Discovery of Kodaikanal :
with Lieutenant Ward, an Englishman, who climbed up from the
Kunnavan village of Vellagavi to Kodaikanal in 1821 for a survey of
Mountain Ranges of Palani. In 1834, J.C Wroughten, the then Sub-Collector of
Madras and C. R. Cotton, Member - Board of Revenue
- Madras Presidency went up the hills from Devadanapatti and built a small bungalow
at the head of Adukkam pass near Shenbaganur. The visit of Dr.Wite
in 1836 and his observation about the Hill Station attracted Botanists to Kodaikanal.
First two houses named Sunnyside and Shelton, on the South Lake Road, were built
between 1844-1845 by American Missionaries. Six more such American families migrated
to Kodaikanal. Exotic location at 7000 feet above the Plains brought them up here.
Stages of development
Travelers going to Kodaikanal began their journey at Ammaianayakkanur
village and had to travel almost 50 kilometers travelling long hours by bullock
cart up to Krishnamma Nayak Thope, then another 18 Km by Foot, Pony or Doli [carried
by the hired coolies]. In 1854, an improved 16 kilometers (9.9 mile)
bridle path was built from Krishnamma Nayak Thope. Sir Vere Hendry Leving created
the Kodaikanal Lake in 1863 and a Boat Club was set up in 1890 and Boating was introduced
to public and tourists only in 1932. Brightly Illuminated 9 Km circular Cycle and
Walkers path around the Lake is an added attraction now.
The economy of Kodaikanal predominantly
depends on tourism. Plans to Develop Kodaikanal started as early as 1875 when the
Railway extended the railway lines from Chennai to Tirunelveli and a train
halting station was built at Ammaianayakkanur village, to facilitate the visit to
Kodaikanal. The station was named as Kodaikanal Road Station.
The meadows, long stretch of forests,
Woods slopes, mighty rocks, bowers, creeks and slopes charms the tourists.
Tourism Department of Tamil Nadu has plans to add 40 boats to the Boat Club and
also to lay Good Roads to different locations within and Multi Storied Parking Lots
and so on
Kodaikanal is famous for the kurinji –
flowers that blossom once in twelve years. One can go for cycling, horse riding,
boating, trekking or engage in many other mode of entertainment. .