Kookal Cave Kookal is a Panchayat village of terrace farmers at the far western end of the Palani Hills in block of Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu state, South India. Elevation is 1,890 metres 6,200 ft. Kookal is notable for the high biodiversity of the area.Many of these wilderness areas and various wildlife may be seen while trekking in the area of Kookal. It is not safe to trek in the area without a local guide.
â€¢ The Kookal cave are ancient rock shelters that show traces of and are believed to be home to the descendants of the original Palaiyar meaning old ones tribes who used to wear leaf clothing. The caves are overhanging slabs of different types of metamorphic rocks called charconite and granulite. Till the mid-1980s, over 30 families resided on the hill top, where a small temple is located.
To reach Kookal Caves, travel by bus from Kodaikanal to Poombarai and begin walking northwest. After walking through geranium plantations, and pine and wattle forest, the Kookal Forest Rest house can he reached. From there is a 8 kilometres 5.0 mi trail to the Kookal natural rock cave formations on a hill top. This stretch is leech-infested and best avoided during the monsoon.
Tourists are required to get permission from the Forest Department to visit Kookal or trek in the forest areas. Please contact: Government of Tamil Nadu, Tourist Office, Annasalai, Kodaikanal, 624 101, Tamil Nadu, India. PH; 04542- 241675. A trekking map is available from them. Bison Wells Lodge has a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of Kookal ridge.
Shembaganur Museum Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, 6 kilometres 3.7 mi from the bus-stand, founded in 1895, is open to the public except Tuesdays for viewing their outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyartribes people whose descendants still live in these hills.
Pine Forest Pine forests, In 1906, with a view to growing valuable timber, Mr. Bryant started the Kodaikanalpine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal.
Bryant Park Bryant Park just east of the lake and 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cacti, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is an 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. The entrance fee to the park is nominal, and it is open all year.
5 per person
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