Kodaikanal in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu is a very popular hill station known also as “Princess of Hill Stations.”
Historians attribute several reasons for the place being named as Kodaikanal.
Some believe that the name Kodaikanal has been derived from koe-dei and Kanal in Tamil which means a place to be seen in summer. While others say that the name Kodaikanal, has been derived from Kooo-dai and Kanal in Tamil, which means a place in the forest’s boundary.
Some believe that the name Kodaikanal has been derived from Ko-dai and Kanal in Tamil which means a place with lots of creepers or vines. It is also believed that the name Kodaikanal has been derived from Ko-daai and Kanal in Tamil which means a gift of the forests.
Kodaikanal had not seen any development until 1845, when the Britishers started developing it as a summer retreat to escape from the heat in the plains. Later few wealthy Indians began to build holiday homes and settle here. It was only after India’s Independence that the tourism industry greatly developed here.
Kodaikanal is well developed hill station located at 10°14'09.9"N 77°29'14.4"E. The maximum temperatures of 25 °C are reached here during summer and minimum temperatures of about 5 °C are reached here during winter. Due to its high elevation it is comparatively cooler than the surrounding areas.
The present population of Kodaikanal is about 50,000 with the number of men and number of women living here being almost equal. Most of the people living here practise Hinduism and speak Tamil. Christians also form a sizable part of the population of people living here.
The prominents schools in Kodaikanal are Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, St Peters School (residential), Brindavan Public Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Sankara School Kodaikanal, Govt Hr Sec School, Zion Matriculation School and Presentation Convent.
The colleges in Kodaikanal are Kodaikanal Christian College, Sacred Heart College, American University of India and Kodai International Business School.
The livelihood of most of the people living here depends on tourism. Few million tourists visit here annually to take shelter from the heat in the plains below during summer and also to spend some time among nature. A considerable number of people living here are farmers who depend on agriculture to earn their livelihood. The major crops grown in Kodaikanal are carrots, potatoes, pears, cauliflower, onions, plums and garlic. Eucalyptus trees are also present here in huge number from which many medicines are extracted.
The nearest railway station to Kodaikanal is the Kodai Road Railway station which is 79 km away via the Nilakottai route and about 92 km away in the Sithayankottai route. The most prominent cities near Kodaikanal are Dindigul and Madurai.
Trains to and from Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Nizamuddin, Howrah, Tiruchendur, Chennai, Tuticorin, Tirupati, Rameswaram,Trivandrum, Mumbai, Jammu Tawi and Tirunelveli stop at Kodai road railway station stop here.
The nearest airport is at Madurai which is located about 124 km away.