Here is a story Lieutenant Ward, an Englishman, who climbed up from the Kunnavan village of Vellagavi to Kodaikanal in 1821 to survey the area on the hilly ranges of Palani. In 1834, the Madurai collector climbed the hill from Devadanapatti and built a small bungalow at the head of Adukkam pass near Shenbaganur. In 1836, Dr.Wite visited Kodaikanal and recorded his observations, and these were very useful to botanists later. In 1845, American Missionaries built the first two bungalows “Sunnyside” and “Shelton”. Later, six American families came up the hill and stayed for the first time in Kodaikanal. Following this, the British also built houses here. The hill station Kodaikanal was created to serve the needs of the British and Europeans in India. The 20th century saw elite Indians enteri Kodaikanal to enjoy its charm and beauty and to harness its natural wealth for development.
Stages of development In 1875, the Indian railways extended its line from Chennai to Tirunelveli and a station was created at Ammaianayakkanur and this was later renamed Kodai Road, to provide a gateway to Kodaikanal. Tourists started their journey at Ammaianayakkanur Railway station upto Krishnamma Nayak Thope. This trek was undertaken to Kodaikanal, 18 kms distance away using horses and palanquins, with coolies for assistance.
Today, the charm of Kodaikanal lies in its wooded slopes and gigantic trees. The mighty rocks, bowers, creeks and slopes captivate the visitors. The meadows, the long stretches of forests, beautiful spots and the flocks of sheep grazing on green pastures are a source of joy, delight and thrill to onlookers. The climb to the various jutting rocks at Kodai is rewarding. The arduous climb to the Pillar rocks, to a height of 400 ft, is a must for every visitor to this hill resort.