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CHAPTER-I
TOURISM Tamil Nadu's tourism industry is the second largest in India. Tourism in Tamil Nadu is promoted by Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. The tagline adopted for promoting tourism in Tamil Nadu is Enchanting Tamil Nadu.. Tamil Nadu is a land of varied beauty. It boasts some of the grandest Hindu temples of Dravidian architecture in the World. The temples are of a distinct style which are famous for their towering Gopurams. The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur, built by the Cholas, the Airavateswara temple in Darasuram and the Shore Temple, along with the collection of other monuments in Mahabalipuram have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Rajagopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world is the tallest temple gopuram in the world. Madurai is home to one of the grandest Hindu temples in the World Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Palani are important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The largest Shiva Temple in Tamil Nadu is Nellaiappar Temple situated in the heart of Tirunelveli city. Other popular temples in Tamil Nadu include those in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Chidambaram, Thiruvannaamalai, Tiruchengode, Aragalur, Tiruttani, Swamithoppe, Tiruchendur and Tiruvallur. Tamil Nadu is also home to many beautiful hill stations. Popular among them are Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Coonoor, Topslip, Valparai, Kolli Hills, Yelagiri and Sirumalai. The Nilgiri hills, Palani hills, Shevaroy hills and Cardamom hills are all abodes of thick forests and wildlife. Mukurthi National Park & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve are the two tiger reserves in the state. Tamil Nadu has many National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Elephant and Bird Sanctuaries, Reserved Forests, Zoos and Crocodile farms. Prominent among them are Mudumalai National Park, The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National

Park, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The mangrove forests in Pichavaram are also eco-tourism spots of importance. Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of peninsular India, is famous for its distinct and beautiful sunrise, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar's statue built off the coastline. Marina Beach in Chennai is one of the longest beaches in the world. The stretch of beaches from Chennai to Mahabalipuram are home to many resorts, theme parks and eateries. The Waterfalls in the state include Courtallam, Hogenakal, Papanasam and Manimuthar. The Chettinad region of the state is renowned for its Palatial houses and cuisine. In recent years, Tamil Nadu is also witnessing a growth in Medical tourism, as are many other states in India. LATEST TRENDS IN TOURISM As a result of the Late-2000s recession, international arrivals suffered a strong slowdown beginning in June 2008. Growth from 2007 to 2008 was only 3.7% during the first eight months of 2008. The Asian and Pacific markets were affected and Europe stagnated during the boreal summer months, while the Americas performed better, reducing their expansion rate but keeping a 6% growth from January to August 2008. Only the Middle East continued its rapid growth during the same period, reaching a 17% growth as compared to the same period in 2007. This slowdown on international tourism demand was also reflected in the air transport industry, with a negative growth in September 2008 and a 3.3% growth in passenger traffic through September. The hotel industry also reports a slowdown, as room occupancy continues to decline. As the global economic situation deteriorated dramatically during September and October as a result of the global financial crisis, growth of international tourism is expected to slow even further for the remaining of 2008, and this slowdown in demand growth is forecasted to continue into 2009 as recession has already hit most of the top spender countries, with long-haul travel expected to be the most affected by the economic crisis. This negative trend intensified as international tourist arrivals fell by 8% during the first four months of 2009, and the decline was exacerbated in some regions due to the outbreak of the influenza AH1N1 virus

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TOURISM There has been an upmarket trend in the tourism over the last few decades, especially in Europe, where international travel for short breaks is common] Tourists have higher levels of disposable income and greater leisure time and they are also better-educated and have more sophisticated tastes. There is now a demand for a better quality products, which has resulted in a fragmenting of the mass market for beach vacations; people want more specialised versions, quieter resorts, family-oriented holidays or niche market-targeted destination hotels. The developments in technology and transport infrastructure, such as jumbo jets, low-cost airlines and more accessible airports have made many types of tourism more affordable. WHO estimates that up to 500,000 people are on planes at any time. There have also been changes in lifestyle, such as retiree-age people who sustain year round tourism. This is facilitated by internet sales of tourism products. Some sites have now started to offer dynamic packaging, in which an inclusive price is quoted for a tailor-made package requested by the customer upon impulse. There have been a few setbacks in tourism, such as the September 11 attacks and terrorist threats to tourist destinations, such as in Bali and several European cities. Also, on December 26, 2004, a tsunami, caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, hit the Asian countries on the Indian Ocean, including the Maldives. Thousands of lives were lost and many tourists died. This, together with the vast clean-up operation in place, has stopped or severely hampered tourism to the area. The terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context, travel has a similar definition to tourism, but implies a more purposeful journey. The terms tourism and tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited by tourists.

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM "Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems." (World Tourism Organization) Sustainable development implies "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) ECOTOURISM Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and (often) small scale. It helps educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and for human rights. RECESSION TOURISM Recession tourism is a travel trend, which evolved by way of the world economic crisis. Identified by American entrepreneur Matt Landau (2007), recession tourism is defined by low-cost, high-value experiences taking place of once-popular generic retreats. Various recession tourism hotspots have seen business boom during the recession thanks to comparatively low costs of living and a slow world job market suggesting travelers are elongating trips where the dollar travels further. MEDICAL TOURISM When there is a significant price difference between countries for a given medical procedure, particularly in Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe and where there are different regulatory regimes, in relation to particular medical procedures (e.g. dentistry), traveling to take advantage of the price or regulatory differences is often referred to as "medical tourism".

EDUCATIONAL TOURISM Educational tourism developed, because of the growing popularity of teaching and learning of knowledge and the enhancing of technical competency outside of the classroom environment. In educational tourism, the main focus of the tour or leisure activity includes visiting another country to learn about the culture, such as in Student Exchange Programs and Study Tours, or to work and apply skills learned inside the classroom in a different environment, such as in the International Practicum Training Program. CREATIVE TOURISM Creative tourism has existed as a form of cultural tourism, since the early beginnings of tourism itself. Its European roots date back to the time of the Grand Tour, which saw the sons of aristocratic families traveling for the purpose of mostly interactive, educational experiences. More recently, creative tourism has been given its own name by Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards, who as members of the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS), have directed a number of projects for the European Commission, including cultural and crafts tourism, known as sustainable tourism. They have defined "creative tourism" as tourism related to the active participation of travellers in the culture of the host community, through interactive workshops and informal learning experiences. Meanwhile, the concept of creative tourism has been picked up by high-profile organizations such as UNESCO, who through the Creative Cities Network, have endorsed creative tourism as an engaged, authentic experience that promotes an active understanding of the specific cultural features of a place. More recently, creative tourism has gained popularity as a form of cultural tourism, drawing on active participation by travelers in the culture of the host communities they visit. Several countries offer examples of this type of tourism development, including the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Spain, Italy and New Zealand. AIM & SCOPE TO CHOOSE THIS TOPIC My Topic is PRINCESS OF HILL STATIONS KODAIKANAL. It is one of the most Beautiful & scenic area among all other places in Tamil Nadu. I

choose this for its Beautiful Hilly areas with many number of Gardens, Parks, Lake, Falls, different kind of flowers etc. This place has different type of Fruits & Vegetables, Rare spices like Pepper, Cardommon etc., and also Dry Fruits & Nuts these are also very famous in hilly areas. Adventure Tourism in this place is very sportive & they also conduct events for Tourist which admired me very lot. Generally, KODAIKANAL is known for 16-sigths-tour.

CHAPTER-II
KODAIKANAL Kodaikanal is a stunningly situated and easy-going hill station on the southern crest of the Palani knolls, some 120km northwest of Madurai. Its surrounded by wooded slopes, waterfalls and precipitous rocky outcrops and the winding route up and down is breathtaking. Kodai is the only hill station in India set up by Americans, when missionaries established a school for European children here in 1901. The legacy of this is the renowned Kodaikanal International School, whose cosmopolitan influence is felt throughout the town. The Kurinji shrub, unique to the Western Ghats, is found in Kodaikanal. Its light, purple-blue-coloured blossoms flower across the hillsides every 12 years; next due date 2018! Australians will feel at home among the many fragrant gum trees. Kodaikanal provides an escape from the heat and haze of the plains and the opportunity to hike in the quiet sholas (forests). Its a much smaller and more relaxed place than Ooty, though April to June is very busy. The mild temperatures here range from 11C to 20C in summer and 8C to 17C in winter. Given the mountainous environment, heavy rain can occur at any time; October and November can be seriously wet. Kodaikanal with its majestic mountain peaks spiked on the Western Ghats has a bracing climate where temperature do not vary much from summer to winter. For this romantic climate it fetched the title of being the 'Princess of Hill Stations' in the country. Fruits like plums grow abundantly on the wooded slopes apart from a wide variety of flowers, among which is the famous Kurinji flower which blooms once in twelve years.

