As a popular tourist hub, Kodaikanal offers an abundance and a variety of accommodation. For honeymooners, staying by the lake adds that extra touch of romance to your trip. Families like to camp in the north at large resorts packed with facilities for kids. If you're solo or travelling with a group of friends you can find a budget-friendly cottage to rent in neighbouring Vattakanal.
Shopping in Kodaikanal is a great way to engage with local culture, as vendors trade in handicrafts from around India and fresh produce from the nearby hills. Happy travellers return from expeditions to the bazaar area around Kodaikanal Lake with armfuls of colourful hand-woven fabrics, bags of souvenirs, and boxes of aromatics and chocolates.
The name Kodaikanal means "gift of the forest" in the native Tamil language. The surrounding Palani Hills and Shola Forests open out into deep valleys, inlaid with waterfalls and shrouded by swirls of mist. Visitors can make the most of this mysterious landscape by rowing across blue lakes, climbing green hills, and standing still to listen to birds, breezes, and rushing waters.
A favorite with honeymooners and nature-lovers, Kodaikanal has been called the "Princess of Hill Stations." The lush green Palani Range stands shrouded in mist above Kodaikanal’s blue lakes. As you retreat into its serene hills, on winding roads bordered by tall trees, you can take a refreshing breather from the noise and stress of city life.
In keeping with its origins as a hill station retreat, Kodaikanal is more a place for rest and relaxation than all-night revelry. Things do slow down after dark up here, but that doesn't mean you have to put yourself straight to bed. In town or out in the forest, you can discover a different side of Kodaikanal when the sun goes down.
Kodaikanal draws tourists from around the world, and the local restaurant scene caters to a global range of tastes. You can embark on your own culinary adventure here, sampling all the spices, sauces, and fresh vegetables of home-cooked South Indian food. But any traveller who's hungry for a taste of home will also be able to find something comforting and familiar to eat.
With its towering green hills, misty forests, and shimmering star-shaped lake, Kodaikanal was established in the 19th century as a summer retreat from the heat of Tamil Nadu. After more than a century of visitors, this "Princess of Hill Stations" is still in tune with its surrounding natural beauty, but also with the needs of tourists who fill the local restaurants, hotels, and shops.
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