Kodaikanal Lake, also known as Kodai Lake, is a man-made lake in the hill station of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the most popular and scenic attractions in Kodaikanal, and a must-visit for anyone who loves nature and beauty.
The lake has a unique star shape, with a circumference of about 5 km and a depth of 3 m. It was created in 1863 by Sir Vere Henry Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai, who dammed the three streams that flowed through the Palani Hills. He also introduced the first boats and fish to the lake, and planted the trees and flowers that adorn its banks.
The lake is fed by the water from the Silver Cascade Falls, a 180-feet high waterfall that originates from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The lake is home to a variety of aquatic plants and animals, such as water lilies, lotuses, eucalyptus, pine, cypress, and rainbow trout.
How to Reach Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. The nearest railway stations are Kodai Road (80 km) and Dindigul (100 km), which are well connected to major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, and Madurai. The nearest airports are Madurai (120 km) and Coimbatore (175 km), which have flights from domestic and international destinations. From the railway stations or airports, you can hire a taxi or a bus to reach Kodaikanal Lake, which is located in the heart of the town.
Alternatively, you can also enjoy the scenic drive to Kodaikanal Lake, which offers stunning views of the hills, valleys, forests, and waterfalls. There are many routes and trails to choose from, depending on your preference and time. Some of the popular ones are:
The Palani-Kodaikanal Road, which passes through the Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, and offers glimpses of wildlife and birds.
The Batlagundu-Kodaikanal Road, which crosses the Shenbaganur Museum, the Sacred Heart College, and the Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint, and offers panoramic views of the plains and the lake.
The Kodaikanal-Munnar Road, which connects the two hill stations and passes through the Berijam Lake, Poombarai Village, and the Kurinji Andavar Temple, and offers a variety of flora and fauna.
Best Time to Visit Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake is a year-round destination, as it offers a pleasant and refreshing climate throughout the year. However, depending on your interests and preferences, you can choose the best time to visit the lake and enjoy its beauty and activities.
Summer season (April to June):
This is the best time to visit Kodaikanal Lake if you want to escape the heat and enjoy the cool breezes and water activities. The temperature ranges from 20°C to 30°C, and the lake is full of life and color. You can indulge in boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports, or attend the famous flower shows, festivals, and events that are held at the lake during this season. Some of the notable ones are the Summer Festival, the Boat Pageant, and the Fruit Show.
Winter season (November to February):
This is the best time to visit Kodaikanal Lake if you want to witness the mist and snow that envelop the lake and the town. The temperature ranges from 8°C to 17°C, and the lake is serene and tranquil. You can enjoy the horse riding, cycling, and walking around the lake, or cozy up in the cafes and shops near the lake. You can also catch the spectacular sunrise and sunset over the lake, or marvel at the night sky full of stars.
Monsoon season (July to October):
This is the best time to visit Kodaikanal Lake if you want to experience the greenery and waterfalls that surround the lake and the town. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 20°C, and the lake is lush and vibrant. You can admire the rainbows and reflections on the lake, or explore the nearby attractions like the Silver Cascade Falls, the Bear Shola Falls, and the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory.
Things to Do at Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake is not just a place to see, but also a place to do. There are many things to do at the lake that will make your visit memorable and enjoyable. Some of the most popular and fun things to do at the lake are:
This is the most popular and iconic activity at the lake, as it allows you to experience the lake from a different perspective and admire its beauty and charm. You can choose from a variety of boats, such as rowboats, pedal boats, shikaras, and Kashmiri boats, and enjoy the ride with your family, friends, or partner. The boating charges are nominal, and the timings are from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
This is another popular and relaxing activity at the lake, as it allows you to catch some fresh and delicious fish from the lake and enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of fishing. You can rent a fishing rod and a bait from the nearby shops, and try your luck at catching some rainbow trout, carp, or catfish. The fishing charges are reasonable, and the timings are from 10 am to 5 pm.
This is a rare and adventurous activity at the lake, as it allows you to dive into the clear and cold water of the lake and enjoy the refreshing and exhilarating feeling of swimming. You can swim in the designated areas of the lake, and follow the safety rules and guidelines. The swimming charges are minimal, and the timings are from 10 am to 4 pm.
This is a fun and exciting activity at the lake, as it allows you to ride a horse around the lake and enjoy the scenic views and the breeze. You can choose from a variety of horses, such as Arabian, Marwari, or Kathiawari, and enjoy the ride with a guide or on your own. The horse riding charges are affordable, and the timings are from 9 am to 6 pm.
This is a healthy and enjoyable activity at the lake, as it allows you to cycle around the lake and enjoy the exercise and the scenery. You can rent a cycle from the nearby shops, and choose from a range of cycles, such as mountain bikes, tandem bikes, or electric bikes. The cycling charges are cheap, and the timings are from 9 am to 6 pm.
This is a beautiful and colorful activity at the lake, as it allows you to witness the amazing variety and display of flowers that are grown and arranged at the lake. You can see the flowers of different shapes, sizes, and colors, such as roses, orchids, lilies, carnations, and more. You can also participate in the competitions and contests that are held at the lake during the flower shows. The flower shows are held in May and June, and the entry fee is nominal.