WHERE IS KODAI? Kodaikanal is one of the most beautiful, serene and picturesque hill stations in south India, located on the southern ridge of the Palani Hills in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu. Kodai is 120 km north-west of Madurai; 510 km away from Chennai, 262 km from Coimbatore and 615 km from Bangalore. Situated at an altitude of 6,854 ft above sea level, Kodaikanal is a very quite and charming hill resort. Also known as Kodai, it's famous for its lovely starfish-shaped lake, undulating wooded hill slopes and enchanting waterfalls and the place is a hot favorite with holidayers and honeymooners. Kodai becomes a small paradise when the bluish purple Neel Kurinji (Strobilanthus Kunthanus) flowers on the slopes, giving the hills a unique blue-purple sheen. Founded by American missionaries in 1845, Kodaikanal is steeped in history. Relics and artifacts of the Paliyans who once lived in these hills can still be seen in the Shenbaganur Museum. Even today, a few Paliyans can be seen near Kukal Cave. In the early days, there were no roadspeople had to travel by bullock-cart and palanquin, braving the dangers of the forests. Slowly Kodaikanal developed, missionaries established church properties, many of the then ruling princes built summer holiday-homes, clubs were opened, school and hotels were built, and civic amenities were in Kodaikanal Hills is an idyllic getaway for regular tourists, trekker and honeymooners. Blessed with nature's breath-taking beauty, the star-shaped lake dominates this sleepy hill-station. HISTORY & HERITAGESeveral dolmens, rock tombs, stone circles, and similar relics of the megalithic stone age of the 3rd to 6th millennium have been unearthed from this region, especially from the lower Palni Hills. It is believed that primitive men resided in this region in those times. The stone circles contained pottery of varied shapes, brass bangles, iron implements, etc., which shows that they remained here even after the Stone Age.

Though the continuity has not been proved, there are 2500 tribal people called Paliyans who were hunters and gatherers at the turn of the century who shunned contact with the settlers according to accounts dated 1908 by Fr. F. Dahmen S.J. They have a long history of isolation and are now gradually integrating themselves with the settler population which forms the major portion of a total population of around 33,000. The settlers came from the plains nearby. The modern history of Kodaikanal starts with the formation of Kodaikanal Lake by Sir Vere Levinge, the Collector of Madurai during 1860-1867. The farmers of Vilpatti, the revenue head quarters of this region during those days, who owned paddy terraces lower down the Silver Cascade valley objected the proposal, but later realized that it benefited them. During the 1890s, the Kodai Club (later English Club) started a Boat Club which was the beginning of modern developmental activities in the history of Kodaikanal Hill Station. GEOGRAPHY The town of Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palni Hills at 2,133 metres (7,000 ft), between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys. These hills form the eastward spur of the Western Ghats on the Western side of South India. It has an irregular basin as its heartland, the centre of which is now Kodaikanal Lake a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) circumference manmade lake. Meadows and grasslands cover the hillsides. Gigantic Eucalyptus trees and shola forests flourish in the valleys. Mighty rocks and cascading streams. rise up from the valleys. There are many high waterfalls and ubiquitous gardens and flower beds in bloom. North of the town, high hills that slope down into the villages of Pallangi and Vilpatti stand guard. On the east the hill slopes less abruptly into the lower Palnis. A precipitous escarpment facing the Cumbum Valley is on the south. On the west is a plateau leading to Manjampatti Valley, Indira Gandhi National Park, the Anamalai Hills and the main body of the Western Ghats.

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ECONOMY The Kodaikanals economy is predominantly run by tourism. The town's infrastructure changes every year in preparation for the peak tourist season. Major roads are converted into one-way lanes to regulate the constant inflow of traffic and special police are brought in for the safety of the tourists and protection of local businesses. Hotels are often fully booked during the high season, and remain virtually empty during the off-season. Due to the rapid development of nearby cities such as Madurai and Coimbatore, the town is starting to enjoy year-round tourism. There are at least 50 hotels catering to all categories of tourists and over 30 south & north Indian, continental, western and Chinese restaurants, and many more small eateries and tea stalls.

HEALTH The three major medical facilities are the Kodaikanal Health and Medical Services (KHMS), Van Allen Hospital and the Government Hospital. These hospitals treat patients with common ailments and injuries and perform child delivery and care, but are not equipped with modern medical equipment for complicated diagnoses and surgeries. KHMS is a mordern hospital and is well suited for the basic needs of the people, including child delivery. The local residents and those from the nearby villages, do not have to travel down to the plains, thanks to KHMS. KHMS is an integrated hospital, wherein both mordern medicine as well as other forms of medicine are practised, this includes, homeopathy,reflexology, reiki, cold pack treatment, spinal bath, naturopathy, murma (diagnosis through the pulse). KHMS offers x-ray (radiology); sonography (ultrasound); pathology laboratory, pharmacy, OT, OPD. KHMS has a mordern dental clinic as well. Government Hospital is situated on the hillside near Rock cottage on lower shola road. It was a small municipal hospital until 1927. Now it has X-ray, Dental,

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Maternity ward and other facilities. Air and water-borne mercury emissions have contaminated large areas of Kodaikanal and surrounding forests. A study conducted by the Department of Atomic Energy confirmed that Kodaikanal Lake has been contaminated by mercury emissions.

EDUCATION Kodaikanal is renowned for the Kodaikanal International School,Brindavan Public School, St.PETER'S Matriculation Higher Secondary School Kodaikanal Public School and the The other schools are:Zion Matriculation Higher

Secondary School, Bhavan's Gandhi Vidyashram, Brindavan Matric Higher secondary School, St. Joseph's Public School , St. Xavier's High School and St. John's Girls Higher Secondary School. The two colleges here are Kodaikanal Christian College and Sacred Heart College. Mother Theresas University is distinctive as India's only university devoted to exclusively women's issues. Recently a new engineering college specializing in Information Technology, Kodaikanal Institute of Technology under Anna University, has been established 22 kilometres (14 mi) below Kodaikanal town. CLIMATE Season Peak Season Low Season Second Season Months April-June Feb-March; Julyseptember October-January

The climate of Kodaikanal is very pleasant and cool all round the year. Due to the high altitude the hill station enjoys a temperate subtropical climate. For the visitors who want to know about Kodaikanal, here is a briefing of what climate one might expect in the hill station.

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The temperature in Kodaikanal varies between moderate to very cold. During the summer, the temperature varies between 11 and 20 degree centigrade. It is very soothing to be there during the summer months. During the winter season, Kodaikanal is very cold. The surface temperature during these months vary between 8 degrees and 17 degrees. During these months the temperature sometimes fall to the freezing point and beyond. Kodaikanal experiences rain between the months of June and September. Rainfall in Kodaikanal is mainly due to the north retreating monsoon in this hill station. The average rainfall is about 1650 mm, annually. The best seasons to visit Kodaikanal are the times between April and June and from September to October, when the Climate of Kodaikanal is at its very best. The surrounding is very colorful during these months. Summer During the summer months, i.e. during the months of April and June, the average temperature hovers around 180 C. This is one of the apt times to visit the place. In comparison with other neighboring cities in the state, the town offers an extremely cool weather. The waterfalls and lakes surrounding the town are just the perfect reason to spend a short vacation in the vicinity. Monsoon The month of July sees the onset of monsoon, which brings showers of rain, drenching the hills and the landscape alike. The whole scenery is washed spic and span and the area appears fresh and greener. However, it is not the best season to visit Kodaikanal, as the place becomes quite slippery. Moreover, it is prone to landsides, which are hazardous. The monsoons last till the month of August and during this time, the hills should be avoided.

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Winter During the winter months, i.e. between September and October, the weather once again becomes congenial for tourists. The average temperature remains around 200 C to 100 C. Yet, after October, the winter chill becomes quite prominent, with temperature sometimes falling to zero in January. This can be attributed from the fact that a thin layer of ice can be seen on the surface of the lake. Winter months also experience rain showers, which add spice to the weather of Kodaikanal.

CIVIL SOCIETY Kodaikanal has several clubs and civil society organizations operating for social, charitable and environmental goals. Established clubs in Kodaikanal are the Kodaikanal Lions Club under the jurisdiction of Lions Clubs International. Kodaikanal Boat Club with nearly 650 permanent members; Kodaikanal Golf Club with over 600 members and an 18 hole golf course, spread over 143 acres and The Indian Club on Poet Thyagarajar road. In 1890, the Kodaikanal Missionary Union (KMU) was formed to enable missionaries of the various demominations to come together for recreation and to develop mission strategy and outreach in cooperation with each other. In 1923 it built an Edwardian style clubhouse with large central hall for social events and afternoon teas, 6 tennis courts, a reading room, and other spaces for meetings. With the decline of missionary activity in India, the KMU was wound up in the 1980s, and the property was turned over to Kodaikanal International School. The KMU library with many valuable old books besides newer materials, is still functioning in one room, and provides something of a social venue. The valuable original KMU archives materials have been incorporated into the archives of the school, which has hired an archivist and is in process of converting the whole original KMU building into an archives and display center for the school and the community. (2008).

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Kodaikanal has several Social service societies which promote local trade and increase employment of rural villagers in the town's periphery by participating in its tourism fueled growth. These include the Kodaikanal People Development Group (KOPDEG) which has been successful in providing employment for marginalized women and marketing their products. The Made-in-India tagged products from Kopedeg are unique to Kodaikanal and are targeted at foreign tourists who regularly buy them as souvenirs.

