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Traveling to Kodai - INFO

Kodaikanal Resource

Ashrams Info.



Traveling to Sai Baba ashram Kodaikanal


 Sai Sruthi :  Darshan update & photos from Kodaikanal
 Sai Sruthi : Darshan update & photos from Kodaikanal 
The Kodaikanal experience - Part I  II & III Rendezvous with Prof. Anil Kumar Kodaikanal trip - A report, March 2001 Photos 9th April: Swami on the way to the airport etc.  
Photos 2005:Sai Baba latest photo collage: Inside the Indian airline plane to Kodaikanal
Photos 2005:Inside the Indian Airline plane to Kodaikanal - photo gallery Photos Kodaikanal darshan - picture gallery part 1

Sai itinerary Jan.- Dec.

Photo Birds eye view of Kodaikanal area
Photos Kodaikanal darshan - picture gallery part 2

9th April 2006 Sai darshan and travel report

Photos - 26th April 2007 : A Flight with Divinity...Bhagawan's Kodai Trip 2007

A devotees Kodaikanal experience.




Lingam manifested by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Kodaikanal ashram, 1994

Kodaikanal darshan experience:
"...There are indications that there might be a program Vishu/Tamil New Year- April 14 celebration at Kodaikanal so far there has been no official announcement. Swami is giving regular darshans. The gathering of devotees over here..." Read more     

It is said that Prasanthi Nilayam is Swami’s office, Brindavan is His home and Kodaikanal is His playground. In a manner of speaking, this is so particularly where Kodaikanal is concerned, for it is here, that one gets a glimpse of the Sai of the Forties, especially where Divine Leelas are concerned. It all lasts only a few weeks, but what extraordinary weeks they are, for those blessed to enjoy Divine intimacy then!

Kodaikanal is a hill station in South India about four hundred and odd kilometers south east of Bangalore and near the Temple Cities of Madurai and Palani. In former years, every summer Swami used to take a few selected students with Him to Kodai.

Kodaikanal is a famous hilltop resort  some pictures of the nature around Kodaikanal that usually has rain ten months of the year. This is Kodaikanal Infocalled off-season. Season is generally April-June, and that's when most tourists visit. Kodaikanal is a lovely place, free of dust and mosquitos, and has plenty of tourists attractions, like the restaurant called Buddha's Belly!

Here we will give you an overview of visiting Sai Baba, and some important information to get you well prepared!

 Generally, Sai Baba can be found at the Puttaparthi Ashram. This is in South India, approximately three hours drive from Bangalore.

During the hot summer months in Puttaparthi, (Rayalseema area is one of the driest in South India) Sai Baba generally travels from Puttaparthi for Bangalore, where there is an ashram located T Whitefield, some 27 kilometers out of the city of Bangalore.

Occasionally, Sai Baba visits a small ashram called Sai Sruthi, located in the hill resort town of Kodaikanal, which is quite further south of Bangalore in the adjoining state of Tamil Nadu.

Travelling to Kodai    Sai Itinerary Jan.- Dec.

The only direct way into Kodaikanal is by road. Kodaikanal is connected by road with Chennai (520-km), Ooty (264-km), Trichy (197-km), Coimbatore (175-km), Kumili (160-km), and Madurai(120-km). Additional buses ply during the season. Taxis and vans are available for local transportation. There are no auto-rickshaws in Kodaikanal, and taxi fares are set by local authority. All must pay to enter the National Park entrance, some kilometers out of Kodaikanal.

It is a hilltop town, and the roads narrow and winding. Those traveling for the first time, best not look down when looking out the window!!!

Planes fly to Madurai and Coimbatore. Then a two hour taxi journey.

By Rail...

The nearest railway stations are the Kodai Road Railway Station (80-km) and the Palani Railway Station (64-km).

Luxury Buses ply between Bangalore Majestic and Kodaikanal. Bus travel takes approximately 12 hours.

Taxis from Whitefield to Kodai will cost between Rs 6000-8000 and you would be advised to share a taxi if you do this. Travel time to Kodaikanal would be approximately 10 hours.

It is never known in advance if Sathya Sai Baba will visit Kodaikanal in any year. Kodai is cool at night, oft times raining overnight, and generally mild, up to 23 degrees in the daytime. Fog, clouds and rain can be expected on any day at anytime.

