

Another aspect which has helped Kodaikanal remain as one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in South India for decades is that it has a plethora of attractions to explore. It is sure to keep you engaged whether you are headed here for a few days or a week. If you are spending time in the region in any of its nearby cities like Madurai, Coimbatore or Kochi, then plan a getaway. Here are some of the best places to visit in Kodaikanal that you can explore during a 1-day, 2-day or a week-long sojourn.

Kodaikanal Lake

The centrepiece of Kodaikanal, Kodai Lake is often the first point of interest that vacationers visit on their trip to the hill station. The stunning manmade water body engulfed by undisturbed greenery is one of the most picturesque sights you will find in all of Tamil Nadu. But its natural beauty isn’t the only thing that draws the hordes of tourists.

This place is also one of the major hubs of activity because of all the indulgent experiences you can have here. One of the most preferred things to do here is boating. Yes, you can rent a boat and sail on the placid waters of the lake. The magnificent scenery around will fill you with a new life. Or, you can simply enjoy a leisurely stroll around the gorgeous lake taking in some awe-inspiring vistas.

Boating cost: Approx. ₹ 40 per person

Boating timings: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Bryant Park

Just east of the serene Kodaikanal Lake is an equally captivating site called Bryant Park – a botanical garden which gives you a chance to behold the majesty of nature in all its glory. This 20.5-acre site was built more than 100 years ago by a British officer by the name, H. D. Bryant, after whom it is named. Besides manicured flower beds, the park is also marked with old structures that make it worth a visit.

The best time to visit Bryant Park is the month of May when a flower show is organised here and the entire area gets encapsulated in various colours. You can check the event dates for the year online and book your hotel in Kodaikanal, accordingly. Located in the heart of the city, it, along with Kodaikanal Lake, is one of the first places to visit in Kodaikanal on a 1-day trip.

Entry Fee: ₹ 30 for Adults and ₹ 15 for Children

Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Silver Cascade Falls

Although a number of waterfalls are located within a short drive of Kodaikanal, Silver Cascade Falls is often the first one from the list that tourists choose to visit during their holiday. It is the majesty of this picture-perfect landform which coaxes them to do so. The white water plummeting over the many steps of this over 50-metre tall waterfall appears more like milk than water. It’s also a somewhat silvery hue and perhaps that’s why it has been named Silver Cascade.

Located a few kilometres before Kodaikanal on the way to the hill station from Madurai, it is also a popular halting spot for tourists. The months of July and August is when the monsoon rains feed Silver Cascade and you get to capture the best of this already enchanting waterfall. Whatever you do, do not forget to click a few cool, Insta-worthy snaps against its backdrop.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: Any time of the day

Pillar Rocks

If there’s one word that perfectly describes Pillar Rocks, it is “mystical.” The spot derives its name from the three 120-metre tall boulders. This place is not only famed for the three giant pillars but is also one of the best viewpoints you will find in Kodaikanal and its surrounding areas. On a good day, you can even witness clouds forming just below the tip of the boulders. Needless to say, it is one of the most bewitching sights you ever get to see.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Bear Shola Falls

A short walk from the centre of the hill station is Bear Shola Falls which is another exquisite waterfall in the area. The landform is named so because it used to be a favourite haunt for bears of the surrounding Shola forests, frequenting it to quench their thirst. But you do not have to worry about wild creatures. The only matter of concern for you is how you are going to include so many wondrous and amazing points of interest in Kodaikanal on your 2 day or 3 day trip to the hill station. Again, it is one of the best photography spots you will find in Kodaikanal.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Coaker’s Walk

Kodaikanal has been nicknamed “the Princess of Hill Stations” and a visit to Coaker’s Walk will tell you why. This approximately 1-km long walkway built on the slopes of a mountain is thronged for the astonishing vistas of the surrounding landscape. A stroll along while breathing in the crisp montane air and feasting your eyes on excellent sights will make you forget all the hustles and bustles of life. Another great way to explore the place is to rent a bike and go for a ride.

Entry Fee: ₹ 10

Timings: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Guna Cave or Devil’s Kitchen

Located between the humungous Pillar Rocks is another renowned tourist attraction in Kodaikanal known as Guna Caves or Devil’s Kitchen. The place only lured a handful of hikers until it was popularized by the movie named “Guna” which was shot here in the early 1990s, giving the place its name. Today, the caves remain as one of the most sought-after places to visit in Kodaikanal, drawing people in large numbers. However, you can only view the caves from a distance as they remain closed due to security reasons.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Moir Point

If the idea behind your journey to Kodaikanal is to behold magnificent sceneries, then Moir Point is another spot to not miss. It is named after Sir Thomas Moir who laid the foundation of Goschen Road in the late 1920s. Be warned already that the place can be a little crowded during the peak travel season as every tourist in town wants to marvel at the beautiful scenery visible from here. Apart from photography, which is a go-to here, you can also indulge in other activities such as a game of golf.

Entry Fee: ₹ 10

Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Dolphin’s Nose

The place gets its name from its appearance which is quite similar to the nose of a dolphin; jutting out from a mountain and offering bird’s-eye views of the marvellous landscape below. It lies about 6 km from the centre of Kodaikanal. The journey to the attraction is a treat in itself as one gets to hike through the pristine scenery. It is one of those places that you can’t get enough of. Mist acting as a veil adds to the splendour of the sight.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Thalaiyar Falls

Now, this one is a bucket list-worthy point of interest as the almost 300 metres or 1,000 feet tall Thalaiyar Falls is counted among one of the highest waterfalls in India. It is also referred to as Rat Tail Falls as that is what the narrow silver stream of water plummeting appears to be. However, it’s not easy to reach the landform. One has to navigate the rugged terrain of the surroundings of Kodaikanal for kilometres before they can lay their eyes on its beauty. Dum Dum Rock is a scenic viewpoint near the waterfall that you wouldn’t want to miss if you plan to visit Thalaiyar Falls.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Kurinji Andavar Temple

Devoted to Lord Muruga who is also referred to as the ‘God of Hill’, Kurinji Andavar Temple or Kurinji Temple is the centre of spirituality in Kodaikanal. The temple gets its name from the kurinji flowers that blossom on the hillsides nearby in every 12 years. If you are planning your visit to Kodaikanal during the month of May, then be sure to attend the vibrant festival that is organised at the temple during this time. If not for the spiritual or cultural significance of the place, throng it to admire traditional South Indian architecture in which the structure has been built.

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is a peculiar tourist hotspot in Kodaikanal that you do not usually expect to see at a hill station. You are going to love this place in case you are intrigued and amazed by our universe and astronomy. The place keeps an eye on the behaviour of the sun. Though it is a governmental facility, it is also a tourist spot giving visitors a chance to see the secrets of the solar system that we thrive in. 

Entry Fee: N.A.

Timings: From 1st April to 15th June: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Rest of the year: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Open only on Fridays)

So, these are the many points of interest in Kodaikanal you can explore. Now, that you know about these. What are you waiting for? Just book your train, flight or bus tickets along with your hotel in Kodaikanal and set forth on a memorable vacation.