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CHAPTER - III ATTARACTIONS


BERIJAM LAKE

Berijam Lake is a reservoir near Kodaikanal town in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, South India. It is at the old site of "Fort Hamilton", in the upper Palani hills. The lake, created by a dam with sluice outlets, is part of a micro watershed development project. Periyakulam town, 18.7 kilometers (12 mi) to the SE, gets its public drinking water from the lake. The lakes water quality is excellent. Berijam Lake - 21 kms from Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is the most beautiful lake in all of South India. The lake has very pure water and is the main source of water for a town called Periyakulam which is located in the valley below Kodaikanal. In 1864, Douglas Hamilton wrote: - "The Vicinity of this lake is in my opinion by far the best sight on the Hills" Tourists need special permission from the forest office in Kodaikanal to go there. It is better to be an early bird to get the permission, as the forest office closes by 11:30 am. Tourists are allowed to stay in Berijam till the evening. This viewpoint is 19 KMs from Kodaikkanal Lake. The most beautiful lake in southern India, the Berijam Lake is one of the popular Kodaikanal Tourist Attractions. The Berijam Lake was brought in front of

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the public eye by the European settlers. Originally a swamp, the area was cleared to discover the lake. Surrounded by the lush green pine population, the Berijam Lake with its scenic beauty has caught the imagination of artists, nature lovers and tourists. The Berijam Lake near Kodaikanal acts as the main source of water for Periyakulam Town, close to Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal Berijam Lake is a place to enjoy with lot of activities. Berijam Lake is an unique experience. Sailing around the crystalline water and watching the environs blessed with bluish green hills will please anyone. The water of the lake is the home to numerous known and unknown species of fish, making it a anglers heaven. The way to Berijam Lake is an excellent trekking route. Walking down the slopes between the stretches of gigantic trees. It is advisable to walk in groups and not alone. With its raw natural beauty, the Berijam Lake has emerged as a popular tourist attraction in Kodaikanal. It is a delightful picnic spot situated 21 kms. from Kodaikanal lake and easily accessible by a pucca road, provided you have a forest pass. A free pass is available from the District Forest Office at Kodaikanal. Reflecting the glory of the mountains all around, the vast clean waters of the lake teem with trout and cyprinus. 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. On the way, beautiful views of plains and steepy rocky eascarpeints called rolling hills can be seen. The old village of vellagavi can be reached through the rugged bridle path.

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The Dolphins nose offers a birds eye view of the picturesque landscape of the hilly region. The Dolphins nose is one of the important itineraries of the Kodaikanal tourist attractions. Surrounded by lush green forests and exotic mountain ranges, the tourists usually prefer to trek the uphill region of the Dolphins nose and experience the bliss of Mother Nature. The tourists can enjoy delicious refreshments in the road side tea stalls and small inns while trekking to the Dolphins nose. The best time to trek the undulating landscape of Dolphins nose is during the period of October to March when the region experiences a pleasant weather. Dolphins nose provides the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to explore their latent sporting talents and sportsman spirit. Endowed with natural scenic beauty, the beautiful place of Dolphins nose present the tourists with a memorable experience of a lifetime. Far from the maddening crowd of the cities, the serene and calm surrounding of Dolphins nose relieves the visitors from the stress and strains of daily mundane life and rejuvenates them with a fresh bout of renewed energy and vigor. Easily accessible from Kodaikanal, the Dolphins nose provides the visitors with an excellent opportunity to spend sometime in the midst of nature. A favorite

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exploration for those who want to enjoy the vast reserve of forests, Dolphins nose is an integral part of adventure tourism of Kodaikanal. Bryant Park Just east of the lake and 500 metres from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season.

A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is a 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. Entrance fee to the park is nominal and it is open all year. Shenbaganur Museum Shenbaganur museum of Kodaikanal boasts of a vast reserve of the relics of antique pieces of art and craft of the region. One of the important Kodaikanal tourist attractions, the Shenbaganur museum draws several visitors who are enriched with historical knowledge of the ancient times.

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A part of the Sacred Heart College of Kodaikanal, the museum reflects the rich traditional heritage and cultural ancestry of the region. The store house of traditional artifacts of Kodaikanal, Shenbaganur museum is easily accessible from any part of the city. A unique characteristic of Shenbaganur museum is its wide collection of rare and endangered species of birds and beautiful flowers that imparts a magical spell on the visitors. A memorable experience of a lifetime, the Shenbaganur museum has preserved the cultural heritage of the region over the centuries. The Shenbaganur museum is of utmost interest for those who want to know about the rich traditional culture of South India. The Senbaganur museum performs the dual task of satisfying the quest of the historians and those who love nature and its inhabitants. The Shenbaganur museum is a welcome distraction from the stress and tensions of regular life. With its vast plethora of rare piece of art and craft, the museum portrays the artistic caliber and creative imagination of the local craftsmen of the region during the ancient times. A favorite spot for nature lovers and admirers of birds, Shenbaganur museum provides the visitors with a wonderful opportunity to explore the habits of the endangered species. The Shenbaganur Museum has an impressive collection of stuffed-birds and the butterflies. The Flora and Fauna Museum is maintained by the Sacred Heart College. A Theological Seminary was founded in 1895. It is devoted to the

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archaeological remains and the flora and fauna of the hills. One of the best Orchidoriums in the country with more than 300 species is also located here. It is about 5.6 Kms from the lake. A Spanish Father Ugarthe, contributed his major collections to the Museum. A wide ranging collection of birds classified into ground birds, water birds, tree birds and large high flying birds such as Black Eagle, Bengal Vulture, Honey Buzzard, Crested. It is situated 5.6 kms. from the Kodaikanal Lake, along the road to Kodaikanal. A gradual accumulation of individual items of natural history since the 1920s formed the major portion of the present museum. The Museum preserves and exhibits archaeological remains, and the endemic flora and fauna of the Palni Hills. These collections were made over the last 70 years by the students and professors of the Philosophical seminary of Jesuits called the Sacred Heart College. The fact that 13 professors or alumni have got their names attached to the new general species of insects and plants discovered by them shows how much original work have been done by these students and professors. Anthropological collections of the megalithic Stone Age and South Indian iron age of the Palni Hills collected by A. Anglade, Rosner and others consist of models of dolmens and tombs. Numerous photographs and carved models help the viewer to mentally reconstruct the past. Many of the dolmens and tombs were later damaged, enhancing the value of the museum exhibits. Fr. KM Mathew prepared the botanical inventory of the museum in 1954. Preserved specimens and illustrative sketches and paintings with adequate texts of the all the botanical genera in and around the Palni hills are exhibited in good condition. Field notes with date of collection, locality and other notable information on insects, butterflies, moths, amphibians, snakes, birds, and mammals are kept together with stuffed specimens and illustrative sketches and paintings. The main inventory of fauna was published in 1953 by E. Ugarte.

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There are 6 large relief maps of the Palni hills and parts thereof, fabricated by A. Anglade in the 1920s using a camera Lucida with all the contours projected with proportionate metal roads and the whole map fixed on a wooden board with iron frame. The wooden carvings of the dolmens and other archaeological finding s were also made by A. Anglade. Coaker's Walk It is an important place in the itinerary of Kodaikanal tourist attractions, Coakers Walk has been named after Lt. Coaker who had discovered the beautiful place way back in the year of 1872. Situated on the southern slopes of the hill station of Kodaikanal, Coakers Walk is a paradise for those who want to spend time in the midst of nature.

On a cloudless, clear day one can have interesting sights, such as Dolphin's nose in south, valley of the pambar river in South East, birds eye view of Periyakulam and even city of Madurai. One must be aware of a attractive happening called 'Brachem Spectre' . A very lucky person can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo, when sun is behind and cloud and mist is in his front. Coakers Walk offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to view the exotic landscape of Kodaikanal. The picturesque sight of Coakers Walk casts a

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magical spell on the visitors who are enthralled and enchanted with the bewitching beauty of the place. Located at a short distance of 1 kilometer from the crystal clear lake of Kodaikanal, Coakers Walk is known for its long winding paths, lush green forests and colorful flowers that adorn the place. The tourists can enjoy the natural splendor of Kodaikanal from the Coakers Walk. The tourists are required to purchase a ticket for entering the Coakers Walk. Surrounded by beautiful nature, the Coakers Walk relieves the visitors from the stress and strains of daily mundane life. Coakers Walk has captured the imagination of the world and is the favorite tourist spot for nature lovers. The valley views along paved Coaker's Walk (admission Rs 2, Camera Rs. 5, Time: 7 am to 7pm) are superb when the mist clears. There's an observatory (admission Rs. 3) with telescope about halfway along. You can start from either end, near Greenlands Youth Hostel or Villa Retreat, and the stroll takes all of five minutes. Greenlands Youth Hostel and Villa Retreat can organise guided walks, and guides can also be arranged through the tourist office (Rs. 50 to 70 per hour). A pathway for lovers of panoramic view, perching on the steep slope of Mount Nebo, just one kilometer from the Lake is called Coakers Walk in memory of Lt. Er. Coaker. It was he who identified the place and constructed the path in 1872. Located at an elevation of over 2000 meters, it is the highest viewpoint in Kodaikanal. On clear mornings, as the sun rises over the Palni Hills in the east, the ocean-like view of the plains lying 2000 meters below, beyond layers and layers of mist covered mountain ranges is an enchanting sight.

