The hill station of Kodaikanal, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Even though it is accessible by air and rail, the most beautiful way to see the region is by road. It is well connected to major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu as well as the neighboring states of Karnataka and Kerala, and offers scenic drives through winding roads and picturesque landscapes. I’ve driven to Kodaikanal a few times, and that’s the best way to reach there. Let’s take a look at popular routes and essential travel tips.
Madurai to Kodaikanal
It takes around four hours to travel from Madurai to Kodaikanal, which is about 120 kilometers. NH 85 is the most common route to reach Kodaikanal from Madurai, and it passes through small towns and villages en route. Here’s the route on Google Maps:
Bangalore to Kodaikanal
It takes around ten hours to travel from Bangalore to Kodaikanal, which is about 460 kilometers. There are a few options to select your route to Kodaikanal.
Route 1: Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Salem – Namakkal – Dindigul – Kodaikanal (via NH 44 and NH 183)
Distance: 460 km
Duration: approx. 10 hours
This is the quickest and most efficient route to reach Kodaikanal from Bangalore. It’s an excellent 4-lane highway on NH 44 until Dindigul. As you travel between Hosur and Salem, you will be surrounded by lush greenery and large boulders.
Route 2: Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Thoppur – Mettur – Erode – Palani – Kodaikanal (via NH 44 and NH 544H)
Distance: 430 km
Duration: approx. 11 hours
This isn’t the regular route from Bangalore to Kodaikanal. As suggested in Route 1, you need to take NH 44, but you don’t have to go to Salem. You should instead take a detour at Thoppur towards Mettur. Thoppur to Erode (NH 544H) is a scenic drive, particularly during monsoon and post-monsoon months. The highway does not have four lanes, but there is very little traffic on it. https://goo.gl/maps/EUpCLjzWrRwQy9r29
Route 3: Bangalore – Mysore – Ooty – Coimbatore – Palani – Kodaikanal (via NH 44, NH 766 and NH 181)
Distance: 520 km
Duration: approx. 13 hours
The route is most popular among travelers who want to visit Mysore, Ooty, and Kodaikanal in one trip. Many travelers, especially those who visit Bangalore from other states, follow this itinerary. You should not take this route if your goal is only to cover Kodaikanal. https://goo.gl/maps/fgfs9cyeMxUgrxmo6
Chennai to Kodaikanal
It takes around twelve hours to travel from Chennai to Kodaikanal, which is about 540 kilometers. NH 38 and NH 132 are the most common highways to reach Kodaikanal from Chennai, and it passes through Pondicherry, Theni and Dindigul. Here’s the route on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ZKeUVb6qPGyusxGJ7
Ooty to Kodaikanal
It takes around seven hours to travel from Ooty to Kodaikanal, which is about 250 kilometers. NH 181 is the most common route to reach Kodaikanal from Ooty, the scenic drive passes through Coonor and Kotagiri en route. Here’s the route on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/r5Rso7o4rBnB7kfa6
Mysore to Kodaikanal
It takes around ten hours to travel from Mysore to Kodaikanal, which is about 380 kilometers. NH 275 and NH 44 are the most common routes to reach Kodaikanal from Mysore, the drive passes through Bandipur National Park and Mudumalai Forest en route. Here’s the route on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/UfJEqSx4FDhANC4s5
Coimbatore to Kodaikanal
It takes around five hours to travel from Coimbatore to Kodaikanal, which is about 170 kilometers. NH 83 is the most common route to reach Kodaikanal from Coimbatore, the drive passes through Pollachi and Palani en route. Here’s the route on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/7ggdQVzXWbYVRx9j6
If you are planning a trip to Kodaikanal, traveling by road is undoubtedly the best way to reach the hill station. Stunning views, breathtaking scenery, and lush green surroundings make this road trip an unforgettable experience. You can choose from a variety of routes depending on your starting point. Make the most of your road trip by enjoying the local cuisine, exploring the nearby attractions, and taking a break along the way. A trip to Kodaikanal is incomplete without experiencing the beauty of the Western Ghats and the scenic drive to the hill station. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for a memorable trip to the queen of hills.
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