About Guna Caves
Located away from the main city of Kodaikanal on the Pillar Rocks Road, Guna Caves is one of the mysterious tourist attractions in Kodaikanal that promises an enthralling experience. Originally known as Devil’s Kitchen, these caves are actually caverns formed between the three boulders of the mountain.
The Guna Caves have been formed at an altitude of 2230 metres. Though the caves were discovered in 1821 itself, they gained huge tourist attraction only after the Tamil movie “Guna” shot here became a massive hit. Today, parts of the caves can be seen from a distance. Bats are found in plenty inside the Guna Caves which make the place look scary.
The path through the pine forests from the main entrance of the Guna Caves to the actual caves looks out-of-the-world. The huge roots of the pine trees are found everywhere outside the soil and promise a good scope for photography at this tourist spot.
There exists a hairline difference between thrill and danger here which is why it is best to visit the Guna caves with a sensible gang of friends or under the supervision of a guide. There are warning signs all through the path leading through from the main entrance to the hilltop.
The narrow ravines inside the caves are now closed to the public. The damp soil, crisp mountain air, cold weather, and the perplexing caves ahead make one’s trip to this place definitely unforgettable.
The Guna Caves are surrounded by many other tourist spots like Pine Tree Forest, Suicide Point, and Dolphin Nose Viewpoint that can be clubbed together to make your trip even more exciting.
How to Reach Guna Caves
The distance between Guna Caves and Kodaikanal Bus Stand is 8.5 km and the best way is to rent a private taxi on a daily basis to explore the sightseeing places in Kodaikanal. There are no autos in Kodaikanal. For the best experience, you can also cover the distance on foot.
Best Time to Visit Guna Caves
The best time to visit Guna Caves is from April to June when the skies are clear. During these months, the walk from Moir Point to the caves through the pine forest is relatively easier. The other months of the year are cold at Guna Caves and the walking trails get slippery and dangerous.
What Not to Miss at Guna Caves
1. Pine Forest: - The patch of pine forest was cultivated by Mr. Bryant in 1906 for timber. Today, the pine forest is a prime tourist attraction in Kodaikanal where people flock in huge numbers to click Insta worthy pictures. The sunlight that finds its way through the tall pine trees and makes the place absolutely surreal.
The beauty of the place is hypnotical and no wonder why many south Indian film songs and movies have been shot here. There are also many small shops here selling fruits, water bottles, snacks, and souvenirs.
Distance from Guna Caves: 550 mtrs
2. Pillar Rocks Viewpoint - Offering unhindered views of the surrounding area, the Pillar rocks are actually three vertically positioned boulders reaching up to a height of 400 feet. From this viewpoint, the entire area that one’s eyes can see is covered with dense and tall trees with dark green foliage.
There is also a garden with plants blooming in a riot of colours. This is a great spot to picnic amidst the rocks, gardens, mist, and clouds. There are a handful of shops selling piping hot tea, corn, snacks, and ‘bhajjis’.
Distance from Guna Caves: 800 mtr
3. Coaker's Walk - Coaker's Walk was constructed by Lt. Coaker in 1872. This narrow stretch of pedestrian path that stretches for about one kilometre promises amazing views of the serene valleys around. During the walk, one can spot various attractions like Dolphin's nose in the south, valley of the Pambar river in South East, bird's eye view of Periyakulam and even the city of Madurai on a clear sunny day.
Halfway along the Coaker's Walk, there is an observatory with a telescope to enjoy closer shots of the surrounding attractions.
Distance from Guna Caves: 7.0 km
4. Green Valley View Point - Green Valley View Point is another major tourist spot in Kodaikanal to enjoy enchanting views of the plains, valleys, and hills around. One can even spot the Vaigai Dam from this viewpoint. There are many monkeys here and visitors are requested to keep their belongings safe from the monkeys.
One can also shop for souvenirs and trinkets in the shops spread across the path leading to the viewpoint. Green Valley View Point is also known as the Suicide Point as the point has a staggering drop of 5000 feet deep down into the daunting valley below and many cases of suicides have happened at this viewpoint.
Distance from Guna Caves: 2.3 km
Things to do Near Guna Caves:
2. Trek up the Dolphin’s Nose: Dolphin Nose is a piece of flat rock that protrudes out of the mountain and resembles the shape of a dolphin's nose. Perched at an elevation of 6600 feet above mean sea level, this viewpoint offers bird's eye views of the surrounding mountains and the lush green valley below. One can trek to the summit of Dolphin Nose through the small village of Vellagavi and enjoy the beauty bestowed by Nature. The trekking trail is simple and well-suited even for novice trekkers and first-timers.
3. Watch the space at Kodaikanal Solar Observatory Museum: Owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, this observatory is a must-visit place for those who love to explore the vastness of the space. Situated at the highest point of Kodaikanal, this observatory has state-of-the-art equipment like Doppler radar, a LaCour magnetometer and a Watson magnetometer, broadband seismograph, GPS receiver, and magnetic variometers, ionosondes, Solar tunnel telescope, and full disc imaging.