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Kodaikanal Lake

Visitors spent most of their time in and around the Lake, enjoying water sports, boat rides and other past times and sports activities inside the Lake and walking, horse riding, cycling etc., along the road circumventing the Lake. Fishing and swimming which are not generally allowed in Kodaikanal Lake to members of the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Temporary membership is given to visitors for a part of the year. A magnificent star-shaped lake glitters like a jewel the Emerald Green wooded slopes. Black tapped road is a focal point of Kodai. This lake was created in 1863 by Sir Vere Hentry Levinge (1885), who was the Collector of Madurai, retired and settled in Kodai. He constructed the bund to form a lake and stocked the lake with fish. He brought the first boat from Tuticorin. In 1890, a boat club was formed and the members sailed in the boat. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December. The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. It is recognized as Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club with its main entrance near only the five-star hotel in Kodaikanal, The Carlton.

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Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometres of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists alike. The Kodai Lake has immensely contributed to the beauty and attraction of the picturesque hill station of Kodaikanal. He transformed the marshy lakeside into a spectacular lake by strengthening its banks and bringing beautiful boats from Tuticorin. The Kodai Lake of Kodaikanal has a star like shape if seen from a height. One can trek or drive along the beautiful lake, which is bordered by a well maintained road. The Kodai Lake is a hot bed of fun and leisure activities like boating, and fishing. We can enjoy a horse ride in the shores of the lake or cycle around the lake. We can just sit on the edge of the lake and relish the paradisaical view. Children will be extremely happy to enjoy the pony rides or just play around the greeneries. Several wonderful hotels surround the lake. One can watch the beautiful scenery of the lake while sipping a cup of coffee in the balcony of his hotel. Standing by the lake and watching the sunset is an unforgettable experience. Today lakhs of tourists walk around, sail on, ride on horses & cycles and admire the lake. Fishing can also be done obtaining permission from Inspector of Fisheries. Ponyrides by children and adults walking around the lake are part of Kodai Holiday. The lake at Kodai is beautifully landscaped and it appears to be de rigueur for Indian families to get out on a boat. Both the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club and Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation hire similar boats for similar prices: Rs. 20 to 40 for a two-seater pedal boat to Rs. 125 (including boatman) for a kasmiri shikara (covered gondola - like boat) for 30 minutes.

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It is now one of the Kodaikanals most popular geographic landmarks. Annual boat pageant is held in May every year as a part of Summer. The tourists can even enjoy horse rides and bicycle rides by hiring horses and bicycles, besides the lake for short periods. Pillar Rock

The Kodaikanal Pillar Rocks are made up of three massive granite rocks whose heights extend up to 400 feet. Sited 8 km from the lake tower. The cool, dark shadows of the Pillar rocks of Kodaikanal are a good place to picnic and relax at leisure, engulfed by the tranquil quietude. A small and beautifully tended garden, glowing in the colors of the seasonal blooms adds to the charm and the picture perfect beauty of the place. The rock pillars have hidden nooks and corners and cavernous chasms that exude an aura of mystery that delights all adventure enthusiasts. In fact, it is interesting to note that there exists a small and enigmatic chamber between the two pillars that is appropriately named the Devil's kitchen. Three perfectly vertical rock formations standing shoulder to shoulder, rising from the verdant valley. It is situated 7.4 kms. from the Kodaikanal Lake. The tourists can stand and view the rocks from a comfortable vantage point where a garden has also been provided. The sudden movement of thick fog across the

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rocks, veiling and unveiling the Pillar Rocks from view, off and on, is enthralling. Caves, chasms and thick woods in the shadow of the rocks attract the adventurous. Kurinji Andavar Temple

One of the most reputed places of worship in Kodaikanal is the Kurinji Andavar Temple that stands at a distance of 3 kilometers from the picturesque lake in Kodaikanal. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Muruga who is believed to be the 'God of the Hills'. The temple was built by Leelavathi Ramanathan. Born as a European, she was influenced by the religion of Hinduism and adopted the religion. She patronized the construction of the temple that was erected in the year 1936. From its spectacular location, the Kurinji Andavar Temple in Kodaikanal captures the majestic view of the Palani and Vaigai dam. The Kurinji Andavar Temple of Kodaikanal derives its name from the Kurinji flower that blooms in abundance in the hill slopes of Kodaikanal. The deity, Lord Muruga is also referred to as the 'Sri Kurinji Easware' meaning the Lord of the Kurinjis. The Kurinji Andavar Temple at Kodaikanal is located at a short distance from the lake. It is easily accessible from the heart of the city. Buses and taxis play from the city commuting the tourists from the center of the city to the temple. The tourists may also arrange vans or auto-rickshaw etc.

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The majestic structure of Kurinji Andavar Temple commands devotion in the tourists who arrive to visit the temple at Kodaikanal. Kurinji Andavar Temple is at a distance of 3 Kms from the lake. This is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga. This temple is associated with the Kurinji flower which carpets the hill side and blooms once in 12 Years. " Kurinji " means " Hilly Region " in Tamil literature. " Andavar " means God. Hence Lord Muruga is referred as God of Hills here. From this temple, one can have a view of Palani and Vaigai Dam. This temple is located at about 5 km from the bus station and the summer festival that is most anticipated event by the locals is celebrated in the month of May every year. Thousands of devotees visit this temple during the summer festival to seek the blessings of Lord Muruga. One can get a good view of Vaigai dam and Palani hills from the hill on which the temple is located. Silver Cascade

Silver Cascade is 8km from Kodai lake. It is 180 feet high. Tourists can have a bath here. This is the first attraction that unfolds in front of a tourist on the Madurai Kodaikanal road. The excess water in the Kodai Lake comes down as a fall at

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about 8 kms from Kodaikanal. It is like a pit stop for vehicles and tourists as there are shops selling fruits and other forest products. The frothy water coming down through piles of rocks will attract any person. The crystal clear water contains various minerals and taking a bath in this fall is very refreshing. Any nature lover can sit and enjoy the beauty of this falls for hours. The Lake, forms a beautiful waterfalls along the road to Kodaikanal. During the rainy season the falls increases in quantity and roar down in frightening cascades and is an unforgettable experience. Bear Shola Falls

The Bear Shola falls is another favorite tourist spot in Kodaikanal and it is called so, because in earlier days bears used to come and drink water from this fall. It is one of the most ideal picnic spots in Kodaikanal town and is at a distance of about 2km from the lake. It is ideal to visit the Bear Shola Falls during rainy season to enjoy the beauty of the falls in its fullness. The approach road to this falls is a rugged hill path and hence suitable means of transportation is necessary to reach the falls. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot-path.

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Guna Caves

Guna caves, made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devils Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from a far. Turning aside from the road that leads from Pillar Rocks to Berijam Lake, and taking a short walk through a pine forest, you can reach the Devils Kitchen or Gunas Caves. These are strange rock formations resulting from erosion of soil from cliffs. Short treks up the adjacent hill will give panoramic views of valleys 1500 feet below. Small wild animals and several bird species can be observed here. The entrance to these caves are now block for everyone because of the high risk involved. Its a cave known more to the locals, in the road after "Green Valley View" and "Pillar Rocks". Watch out for the deep hidden ravines. Very steep and risky to get in.With loose and wobbly rocks, these caves are also known as the Devil's kitchen for there is amusing variety of plants and small insects that are found here. These caves have a bat infested chamber which sets between three boulders which has a mention in a book as well. The scary sights of the cave are loved by teenagers who stand outside the cave and shout their names to hear their scaring echoes.

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Kurinji Flower

The Kurinji flowers grow on bushy shrubs, which are about eight, or ten feet in height the hill slopes of the Western Ghats at an altitude during the blossoming season are seen carpeting the mountain slopes. Since the blue in colour, they came to be called Nilgiris (Blue Mountain). The Kurinji bushes are also found in some hilly tracts of kerala like Munnar and Iduki and here the flower is known as Nila Kurinji (blue Kurinji) as there is a whitish-yellow Kurinji too. It is interesting that the ancient tamil country was divided into five geographical zones of these hill region was called Kurinji. In Kodaikanal, there is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Muruga known as Kurniji Andavar. Hence, this temple is associated with the Kurinji flowers which blossom in all around. The Bright purple-blue, bell shaped Kurinji flower is an typical kind of flower, which grows mainly in Kodaikanal and Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the two famous hill stations of Tamil Nadu. Botanists take special interest and the lay down alike as it blossoms only once in twelve years unlike the other common flowers. They used to cover the Nilgiri Hills and Palani Hills like a carpet during its flowering season. Now plantations and dwellings occupy much of their habitat. Apart from Nilgris, Neelakurinji grow in grass lands of Eravikulam, hills between Klavarai in Tamil Nadu and Vattavada, near Munnar in Kerala during the season from August to December. Kurinji has again flowered in some parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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Where does Kurinji Bloom? In 2006, Kurinji (neelakurinji) bloomed gregariously at several places near Kodaikanal (India) and Munnar. The biggest flowering was at the Eravikulam National Park. Patches of kurinji occur in the remaining sholas near Koviloor. Koviloor is a few hours drive from Munnar in Kerala. A jeep road connects Koviloor to Klavarai and Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu). The road need not be motorable all the time (especially during monsoon). Trekkers could spot kurinji by the sides of the old Munnar Kodaikanal road. Trekking would require permission from the Forest Department. The plants can also be located at places such as Yellapetty and Kanthalloor outside the protected areas. At Yellappetty, you have to trek to the hills south of the Yellapetty estate Neelakurinji: When will it Flower?

