The hill station by Kodai Lake
At the foothills of the western ghats, about three hours’ drive below Kodaikanal off the Palani-Dindigul road, lies the extraordinary Cardamom House. Kodaikanal, popularly known as " Kodai" and is a quiet hill resort nestled at an altitude of 2133m on the Palani Hills of the Western Ghats. Madurai is located a 120km away and the drive from there to Kodaikanal is very scenic as you travel through the lush coffee and forests climbing gradually to 2300 metres in altitude.
This area was first discovered by the Europeans in 1821 as the climate was deemed suitable for a sanatorium-cum-retreat They also established Kodai’s international school here in 1901.The town nestles around a man-made star shaped Kodai Lake created by a Dam built here in 1863. The 3km walk trail around the lake makes for a pleasant walk here.
On the shore of the lake is a boathouse and to the east of the lake is Bryant Park. Bryant Park is famous for its plant collection and annual flower show held in May.Just beyond the city centre there are some enchanting picnic spots called Pillar Rocks, Silver Cascade, and Green Valley View which offer good views of the valley.Kodaikanal has thickly wooded slopes, well laid out walking paths through picturesque scenery, waterfalls and steep rock outcrops. Boating on the lake is a popular pastime activity.
Kodaikanal is rich in flora and fauna. The Kurinji, which blossoms once in 12 years is the unique plant of Kodai, and it fills the hill slopes with the blaze of purple. A specialty in Kodaikanal is the delicious home-made chocolate which is available in many shops around the town. Tamil and English are the main languages which are spoken in Kodaikanal.