Nestled between granite cliffs, pine-forested valleys, sparkling lakes, and gushing waterfalls- this quaint little hill town is home to some of Nature’s most awe-inspiring attractions. At 2000 metres above sea level, it is free from the hurly-burly of oppidan life. Almost untouched by modernization and sterile from urbanity, most people seek out this place in search of tranquillity, peace, and self-reflection to rejuvenate themselves. There are more than a few spellbinding places to visit in Kodaikanal that make this place a hot-favourite amongst tourists who travel down South. Rightly labelled as the ‘Queen of the Hill Stations’, this cosy little hamlet has a plethora of places to woo you.
Best places to visit in Kodaikanal in 2 days
- Kodaikanal Lake
- Shembaganur Museum of Natural History
- Bear Shola Falls
- Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
- Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple
- Silver Cascade
- Dolphin’s Nose
- Pine Forest
It is impossible to come to Kodai and not go boating on this exquisite star-shaped artificial lake. At a distance of a mere 1 kilometre from the main bus-stop, this lake is perhaps the most iconic landmark of this town, and one of the top tourist places to visit in Kodaikanal- regardless of how many days you plan on staying!
Covering a massive area of 60 acres, this lake was constructed way back in 1863 by Sir Vere Henry Levinge; the then Collector of Madurai. All around this lake, you can find breath-taking valleys, pristine forests and the ghost of our colonial past in the form of old Victorian-styled buildings. There is a walkway around the lake that offers terrific views of the place as well.
But perhaps the most exciting things to do there is to go on a leisurely boat ride. Rowboats and pedal boats can be hired at the Boat Club over there. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods as well.
- Time to be spent: 2-3 hr
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History
The story of the Shembaganur Museum is not only that of history but also about an extraordinary bond between an educator and his students.
That’s right! A team of students under their mentor, a Spanish Father by the name of E Ugarte once gave their all to preserve their teacher’s collections of butterflies, moths, and birds which is housed here. This museum today covers a wide-ranging history from handicrafts, flora, fauna and even anthropology!
This vast reserve of the relics and antique pieces reflects the rich traditional heritage and cultural ancestry of the region. Visiting this place is akin to taking a stroll through history. Tourists are spoilt for choice here; with over 300 species of plants, trees, mammals, and insects. Moreover, as part of the Sacred Heart College of Kodaikanal, this museum also houses an extensive collection of rare and endangered species of birds and beautiful flowers, which imparts a mystical spell on the visitors! And what’s more? It is just 5 km from the Kodai Bus stand.
- Time to be spent: 1-2 hr
Bear Shola Falls
If you seek serenity, privacy, and a glimpse at nature’s aesthetics, then you’ve come to the right place! At Bear Shola Falls, say hello to exotic species of flora and fauna here. Legend has it that once upon a time this place was infested with a wide variety of bears, who used to visit this waterfall to quench their thirst.
Furthermore, with the approaching monsoons, the beauty here is unparalleled. The waterfall cascades through the rocks nonchalantly, and the surrounding valley comes to life to the song of birds and beasts alike. The view out here is stunning, so be sure to take a moment out and devote it to self-reflection. The tranquillity that graces this tourist hotspot is unlike anywhere in India.
However, when visiting the Bear Shola Falls, also make sure that you secure all your valuables and belongings as this area is marred by monkeys (and their ilk- the pickpockets!)
- Time to be spent: 45 mins-1 hr
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
Situated in the Palani Hills district, the amazing Kodaikanal Solar Observatory is pivotal for the study of the solar actions. Over the years, this place has been a beacon of science and technology, and myriads of discoveries and accurate cosmic observations have taken place under this roof. Come and stand where great scientists have stood.
Moreover, there have also been many illustrious national as well as international conferences that have been conducted here. It is filled with a lot of rare information that is amassed through decades of research in its larger than life library; making it another great place to visit when in Kodaikanal.
Grace this place early in the morning to avoid the long queues (as well as the heat), since it shuts at 7. However, at the behest of many people, the officials might even allow you to come at night for a special stargazing session!