Gregarious flowering of neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) takes place once in 12 years between July and December. The peak season will be between August and September. Local variations are possible. (It flowers earlier in some areas of Kodaikanal.) Thus, after the 2006 flowering, another mass flowering can be expected to take place near Munnar in 2014 there is a group of plants in the locality whose flowering cycle is four years ahead of the rest of the community in the region.

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However, one could not be sure whether these plants would survive for the next season. The next massive flowering in the Nilgiris-Palanis-Munnar belt is expected only in 2018. Perumal Peak Perumal Peak or Perumal Malai Peak is a high peak at Kodaikanal in the Perumalmalai hills, that are a part of the greater Western Ghat mountain range in Tamil Nadu. It is a favourite spot for trekkers. About 11 km from Kodaikanal, the Perumal Peak is a trekker's delight. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle. One of the most frequented excursions to visit Kodaikanal. The Perumal peak is a paradisaical place for the trekkers. The tourists may capture the virgin beauty of the Western Ghats from atop the Perumal Peak. Trekking in the Perumal Peak is easy and does not require prior experience in the adventure sport. The beginners may enjoy a beautiful hike from the foot of the Perumal Peak to the top. A spectacular view of the wooded region around. The trek begins from the foot of the Perumal Peak which is located at Neutral Saddle. The tourists may traverse the small hamlet called the Perumal Mallai Village where the Neutral Saddle is located. Trekking in the Perumal Peak requires no permission. The journey for about 4 hours which includes the ascent and the descent of the Perumal Peak. Perumal Peak is separated by a short distance of 11.3 kilometers from the town of Kodaikanal. The region is easily accessible from the hill town of Kodaikanal. The tourists may travel to Neutral Saddle by the buses or private cars that can be hired from the town. Moier Point This is an excellent view point near the entrance to the Berijam Lake road. It is at the spot where the first sod was cut by Sir Thomas Moir for the construction

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of the Goschen road (Forty Mile Road) in 1929. A view of the valley below from the Moir Point will be ever treasured by the viewers.

There is a memorial pillar at the spot mentioning the above event and the opening of the road. A lovely view of the valley can be seen, which is 3 Kms from Pillar Rock to Berijam lake road. Fairy Falls

Situated just 5 km away from the town center, Fairy Falls have become a famous destination for picnics among localities. These falls are nothing short of a destination blessed by nature itself. The source of Pambar river, which joins the Vaigai River lower down, is also within the town limits. It is the overflow of the Township Reservoir running south and forming the enchanting fairy falls. The crystalline waters that fill the basin at the base of the falls are frequented by tourists for bathing. It is an delightful picnic spot which is 1.6 Kms from the lake. This can be reached through an artistic bathing basic.

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Chittiar Park Chettiar park, managed by the township on the way to Kurunji Temple.Unlike other areas this park is very quite, and those who love calm timepassing can prefer this park. Tucked away in the northeastern corner of the town, on the way to Kurinji Andavar Temple.

There is little garden park situated. A large variety of exotic flowers can be seen here. Bushes cut and kept in beautiful shapes adorn the garden temple. Green Valley View

It is about 5.5 Kms from the lake and very near to Golf club. It commands a beautiful view of the entire Vaigai Dam. As the valley is very deep and dangerous, this place was once called as "Suicide Point". Near the Kodai Golf Club, the Green Valley View point. It was once known as Suicide Point, and is still a favourite haunt of suicide-attempters, but the name has been changed due to the negative implications.

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Silent Valley View

The Silent Valley view is another important and attractive place that should not be missed by any nature enthusiast. It is situated at a little distance from the Pillar Rock and is seen on the Berijam lake road and the breathtaking view of this valley will be soothing to the eyes. The panoramic view of this place will make the tourists to spend a lot of time watching the scenic beauty. Children visiting this place has to be taken care by their parents as the valley is very deep and will at its very best when viewed between early mornings and late afternoons.

Just a little away from the Pillar Rock - Berijam Lake Road, is Silent Valley View which provides a breathtaking view of Silent Valley. Going along the Berijam Lake Road, accessible with free pass issued from the District Forest Office at Kodaikanal, there are several view points to please the eyes of the tourists. Just a few feet off the road is the Silent Valley Viewpoint (also known as Caps Valley View). From Pillar Rock to Berijam lake road, this Silent Valley View gives a thrilling valley view. Children may be allowed to see only with precautionary defence steps. Kukkal Caves A trip to Kodaikanal -kukkal Caves, is one of the thrilling excursions from Kodaikanal that the tourists may undertake. The Kukkal caves are situated at a distance of 40 kilometers from Kodaikanal. The journey from Kodaikanal to Kukkal caves will take the tourists through the rich forested area near Kodaikanal. The flora of the region is rich in the vegetation growth of the orchids and the shola

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trees. A stroll in the early morning through the wooded regions is an exciting experience for the traveler. The Kukkal caves are some of the oldest carved caves of the region. The caves are situated above sea level. The Kukkal Caves near Kodaikanal provides the tourists with a captivating view of the valley. The valley is home to a number of bisons. Dolmen Circle Kodaikanal, the paradisaical hill resort is a tourist's haven that transports the weary city slicker to an Utopian Elysium. Amongst the notable tourist attractions that are peppered all over hill station, the Kodaikanal Dolmen Circle deserves special mention.

According to the dictionary, dolmens are a tripod like structure that buttress a megalithic crypt and date as far back as the Neolithic era. Kodaikanal Dolmen Circle is one of the leading anthropological sites, dotting the Indian subcontinent. The innumerable dolmens and kistavens provide a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the prehistoric man. Extensive research and years of excavation have revealed that the dolmens served the purpose of abodes or hideouts for the ancient man. However, it is speculated that rather than living, the people kept their valued possessions in the

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dolmens. In fact, several copper and brass ornaments and utensils have been unearthed in the dolmens. The primary functioned as a burial ground for the ancient man. However, the ravages of time and centuries of repeated neglect have resulted in their gradual depletion. Unfortunately, there are only two such stone structures that remain standing and intact in the Indian subcontinent. While one dolmen circle is sited at the ghat road in the propinquity of Periakulam, the other rests at a stone's throw distance from the bucolic hamlet at Pannaikadu and forms a fine spectacle as it dominates the Kodaikanal skyline from its elevated position at the summit before Pattiveerampatti. It is 18 kms from the lake. Pre-historic remains are to be seen here. Original burial urns unearthed in this region and models of dolmens may be seen in Shenbaganur museum. Thalaiyar Falls

Thalaiyar Falls, also known as the Rat Tail Falls is located near Kodaikanal, Dindigul district Tamil Nadu, India. It is tall and is the highest waterfall in Tamil Nadu, the third highest in India On a clear day Rat Tail Falls is visible from a great distance on a cliff face that just out of the plains. Driving up the Ghat road, it appears across the valley as a long thin white strip of cascading water on a background of black rock.

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Rat Tail Falls very edge at the top of the Falls has a concrete wall, two parts from either side concentrating the flow of water to focus the falls into a better rat tail shape. One can walk along the wall and get near the center of the Falls. Just below one wall is a large flat rock about 5ft wide. One can get down to the edge of it to look directly straight down what seems a mile to see a tiny little river at the bottom continuing placidly through the forest. Looking back up to the side, one can watch the water in freefall, mostly silent. The noise of the crashing below doesnt rise up. The only noise is the water pushing around the stone walls, and some smaller falls just upstream. Pambar Falls The overflow of Township Reservoir runs south forming the Fairy Falls and proceeds to join the Vaigai River forming the Pambar Falls on the way. It is also known as Grand Cascade as the view of the falls is quite majestic. It is evenly cut step-like rock formation gives more beauty to the cascading effect of the clear waters.

There is a basin like formation at the bottom fit for bathing. Three or four adjacent smaller cascading falls can be seen as you go down the stream. The wilderness surrounding the falls abounds in rare flora and fauna. Endemic birds and butterflies attract nature lovers to this scheduled spot.

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Telescope House

At the north end of the Coakers Walk is a Telescope House which was constructed for the benefit of the visitors. Telescopic views of distant valleys and nearby towns, with very distant views during clear days, give a great experience to the tourists. The telescope is well placed and a small fee is collected for the use. Pine Forests

The pine tree is not a native of India. It was introduced from Britain. This man-made pine forest, the floor covered with a soft, plush, natural carpet of pine needles, with pinecones lying all around, is an ideal place for picnic. In 1906, with a view to growing valuable timber, Mr. Bryant started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal PLEASURE TRIPS Palani Temple The ancient hill temple at Palani, 53 kms from Kodaikanal, is a popular pilgrimage centre. The deity is Dandayudha Pani Swamy, denoting Lord Muruga holding the staff in his hand and commands a charming view of Idumban hill, Kodaikanal hills and other areas of the Western Ghats. The Kurinji Andavar Temple near Kodaikanal is easily visible from here.