 IF Sathya Sai Baba visits Kodaikanal, then the following are suggested:

umbrella, thin light jumper, thin winter clothes as you would wear in a sub-tropical winter, thin plastic Macintosh like that you can get in Woolworth's or Kmart for $5 to have in case of rain.

Kodaikanal is flat where Swami's house is, there is one driveway to walk up (steep), then flat sitting area for darshan. If you were to stay in town at the Hilltop Hotel, Carlton Hotel or around the corner from Swami's place at the Sterling Hotel, then it is largely flat walking to Swami's darshan. The remainder of Kodaikanal is hills, hills, hills and incredibly narrow roads. A taxi to darshan is the usual practice if staying in one of these other Hotels.

There are Western Hotels at Kodaikanal with charges somewhat similar to Hotels here in Australia. The top two are the Carleton and Sterling, standard Hilton Hotel type accommodation. Hilltop is very good and somewhat less, approx 750-1000 rupees per night.

There are many other hotels and guesthouses available in Kodaikanal. Many devotees group together and hire a guesthouse.

Darshan is in the mornings; you can walk from the township, around the lake to the darshan queue, which is on Lake Road itself. Men line up on the footpath adjacent to the lake, Ladies line up on the other side of the gate, on the grassy side of the road. Ladies often sit in chairs by the roadside. Of late, seva dal have stalls either side of the gate, and as you pass, you put your shoes in and receive a chit.

There are only 4 lines each side at Kodai, and numbers are in fact given out. Men on cycles or young boys with hot canteens walk up and down the lines selling small plastic cups of tea. You can expect to stand in line up to about 8AM or thereabouts when the gates are opened and the lines called in. Lines generally begin to be formed around 6AM, and there is either silence of jollity in the lines ...

Like Puttaparthi and Brindavan, there is a small security check as you pass the gate; thereafter, it is a dash or a sedate walk up the STEEP driveway, to the darshan shelters. Men to the left of the front of the house, ladies to the right, guests along the far right wall. Men must pass in front of the ladies to reach their allocated darshan area.

There are chairs for those who need. Darshan is a small affair under a simple canopy, and ladies also sit in an island in front of the garden.

Unlike Puttaparthi or Whitefield, all remain inside the compound, seated for darshan until its full completion. If individuals or groups are called for interview, all remain seated. By this time, pullovers, shawls and all the extra coverings are removed as the sun is out and quite warm. When Interviews are complete, Baba emerges, and goes inside the main building; thereafter, darshan is over. Sometimes prasad is distributed during darshan.

After morning darshan, Swami sometimes goes for a drive around Kodaikanal and environs; perhaps a leisurely drive, perhaps a visit to an orphanage, or to a home, or to another venerable place. Sometimes, to a picnic! One can often see a procession of cars leaving Sai Sruthi perhaps half an hour or an hour after darshan, with Swami's car in the middle. So if you wish, it is useful to come back after taking your breakfast and walk back down Lake Road, and by grace of Bhagavan, perhaps you will see Swami.

Afternoon Darshan commences with lines at approximately 2.30 or 3PM. As before, all line up around Lake Road. There is a small bhajan mandir on the top and right as you reach the top of the STEEP drive; if you see people going in, follow, for often there are spiritual talks, sometimes a divine discourse, or bhajans in that small mandir. For Afternoon Darshan, Swami may walk along the verandah of the residence, even if it is raining.

General Information - Kodaikanal

STD Code : 04542
2,133 metres.
Light woollen in the evening during summer and heavy woollen during winter.
2,133 metres.
120 Km From Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Best Time
April To June And September To October.
Tamil and English.

Sai Baba Kodaikanal trip - A report, March 2001

Swami came to kodai on 11 th of this month. He reached madurai at 2.20 pm by flight and from there he proceeded to kodai at 4pm, in his white Mercedes which has come to the airport.a large continent of foreign devotees had accompanied him.

As words started to spread people had arrived along the road sides to have a glimpse of the Bhagawan.

The next day he started his daily darshan at around 8am and the evening darshan at 3pm and bhajans afterwards.

