A Homegrown Guide To Offbeat Destinations In Kodaikanal

A picturesque lake in Kodaikanal
A picturesque lake in KodaikanalFab Hotels

Nestled in the Palani hills in Tamil Nadu state, Kodaikanal is quite close to Kerala. The Princess of Hill Stations, as it is also known ought to be on every travel lover’s bucket list. Kodaikanal is a relatively smaller town compared to Ooty. The town is centered around the star-shaped man-made Kodai lake which is the prime attraction as well as the geographical center of the town.

The quickest way to reach Kodaikanal would be to take a flight to Coimbatore or Madurai and reach Kodaikanal by hiring a cab. A cheaper option would be to take a train to Kodai road, located at the foot of the hills, and then hire a cab or take a bus to reach Kodaikanal. Another alternative is renting a self-drive car from Coimbatore. While it is true that one can cover most of the tourist places in and around Kodaikanal within a couple of days, I recommended staying a few more days to take in the feeling of the place and also to visit these off-beat places in Kodaikanal:

I. Pambar Falls

Pambar Falls, popularly known as the Grand Cascade or Liril Falls, is situated about 4km from Kodaikanal. It can be accessed by following a steep and slippery path behind the Pambar House. This waterfall is a beautiful picnic spot and one can spot some endemic birds and butterflies. There is a pond created at the bottom of the waterfall where swimming can be a lot of fun.

Pambar Falls
Pambar FallsThrillophilia

II. Dolphin’s Nose

Dolphin’s Nose is definitely too popular to be termed off-beat but it surely must be on your itinerary while visiting Kodaikanal. Reaching Dolphin’s Nose is an experience in itself— the trek up to the viewpoint, the waterfall along the trek, and at the end of it all the mesmerizing scenery that unfolds before your eyes. The viewpoint gets its name from the dolphin’s nose-shaped rock, which is its foundation. If you venture a bit further up the trail, you can get to another viewpoint called Echo Rock.

Dolphin’s Nose
Dolphin’s NoseThrillophilia

III. Mannavanur Lake

Mannavanur Lake is located on a sheep farm about 33km from Kodaikanal. Situated in a farming village, the lake is amidst farms for, potatoes, carrots peas, etc. The lake is quite a popular picnic spot for tourists, in the midst of vast green lands and flocks of sheep grazing about. Wild horses can also be spotted here. Mannavanur is also well-known for its trek.

Mannavanur Lake
Mannavanur LakeTripstori.com

IV. Pine Forest Kodaikanal

If you think you have seen this place before, in all probability you have. A number of Bollywood film scenes have been shot here. The Pine Forest has a mystical aura about it. It evokes a sense of peace and tranquility and a walk amongst the majestic pine trees can really relax you. This quaint Kodaikanal forest provides you with the ideal backdrop for a photo shoot.

Pine Forest Kodaikanal
Pine Forest KodaikanalTamil Nadu Tourism

V. Guna Caves

Tucked amidst the Pillar Rocks, the clouds surrounding the Guna Caves conjure up a mysterious feel. It was discovered by an English Officer, B.S. Ward in 1821CE. Guna Caves were also known as Devil’s Kitchen. Since the Tamil movie Guna was shot here, the caves came to be popularly known as the Guna Caves. One can click some otherworldly photographs there. Unfortunately, for security reasons, tourists can only admire the caves from a distance.

VI. Kodai Chocolate Factory

If you have a sweet tooth, Kodaikanal won’t disappoint. Founded in 1999, the Kodaikanal Chocolate Factory has been operational for a couple of decades now. They have mastered the art of making homemade chocolates. Who would want to miss out on chocolates? Let alone the homemade ones with ideal ingredients? Their product line also includes essential and aromatic oils, herbal teas, coffee, and spices. Freely indulge yourself in their amazing products during your vacation in Kodai.

Chocolates from the Kodai Chocolate Factory
Chocolates from the Kodai Chocolate FactoryWhats hot

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