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Wearing only a loin cloth, Murugan stands as one who has renounced all worldly pomp and exuding male physical beauty and youthful vigour. It was made by Siddha Bhogar combining 9 poisonous substances (Nava Pashana). The materials used for bathing (abhishegam) the idol, viz., milk, sandal paste etc. are believed to acquire medicinal properties while being poured over the idol, and many diseases have been reportedly cured. Meenakshi Madurai Temple

Madurai city is situated 120 kms. from Kodaikanal. It is the oldest city in Tamil Nadu and the cultural capital of the state. It is situated on the banks of the River Vaigai and is known as Athens of the east due to its great historical and cultural importance. It has now been included in the Seven wonders of the modern

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world by popular choice. Greek and Indian documents record the existence of Madurai City from the 4th century BC as the heartland of Dravidian culture, learning and commerce. It was famous for its academy of critics, poets are who were highly esteemed by both kings and commoners of that age. The greatest attractions in Madurai city are the ancient and grand temples of world renown. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Azhagar Koil, Thiruparakundram and Koodal Azhagar Temple are the most famous. There are also two great museums, an imposing palace and other cultural, educational and religious centres in Madurai city. It is also a great shopping centre for traditional and modern artefacts and handicrafts. Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, which is actually Sri MeenakshiSundareswarar twin temple, which the city has evolved and revolves. It is the largest and oldest of its kind in India. It came into being 2000 years ago and was renovated in the present form during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak. It is an enormous complex covering an area. Its four massive gateways, a hall of thousand pillars( Ayiramkal Mandapam) with 985 pillars each with a life-like and life-size sculpture, its long corridors with matchless musical pillars, each pillar producing a different musical note and thousands of other architectural and sculptural wonders make this temple unparalleled and incomparable. The temple is open between 5.am and 12.30 pm and again between 4 pm and 9.30 pm. Dindigul Fort Dindigul is a district headquarters situated at 93 kms from Kodaikanal it got its name from a large rock hillock on which a fort has been constructed. The name Dindigul is an English variant of Thindukkal, the native name for the place, which refers to the pillow like (Thindu) formation of the rock (kal). The fort was built at height of 280 feet in the year 1605 by the then Madurai King Muthukrishna Naicker and completed in 1659 by Thirumalai Naicker. In 1784 it came under Tipu Sultan, who constructed more rooms inside the fort and strengthened the walls and the popular name for the fort is still Tipus Fort. In 1790 Tipu was defeated and

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the fort came into the hands of British. It is now a protected archaeological site. It is open from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm and an entry pass is required. Trekking Paths It is at the centre of the Palni Hills with 2068 sq. kms. It has various types of forest cover makes Kodaikanal an ideal site for trekking. semi evergreen forests, deciduous forests, scrub jungle, open grasslands and rocky crags all make these cool mountain slopes the dream destination for the trekker. The climate and the plentiful clean water sources are additional attractions to the long trekking tourists. Though wild animals are easily sighted, very few of them are reported to be really dangerous to humans. Very few days in a year are inconvenienced by heavy downpours of harsh rain. The heat of the sun is never felt as in the plains of Tamil Nadu. There are hundreds of short trekking routes in this area. The main long trekking routes favoured by trekkers are given below; Kodaikanal Dolphins Nose Vallagavi Kumbakkarai (8 Kms) It takes 5 to 6 hours. The return trip would be very rough and the hiking needs strong physique. Kodai Thoppi thoki parai Periyur Periyakulam Roughly a 5 hours & 19 KM trek includes a steep rise and one can have a glimpse of Guar. Coffee plantations are in abundance. Kodai Vilpaty Ganesapuram Puliamarathope Palani A 6 hours trek of 16 Kms distance, takes you to Vilpatty village and from there, a zigzag steep path runs along the river Palar. Elephants may cross. Be alert. Kukkal Kudiraiyar Dam A difficult 13 Kms long trek route takes 5 hours for a trained trekker. Water falls, sholas and deciduous forests will arouse interest. Better take a guide.

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Pallangi Porunthalur Dam A 5 hours trek covering 14 Kms runs through sholas, trek forests and plantations. It is advisable to have a guide. Leving (Pambar) Stream A short walk from Kodaikanal. For a longer stretch go upto Pambar falls. Mount Perumal The uphill task from Perumal Malai village will take you to 2234 metres altitude. Up & Down trek will be 3 hours duration. Pig Valley Pallangi Kodai Orchards, small sholas, rushing streams, rice fields and the Pallangi village will enthuse the visitors. Vembadi PeVak It gives you a magnificent view of Berijam lake, Vandaravu range, Manavanur sheep farm, Pumbarai village etc. Trekking to this 2466 metre peak, second highest in the Palani hills is normally a full day affair. Gundar Valley A days trip. Wattle forests, sholas, Gundar River, and falls will arouse interest. It is an excellent picnic spot. RECREATIONS Golf There is a golf course of international standard and specifications that attract many golf lovers to this place. The scenic location adds to the enjoyment of the game and the climate which is usually dry and cool is most suitable for the recreation.

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Cycling There is a well metalled path around the lake and several paths leading into the wooded hills around. Bicycles of different sizes and makes are available on hire for riding on these roads. Tourists mostly enjoy riding around the lake at a slow pace drinking in the scenic beauty of the placid waters and the verdant hills on either side of the path. Horse Riding There are several places where horses and ponies are available on hire for riding for specified time. Tourists are assisted in this by trained personnel and they take care of those who ride these animals for the first time in their lives. These animals are well trained and well fed and look neat and healthy. The morning and evening sunlight and the cool breeze make a horse ride along these mountain slopes a treasured experience. Boating Single and doubles row boats, pedal boats, punts, sail boats and shikkaras are available for hire for specified times inside the Kodaikanal Lake. Boats to accommodate any number of passengers from a single person to a dozen are readily available. The scenic hills around the Lake and the vast expanse of the Lake itself combine to give the visitors a most unforgettable experience. The risk factors have been taken into account and life-saving devices like life jackets are provided together with the services of well trained personnel. Angling Permission for angling is given only to the members of the Kodaikanal Boat Club. However, temporary membership of the Kodaikanal Boat Club is issued to the visitor who is interested in angling in the waters of the Kodaikanal Lake and the Berijam Lake. Fishes like trout and cyprinus are found in plenty in these lakes and no angler will ever be disappointed without getting a good catch.

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Rare Species The lower Plains were cultivated with cash crops like coffee, cardamom, oranges, etc., at the beginning of the last century leaving little of the original vegetation which had remained there for centuries. The upper Plains were more intact recently. But most of the grasslands have been planted with the forest cover has been systematically decimated. Adding to these, the construction works and orchard plantations have taken their toll. Now the original vegetation of the Plains, containing the relics of an extremely ancient vegetation system, is restricted to some scheduled spots. Close on the hills of the disappearance of the vegetation, the fauna depending on such vegetation are also disappearing at an alarming rate. Several species of flora and fauna are either extinct or on the average of extinction. Some of the important plants and animals to be urgently protected are described below; Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hypocrius) A close relative of Himalayan tahr, it was common once in South India. Now they are found in isolated pockets in Western Ghats south of Nilgiri's from 1200-2000 Mtrs. elevations. They are quick and sharpsighted, usually seen in flocks of varying sizes. They have been sighted in the vicinity of Berijam Lake and surrounding sholas. Indian Bison (Bos gaurus) Gaur is one of the most impressive of worlds wild oxen with adult bulls weighing upto 1000 Kgs. and standing 190 Cms. at the shoulder. In India they are now reduced in numbers, being limited to scattered populations in the Western Ghats, Madhyapradesh and the Himalayan foot hill regions of Assam and Bhuttan. Forests are essential to the existence of Gaur, and the disappearance of forest cover will certainly result in the disappearance of these magnificent creatures.

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Rhododendron (Nilgiricum) This is a unique evergreen tree, which is found only in the shola grasslands in Western Ghats. Red bright flowers that appear on these trees are extremely beautiful. This tree has medicinal value also. Its leaves and flowers are used for preparing medicines for rheumatic fever and many other diseases. They are slowly disappearing together with the shola trees that fall to the axe of the greedy timber traders. Lion Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) This is one of the most endangered of all monkeys in the world. The great mane of this species distinguishes it from all other macaques. They are found in the evergreen rain-forests of Nilgiris and other parts of the Western Ghats and are now in danger of extinction due to their habitat loss and poaching. Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus) This is the second largest land mammal living on earth today. Only less than 40,000 of these remain in the whole world. The total population available in India is around 15,000. The elephant is purely vegetarian and subsists on a wide variety of woody plants, palms, bamboos and other grasses. An adult requires about 270 Kgs. of such food daily. The elephant's only serious enemy is man, because of his greed for ivory and land. There is clearly a real threat to the continued existence of the elephant in this region due to developmental activities that destroy their natural habitat. FLORA & FAUNA Flora

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The sholas are found in the valleys, wedged between steep slopes and watered by perennial streams gurgling down the valleys. Many rare varieties of wild orchids grow spontaneously on the trees and rocks. Wild mallows, balsams, creepers, beans, hemp, ferns, lichens, etc. The trees are so old and so tall that you feel miniaturised by the strength of nature. The grasslands are home to rare plants including the Neelakurinji that turns the hills with carpet flowering every 12 years. Fauna

Mornings and evenings on the hill-slopes reverberate with the sweet songs of endemic birds. Thrushes, warblers, bulbuls, shrikes, woodpeckers, hill mynas, flycatchers, pigeons, parakeets, etc., abound in the green shade. There are also rare frogs, toads and other amphibians in the streams. Colourful butterflies, moths and other insects abound in the sholas and grasslands. Several small and harmless wild animals like the malabar giant squirrel, barking deer, sambar deer, wild rabbits etc., thrive in the shade of the shola lands. The streams abound in mountain game fish and rare varieties of small fishes. PLANTATION & SPECIES The terrain, climate and soil of the Palni Hills are ideal for cultivation of commercial cash crops. Plantations of coffee, pepper and cardamom are seen on large tracts of the hill slopes. Besides these, orchards of plums, cherries, oranges, apple and other fruits are found in and around Kodaikanal.

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Cardamom

It is the most popular spice in the world with the widest range of uses. The dried mature fruit of cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum) is used as whole or discarding the outer skin. Its oil is used for flavouring foods and beverages and in perfumes. Most food and bakery items are made more appetising by the addition of the warm and slightly pungent aroma of cardamom. Pepper

The Black Gold that attracted the Europeans to the Malabar Coast like a loadstone is historically the most famous Indian spice. It is hot, pungent and highly aromatic and is used in foods, beverages, medicines and preservatives. From ancient times, pepper was used in India not only as a spice or condiment, but also as a medicinal ingredient in hundreds of Ayurvedic preparations. India offers three types of pepper products, produced in flawless scientific quality and manner, at present, to the spice-hungry world, at the fairest of rates: a. Black and white pepper, b. Organic pepper and c. Pepper oil and oleoresin.

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There are several varieties of pepper, of which the most popular traditional Indian varieties are Alleppey black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper. Black pepper varieties like Lampong, Sarawak, Brazilian and Sri Lankan and white pepper varieties such as Muntok, Sarawak and Brazilian compete with modern Indian black and white pepper varieties in the world market. Best quality Indian pepper, both black and white, hygienically packed, is available at bargain rates in the spice shops of Kodaikanal. Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular homely refresher drinks in the world. It grows on bushes and has hard beans of semi-globular shape, which are husked, dried and powdered to get coffee powder. The whole bush turns white with aromatic flowers with any garden flower in beauty and fragrance. The white flowers and green and red berries are themselves a pleasing sight. The price of coffee fluctuates according to European demand, which was not very steady during the recent years. However the worst is over according to agriculture experts.

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CHAPTER - IV
PEOPLE & CULTURE In Kodaikanal only 2500 are indigenous tribal people called Palians who were hunters and gatherers who shunned contact with the settlers in the early days of settlement. They are now gradually being integrated into the main stream community life. The others are Tamilians who came during the last two centuries from the plains around. Tamilians are a major chunk of the Dravidian race that predominantly populate South India, Sri Lanka and some other small pockets of civilisation that stretch up to Baluchistan and Iran. There are 22 languages classified as Dravidian. Tamil being the mother tongue of more than 80 million people is the most widely spoken language. The last century saw the Tamilian population spread to 20 countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa etc. Norway and Denmark have more Tamilians than weden. Most of the people in Kodaikanal are engaged in work connected with tourism, plantations and horticulture. The booming tourism industry is attracting more and more educated people to it, as the most income generating employment. FESTIVALS Pongal It is the four-day harvest festival celebrated in January, beginning on the last day of the Tamil month Margazhi. It begins with bhogi pongal to thank god for the harvest, by cleaning their homes and premises and lighting bonfires of whatever can be disposed of by burning. On the second day of the festival, or soorya pongal, falling on the first day of the Tamil month Thai, a delicacy made of cooked rice and jaggery, called chakkara pongal is prepared and offered to the Sun God. Elaborate kolams (designs made with rice flour) are drawn on the door way of every home early in

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the morning. On the third day, or mattu pongal, the cattle are bathed and adorned with beads and flowers.

On the fourth day, or kaanum pongal, a native version of the bull fight, jallikkattu, is held at certain places, and people visit their relatives and family members who are away. It is also the day of the labourers, or uzhavar thirunal, as per Tamil calendar, a day set aside to thank the agricultural labourers. Jallikkattu On the fourth day of the Pongal festival, falling on the third day of the Thai month of the Tamil calendar, jallikkattu, a native version of bull fight, is held in several places on the plains of Tamil Nadu. Adventurous men risk their lives to overcome and control ferocious bulls which are reared for this special purpose and let loose.

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Money or gold may be tied to the sharpened horns of the bulls as prizes for the victors. In earlier times, jallikkattu was prevalent as a contest for selecting a bridegroom for a well-sought-after belle. Many participants get injured during this contest and even deaths are common place, and yet, hundreds of young and middle aged men, and even teenagers, participate in this dangerous traditional sport. Christmas The modern history of Kodaikanal is intertwined with the advent of the British and other European pioneers who discovered the beauty of the place in the 19th century. The Sacred Heart College, the Institute of Natural History, the Kodaikanal Christian College and other educational institutions and churches were established by the Christian community which consisted mainly of Europeans. So the Christmas celebrations in Kodaikanal always had a special European flavour to it, even to this day. Carroll singing groups with Santa Claus, special church services, feasting with dinners and merry making, mark the festival that extends to the New Years Eve. Miladi Sherif It is the birthday of Prophet Muhammad celebrated during the month of April. The Muslim community gather at mosques and specially arranged prayer enclosures for religious services. These are followed by sumptuous dinner. Miladi Sherif is used by the Muslims as an occasion to express their communal harmony with the members of other communities by distributing their delicacies to neighbours and friends. Deepavali Deepavali is the festival of lights that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It falls in the month of October-November. The Hindu population celebrate the festival with fireworks, illuminations, decorations, new clothes and delicious food specialities. Special ceremonies, attended by scores of devotees, are also conducted in the temples. Sweets are presented to friends and neighbours without caste, class or religious distinctions.

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Mother Salette Kodaikanal, a Hill station situated in Southern India, is known for its beautiful and ancient churches. Its rich Christian culture and tradition, still stands apart. One of the ancient churches is the "Mother Salette" church, which is 133 years old. Every year on the 14th and 15th of august, a unique carnival takes place at this church. This brings about the conclusion to a Nine-day festival.This festival attracts a congregation of people from all over south India, irrespective of religion, creed or faith. The festival is marked by special services and a special procession.

The sculptural elegance of the churches in Kodaikanal add to the natural beauty of the surroundings and provide not just inner but aesthetic pleasure as well. The meaning of Kodaikanal is "the Shade in Summer". The credit of being the first catholic priest goes to Father Louis Saint Ceer. Father Louis belongs to Christ Church. He came to Kodaikanal on 1952 for the first time. He reached Kodaikanal travelling by horse for 4 days even in Thunder and heavy rain. When he arrived Kodai, there was only Baynes, Parker, Clark, Parday bungalows. After viewing this he returned to the plain.

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In the year 1860, May 24th Father Louis sait came with his father Rettary and stayed in Baynes bungalow at Kodaikanal. After some days they owned the Baynes bungalow under their responsibility on September 29. That bungalow was changed as a rest house for the members of Christ Church. Father Rettary became the first president of the church. La-providence, a lady, gave 20,000 rupees as donation for the reconstruction of the bungalow. So Baynes bungalow was now called as La-providence. But it's sold out now. In 1858, Father Saint Ceer was severely affected by viral fever. With lots of hope he prayed to the Lady of La Salete. Soon after, the priest was cured and he vowed to setup a church in India that would mirror the church of La Salete in France. He happened to choose the mountainous region Kodaikanal to built this special House of God because the church he wished to emulate encased with in the mighty mountain rains of the alps. This church was made towards his feeling and to heel others as well. The foundation for Mother Salete Church was laid on 1865 February 28. In the same year March 17 the building work was started with the blessings of Father Saint Ceer. In 1866 the day, when brother Lamothy built the body of the Church, thank's offering was fulfilled. In the year 1866, the last sunday of May, Mother Salete Church was dedicated by Keanos. This is the first pilgrimage place in India for Mother Salete. So from 1866 onwards every last Sunday of May, the festival was celebrated for Mother Salete. Huge crowd of people will travel from plain for 3 days and reach Mother Salete Church. The British people complained about the disturbances of the crowd. So this festival was banned up to 1893.

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In the year 1904 the steps were taken to recelebrate the festival and it was succeeded on August 15th. Very few Europeans will be there at Kodai on this occasion. Mrs. Kacondys helped hand to build up Mother Saleth Church. Her busy daughter felt sick and she was cured by the water of Salete inty with the advice of Saint Ceer. To show him gratitude she donated some amount which was helpful for raising the church. In the year 1869 Mr.Natigan the engineer at Dindigul gave 19 acres of land for Mother Salete Church. In the year 1883, ' The entrance of Mother Salate Church ' was established. In between 1884 and 1885 the Church was extended 5 mtrs by its sides and the front portion is affixed with several spires that end in the figure of the cross and square bell tower was also established. The statue of Mother Salete was given as a gift to John, the Baptist by Fara Bishop of Grenoble. Holy Michael's statue was given as a memorial statue to Father Michael Besard. Father Saint Ceer expired on January 17th, 1887. His Holy Body was burried at the entrance of the Mother Salete Church. Summer festival programmes in the month of May includes Flower Show, Dog Show and Boat Shows. Daily Activities The foremost activity of the residents are to make their living out of tourists. By making a attractive display of items, they make the picnickers to buy things. All the commodities are brought from far away places, cleaned properly and arranged in such way that it invites visitors to purchase. Woollen material, Flowers, Vegetables, handmade articles, hot snacks, children toys, medicinal herbs and oils, almost all can be seen in street side small shops. In a nutshell the daily activities of Kodai people is centered around inflow of tourists. One could see school crowd after school hours and on weekends. In last five years the boom in

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hotel industry resulted in hike of workers, the owners, managers, receptionists, room boys, waiters, gardeners, cooks whose activities vary according to their profession. Shopping Spot The Residents of Kodai grumble since essential household things are always in short supply as everything has to come up in lorries. However the need of tourist viz, Souvenirs, gifts and momentoes can be bought easily and upto fullest satisfaction. Exquisite embroidery, home made chocolates, Kodai Cheese, enough of warm cloths, dried flowers are also available in a wide range of prices. In Anna Salai excellent fresh vegetables available in the town market of the bazaar. Eco-nut in Pt- Road has good whole foods, brown bread, Jams, Peanut, Butter, Cheese, Muffins which will be very tasty. Handicraft Kashmir Handicrafts center in Anna Salai is famous for shawls, Jewellary, Brass, Leather items, Bone and Walnut wood articles. Cottage Crafts Shop (Anna Salai), run by the voluntary organisation Corsock, (Coordinating Council for Social Concerns in Kodai), sells goods crafted by development groups and uses the commission charged to help the needy.

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On PT Rd you'll find Kashmiri shops, as well as the Potter's Shed (Time: 9am - 8pm Thu - Tue, 9am - 5pm Wed) with fine ceramics; proceeds go to help disadvantaged children. The road leading south to the lake is sometime lined with stalls run by Tibetans selling warm clothing, Shawls and other fabrics - good, cheap stuff to keep you warm on chilly nights. AGRICULTURE IN KODAIKANAL The main occupation of the people of Kodaikanal is agriculture. The place is rich in the extensive farming of a lot of vegetables and fruits. Various varieties of fruits are found in Kodaikanal like peaches, pears, grapes. In addition to this a lot many vegetables are also grown here. The people of the place are very hospitable and are ready anytime to welcome the visitors open handedly. The vegetables and fruits in Kodaikanal are famous for their freshness and quality. Peaches, Pears, Grapes , Plums and all the other fruits of temperate hills are grown here. Potatoes in huge volumes, Cauliflowers and other vegetables attract the picnickers which are seen everywhere in markets. The weather helps for cultivation of these fruits and vegetables in large volumes. Apart from coffee estates in the plantations, cultivating orchards, flowers, blue gum, eucalyptus trees, pines, wattles and fruit trees are most profitable business here. Among the different kinds of flowers, sweet smelling Madonna lillies, Daturas, Dahlias, etc., are notable which are available for sale. How to reach Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal is a famous tourist destination in India since long. It is one of the Hill stations in the southern region of India that offers so many things to the tourists visiting this destination. Being one famous travel spot on the map of India, it is very well connected with the major cities. Kodaikanal is located about 520 km

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away from Chennai, 262 km away from Coimbatore, 120 km away from Madurai and 615 km away from Bangalore. By Air: The closest airports to Kodaikanal are: one in Madhurai and the other in Coimbatore. Kodaikanal is 120 km away from Madhurai and about 262 km away from Coimbatore. Once you reach any of these cities, there are various options available to reach Kodaikanal. By Train: The nearest Railway stations are Palani Railway Station which is 64

km / 40 miles in north, Kodai Road Station which is 80 km / 50 miles in south east and Dindigul Railway Junction which is 100 km / 62 miles in east. By Road: Kodaikanal has a good network of roads connecting other cities to the hill station. Kodaikanal is connected by road with Coimbatore- 175 km, Madurai120 km, Chennai- 520 km, Ooty- 264 km, Trichy- 197 km, Kumili- 160 km, Kodai Road- 80 km, Palani- 64 km, Munnar- 90 km, Periyar- 160 km. Local Transport: Rental bicycles, taxis and vans are available and a limited

number of city buses are also available but there are no auto-rickshaws.

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CHAPTER-V
CONCLUSION Kodaikanal is also known as the 'Switzerland of the East' and the 'Princess of Hill Stations'. In local terms its popularly referred as 'Kodai'. "Kodaikanal" is a native Tamil word used since the discovery of this area, and it means "end of the forest" or "gift of the forest" or "summer forest". Situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, among the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal is one of the most explored destinations of southern India. With its intoxicating air, breathtaking scenery and serenity that you can hardly find in any other hill station, Kodaikanal is an ideal summer resort for the travel buffs of the southern regions. Beautiful landscape, lush green velleys and its cool climate makes Kodaikanal one of the most popular hill stations. Discovered by American missionaries. this town is spread out around a star-shaped Lake. It's cool, and the lake provides boating, horse riding, cycling and walking trails. Carp fishing and Trout fishing are available in nearby streams, which are stocked and waiting to be unearthed. As a tourist destination Kodaikanal offers you an amazing holiday. The fresh and spectacular scenic beauty of this hill resort. This hill resort in South India welcomes to a mesmerizing summer retreat, with soaring hills, lush vegetation, crystal blue lakes and colonial charm - a land to feel free and lively. So plan your visit to this amazing place, and create a perfect vacation in one of the most charming hill resorts in India. Kodaikanal being nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, this popular lakeside resort town is a magnet for nature lovers year-round. Kodaikanal has several scenic natural attractions which are enjoyed by its visitors and make it a popular destination.

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Specialties of Kodai With its spectacular rocks, tranquil woods, lovely lake and intoxicating air, Kodaikanal is an ideal hill resort for the tourists from all over.The pride of Kodaikanal is the 'Kurinji-flower', which blossoms once in 12 years. The hillplantain fruits and plums are known for their freshness and taste. Kodaikanal lies pretty in the Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu. The summer retreat of Kodaikanal literally means gift of the forest. The hill town is renowned for its educational institutions of international repute.It is the only hill resort developed by Americans in India. Events for Tourists You can enjoy customary boat-ride or a horse-ride to negotiate and explore this exotic hill resort. There are ample opportunities available for Trekkers. You have an option of about 17 routes of varying lengths, as outlined in a pamphlet available at the District Forest Office. Kodaikanal also has a lovely golf course, where golf enthusiasts can enjoy playing golf, in beautiful scenic surroundings. The resort is, virtually, a heaven for trekkers and avid nature lovers. Amongst its other natural attractions is a star - shaped lake, set in a dreamy locale. The Boat Club offers umpteen pleasure and racing trips. The splendid Bryant Park, famous for its rare collection of flowers, graftings and hybrids, is the venue of great horticultural shows, held every year in May. Another major attraction of this area, is the country's only Solar Physical Laboratory, founded in 1898. The Coaker's Walk offers some fantastic views of the surrounding plains. Another superb vantage point, is the Kurinji Andavar temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan, which provides a panoramic view of the lofty hills, that embrace Kodaikanal. Some of the popular picnic spots in the resort, are the Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks, and Bear Shola Falls. Nature seems to have blessed Kodai in all her magnanimity, a fact evident from the immense profusion of exotic flora and fauna of the area. The amazing orchid collection at the Shenbaganur Museum, has granted Kodai international fame. Kodai is also blessed with the rare bloom of the

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highly elusive Kurinji flower, that makes a dramatic appearance, once in 12 years. The Kurinji last bloomed in 1992. The resort is also home to various species of birds, thus rendering it a bird - watcher's delight.Kodaikanal promises to be an ideal getaway, for those craving for an invigorating yet soothing holiday, away from the madness of the city. The Kodaikanal Lake is an artificial, roughly star-shaped lake, which is recognized as Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods.The Bryant Park is a wonderfully maintained botanical garden. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer. The Guna caves, made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devils Kitchen, are deep batinfested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. To conclude, Kodaikanal is a lovely hill station, which is situated on the southern crest of the Palani knolls, 120 kms from Madurai. Kodaikanal is a boon for the people of Tamilnadu because it is easily accessible to them.