Kodaikanal is also referred to as the Princess of Hills, and rightly so. With its lush green valley and the perfect beauty, there are not many hill stations in the South that can compete with Kodai's vibes! The endless waterfalls, lakes, parks, and hills make this a haven for every nature lover.
And with the hectic lives that we all have chosen for ourselves, we can definitely choose to have some time off and unwind in the beauty that is Kodaikanal.
Given, the ever-growing popularity of Kodaikanal, it is safe to say that it has become one of the most visited hill stations in Southern India. What if I told you there are still some places in and around Kodaikanal that are not as visited, and just as much fun to be. And who knows maybe even more peaceful than some of the regular spots. Well, in this blog that is exactly what we are going to do, find out the Lesser-Known Places Around Kodaikanal!
You may have visited/heard of some of the places, so bear with me!
Kodaikanal may be the go-to vacation, for its natural beauty and rightly so, but did you know that the city is deeply rooted in history as well!? A testament to how far its history goes is evident from the Dolmen or Kistaven at the Dolmen Circle. This is a very intriguing place for history lovers and especially so because, according to Anthropologists, it dates to 5000BC. How cool is that!! Also, Dolmen Circle is believed to be the burial and dwelling ground for the stone age man. The Dolmen’s structure also symbolizes the simplicity of the times. All it includes is one horizontal slab of stone supported by two vertical slabs of stones. Given the history associated with the Dolmens, this place is a must-visit.
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory
Kodaikanal’s Solar Observatory has gained a reputation primarily because of its contributions to science through its observations of solar activity. This contribution has helped it gain immense popularity in astrophysics circles. The observatory also boasts of a library with invaluable data and readings on the related topics. A glimpse of the magnificence of the work from the observatory can be seen at the Solar Observatory Museum. Especially for the families traveling to Kodaikanal, a visit to this place is a good way to help the kids appreciate science.
If there is one thing that a Kodaikanal itinerary won't miss, it is a visit to a lake. There are so many lakes in and around Kodaikanal and each with its own beauty, and if it were possible, I would go visit them all! One of these lakes, that is often overlooked because of being a bit away from Kodaikanal is Berijam Lake. It is about 20 km from Kodaikanal. This lake is actually a reservoir with greenery all around it for as far as the eyes can see. To maintain the beauty of the lake, only a limited number of vehicles are allowed per day, and that too with prior permission from the Forest Department! Given its preserved environment, Berijam lake is a very good spot for bird watching as well. To add to that, the general scenic backdrop of the location is perfect for photography as well. This place should definitely make it to your Kodaikanal itinerary.
PC: Ramkumar Arjunan
Located at Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur Museum is a museum that hosts a splendid collection of Natural History. This 123-year-old museum has a beautiful collection of flora and fauna. It also has one of the best orchidariums in the country, hosting about 300 species of flowers and plants. Add to that an incredible collection of taxidermy of more than 500 species of insects, birds, animals. Other wildlife creatures on display are snakes, moths, mammals, and butterflies. And if all this wasn't enough, the museum also displays artifacts from the time of the Palaiyar tribes. This is just the place for inquisitive minds. And highly recommended whether visiting solo or with family.
PC: Binu KS
The farthest place on this list is Kukkal (or “Kookal’) Village. It is about 30km from Kodaikanal and is definitely one of the lesser-explored places around Kodaikanal. The village is known for its terrace farming and is pretty peaceful. In fact, it is as peaceful a place as any when it comes to unwinding and just relaxing in nature's lap. The two major attractions of the village are Kukkal Lake and the Kukkal Caves. Kukkal Cave also happened to be the settlement for the Palaiyar tribe at one point in time. Should you decide to stay the night at this place, there are quite a few stays that should be well equipped to cater to you.
Beyond these places, there are places like Vattakanal that have off-late started getting more footfall but are definitely a gem worth Xploring!
These 5 locations may not be the most popular but should definitely make your Kodaikanal itinerary for adding a different flavor to your trip. If you are not convinced yet about a trip to this paradise, read places to visit in Kodaikanal and you will have enough reasons to convince yourself. If you are interested in more interesting travel content, feel free to visit Xplore The Earth.