Kodaikanal vs Munnar is a never-ending debate among travelers. Both destinations are undeniably charming, blissful, and power-packed with plenty of thrilling experiences for tourists of all kinds. While Kodaikanal bewitches visitors with its deep blue lakes, surreal waterfalls, dense jungles and granite cliffs, Munnar pampers guests with lush green valleys, rolling hills, misty tea estates, and year-round pleasing weather. Picking from either of them for a Kerala holiday is surely no easy feat.
People often ask “which is better, Kodaikanal or Munnar?”, and we have just the right answer! We have put together a set of basic differences and similarities between the two so that you can compare and pick what best suits your preferences, budget and time restrictions. Regardless of which place you choose to include in your Kerala tour package, you’ll end up having the most wonderful time relaxing amidst the untouched natural beauty and idyllic landscapes of two of India’s most beautiful offbeat destinations – Kodaikanal and Munnar.
Kodaikanal Vs Munnar – Which Is Better?
Let’s see what each of these two destinations has to offer in terms of topography, weather, tourist attractions, and activities so
that you can decide which one you wish to visit.
Topography & Scenic Beauty
Let’s first see the Kodaikanal vs Munnar comparison in terms of their natural landscape.
There’s not a lot of difference between the geographical features of these two towns given that they’re both hill stations in the tropical states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively, but you will find a unique set of wonderful lakes, waterfalls, forests, mountains, and lush green valleys here. types of lakes, forests, waterfalls, etc. Whether it’s Kodaikanal or Munnar, you’ll be amazed by the serenity and natural splendor of these places!
Munnar offers misty tea gardens, neat rolling pastures, as well as the magnificent peaks of the Western Ghat mountain range, much of which consists of protected areas home to rare and endangered flora and fauna. All in all, traveling into the enchanting land of Munnar will certainly make you feel like you’re stepping into a fairytale!
Kodaikanal is famous primarily for its man-made yet stunning star-shaped lake that sits right in the center of the town. It welcomes travelers with open arms and lets them engage in exciting activities like boating, canoeing, horse riding, and fishing. One can also witness gushing waterfalls and a variety of other lakes that remain rather untouched and pristine owing to the low influx of tourists in the city. For those seeking a taste of adventure, Kodaikanal’s thick jungles and rocky hills are the place to be.
Location & Accessibility From Major Cities
It’s always essential to know the most viable transportation options to and fro your destination as well as its connectivity to major metropolitans around it when you’re carving out your itinerary. Having said that, it’s fairly easy to get to either of the two cities – Kodaikanal and Munnar – by multiple means of transport available in Southern India.
- It’s tucked away in Tamil Nadu’s Palani Hills and is easily accessible by road from many major cities in this state and Kerala.
- The nearest airport is in Madurai 120 km away, followed by Trichy 150 km away, and Coimbatore 175 km away.
- Kodai Road junction located 100 km away from Kodaikanal serves as its main railway station.
- Regular state-run and private buses ply to Kodaikanal from cities like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, and even Bangalore.
- The town is nestled in the beautiful Western Ghats of Kerala and is accessible by road from Kerala’s major cities as well as neighboring states like Tamil Nadu.
- The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport located 104 km away from Munnar.
- The nearest railhead is in Aluva, 110 km away, followed by Ernakulam and Madurai respectively.
- While one can drive up to Munnar from Kochi, Aluva and Madurai in a personal or rented vehicle, it’s more economical to travel to Munnar via buses (both state-run and private) from these cities.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
If one tried to make a Kodaikanal vs Munnar comparison based on weather, they’d surely get confused! The weather of both these places is quite pleasant year-round. They offer the perfect respite from the otherwise hot and humid weather of Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively. The best time to visit Munnar and Kodaikanal too doesn’t differ much owing to similarity in their topography and climate conditions.
ALSO SEE-Kodaikanal-A paradise on earth
The best time to visit Kodaikanal is from October to March, the winter season in India. It offers cool weather and surreal views year-round, but these months are considered best to embrace its beauty, engage in outdoor activities and explore the many tourist attractions here. Kodaikanal in winter has cool days and chilly nights, so make sure you pack accordingly. If you visit in January, you must also witness the grand celebration of the Pongal Festival.
Munnar is bliss in every season! However, it is most advisable to visit Munnar anytime between September and March in the winter season in India. Try and avoid the monsoon season when you won’t be able to engage in either sightseeing or activities like trekking owing to heavy rainfall and muddy terrains. You can also visit during summer for adequately pleasant weather and warm sunshine!
ALSO SEE – Best Time to Visit Munnar
Average Trip Budget
A trip’s average budget always depends on the traveler’s choice of hotel, mode of travel, and preferred places to eat. The average cost of staying in either Kodaikanal or Munnar is considered to be moderately expensive and rather affordable, so you need not worry.
If you book your transport and stay well in advance, pick local joints to eat (which will anyway serve you authentic flavours of these states!), and use public transport to commute, you will be able to cut down this cost even further. Other than this, the cost of getting to Kodaikanal or Munnar will depend entirely on the mode you pick (air, railway, road), the city you travel from, and season.
