Kodaikanal is all about viewpoints, beautiful panoramas and stunning lakes. We spent 3 nights (2 full days) in Kodaikanal and explored everything on our wish list and even had time to chill. If short on time, sightseeing spots can be squeezed into 1 full day.
Day 1 – Mumbai to Coimbatore to Kodaikanal(175 km, 4 hrs)
Our flight landed at 1 pm at Coimbatore Airport.
First, we stopped for lunch. There are 2 South Indian restaurants, Annapoorna and Anandhaas which are quite famous and have several branches all over the city. Both of them have a branch next to the airport. We chose Annapoorna and had a delicious 3 feet dosa served with 3 kinds of chutney and sambar. On this trip, we figured out, none of the South Indian restaurants has idli for lunch or dinner. It’s served for breakfast only.
After lunch, we started the 4 hours drive to Kodaikanal. It had some pretty amazing views but was very tiring with endless Ghats.
We stayed at The Carlton Hotel in Kodaikanal. We had stayed at this hotel 15 years ago and mom wanted to stay here again since then. I was expecting an old 5 star dated property but it turned out to be a modern hotel with all amenities and also rooms had gorgeous lake views. I could have spent 2 days in the room just staring at the views. Food was delicious too but the room service menu was a bit limited. I would say if going to Kodaikanal, just choose this hotel with lake view rooms.
Day 2 – Kodaikanal
Time – 10 am to 4 pm
- It’s a small park which you can visit if you have some time to spare.
- Dad likes these kinds of things, so we did a quick visit.
- There is an entrance fee.
- Nothing much to see except for few flowers, plants and trees.
- This isn’t famous and even our driver didn’t know about it but a good spot to visit.
- It’s easily accessible. After following GPS, it reached till a gate which was closed and signboard stated that it is a private area of Horticulture Forest. There is a small pedestrian gate from which we entered and the waterfall was right there, around 50 meters from the gate.
- A small cute little waterfall worth checking out.
- It is one of the most famous viewpoints in Kodaikanal. It’s a must visit.
- There are viewing platforms from where you can see a good view of the valley.
- This point probably has the best view but a part of it was covered in clouds and mist. Still, we loved it.
- Next day, when we passed through it, it was completely covered in clouds.
- It is a lovely forest area with huge pine trees all around.
- You can also do horse riding here.
- Quick photo stop.
- Devil’s kitchen also known as Guna cave which was named after the shooting of film Guna.
- It had a steep climb and was very crowded, hence we skipped it.
- Reviews state that you can see the cave from outside only and can’t get closer to it anymore.
Pillar’s Rocks View Point
- Rocks formed naturally in the shape of the pillar.
- When we went there, at least a part of it was visible and a part was covered in the mist.
- Must visit viewpoint.
Green Valley View Point
- Yet another viewpoint and a quick photo stop.
- We liked Pillar Rock and Moir point better than this.
- The viewpoint is accessible by 100 meters walkway surrounded by shops.
- We had time and dad is a fan of wax museums, so we decided to visit it.
- It wasn’t maintained and unless you’re a mad fan of wax museums or have never visited one, can check it out.
Liril Falls (Pambar Falls)
- Located on the main road en-route to the viewpoints.
- Super tiny waterfall, click a photo and move on.
Upper Lake View Point
- A spectacular view of entire Kodaikanal is seen from this viewpoint.
- It’s a must visit point.
- Quick photo stop.
We were done seeing all the spots by 3 pm and wanted to have lunch at one of the restaurants from my researched list. But being a Sunday, there was a market and we couldn’t reach to any of the restaurants. Hence, we searched for a South Indian restaurant but none of them had idli or dosa for lunch. Hence we just stopped at a random Pizza place which had just about decent pizzas.
After lunch, we went for a walk around the Kodaikanal lake.
For dinner, we stuck to the rooms service at The Carlton Hotel.
Day 3 – Kodaikanal
Time – 9 am to 3 pm
- It’s a secluded, peaceful and a beautiful lake.