- Time to be spent: 1-2 hr
Also See: Escape to Ooty and Kodaikanal
Kurinji Andavar Murugan Temple
Another great place to visit in Kodaikanal is the Kurinji Andavar Temple. This magnificent temple is a monolithic architectural marvel! Devoted to Sri Kurinji Easware, this temple was built by Leelavathi Ramanathan in 1936; a European born woman turned Hindu after being touched by its teachings.
However, there is more to it than just being a visual spectacle. The deep history of this place beckons pilgrims to come and feel the spiritual power of the temple. People come here to steal a self-indulgent moment for themselves; awashed by the tranquillity and ataraxia of this sanctum.
When wandering the temple’s courtyard, visitors can feel the warmth of the sunlight caress their face, bask in the open chilly air and let the chirping birds be a salve to a troubled mind.
Moreover, the Kurinji Andavar temple is famous for its Kurinji flower, which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years! Grace this place with your family, and dip your soul in some pious solitude.
- Time to be spent: 30-45 mins
Silver Cascade Waterfall
Silver Cascade is another must-visit spot for tourists who wish to regale themselves in nature’s beauty. The first thing that strikes you about this waterfall is its sheer magnitude. Rising 180 feet high, this waterfall is a result of the overflow of the earlier mentioned Kodai Lake over a cliff.
With white, frothy waters streaming down the pillars of rocks, it forms a mesmerizing sight to behold. From afar, you can only see a line of lush silver meander down the hillside; giving the falls its name. The scenery around the falls coupled with the pristine greenery also adds to the overall allure and magnetism of the place. As you have guessed by now, this spot is thus also a hotly coveted one for its picturesque capabilities.
But here’s an exciting thing we’re sure you didn’t know! The water is also said to have medicinal value and thus taking a bath in the water of Silver Cascade is quite popular.
- Time to be spent: 45 mins-1 hr
Ever wanted to stand at the edge of the world? Well, that is exactly what Dolphin’s Nose peak feels like. Standing at the precipice of this cliff, one can get a bird’s eye view of the charming landscape of the surrounding mountainous region.
From here, the world feels laid out at your feet! Dolphin’s Nose has now become more legend than anything else. It is an iconic landmark that has become a part of this excellent hill station’s history. It is a flat rock jutting out of the mountain and overlooking a deep cliff. With its shape akin to that of the nose of a dolphin, this little tourist spot has become the destination for locals and international backpackers, alike. The astounding part about this cliff is that it is 6600 feet above sea level, which means that you can even see the curvature of the earth.
Early mornings and twilight time is the perfect time to visit this picturesque location. During these times, you can see the Sun give the horizon a supple kiss. The moment is majestic, and the skyline looks glamourous; as pretty and shining as a bride at her wedding! Nevertheless, be careful while visiting this spot as there are no railings or barriers between you and the abyss below. Practise safety, and enjoy this marvellous site!
- Time to be spent: 45-1 hr
Last up on this list of must-visit places in Kodaikanal, is none other than this spell-binding Pine Forest. Situated in the southwest region of Kodai, this elegant nature trail is one of the most famous tourist spots in the city!
However, this beauty patch of land wouldn’t be here today if not for the angelic Mr Bryant. Pine Forests virtually came into existence in Kodai due to the efforts put in by this man, as he was the one to state that pine plantations would make for really good quality timbre, in the year 1906. Today, there are over a thousand pine trees speckling this forest. The sight of these trees standing as stalwarts of a long-forgotten time is a testament of their durability and endurance; but n a magical way, it is also our only connection to this city’’ past.
Present in abundance, these trees are the only serving example of Kodai from the early 20th Century. Littering the floor, you will also find myriads of mushrooms- popularly known as the ‘magic shrooms’; which are believed to be hallucinogenic!
Further Read : Top 8 Honeymoon Destinations in South India
- Time to be spent: 1-2 hr
All of these are fantastic places to visit in Kodaikanal in 2 days, and the more you can squeeze into your trip, the better you are for it. If you wish to break away from your daily routine and rediscover the magic of life, then this is the place to be. Visit these glorious tourist hotspots, and we promise you that you will be taking a bit of this city back with you!