The word Kodaikanal can be split into two words 'kodai' and 'kanal', which in Tamil language translates 'gift'and'forest' rendering Kodaikanal as the 'Gift of the forest'. There are more three possible interpretations in Tamil language regarding the meaning of its name.
Ooty and Kodaikanal are famous vacation hill-stations since almost forever. While Ooty still and always will reign as the Queen of the Hills, in the south, Kodaikanal is the ‘Princess of South India’.
Kodaikanal, has its own reasons to be called the ‘Princess of Hill Stations’ in South India. Here are some ways these reasons justify this title.
- The mist-ique climate and Chill Valleys
The peaks in and around Kodaikanal are always surrounded by thick layers of mist, which creates a dreamy, chilly and beautiful environment. This lush misty climate could be the cause of small ‘Chill – valleys’ nearby, not allowing the mist to escape. This feature is unique to Kodaikanal or Kodai, as it’s called affectionately.
- Pine Forest
Every hill station has different plantation or green cover due to unique weather. Pine forest is the identity of Kodaikanal like the tea garden cover for Ooty. The trees here grow up to a height of 150 ft and are unique only to this little hill-town. It’s a widespread land of pine plantation, initially reared for timber but now a hub for photographers and nature lovers alike. These are neat space to enjoy quiet peace, a calm walk or a galloping horse ride and famous shooting spot for various movies.
- Lanky Altitude
Kodaikanal is a town that sits in the upper region of Palani hills of the Dindigul district. The hills are almost 7000ft high in altitude and views over the valleys of the Pambar River, Periyakulam and even the city of Madurai. This is one of the tallest hill stations in the down south.
- The haven to home-made chocolate
Kodaikanal is the home to a big home-made chocolate industry. The chocolates from Kodaikanal always tend to retain their unique taste because they are not commercialized. Many chocolate manufacturers have come and gone, but the secret behind unmatched flavour of the chocolates made here still remains a mystery.
- The Gift of the Forest
Kodaikanal is the home to a 325 species of trees, cacti, shrubs, plants, flowers, ferns and hybrids and also has a glasshouse. Ornamental plants are sold during the peak season and floral exhibitions are also conducted. Meadows and grasslands line the side of the hills, while giant Eucalyptus trees and Shola forests grow abundantly in the valleys. A 500 year old tree which is near ‘La Saleth’ Church is also an attraction. This along with the iconic Pine forests testifies Kodaikanal as the ‘Gift of the Forest’, from Mother Nature herself.
- See Your Shadow on the Clouds – Unique at Coaker’s walk
– This is a path cut around the Mt. Nebo named after Lt. Coaker, the man who drew the map of Kodaikanal. This is a beautiful hill edge path that spans to about 1 km, provides us a glorious view to the hills and the dolphin’s nose of Kodaikanal. This 1km long path of peace, is also famous for the ‘Brachem Spectre’ – a phenomenon that happens when you have the sun behind your back and face the mist and the clouds, you can see your shadow on the clouds with a rainbow ‘halo’ing around your head. What a sight this would be!
- Undisputed tourist attraction in the Down South
While Tamil Nadu is mostly a coastal state, with beaches all along the shore, there aren’t a lot of tourist spots down South. This is where this little hill-town stands out. Kodaikanal is the biggest tourist attraction of the southern part of Tamil Nadu, with a lot of tourist attractions such as Kodaikanal lake - a star shaped manmade lake that houses a boat house and facilities for leisurely boating and site seeing, Bryant park, Vattakanal – ‘Little Israel’, the iconic Kurinji Andavar Temple overlooking the Palani Hills, Various waterfalls such as Bear Shola Falls, Pambar Falls, Berijam Falls, Fairy Falls, etc and a lot of beautiful misty sceneries that makes Kodaikanal strike a different note in the South.
All these make Kodaikanal deserving to be called the ‘Princess of the Hills’, but what’s the real reason behind this name?
Life Saving Destination for Many
Hills & Wills ground zero assessment reveals that Kodaikanal was a town that was built by the European people to escape from the scorching heat, humidity and diseases from down south. The people who visited this place got cured and fell in love with it, never wanted to leave such a misty beauty, and thus the title “Princess” was coined out of affection by the Europeans for saving their life.
Princess vs Queen
While the ‘Queen’ will always be busy with her subjects, and their problems, the ‘Princess’ needn’t be the same. Ooty, the most popular hill station in TN, has been commercialized by the flocking tourists, whilst Kodai still maintains its natural serenity and not commercialized to the level of Ooty. Hence Ooty and Kodaikanal deserve their respective name of Queen of Hill Stations and Princess of Hill Stations.
Want have a space in the lap of Princess
In such a non-commercialized hill station, it is everybody’s dream to own a piece of land and construct a vacation house. But one needs to know to in and out of the place to actually buy property in Kodaikanal and needs support to shape, monitor and maintain it – This is where proper property management experts like Hills & Wills a property management company exclusive to hill stations that would provide world class advisory and property management services are required.