Devotees from nearby Kerala and district of Tamil Nadu were  coming in large numbers after the news of his arrival spread. No rooms were available in any hotels and room rents had sky rocked. in contrast just 2 days prior to saibaba visit, rooms in Kodai were seen begging!

It is three years since saibaba has come to kodai ashram. Since last so many years it has been the practices of saibaba to spend the summer in kodai for the benefits of the overseas devotees who cant bear the hot summer in the plains. sai baba used to stay in the house of devotee Mr srinivasan and darshan was given from there. Around 7 years back Mr srinivasan donated around 3 acres of prime land overlooking the lake to the central trust along with buildings which became “Sai Sruthi” Kodaikanal ashram .This ashram is very beautiful and full of gardens and chirping birds.

For devotees darshan at Kodai is always an experience. since the number of devotees are less (3000-4000)chances of getting padanamaskar and interview are more from kodai.for evening bhajans, foreign devotees are invited to sing bhajans ...

In kodai the business and vendor always pray to saibaba to come early because when sai comes business booms. The whole kodai becomes alive with a large influx of people. this time is called baba season.

When baba did not visit kodai for the last 3 years the business in kodai was greatly hit.

Unconfirmed rumors say that saibaba was dissatisfied because of the fleecing of devotees by shop establishments and the sky rocking of the rooms rents when saibaba comes..

Last month a large continent of business people from kodai had gone to bangalore to see saibaba and had requested him to come to kodai.

When saibaba came it was heard that he will be in kodai till 27 th. However saibaba left kodai on 20 th for banglore.For the local business people it seems that they have not learned there lessons because during this time also it was fleecing and more fleecing of devotees   of hard earned money.

Kodaikanal is one of India’s most beautiful hill stations located at an altitude of 2133 mts. (7,00 feet) frequented tourists in large numbers right through the year.


Places of interest include Bryand Park, Pillar Rocks, Lake Solar Observatory, Perumal Peak, Silver Cascade, Telescope Houses at Coaker’s Walk and Kurinji Andavar Temple, Bear Shola Falls, Berijam Lake, Museum and Orchidorium at Sacred Heart College, Shenbaganur. Very good trek routes are available. Mudurai (120 Kms.) is the nearest airport and Kodai Road (80 Kms.), hte nearest railway station. Regular bus service to Madurai and other towns available The nearest railway station Kodaikanal Road (80 kms) is directly connected by rail with Madras, which in turn, is connected with all of the important places in India. Kodaikanal is connected by road with Madras- 520 kms, Ooty- 264 kms, Trichy- 197 kms, Coimbatore- 175 kms, Kumili- 160 kms, Madurai- 120 kms, Kodai Road- 80 kms, Palani- 64 kms, Munnar- 90 kms, Periyar- 160 kms,Places Of Interest Kodaikanal Lake- 5 kms, Coaker’s Walk- 1 km, Astrophysical Observatory- 3.2 kms, Fairy Falls- 4.8 kms, Kurinji Andavar Temple- 3.2 kms, Shenbaganur Museum- 5.6 kms, Pilar Rocks- 7.2 kms, Green Valley View- 6.4 kms Excursion: Silver Cascade- 8 kms, Dophin’s Nose-     8 kms, Perumal Peak- 11 kms, Beryam Lake- 21 kms, Kukkal Caves- 40 kms.

Photos of Kodaikanal ashram, and images taken with my digital camera on 15-5-03 can be viewed at http://saibaba.tk
Manoj A.P.

source: http://saibaba.tk

A devotees Kodaikanal experience.

