There is a long weekend coming up. If you are still undecided and want to escape the heat, drive down to Kodaikanal. Just a hop, skip and jump away from the state, there are plenty of things to do – even if you are on a budget. The soothing climate will make the trip worthwhile.
What to see, what to do
The lakes and waterfalls:
The verdant landscape is dotted with lakes and waterfalls. A trip to Berijam Lake is mandatory even though it is 25km away from the city. The Kodai lake is a man-made lake and is one of the best places to spend time with your kids. Go for a boating on the lake. A trip to Bear Shola Falls, Silver Cascade and Fairy Falls should also be on the list.
Go for a stroll on Coaker's walk. The one-kilometer stretch is bound to be crowded but still is an amazing experience. If you are looking at trekking – Kodai offers some amazing and adventurous options. Go on a trip to Dolphin's Nose about 8 km from the city. It provides a bird's eye view of the scenic landscape. The trek takes about 3 to 4 hours. The 16 km trek through Pambar Falls is exclusively for the adventurous ones. A trek to Pillar Rock, about 7.5 km away is yet another option. It is ideal to take a guide with you for all these treks.
The hills and viewpoints:
The Dolphin's Nose became a much sought after place after the Malayalam movie 'Premam' hit the screens. The scene with Malar and George in the song 'Malare' was shot here. The view from Pillar Rocks, Green Valley View, Silent Valley view is just spectacular.
Also known as Devil's Kitchen, a visit to these caves is not for the faint-hearted. Many have lost their lives here and it is imperative that you stick to paths. The cave became famous as Guna Cave after some scenes of the movie Guna was shot here. The Malayalam movie 'Shikar' also has some shots taken here.
Situated at the highest point of Kodaikanal, the solar observatory is a must visit if you are traveling with kids.
The best way to reach Kodaikanal is by bus. The nearest airport is Madurai, about 120 km away. The nearest railway station is Kodai Road, about 100km away.