4. Visit the quaint Vellagavi hamlet: Vellagavi is a rustic hamlet that is carefully guarded away from the advancements of the outside world. The village is popular for its no footwear policy which all the inhabitants of this hamlet consider their land to be sacred and so, do not wear footwear. There are no roads to this village and one needs to trek through dense forests for about 8 hours from Kumbakkarai to get to this village. This arduous trek route definitely takes one close to the wilderness of Kodaikanal.
Other Essential Information About Guna Caves
Location: Pillar Rocks Rd, Tamil Nadu 624101
Timings: 8.00 AM - 4.30 PM Mon-Sun
Entry fee: INR 5 per person; Camera INR 10
Visitor's Facility: There are “Pay And Use” restroom facilities available at the entrance.
Parking Facility: Parking Facility is provided at about 10 minutes of walkway distance from the caves. Please keep your belongings safe from the monkeys at the parking.
Distance from Kodaikanal bus stand: 8.5 km
History of Guna Caves:
Guna Caves are actually caverns located amidst the three huge boulders. In 1821, the Guna Caves were first discovered by an English Officer, B.S. Ward. However, as time passed by the caves lost their place from people's mind. Later, in 1992, the caves became popular after the release of the super-hit movie "Guna".
Many parts of the movie were shot here and the evergreen melody "Kanmani Anbodu Kadhalan" brought this caves into the spotlight. The caves which were popular only amongst adventure seekers and trekkers became a favorite tourist spot amongst commoners after the release of the movie.
While these intriguing caves are a natural wonder, they are also particularly dangerous. The deeper parts of the cave are completely dark as the sunlight cannot penetrate. Today, many narrow paths of the caves are shut with iron grills and there are warning signs advising tourists not to venture ahead of the closed bars. The signboard also tells that the number of fatal falls from the caves stands 12 to date.
Interesting Facts about Guna Caves:
1. The Guna Caves go way back to1821.
2. The caves discovered initially by a British officer B.S. Ward. With time, the caves got forgotten and were rediscovered in the 1990s.
3. The Caves became extremely popular after the Tamil movie, "Guna" starring Kamal Hassan was shot at the caves in 1992.
4. Guna Caves is a protected site, but allows people to walk as close as they can get.
Places to Stay Near Guna Caves:
Distance from Guna Caves: 1.7 km
2. Holiday Home Resort: Located away from the clatter of the Kodaikanal city centre and close to the Guna Caves, Holiday Home Resort is perched amidst dense woods. The resort features a rustic complex of cottages dining, a fire pit, terraced gardens, and free breakfast. The stream that runs close to the resort adds a whimsical touch to this place.
Distance from Guna Caves: 2 km
3. Sterling Kodai Lake Resorts and Hotels: This upscale lakefront resort has 102 opulent rooms with all modern amenities like free breakfast, plus dining, indoor/outdoor pools & a game room. The exteriors of this hotel looks ravishing with lake views and for those looking for a blissful accommodation, this resort is a perfect choice.
Distance from Guna Caves: 3 km
4. Surya Holidays Kodaikanal: Set on a sprawling 32-acre hilltop estate, the cottages at the hotel offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and enchanting landscapes. The activities at the resort include horse riding, trekking, cycling, and bonfires at night.
Distance from Guna Caves: 3.2 km
Places to Eat Near Guna Caves:
2. Shola Cafe: Serving lip-smacking sandwiches, falafel, pizzas, pasta and parathas, this cafe is a great place to hang out on an evening.
3. Bistro 1845: From cakes and pastries to dal makhani, this restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy delicious meals. The blueberry cheesecake is an icing on their menu.
4. Pastry Corner: With a team of warm and friendly staff, this cafe serves the choicest collection of cookies, cakes, pizzas, naturally flavored ice creams, coffee, muffins, cream buns at pocket-friendly prices.
5. Cloud Street: This restaurant is open for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner and the pizzas and grill items cooked on wooden oven and wood grill are a total delight to smack on.
6. Cafe Cariappa: One of the best places in Kodaikanal to enjoy a cup of coffee, this cozy cafe has a good collection of cakes on their menu. The mouth-watering ones are hot chocolate cake, carrot cake, cheesecake, and Tosca cake.
7. Tava: This compact food joint is famous for North Indian cuisine which includes channa masala, mixed veg curry, chapati, Teplas, aloo paratha, coriander lemon soup, and many others.
Tips Before Visiting Guna Caves:
1. While Guna Caves is one of the most enthralling places where Nature unveils many of its mysteries, Guna Caves is also dangerous to its visitors. The drop from the caves is fatal and hence, do not venture outside the bars.
2. Wear long sleeves and thermals to keep yourself warm.
3. The walk from the main entrance to the caves is physically demanding and think twice if you are travelling with senior citizens and toddlers.
4. Be cautious of the surroundings while clicking photos. There have been several instances of fatal falls of youths at the caves.