Discovery of Kodaikanal
a story Lieutenant Ward, an Englishman, who climbed up from the Kunnavan village
of Vellagavi to Kodaikanal in 1821 to survey the area on the hilly ranges of Palani.
In 1834, the Madurai collector climbed the hill from Devadanapatti and built
a small bungalow at the head of Adukkam pass near Shenbaganur. In 1836, Dr.Wite
visited Kodaikanal and recorded his observations, and these were very useful to
botanists later. In 1845, American Missionaries built the first two bungalows “Sunnyside”
and “Shelton”. Later, six American families came up the hill and stayed for the
first time in Kodaikanal. Following this, the British also built houses here. The
hill station Kodaikanal was created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans
in India. The 20th century saw elite Indians enteri Kodaikanal to enjoy its charm
and beauty and to harness its natural wealth for development.
Stages of development In 1875, the Indian
railways extended its line from Chennai to Tirunelveli and a station was created
at Ammaianayakkanur and this was later renamed Kodai Road, to provide a gateway
to Kodaikanal. Tourists started their journey at Ammaianayakkanur Railway station
upto Krishnamma Nayak Thope. This trek was undertaken to Kodaikanal, 18 kms distance
away using horses and palanquins, with coolies for assistance.
Today, the charm of Kodaikanal lies in
its wooded slopes and gigantic trees. The mighty rocks, bowers, creeks and slopes
captivate the visitors. The meadows, the long stretches of forests, beautiful spots
and the flocks of sheep grazing on green pastures are a source of joy, delight and
thrill to onlookers. The climb to the various jutting rocks at Kodai is rewarding.
The arduous climb to the Pillar rocks, to a height of 400 ft, is a must for every
visitor to this hill resort.