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Kodaikanal – The Place Known as the Princess of Hill Stations
Kodaikanal – The Gift of the Forest
Located in the beautiful folds of the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is a popular hill station and a favored honeymoon destination of not only Tamil Nadu but the entire South Indian region. Kodaikanal, which means “The gift of the forest” in Tamil, is renowned for its dense forests having diverse varieties of trees, as well as its huge rock formations and magnificent waterfalls. Even though modern Kodaikanal was set up in 1845, by the Christian missionaries of America and the British bureaucrats, the place is quite ancient and has been mentioned in the Tamil Sangam Literature dating back to the early Common Era.

History behind Kodaikanal:
While going deep down the history of this place the tribal people of Palaiyar were the residents of earlier Kodaikanal region. You will get to see reference of this place in Tamil Sangam literature. It is the only hill station of India which is developed by the American people. In year 1863 the then collector of Madurai, Sir Vere Hendry Levinge created the Kodaikanal dam on 60 acres of land in which three different streams are flowing.

Major Places of Tourist Interest
Kodaikanal Lake: This man-made lake is a not only the most popular tourist attraction of Kodaikanal, but is also a significant geographical landmark in the region. The star shaped lake covers an area of nearly 60 acres and on an average is nearly 3 m deep. It was constructed on the once marshy land in 1863 by Sir Vere Hentry Levinge, the then collector of Madurai. Visitors can enjoy various activities in and around the Lake including cycling, horse riding, boating and even fishing, although a majority of tourists prefer a walk around the lake to enjoy its mesmerizing beauty. 

Green Valley View: Also known formerly as the Suicide Point, the place if famous for providing a beautiful view of the Vaigai Dam. Located at a distance of nearly 5.5 kms from Kodaikanal Lake, the Green Valley View is also somewhat feared for being deep dangerous and dense.  Green valley is about 5.5 km from the Kodaikanal Lake. It is that point from where the tourists can tale a glimpse of  the excellent view of Vaigai Dam. The place was earlier called as Suicide Point.  This place is very deep (nearly 5000 ft), which is why visitors generally come to this place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Another major attraction of this Valley is its huge population of monkeys

Bryant Park: This is a botanical garden which was designed and landscaped by Glenn Bryant, an officer in the British Army, in 1980. Located on the eastern end of Kodaikanal Lake, the garden features a glass house, where visitors can see a great collection of various flowers, ferns and other ornamental plants. Every year  vegetable and flower show is also organized in the month of May, to attract a greater number of tourists. 

Pillar Rocks and Devil’s Kitchen: This major tourist hot spot of Kodaikanal is located nearly 8 kms away from main Lake. The place features three boulders of granite standing in a position from shoulder to the shoulder in the vertical direction and going up height of about nearly 400ft from ground. Standing on the top of the pillars, enables visitors to get a magnificent bird’s eye view of the surrounding areas. The dangerous and deep ravines that are almost hidden between the Pillar Rocks are known as Devil’s Kitchen. Although the ravines look similar to small dark gutters they are extremely deep, and should be visited with the help of the local people, who are quite familiar with the area.

Bear Shola Falls: Just two kms away from the main Kodaikanal Lake is the famous tourist destination of Bear Shola Falla, The place is named such because during the ancient times, it was frequented by Bears for drinking water. It is a favored popular picnic spot among both tourists and locals. However, the best time to visit the place is during the rainy season as that is when visitors can experience its beauty at its peak.

Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple: Located at a place 4 kilometers away from the main bus stand of Kodaikanal region. This place is well known for the Kurinji flower which shows its beauty by blossoming after a gap of every twelve years. The deity present in the temple of Kurinji Andavar Murugan is Sri Kurinji Easwaran. It was built in the year 1836 by a lady of European origin, who later converted to Hinduism.
Some other important places of visit in the Kodaikanal region are Dolphin's Nose, Berijam Lake, Silver Cascade, Guna caves, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History and Kodaikanal Solar Observatory  


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