Saturday, 5 October 2013

Madurai - Kodiakanal

Kodaikanal is in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, and sits at 2,133 m above sea level.It is just 75 miles away from Madurai. Peak seasons see growing numbers of tourists visiting Kodai, though foreign tourists still visit in fairly low numbers. Visitors enjoy Kodai's spectacular mountain views, its forested vegetation of Eucalyptus and pine trees, its waterfalls, cool temperatures and many trekking possibilities.

Kodaikanal is the only Hill Station in India developed by the Americans.During 1821, Lieutenant B. S. Ward, a British surveyor was, the first European to visit Kodaikanal, who was on the lookout for a healthy place to live, for the foreign missionaries working in Madurai and the surrounding areas to escape from the summer heat and epidemics.
Kodaikanal has a history as old as time. Imprinted in the dolmens are the prehistoric stories of this ancient land. There are references to Kodaikanal in the Tamil Sangam literature of the early Christian era. In the historic times, the primitive tribes of Paliyans and Pulyans resided near the Palani Hills and their descendants still live in scattered villages.

Attractions in kodaikanal:

The Kodai lake:
This lake was created in 1863 by Sir Vere Hendry Levinge, who was the collector of Madurai, retired and settled in kodai.The 60-acre lake is near the town's center and offers visitors an abundance of activity choices, including boating and fishingthough fishing requires a permit from the local Inspector of Fisheries. If you don't feel like braving the waters, you can participate in activities along the lake's shores, which include bicycle rentals and horseback rides.

Bryant Park:
Located on Kodai Lake's eastern shore, Bryant Park is both beautiful and practical. Named after a forest officer who designed the area, Bryant Park not only showcases exotic and rare flora indigenous to the area but also serves as a botanical marketplace for the townspeople and residents of the neighboring areas. In addition to flowers and plants, Bryant Park seconds as a market, allowing shoppers to pick up their produce needs while the flowers' vibrant colors dazzle their senses.

Coaker's Walk:

It is a narrow pedestrian path, constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872, a one kilometer mountain road which runs along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai road which is 1/2km away from Kodai. The walk winding around mt. Nebo starts near van Allen hospital and joins the main road above St. Peter's Church provides a wide-angle spectacular view of the plains.

Kurinji Andavar Temple:
Located less than two miles from Kodai Lake, Kurinjin Andavar Temple was built in 1936 by a European woman who converted to Hinduism after coming to India. This shrine is dedicated to the Tamil Nadu patron deity Lord Muruga, who is also known as the god of war. The temple is also a celebration of the native Kurinjin flower, which blooms only once every 12 years in the town's surrounding hills.

Green Valley View:
Previously known as "Suicide Point," Kodaikanal's Green Valley View caters to all types of visitors. The Green Valley View is ideally situated above a 5,000-foot drop and gives you a wondrously complete view of the area's peaks and valleys. Located near the golf course, the view's optimal viewing time falls between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Dolphin Nose:

To reach Dolphins nose at a distance of 8 kms from the bus stand, one has to follow the route specified here.There is an old road after crossing Pambar Bridge near levinge stream. A rough curve rounds the hillside which leads to a point where a flat rock projects over an awful chesm of 6600 feet deep. This is Dolphins nose.

Silver cascade:
The overflow of Kodai lake comedown here as 180 feet high falls.8 Kms from the lake.

Physical Observatory:
This oldest world famous institution was built in 1898. It is nearly 6 kms from the bus stand and situated at the highest point in Kodai hills at 7700 ft. It has a well equipped productive laboratory doing quality research work. Its director Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in Sunspots - known as Evershed effect.

Telescope Houses:
Two telescope houses are availabe, one is near the Kurinji Andavar Temple and the other is at Coaker's Walk.

Thalaiyar Falls:
This is also called as Rat tail falls.The widest falls, ranging from 13th kilometer on the ghat road to kodai.It is one of the highest falls in India, with their 975ft sheer drop.

Bear Shola Falls:
An ideal picnic spot 1.6 km from bus stand and within 2 Kms off the lake, where once bears came to drink water. Hence the name of the falls became Bear Shola falls.

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