5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Kodai Lake

A trip to a hill station is incomplete without a relaxed boat ride on the lake. Whether manmade or natural, lakes have been a haven for tourists rushing to higher altitudes to escape, albeit briefly, the heat of tropical summers.

The manmade Kodaikanal Lake is one of the most popular lakes in Tamil Nadu. This 150 year old lake (yes!) presents not just a place to cool your senses, but is also a treasure trove of interesting facts.

1. The Kodai Lake was constructed by an Irishman!

History credits Sir Vere Henry Levinge, the then Collector of Madurai, as the face of this new-found Princess of the Hills. He constructed the Lake at great personal expense, to encourage tourism. We imagine there were plenty of locals and spirited elephants involved in making the beautiful waterbody.

2. The lake was once three little streams gushing through a marshland

A bund was built across the streams to curb the water and create a 4-point star shaped fresh water reservoir. The next time you’re there, make sure you row to all four corners.

3. The first boats were brought from Tuticorin

The European love for boats ensured that Sir Levinge brought in fine specimens to the Kodai Lake. These were of course, very different from the ones that are seen today. Tuticorin was a major port and an important economic location for not just the British, but every other dynasty, kingdom and empire that came before and after.

4. People swam and punted in the Kodai Lake!

Back when it wasn’t as commercial as it is today, the residents would go for swims in the gorgeous glistening fresh water lake. Presumably inspired by the punts on River Thames in London, these flat bottom boats were a means of relaxation and entertainment. Long poles were used to maneuver the boats around. This was stopped decades ago for safety reasons.

5. The maximum depth has reduced over the years

when it was constructed, the maximum depth of the lake was 11.5 meters. Over the years, siltation has resulted in the maximum depth reducing to about 9 meters.

While spending time at the Kodaikanal Lake is a must-do when there, we recommend you choose a resort away from the crowds in central town. To experience nature at its calming best, among birds and brooks, book a stay at the GRT Nature Trails Kodaikanal here. We’d love to design a customised package for you – talk to us here.
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