This is a fun and rewarding activity at the lake, as it allows you to buy some souvenirs and gifts from the lake and take them home as a memory of your visit. You can shop from the many stalls and shops that are located near the lake, and buy some unique and interesting items, such as pottery, handicrafts, chocolates, spices, oils, and more. The souvenir shopping charges are reasonable, and the timings are from 9 am to 7 pm.
Best Places to Stay Near Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake is not only a place to visit, but also a place to stay. There are many places to stay near the lake that will make your stay comfortable and convenient. You can choose from a variety of accommodations, such as hotels, resorts, and homestays, that offer lake views and amenities.
You can also choose from different budget, mid-range, and luxury options, depending on your preference and budget. Some of the best places to stay near the lake are:
This is a luxury hotel that is located on the banks of the lake, and offers a stunning view of the lake and the hills. It has 91 rooms and suites, that are spacious and elegant, and have balconies and fireplaces. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a spa, a gym, a pool, and a garden. It also offers activities like boating, fishing, cycling, and horse riding. The hotel charges are INR 10,000 to INR 25,000 per night, and the ratings are 4.5 out of 5.
Kodai Resort Hotel:
This is a mid-range hotel that is located near the lake, and offers a pleasant view of the lake and the town. It has 50 cottages, that are cozy and comfortable, and have private lawns and sit-outs. It also has a restaurant, a coffee shop, a spa, a conference hall, and a playground. It also offers activities like trekking, camping, and sightseeing. The hotel charges are INR 4,000 to INR 6,000 per night, and the ratings are 4 out of 5.
This is a budget hotel that is located close to the lake, and offers a panoramic view of the lake and the valley. It has 12 rooms, that are simple and clean, and have balconies and fireplaces. It also has a restaurant, a lounge, a library, and a garden. It also offers activities like cycling, horse riding, and boating. The hotel charges are INR 2,000 to INR 3,000 per night, and the ratings are 3.5 out of 5.
Lake View Homestay:
This is a homestay that is located on the edge of the lake, and offers a homely and peaceful view of the lake and the hills. It has 4 rooms, that are spacious and cozy, and have attached bathrooms and kitchens. It also has a terrace, a lawn, and a parking space. It also offers activities like fishing, swimming, and birdwatching. The homestay charges are INR 1,000 to INR 2,000 per night, and the ratings are 3 out of 5.
Stories and Legends of Kodaikanal Lake
Kodaikanal Lake is not only a place to enjoy, but also a place to learn. There are many stories and legends that are associated with the lake and its creator, that will make your visit more interesting and meaningful. Some of the stories and legends that you can hear and share at the lake are:
The legend of the star-shaped lake and its creator:
According to the legend, Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the creator of the lake, was inspired by the star-shaped flowers that grew on the banks of the lake. He decided to make the lake in the shape of a star, and planted more flowers around it. He also named the lake as Star Lake, and dedicated it to the people of Kodaikanal. He also built a bungalow near the lake, where he lived until his death in 1885. His tombstone can be seen near the lake, with the inscription “Star of India”.
The stories of the Bollywood movies shot at the lake:
Kodaikanal Lake has been a popular location for many Bollywood movies, as it offers a picturesque and romantic backdrop for the scenes. Some of the movies that were shot at the lake are Dil, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Roja, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Raja Hindustani. You can see the spots where the actors and actresses performed their songs and dialogues, and relive the moments of the movies.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of Your Kodaikanal Lake Experience
Kodaikanal Lake is a place to have fun and make memories. However, to make the most of your Kodaikanal Lake experience, you need to follow some tips and tricks that will help you plan and enjoy your visit better. Some of the tips and tricks that you can use are:
Bring warm clothes and raincoats in winter and monsoon: Kodaikanal Lake can get cold and wet in winter and monsoon, so you need to bring warm clothes and raincoats to protect yourself from the chill and the rain. You can also bring umbrellas, hats, and gloves to keep yourself comfortable and cozy.
Book your tickets and accommodation in advance: Kodaikanal Lake can get crowded and expensive in peak seasons, so you need to book your tickets and accommodation in advance to avoid the hassle and the cost. You can also compare the prices and the facilities of the different options, and choose the best one for your budget and preference.
Avoid littering and polluting the lake: Kodaikanal Lake is a natural and beautiful attraction, so you need to avoid littering and polluting the lake and its surroundings. You can use the dustbins and the toilets that are provided near the lake, and dispose of your waste properly. You can also avoid using plastic and non-biodegradable items, and use eco-friendly and reusable items instead.
Share your photos and feedback on social media: Kodaikanal Lake is a photogenic and amazing attraction, so you need to share your photos and feedback on social media and other platforms. You can use the hashtags and the tags that are related to the lake, and attract more visitors and followers. You can also rate and review the lake and its services, and help others to plan and enjoy their visit better.
Kodaikanal Lake is a place that you will never forget, and a place that you will always want to come back. It is a place that offers you a lot of things to see, do, and learn, and a place that makes you happy and satisfied.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Kodaikanal Lake, and have the time of your life!