How To Spend a Weekend in Kodai

How To Spend a Weekend in Kodai
Where the clouds come down , Photo Credit: Harshil Gupta

From sampling local cheese to stargazing from an observatory, here's our guide to this charming town

Harshil Gupta
July 11 , 2021
10 Min Read

Situated at about 7,000ft above sea level, Kodaikanal is famous for its breathtaking views and unsurpassed beauty. Also known as Princess of Hill Stations, it lies in the hills of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. In Tamil, Kodaikanal means ‘Gift of Forest’. With emerald green forests, lush waterfalls,  tranquil lakes, serene views, this place is a gem for all nature lovers.

Here is the list of must-do things in Kodaikanal:


Places to Visit
Kodaikanal Lake

Situated in the heart of town, this is an artificial lake built by the Sir Vere Henry Levinge in 1863, the collector of Madurai at that time. Spread over 60 acres, it is the perfect spot for some R&R. You can indulge in some cycling or boating while here. There are many shopping centre as well near the lake.
See if you can spot the flower ‘kurunji’ - it can be found near the lake. And it's quite rare in that it grows once in every twelve years.

Coaker’s Walk
The stunning view from Coaker’s Walk)

This path on the edge of mountains will give you a wide angle view of the town and lush green valleys. The best part is you can witness the soothing, never-ending rolling of cloud beds from here.

Dolphin’s Nose
The way to Dolphin’s Nose

To reach here, you have to trek for about a kilometre from Vattakanal Hamlet. Dolphin’s Nose is nothing but a vivid peak shaped like the nose of a dolphin. There are many viewpoints in between where you can get stunning views of the landscape. If you feel hungry, hit up any of the eateries here for some mountainside Maggi and juice.

Pillar Rock
You would have heard about the pillar rocks of Kodaikanal. Basically, these are naturally formed boulders, about 400m long and a perfect gateway for picnics. The surrounding hills and villages make the view more pleasant.

Upper Lake Viewpoint
A photogenic spot from where you get the panoramic view of the unique star-shaped lake, green valley and Kodaikanal town.

Pine Forest
A certain Mr Bryant is credited with starting the plantation of pines here. And now it has hundreds of tall and majestic pine trees. This is a perfect place for photography.

Guna Caves
Roots of tress outside Guna caves

Popularly known as Devil’s Kitchen, the Guna Caves are located at an altitude of 2,200 metres. The area is covered by Shola tress and grass. In 1992, a popular movie, Guna, was shot here, hence the name. Watch put for the thick roots of trees here.
Astrophysical Observatory
It was set up in 1899 and was originally known as the Solar Physics Observatory. You can find various interesting equipment here, like a 20 cm refractor. You can visit the library which has a rich collection of literature related to astronomy.

Mannavanur Village
Located around 35km from Kodaikanal, the approach is lined with eucalyptus and pine trees. Come here just to hang out by the serene lake.

Places to Eat
If you are a foodie, here are some places to try in Kodaikanal.

Muncheez serves both Indian and continental food. It is very famous for its rolls which come with different stuffing options. Along with food, you can also enjoy the live music.

Cloud Street

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Divyangna Kanodia (@galaxies_of_thoughts)

Another value for money place to eat in Kodai, this has a wood oven and grill. Their baked items, pizza and grilled meat are very popular. 

Astoria Veg Restaurant
If you are a pure vegetarian then this place is for you. Idli-vada plates served with freshly made chutney and steaming hot sambhar are their speciality. The menu includes mouthwatering dishes like Paneer Masala, Dal Fry, Veg curry, Gobi Masala, soup and more.

Tibetan Brother Restaurant

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Christabelle Lysander (@the_mixedbag)

If you are craving some steaming plates of momos, soups, thukpa and other Tibetan food, head here. Prices are affordable, taste is authentic and the ambience charming.

Pastry Corner
It offers delicious cakes, wraps, roles, pastries, and other such snacks. You are always going to find a big bunch of people standing outside the shop waiting for their orders. In winters, do try their hot chocolate. It is superb!

Best Places to Stay
The Kodai International

This is one of the most beautiful and luxurious properties in town. Spread over 14 acres, it has 70 rooms with all kinds of facilities. There are different categories such as deluxe, suite, superior etc. The place has a well-equipped conference hall for meetings and corporate events, a gymnasium, and a coffee shop.

Club Mahindra Kodaikanal
Just 500m away from the Kodaikanal bus stand, it is an ideal stay for whose who wants to relax, and yet be in the centre of town. Enjoy the massage at the spa in the property.

The Carlton Kodaikanal
The Carlton provides 5 star facilities to its guests. Along with a wide range of stay options, it also has a well equipped gym, spa, library and two venues for business or social meets. For recreation and entertainment, you can come to their swimming pool, table tennis court, kids play area etc. It has 84 rooms, 4 suites and 3 cottages in total.

Fern Creek
Fern creek has 7 swiss luxury tents that are spread over 1.5 acres. Their in-house restaurant’s delicacies will definitely make your day. They have a dedicated camp fire area.

Le Poshe by Sparsa

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Prakash (@naveprakash)

With 77 luxurious rooms, a restaurant, bar, café, spa, business centre and other facilities, this property is a good choice. The views are mind blowing - you will find this a place of peace and serenity.

How to Reach
By Air: Madurai Airport is the nearest airport to Kodaikanal. Located around 120 Km from Kodaikanal, it has flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore and other major cities. You can also take the flight to Coimbatore or Trichy and then hire a taxi.

By Rail: Kodai road is the nearest railway station but it does not have frequent connectivity. Take the train for Coimbatore railway station, and then reach here by bus or cab.

By Road: Kodaikanal has a good number of buses to and from Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Thiruchirapalli etc. Both government and private operators buses are present. You can also hire a taxi. With scenic ghat roads, it is a wonderful option to choose.


Places to visit in Kodaikanal youtube/I56OvvuB7AM
BikeMania November 08 , 2021

Why are Kodai Resort Hotel and Tamara Kodaikanal not mentioned in this list as best places to stay?
nyla salim July 14 , 2021

Related Articles


Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe