Of the three main hill stations of the south - Udhagamandalam (Ootacamund), Kodaikanal and Yercaud - Kodaikanal is the most beautiful. Kodaikanal is on the southern crest of the Palani Hills, about 120 km north-west of Madurai, surrounded by thickly wooded slopes, waterfalls and precipitous rocky outcrops. Some of the views to the south are spectacular, and the viewpoints are within easy walking distance of the centre of town. It has its own landscaped, artificial lake with boating facilities. Kodai Walks : The main activity in Kodai is walking around enjoying the sights and views. The rolling lawns of the numerous stone and wood cottages from the British period are edged with flowering shrubs and trees. The views from Coaker's Walk, where an observatory with telescope is available, and from Pillar rocks, a 7 km hike, are two of the most spectacular in India. Bryant Park is also worth a visit. Flora and Fauna Museum : It is at the Sacred Heart College nearby Shembaganur. It is a 6-km hike and all uphill on the way back. The museum is open from 10 to 11.30 am and 3.30 to 5 pm and is closed on Sundays. There are numerous waterfalls in the area, Silver Cascade is the main one. Astrophysical Laboratory : It is built on the highest point in the area, 3 km uphill from the lake. It houses a small museum which is only open from 10 am to noon on Fridays. Boating and Riding : The lake at Kodai has been wonderfully landscaped, and rowboats are also available.



BUS The bus station in Kodai is off Bazaar Rd and opposite the Hotel Astoria. There are ordinary state buses to Madurai (3.5 hours), Tiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari and Madras.



The Cottage Crafts shop on Bazaar Road opposite the post office has some excellent bits and pieces for sale. It is run by Corsock, the Co-ordinating Council for Social Concerns in Kodai. This organisation, staffed by volunteers, self crafts on behalf of development groups, using the commission charge to help the needy. Corsock also runs the Goodwill Centre on Hospital Road. Above the junction of Bazaar Road and Hospital Road on a patch of lawn you will find a number of stalls run by Tibetan selling clothing and other fabrics.

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