Kodaikanal, in Tamil means ‘Gift of the Forest,’ and a gift it truly is to mankind. Tucked in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is a hill station that can be visited all year round. Even in the summer months, especially in June, it’s a delight to be here. The pleasant, breezy days offer the perfect opportunity for outdoor activities such as sightseeing, trekking and hiking.

Located at 2,133 meters above sea level, Kodaikanal is also home to the rare Kurunji Flowers that bloom once in 12 years. The hill station is home to meadows, grasslands and a thick forest cover consisting of eucalyptus, cypress, acacia and pear trees. However, to enjoy your time here to the fullest, these are the places you mustn’t miss at all:

Pillar Rocks

One of Kodaikanal’s most popular attractions, Pillar Rocks are these three mammoth granite rock pillars that stand at 400-feet-high. They’re known to afford a stunning view of the surrounding vistas, and are a must visit for everybody. However, if you want a proper view of the structure itself, head to the public garden nearby for just the right view of Pillar Rocks.

Green Valley View

Formerly known as Suicide Point, the name was later changed to Green Valley View. The place is known for its breath-taking panoramic views of the mountains, being located at 5,000 feet above sea level. You can also view the Pillar Rocks from here.

Berijam Lake

While a special permit from the Forest Department is needed to enter the area of Berijam Lake, it is worth every bit of effort. Berijam Lake is known for its lush greenery, the fire tower, a stunning lake view and the medicinal forest nearby. Wild animals such as panther, deer, snakes and bison are often spotted near the lake during the evening, which is why it’s recommended the you take a day trip here.

Coaker’s Walk

One of the most serene places you will ever visit in India, Coaker’s Walk is a 1 kilometre long pathway constructed on the slope of a hillock, from where you get the most picturesque views of the surrounding hills. Look out for a rare phenomenon here called the ‘Brocken Spectre’ where your shadow is cast on the clouds with a rainbow halo on top. On days when the skies are clear, you can see as far as the Dolphin’s Nose from here.

Kodai Lake

Also known as Kodaikanal Lake, this is a star-shaped lake located amidst the most calm surrounding. This place is a birder’s delight, and one can indulge in boating, horse-riding and bicycling here.