The Gift of the Forest – what a lovely title this one is! This title is for none other than Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is a Tamil word and means ‘The Gift of the Forest’. Kodaikanal’s beauty is indescribable and over the years, it has become one of the most desired places to visit in India.

Kodaikanal lies in the hills of Dindigul, a district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This lovely lake town is also crowned as the “Princess of Hill Stations”. Kodaikanal Lake, popularly known as the Kodai lake is a 150-year-old man-made lake and is one of the best tourist places to see in Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is also famous for it’s chocolates and many describe it as India’s very own chocolate factory.

The Kodai Lake has many interesting facts woven with its beauty. Below are some of them, which can make interesting reading especially if you are planning to travel to Kodaikanal. We are certain that these facts will further make you want to visit this man-made wonder at the earliest.

The Kodai Lake was built by an Irishman!

Kodai Lake

What’s an Irishman doing in Tamilnadu and why would he construct a lake in an Indian state? Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the then Collector of Madurai, is the Irishman, who created the Kodai Lake. As the story goes, he loved Kodai and to encourage tourism, constructed the lake at his own personal expense, which was said to be quite a handsome sum of money. God bless him for creating this beauty!

Three little streams make the Kodai lake


The Kodai lake was a coming together of three little streams. Earlier, before there was the lake, there were these three streams gushing in happiness. A bund was built across the streams to curb the water and create a 4-point star shaped freshwater reservoir. The next time you are there, do make it a point to locate the four points/corners of the lake and feel good that you retraced the lake’s footprint.

The first boats at Kodai were specially brought from Tuticorin


The Kodai Lake is a popular boating destination loved by tourists. One of its major attractions are the various Boat Pageants held there. This is perhaps a close resemblance to the Kodai Lake’s Founder – Sir Levinge’s love for boats – a classic European kind of love. Back then, it was said, that Sir Levinge brought fine boats to Kodai straight from Tuticorin. Tuticorin was a major port and an important economic location in Tamilnadu.

Punting in the Kodai Lake was normal. And so was swimming.


The Kodai Lake has an interesting history. To add to the other facts, the lake in its early days of being, had people swimming in it. Punting also took place in the lake. This was when the lake was not yet a tourist spot. At that time, residents could not resist the inviting waters of the lake and would go for a swim. Also, just like the punting that went on in the Thames, the Kodai Lake also saw punts. Punts are flat bottom boats used as a means of relaxation and entertainment. Long poles were used to maneuver the boats around back then.  However, this was stopped decades ago for safety reasons.

The Lake creates the Silver Cascade Fall

Silver Cascade Falls

Besides the beauty of the Kodai Lake, there is something else that is a beautiful tourist attraction – The Silver Cascade, a 180-foot waterfall created from the outflow of the Kodai Lake. Definitely not to be missed.

The Lake’s depth has reduced over the years


Natural changes. i.e., siltation has led to the reduction of the lake’s depth from 11.5 meters to 9 meters over the years.

Kurinji – wait and watch!


Kurinji or Strobilanthes kunthiana, is a unique flowering plant that grows in the catchment area of the Kodai Lake. It is said that the flower blooms once in 12 years. Lucky is the tourist who will get to see the Kurinji.

Aside from the tourist attractions, Kodaikanal also as amazing food. If you want to know where you can get the best food in Kodaikanal, check out our blog on the top 5 must-try eateries in Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is indeed an amazing place and these factors have added greatly to it’s beauty. Staying here and experiencing all that this hill station has to offer would be perfect for you and your family. While planning your next vacation to Kodaikanal, be sure to stay with us at our resorts; Sterling Kodai Lake and Sterling Kodai Valley for the best travel experience ever. Hurry and make your reservations now!