Travel to Kodaikanal evokes many images... fairy-tale mountain vistas, beautiful Kurinji flowers, spectacular waterfalls, temples and colonial architecture. However, no visit to Kodaikanal is complete without visiting its lively markets. This hill station in Tamil Nadu is one of the best places to shop for handicrafts, home-made chocolates and medicinal oils. So you should consider setting aside a considerable amount of time in Kodaikanal at the end of your trip just to browse for souvenirs.
Kodaikanal beckons with an amazing variety of spectacular scenery. Situated at an altitude of 7,200 feet in the Dindigul district, the hill station holds great appeal for those with an appreciative eye for exquisite beauty.
Known for its exceptional natural beauty, Kodaikanal has several stores worth checking out. There are around 3,000 shops in the town including 600 shops around Kodaikanal Lake. Don't miss the Kashmir Handicrafts Center at Anna Salai for unique woolen shawls, leather products, bone and walnut wood articles and brass jewelry.
You can drop in at Spices Corner, a one-stop shop stocking all the varieties of species like cardamom, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and white pepper. The store has a large collection of diabetic powder, dry fruits, aloevera products, chocolates, herbal creams and natural oils. Another worthwhile stop is Eco Nut for high-quality health products - look out for energy food, molasses, herbal drinks, natural perfumes, organic brown rice, sugarless fruit juices and homemade bread. If you're interested in souvenirs, be sure to visit the Corsack, where you can buy handicrafts and chocolates.
Khadi Emporium in Kodaikanal is an important shop which is reputed for carrying good quality Khadi and handloom products that offer relatively good value for money. The Emporium also sells jewelry, paintings, shawls, lampshades and crafts at reasonable prices. If you want to pick up handmade stoneware pottery, earthy cups and vases directly from the local craftsmen and support a good cause, Potter's Shed in Kodaikanal is the place to be. The Potters Shed is located in a village seven kms outside Kodai. Having explored these, set aside a few hours to visit Bazaar Road teeming with sellers and buyers. Crammed with hundreds of shops, Bazaar Road is the place where you can pick up every conceivable kind of stuffs for shopping. It is an exciting experience to amble around the alleyways, buying and bargaining, enjoying and looking. Here you can find almost anything, from jewelry, clothes and electrical goods to mouth-watering delicacies.
Be prepared to bargain. Bargaining in Kodaikanal is an art practiced in local markets selling products without a marked price. It is advisable that you should ask for a proper discount when shopping in places where prices are not written. It is recommended to be careful in dealing with sidewalk vendors trying to sell you different stuffs for shopping. You should visit state emporia at reasonable prices. From home made chocolates to deletable cuisines, there are several restaurants in and around Kodaikanal for food lovers to explore. For food lovers, Kodaikanal is virtually a heaven.