Last year, 1998, I visited India at a time when Sai Baba was in Kodaikanal, which is a beautiful city high in the mountains of Southern India. It is built around a central lake and the scenery is quite spectacular. The climate is also pleasantly cool at a time when the rest of India is sweltering. I travelled with three friends. I took with me the ring Sai Baba had manifested for me many years before. It had lost several stones and the band had broken so I was no longer able to wear it. I had brought it to India with me on several occasions in the hope that Baba would either change it for me or repair it. Each morning and afternoon as we went to the ashram for darshan (sight of a holy person) and bhajans (sacred songs) I would take the ring, wearing it on the middle finger of my left hand with the stone part turned inward to my palm and the broken band pressed tightly together so I would not lose it. I would hold the ring on my finger with the fingers of my clasped hand. I would like to say here that it has been my habit over the years to write a daily letter to Sai Baba while at the ashram. These I hand to him as he passes by. He has always taken these letters from me. This time was no different. Each day I would write a note of what was in my heart and hand it to him as he passed. Each day he took my letter. One morning I wrote to him about the ring. I told him that it was broken and could no longer really be worn and that I wished him to either fix it for me or take it back. Whatever was his will. I also asked him if he could make his date of departure from Kodai on the 26th of April as that was the date we were leaving for Australia. (I must explain here that there had been rumours abounding that Baba’s departure was going to be within the next few days. This would have meant us travelling to Bangalore for just a few days before our departure and I really wanted to stay in Kodai and not have to travel in all the heat) I was sitting outside the ashram with this letter in my hand, waiting to go into darshan. I was also wearing the ring as usual , clasped in my closed hand. I was sitting next to an American lady I had befriended and we were talking. One of the Indian volunteers from the ashram walked over and told the American that they had all been called in to the ashram and asked to stay until the next Saturday which was the 26th. This meant that Baba would not be leaving until this date in spite of what the rumours said. As she walked away this woman turned to me and expressed surprise that she had been told this. I was not surprised. I knew it was the answer to the question in the letter I was holding in my hand. I looked at my ring as well and to my utter amazement, as I had felt nothing and had not unclasped my grip, the ring had disappeared. I looked on the ground all around where I was sitting but there was nothing. It had disappeared. The other request in my letter had also been answered even before I had given Baba the letter.


This is another story from my visit to India and Kodaikanal last year, 1998. I must explain that it is my habit to carry with me , in my bag a small container of manifested vibutti. The container was nearly empty as I had only a few grains of vibutti left and none to fill it with. I was hoping to obtain some of Baba’s vibutti while in the ashram. I carried the container with me each day in my bag. All bags had to be left outside the ashram as we entered for darshan and collected on our way out afterwards. On one particular day, I left my bag outside as usual, and went into darshan. As I sat and watched Baba walk around I felt something happen. I am still not sure what it was. I felt different, more aware, as if I had had a shift in consciousness. The feeling stayed with me throughout darshan and was still there afterwards as I collected my bag and met my friends ready to go and have breakfast. We went to the Hotel where we had breakfast every morning. I was still feeling “strange” and not quite with it. We sat at out table and were drinking coffee and I was explaining to my friends about what had occurred and how I was feeling. I suddenly had a compulsion to take the vibutti container out of my bag and look at it. As I opened it vibutti spilled on to the table cloth. It was full of vibutti. Where there had been hardly any ash at all there was now a full container. As we were talking and marvelling over this we noticed that the the few grains dropped on the cloth had become larger. As we watched over the next half hour, more and more vibutti formed on the tablecloth before our eyes. Friends came over to watch also. We all stood there in wonder as the vibutti increased on the cloth. After about a half hour it stopped. We were all overjoyed that we had been given the opportunity to witness such a happening.

One day, frustrated by the fact that I seemed to be getting nowhere with my spiritual pathway, I looked at a picture of Sai Baba and started calling to him, “Baba how do I know God? How do I become “enlightened”? Tell me the way to understand God. “ I said this over and over again. I was feeling desperate, wanting so earnestly to know the way to understanding the God within me. In the middle of my loud calling to Baba the telephone rang. It was my daughter ringing from Sydney. She told me that a mutual friend of ours had just returned from a journey to India to see Sai Baba. We talked about that for a while and she told me this friend had been lucky enough to get an interview with Baba. I asked what had happened in the interview and she replied that Baba has said that one of the ways to “enlightenment “ was to chant the Gayatri Mantra three times in the morning , noon and night. An instant answer to my plea.


