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About Kodaikanal Lake (Kodai Lake), Kodaikanal


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Kodaikanal Lake, also known as Kodai Lake is a manmade lake located in the Kodaikanal city in Dindigul district in Tamilnadu, India. Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the then Collector of Madurai, was instrumental in creating the lake in 1863, amidst the Kodaikanal town which was developed by the British and early missionaries from USA. The lake is said to be Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction.

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Over the years a boat club, boathouse and boat service (with rowing boats and pedaling boats and a public ferry) for the public and tourists has become fully functional and is of aesthetic significance for tourism. Boat Pageants and Flower Shows are regular feature in the summer season which attracts tourists.

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Considered as one of the most popular geographic landmarks and tourist attractions, this lake is located at a distance of 3 km from the bus stand. Perched at an elevation of 2,285 m above sea level, this lake is star shaped. Enclosing an area of around 60 acres, the lake has an average depth of 3 m.

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This star-shaped deep blue lake amidst the emerald green wooded slopes sparkles like a jewel in the crown, it is spread over 60 acres with a circumference of 6 kms and is rimmed by a lighted and paved promenade and bicycle path around the lake. Kurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana), a unique bright blue bell-shaped flower marks its presence in the catchment area of the lake. Kurinji is the famous flower which makes the Nilgiri hills blue. Kurinji blooms once in every 12 years, it is reported that it last bloomed in 2004 and it is expected to blossom in 2016 next. The best time to visit Kodai Lake would be in the early morning or just around sunset.

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The lake is situated at 10 deg 14' n latitude and 77 deg 28' longitude at an elevation of 2285m above sea level and it looks magnificent with star shaped glittering water, in the midst of evergreen lush slopes. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December. The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 6 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. The average depth is 3.0m. The boat club provides boats for hire. There are luxury boats also. The famous Carlton hotel is facing the lake and the hotel is having their boats for their customers.

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The lake is star-shaped, centrally located in the town of Kodaikanal and is surrounded by lush green hills of the northwestern Palani Hills range, which is the main watershed for the lake.

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An earthen dam was constructed to create the lake in a marshy where three streams flowed. The lake catchment experiences an average annual rainfall of 1650 mm. The climate is salubrious with summer temperatures of 19.8 °C (max) and 11.3 °C (min) and winter temperatures of 17.3 °C (max) and 8.3 °C (min).[2] The out flow from the Lake forms the waterfall of 180 foot, called the Silver Cascade, 8 km downstream of the lake outlet.

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Kurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana), a unique flowering plant is reported from the catchment area of the Lake. It is reported that this flower last bloomed in 2004 and that it blooms once in 12 years. Hill-plantain fruits and plums are popular in the area.

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The Lake has moderate to dense growth of macrophytes of all types. The littoral zone of the lake is reported to be rich in periphytic biota associated with macrophytes. Diatoms, protozoans & rotifers which are also associated with macrophytes are found in the lake.

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Many aquatic insect larvae and adults, molluscs, cladocerans and the fish Danio aequipinnatus, Rasbora daniconius and Gambusia affinis are reported. Rainbow trout and common carp are the main fish found in the lake. The fish yield as per past records was 5.3 kg /ha/year. Recently two new species of diatom was found in this lake.

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Tourists visiting this artificial lake can take a walk around this lake or can enjoy several activities such as cycle rides and horse rides. In addition, fishing can also be done at this lake; however tourists need to obtain permission from Inspector of Fisheries. Boating can also be enjoyed on this lake, for which boats are provided by Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation and Kodaikanal Boat & Rowing Club. Pony rides by children and adults walking around the lake are part of Kodai Holiday.

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The lake at Kodai is beautifully landscaped and it appears to be de rigueur for Indian families to get out on a boat. Both the Kodaikanal Boat and Rowing Club and Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation hire similar boats for similar prices: Rs. 20 to 40 for a two-seater pedal boat to Rs. 125 (including boatman) for a kasmiri shikara (covered gondola - like boat) for 30 minutes.

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Tourists spend the majority of the time in and around Kodai Lake, enjoying boat rides and other water sports. A must do for all visitors is to take an invigorating and refreshing walk along the road which rims the Lake. Tourists can rent a paddle or row boat to hit the water themselves. Or just sit on the edge of the lake and relish the paradisiacal view.

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Children will be extremely happy to enjoy the pony rides or just play around on the lush banks. Cycling and horse riding are other choices available to tourists.

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Fishing and swimming are permitted for members of the Kodaikanal Boat Club in the lake, which is commonly not the case in other lakes. During a part of the year, provisional membership is given to guests. Standing by the lake and watching the sunset is an unforgettable experience.

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If tourists want to take back souvenirs, there are several small shops and restaurants that are located within walking distance from the lake. Visitors can stop by and shop for delicious cheese and homemade chocolates.

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Places to visit in Kodaikanal

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