Club Mahindra – Hill Country Resort, Kodaikanal
What are the places of interest?
Every May, a horticultural show is conducted by the department of Horticulture. On this occasion, vegetable and flowers entries from neighbouring villages compete for prizes under various categories. This is indeed a huge crowd puller. Contestants exhibit flowers, vegetables, fruits and other products. It serves as a practical centre for education on Ornamental Horticulture and as a demonstration centre. The various methods of training, pruning, budding, grafting, potting seed collection etc, are taught to the students of Horticulture as well as to the visitors.
Located 32 kms from the bus stand and en route to the Kurinji Temple, this beautiful park is an ideal spot for some quiet time spent with nature.
Kurinji Andavar Temple
This temple is situated 3 kms from the lake, and is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. In Tamil literature Kurinji means ‘hill region’ and Andavar means ‘God’. Hence Lord Muruga is referred to as ‘God of the hill’. This temple is associated with Kurinji flowers, which carpets the hillsides and blooms once in 12 years. From this temple one can have a view of Palani and Vaigai dams.
This bloom can be seen once in 12 years. The year 2006 has these flowers radiantly clothing the hills. It is said that when Kurinji is in bloom, the honey is excellent.
Other Religious Places
The Mariamman Temple, Vinayagar Temple, Murugan Temple, two mosques at Ellis Villa and Munjikal, sacred Heart Church, Munjikal, Francis Xavier Church, Gorapur, St. Mary’s Church, Lassalette, St. Joseph‘s Church, Luthern Mission Church, Lake End, offer the devout a relaxed and genteel place to pray.
Trekking / Hiking
Vembadi Peak is the second highest peak with a height of 2466m. A right turn in Berijam road and a steep climb leads you to the top. From the stone summit, one can have a magnificent view over Berijam lake, Vandaravu range, Mannovanur sheep farm, Poombarai valley and over all Kerala. The hike begins from Kodaikanal TV Tower.
About 11 kms from Kodaikanal is a trekker’s delight. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle.
This natural rock formation is a flat projection, from where one can have a view of the yawning chasm 6600 feet below.
Route suggestion –
To reach Dolphins nose at a distance of 8 kms from the bus stand, there is an old road after crossing Pambar Bridge near Levinge stream. A rough curve rounds the hillside leads to Dolphins nose. On the way, beautiful views of plains and steep rock formations can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through the rugged bridle path.
40 kms from Kodaikanal is a favourite camping site for trekkers. The cave reveals traces of the earliest settled tribals, Paliyans, who used to wear leaf clothing. Over viewing the caves is Manjampath Valley, where bison can be seen. It is reported that descendants of the Paliyans still live here.
Suggested route –
Kukal Caves is around 40 kms from Kodai. Travel by road upto Poombaraj and then walk. It is recommended to take a local guide. After walking through geranium plantations, pine and wattle forests, the Kukal forest rest house can be reached. The early morning hike from the rest house will lead to beautiful locations with wild large orchids. One should be beware of leeches. The caves here are actually overhanging slabs of rocks. This rock shelter is at an altitude of 1500 m.
Other famous attractions
Telescope House at Coakers Walk was constructed to enable visitors to have a panoramic view of the valley and nearby towns. A fee is collected to use the telescope.
Solar 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 laboratory doing quality research work. Its director Evershed discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in Sunspots – known as Evershed effect.
Three granite boulders, each vertically measuring a height of 400 feet stand shoulder to shoulder. It is located 8 Kms from the Kodai Lake. In the shadows of the pillars are shady woods that invite picnickers. The chamber between the two pillars is called Devil’s kitchen.
Devil’s Kitchen (Guna Cave)
Rediscovered by Kamal Hassan in shooting his film Guna, this place is now called as the Guna Cave. The cave is formed as a chamber between the two rocks of the Pillar Rocks and presents a view as if it is an abyss.
Museum (Sunday holiday)
The Sacred Heart College maintains this museum. It is a Theological Seminary founded in 1895 and devoted to preserving certain archaeological remains and the flora and fauna of the hills. It houses one of the best Orchidariams in the country. Over 300 species of exotic orchids are housed here. It is about 5.6 km the lake. Father Ugarthe, a Spaniard, contributed his many private collections to the museum.