Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station nestled in the Palani hills and has been a hotspot for tourists for decades. The town mainly surrounds part of the large man-made lake that sits at the centre and while the main bazaar is quite crowded, there are enough pristine attractions to visit within a few kilometres from the town. Kodai (as this town is fondly called), is also home to several interesting stores that should definitely be on your list of ‘must-visit’ places while exploring this quaint hill station. To make it easy for you, we have our ready reckoner listed below and what to expect at each outlet.
The Potter’s Shed
Probably one of the most well-known stores in Kodaikanal is The Potter’s Shed. What started out as an experiment over 20 years ago has resulted in the set-up of a fine trust that not only benefits potters in the region but also educates them to take their skills to a level that will leave you spellbound. After all, it is their work that is on display and available for purchase in this quaint store. You will find exquisite cups, dishes of different shapes and sizes, tea pots and even flower vases. The money that you do put down for these products is well-spent for it goes towards the upliftment of the potters and their families as well as educating children through The Potter’s Shed Trust.
Location: PT Road
The Farm Store
Local produce is the bread and butter of Kodaikanal and capturing the essence of this is the Farm Store. This little shop tucked away in a corner near Tava’s Restaurant on PT Road stocks a lot of produce that is locally sourced. This includes honey, breads, sauces, coffee powder and a plethora of natural wellness products such as a natural diabetes fix, natural weight loss care and a lot more! They do stock fresh fruits and vegetables in small amounts as well and if you arrive in the right season you can get your hands on some prized avocadoes!
Location: PT Road, near Tava’s Restaurant
The Kodai Cheese Shop
These guys make some of the best cheese in the business and you don’t need to tell your friends or family to fly you back some bleu cheese or smoked edam from Switzerland any more, for it is all available at this fabulous cheese shop. Kodai Cheese is popular with restaurants in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune and they offer a fine selection of exotic cheeses such as gouda, bleu, edam, mozzarella and a number of flavoured cheddar varieties too. If you happen to be in the mood for some paneer, the Kodai Cheese shop is your best bet to buy authentic paneer in Kodai.
Location: Lake Road, near the skating rink
Prowess is an extremely successful women’s self-help group that specializes in making soft toys, patchwork quilts and bed covers and a variety of unique handicraft items. Their products are exported across the globe and if you have the time, you can get items made to order such as buntings and baby quilts which make for an ideal gift. Run and operated only by women, Prowess is a must-visit when in Kodai and the perfect place to pick up a true Kodai souvenir.
Location: PT Road, opposite Aavin Milk Bar
The Ayura Origins Store
Located at the foothills of the Kodaikanal mountain (approx. 48 km from town), the Ayura Origins Store sits right on the highway if you are heading towards Madurai or Dindigul from Kodaikanal. Set up on a farm that specializes in herbal plant cultivation, Ayura Origins offers a plethora of natural wellness products that are a very good idea to add to your daily diet to boost overall health and in some cases combat chronic health issues. All their products are naturally grown and sourced and they also retail through numerous online platforms such as Amazon.in, Flipkart, 1 MG, Snapdeal and PayTM.
The store is the perfect pit stop on your way to Kodaikanal or on your return journey. The farm is open for visitors to walk around and there is a large nursery there as well for those who have a green thumb!
Location: Kodaikanal-Batlagundu Ghat Road, near Bahri Beautiful Country