Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul District in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest“.Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill Stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality Industry serving tourism.
The town of Kodaikanal sits on a plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palni Hills at 2,133 metres (6,998 ft), between the Parappar and Gundar Valleys. These hills form the eastward spur of the Western Ghats on the Western side of South India. It has an irregular basin as its heartland, the centre of which is now Kodaikanal Lake a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) circumference manmade lake.
Meadows and grasslands cover the hillsides. Gigantic Eucalyptus trees and shola forests flourish in the valleys. Mighty rocks and cascading streams. rise up from the valleys. There are many high waterfalls and ubiquitous gardens and flower beds in bloom.
The major medical facilities are Van Allen Hospital and the Government Hospital. These hospitals treat patients with common ailments and injuries and perform child delivery and care, but are not equipped with modern medical equipment for complicated diagnoses and surgeries.
In April 1915, Dr. Van Allen raised funds to construct the first unit of the hospital at the entrance of Coaker’s walk. It was named after him. Facilities got updated from time to time and now it has X-ray machine, well equipped pathological lab, and operation theatre with blood transfusion facilities.
Government Hospital is situated on the hillside near Rock cottage on lower shola road. It was a small municipal hospital until 1927. Now it has X-ray, Dental, Maternity ward and other facilities.
Air and water-borne mercury emissions have contaminated large areas of Kodaikanal and surrounding forests. A study conducted by the Department of Atomic Energy confirmed that Kodaikanal Lake has been contaminated by Mercury emissions.,