ALSO SEE – Top 20 Best Resorts in Munnar
Average Tour Budget for Kodaikanal
1.Hotels – You can get a decent budget hotel in Kodaikanal between INR 1,500/- to INR 6,000/- per night, and great hostels for less. There are plenty of hotels, homestays, hostels, and luxury resorts in Kodaikanal that you can choose from for a budget and luxury stay.
2.Commute – It is advisable to commute within Kodaikanal with your own or a rented vehicle as the local transport here is infrequent. Private taxis charge about INR 100-125/- for a km, buses have set timings and the fare starts from around INR 60/-. There are no autos or rickshaws in the city.
3. Food– Munnar is a great place to sample Kerala’s popular culinary delights. Food in Munnar costs between INR 150/- to INR 2,000/- per head depending on type of restaurant. Saravana Bhavan, Shree Mahavir Bhojanalaya, and Kaivalyam are some of the best restaurants for vegetarian food in Munnar, while Rapsy, SN restaurant, Gurubhavan and Hill Spice serve great non-vegetarian dishes.
4. Sightseeing– Even in Munnar, entry fee for tourist spots is nominal, and many places allow admission free of cost. The cost of entry into Munnar’s popular tourist attractions, monuments, and lakes doesn’t exceed INR 75/- per head, while boating charges can cost upto INR 500/-
Top Attractions & Activities
No Kodaikanal vs Munnar analysis is complete without mentioning the many places one can visit in these cities! You’ll be able to explore a number of beautiful spots and enjoy plenty of activities here like cycling through misty tea gardens, boating in lakes, hiking to waterfalls, and watching sunrises atop mountaintops. You can do all this in about 2-3 days, which is the ideal duration of a trip to both Kodaikanal and Munnar.
Places To Visit In Kodaikanal
See all the locations you can visit in the Princess of Hill Stations in India:
1. Kodaikanal Lake– This man-made star-shaped lake sits in the center of the city and is surrounded by undisturbed greenery. Along with its natural beauty, the opportunity to go boating in these deep blue waters attracts a large influx of tourists.
2. Bryant Par– This charming botanical garden sits on 20.5 acres of land that hosts a vivid Flower Show every May. Built by the British a century ago, it’s filled with manicured flower beds, ancient English structures, towering trees, and a handsome nursery.
3. Silver Cascade Falls– Out of the many waterfalls near Kodaikanal, this is perhaps the most beautiful! This shimmering white waterfall cascades down a height of over 50 meters and turns into a frothing pool at the bottom, creating the most picture-perfect spectacle and drawing tonnes of trekkers, couples, and photographers here.
4. Pillar Rocks -This place is exactly as it sounds – three divine looking 120-meter tall boulders sitting atop a hillock with majestic views of hills and lakes! It’s a great spot to enjoy the company of untouched nature and get soaked in puffy white clouds!
Places To Visit In Munnar
Discover all places to see in the Kashmir of South India:
1. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate -Walking into a fragrant field of tea leaves on Munnar’s highest slopes is nothing short of a dream, and this estate offers exactly that! You can go on walking tours, drink fresh tea, and get perfect snaps for your ‘gram right here!
2. Eravikulam National Park – Spanning an area of 97 sq km, this park shelters a variety of rare species of flora, fauna and avifauna, including Western Ghat’s native Nilgiri Tahr, and the rare blue Neelakurinji that bloom here once every 12 years!
3. Kundala Lake– Located 20 km outside city limits, it lures people with its crystal clear waters reflecting the sky and a backdrop of lush green slopes dotted with cherry blossoms, the perfect spot for nature walks, picnics, and boating in colourful shikaras!
4. Lakkom Waterfalls – This pearly white sheet of silk originating from the Eravikulam stream and flowing through a picture-perfect scenery of resplendent green is something to write home about! While here, you can also enjoy delicious Malabar cuisine at a shop nearby.
The Kodaikanal vs Munnar shopping experience varies a lot considering Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively have quite unique (and vivid) cultures! You can purchase an array of goods from both these places including eatables, clothes, handicrafts, spices, jewelry, souvenirs and much more from markets, craft emporiums, and even malls.
Kodaikanal- Buy lots of organic items, homemade chocolates, Kodai cheese, natural Eucalyptus oil, coffee, herbal tea mixes, brass instruments, fresh local spices, jams and pickles, walnut wood items, and more.
Munnar- Splurge over top-quality tea, coffee, selection of dry fruits, crunchy banana chips, varieties of spices, aroma oils, natural dyes and dyed sarees, block-printed fabrics, traditional Kathakali masks, fresh fruits preserves, and more.
We hope this Kodaikanal vs Munnar comparison helped you pick the ideal holiday destination for yourself and your loved ones. Both Kodaikanal and Munnar posess a unique charm and offer endless natural beauty, peace and adventure to guests. While Kodaikanal is blessed with misty hills and serene lakes, Munnar offers verdant tea estates and exotic wildlife. Whichever you pick, you’ll end up having the most wonderful time on your vacation! Happy Tripping!