Visiting Kodaikanal: A 2021 Travel Guide

Sneha Christall
7 min readAug 3, 2021
A postcard perfect view at The Carlton, Kodai

Kodaikanal, known as the “Princess of the Hills” is a hill station nestled in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. Come summer, tourists from all over South India flock to this scenic paradise, where natural and manmade wonders co-exist. Kodaikanal’s primary income source is its tourism industry. In recent years however, it has become increasingly polluted and overcrowded.

I first made my visit here from Chennai all the way back in 2004. Aside from a few hazy memories and photographs taken at Bryant Park & Coakers Walk, I have no further recollections or talismans of this trip. In March 2021, I had the opportunity to revisit this place with family. This being the lull period between the first and second wave of COVID-19, we managed to visit during a time when handfuls of tourists were just venturing out again. Owing to the lack of activity and business during the first wave, we witnessed Kodaikanal in its prime.

To me, Kodaikanal is full of simple treats — lazy evening strolls, cycling by the Kodaikanal Lake, sampling the local chocolate and chasing sunrises at different vantage points. In this blog, I want to take you through the highlights of my Kodaikanal trip — must-visit places, among other travel tips relating to commute, stay and the like…

Getting There

If you are travelling to Kodaikanal from Chennai, trains are your simplest option. We alighted at Dindigul Station and hired a cab that took us to our hotel situated near Kodaikanal Lake.

Kodaikanal is easily accessible via flights too. The closest airport is Madurai, which is 120 km away. Daily flights ply between Madurai and Bangalore, Trichy & Coimbatore.

Kodaikanal is well-connected by road with frequent bus services that ply across Dindigul, Theni, Coimbatore, Madurai & Chennai. Alternatively, you could drive there or hire a private cab for a full-blown road-trip experience.

Stay

We didn’t overly research our stay and decided on Sterling Kodai Lake, on the suggestion of a friend. For large families or friend groups, this would be a good option as they provide various rooms going up to 4–6 pax. capacity.

Sterling, Kodai Lake is situated bang in the middle of Kodaikanal; it overlooks the…

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