- There is a restricted road from Moir point which leads to the forest area and Berijam Lake.
- There are some viewpoints along the way – Silent Valley View Point, Berijam Lake View Point, Caps Valley View Point and Mathikettan Shola View Point. They aren’t properly named but you can’t miss them as those are the only places where you can find space to park the car.
- There was no boating here. Just enjoy the amazing valley view.
- Time – 9 am to 3 pm, closed on Tuesday.
- This place is not yet commercialized, so you won’t find any food vendors. You need to get back to the town to find an eatery.
- We took around 2 hours to visit.
Permit for Berijam Lake
- You need a permit to visit this lake.
- We went to the District Forest office in Kodaikanal at 8:30 am (Opening time).
- Got the form and our driver filled it with all the car details.
- Paid Rs. 200 and got the permit.
- It was pretty easy to get as it wasn’t a peak season.
- Do check the time till the permit is valid.
- Alternatively, we also saw a permit can be arranged at the entrance of the forest. Govt restricts the number of vehicles per day, hence be sure to stand in queue early during the busy season.
- Reach Moir point, flash your permit to the guard post, enter your details in the visitor register and pay Rs.20 and then you can proceed to the restricted road to the Berijam Lake.
- After the viewpoints, you end up at the lake wherein you have to again enter your details and show your permit and pay Rs 20.
We were done by 11:30 am – 12 noon and could have visited yet another lake – Mannavanur Lake. But it was 1.5 hours detour, so we skipped it. If visiting this lake, make sure to stop at Poombarai Village View Point.
After visiting Berijam Lake, we checked out some viewpoints which we missed the previous day.
- Beautiful waterfall en-route to Dolphin Nose.
- Can also swim in this waterfall.
- No entry fees.
- It is worth checking out.
If trekking is your thing, continue to Dolphin Nose.
- It’s just 15 minutes walk from one gate to the other. You can ask your driver to wait at the other gate so you don’t have to walk back.
- The entry which is opposite to the Bryant Park has an uphill walk. So it is better to enter via the other gate.
- It’s a lovely walk with a valley view all along the pathway.
- There are various shops selling tea, ice cream and snacks.
- There is also a telescope viewpoint where one could try spotting places on the opposite side.
We went to Royal Tibet restaurant for lunch. It was run by a Tibetan lady. We had usual Thukpa, momos, fried rice and spring rolls which was good but not mind-blowing. The best dish was the potato chilly and the fresh lime soda.
- Obviously going to Kodaikanal, you can’t miss boating at the Kodaikanal lake.
- Different boat options are available including row and paddle boats.
- You can also do some shopping at the lake. We bought a chocolate box for Rs. 60 from a roadside vendor but they turned out to be horrible. It tasted like sugar syrup.
- A 30-minute shikara ride was included in our room’s price. The Carlton Hotel had its own boating facilities. We did a half an hour shikara boat ride. The shikara was 2 seater with super comfortable seats, way better than the public boats. It was one of the best boat rides for us. Only con was that they had one only boat, so we all 4 could not go together.
Hotel – The Carlton Hotel
Day 4 – Kodaikanal to Ooty (252 Km, 7 hrs)
We started our long drive to Ooty.
Silver Cascade Falls
- This waterfall is on the main road itself before entering Kodaikanal.
- Again a quick, photo stop.
For lunch, we stopped at A2B. The restaurant was huge, nice seating and super cheap and delicious food. We tried a variety of items – dosa, paratha with korma, sweets and chaats. They also offered typical South Indian thali but again no idli for lunch.
The drive to Ooty passed through Coimbatore. So it is easy to do Kodaikanal and Ooty as 2 separate trips.
That’s it on Kodaikanal. It was a perfect trip with an amazing hotel, a good driver and all the scenic viewpoints and beautiful lakes which we visited. From here we continued to Ooty and Bandipur.
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Check out all the other posts in this series:
Kodaikanal, Ooty and Bandipur: Trip Planning
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Ooty and Bandipur: Detailed Itinerary and Trip Report
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