On my first visit to India I went with a friend to a public discourse to be given by Sai Baba in a large hall situated near some public gardens. When we arrived the hall was already packed with thousands of people sitting in cross legged fashion on the floor. There were a few chairs scattered around the sides and the back of the hall. Realising it might be a long time before we could move again we decided to sit on chairs and went across to the only few remaining empty ones right at the back of the room. It soon became obvious why they were empty when we realised we were behind a big pillar which blocked our view of where Baba would be on the platform. As we looked around the room we realised there was nowhere to sit that would give us a better view. Even on the floor at the back we would have difficulty seeing so far to the front.
I closed my eyes and sent a plea to Sai Baba asking if it was possible could we sit in a place with a better view. I opened my eyes to see one of the Indian lady organisers walking towards us. She indicated we were to follow her and we got up and walked behind her as she led us to the front of the hall and sat us on the floor in the front row, directly in front of where Baba was to speak. We had a marvellous view of the entire proceedings.


As I drove home from work the threatening sky became heavier and darker until the sky took on a peculiar shade of green. I knew it was the prelude to a powerful storm. I had never seen a sky like that before. I drove steadily trying to get home before it broke. I had driven a short distance further along the road when it hit. There was no warning - no winds that got faster, no drizzle that became heavier. Suddenly the car was surrounded by torrential rain that moved in sheets in a straight line as the strong winds whipped it into a frenzy. I watched in horror as uprooted bushes and debris swept acorss in front of the car. Trees fell across the road. The car in front of me was hit by a tree. I managed to edge the car close into the gutter, turn around slowly, and crawl my way back along the other side of the street until I was able to get a degree of shelter between two buildings I had remembered at the shopping centre close by. For the next half hour I watched as the car park in front of me was demolished. Trees fell, debris was blown in against the cars. It was terrifying. The roar of the wind was indesribable. Then as quickly as it had started it had gone. As I drove back out into the road I was stunned by the devastation that had been wreaked in just those few minutes. Electric lines were down everywhere. Trees were uprooted and across the roads. Debris was everywhere. People in their cars were looking stunned. For the next three hours I tried to find a road clear enough to get me home. I arrived home to find the electricity gone and the yard a mess although the area where I lived had escaped the worst of the storm.
The next morning as I drove to work through the still devastated roads I became aware of my car making a strange noise which became rapidly worse as I drove over a bridge and made a right hand turn. I remembered that there was a muffler service shop at this place and managed to drive the car in there. There were no other customers which was most unusual at this hour. A serviceman was in the garage area and I asked him to look at my car. He put the car on the hoist and told me I had a tree branch through my muffler. He could not believe I had been able to drive home the night before or that I had been able to get as far as his service area that morning. I myself was still feeling amazed that it had happened right outside a muffler service area when it had been my muffler that had been the problem. I remembered that I had had a new muffler put in less than a year ago and that with labour it had cost me in excess of $300. I knew I only had $150 in my bank. I prayed to Sai Baba. Please swami help me. I asked the man if he had a muffler he could fit to my car and he said he did not have Honda mufflers in stock. They ordered them in. He asked me to wait while he went downstairs to ring and find out how long it would take to get one. He walked back up the stairs a few minutes later, his face white, carrying a muffler in his arms. He managed to whisper to me that he had a found just the muffler I needed lying on the bench downstairs, although he knew they did not have any. I asked how long it would take to put it on - too frightened to ask how much it might cost. He expressed surprise that none of his customers had yet arrived , but said becuase of this he could fit it for me straight away. He proceeded to do so and within 15 minutes I had a new muffler. Hiding my nervousness I then asked how much I owed him. He said $150 which was the amount - less $10 - that I had in the bank. I paid him and got ready to drive out sending out a question to Sai Baba to let me know if he had arranged all this. As I drove to the kerb waiting for a break in the traffic ,the first car to go past had a number plate with the word "SAI" written on it and the car following had the word "RAM" on it. I needed no more convincing of the miracle that had just occurred. N.B. "Sai Ram" is the way Sai Baba devotees often greet each other.


While in India at KodaiKanal I was present at a darshan when a busload of disabled children arrived to see Sai Baba. They were assisted into the darshan area and seated along in front of where I was sitting.
Now, sitting in the front row near where Baba walks is a highly prized position, so it was interesting to watch the reactions of most of the people whose front position had been usurped. Most were resentful or annoyed, and asked that the children be seated elsewhere. A few were accepting and assisted the children to be seated comfortably. There were grumbles of resentment and annoyance periodically as we waited for Baba to appear.

As he came out of the ashram door the children seated in front of me started to sing to him - a song they had obviously rehearsed for the occasion. As they sang they gazed in adoration at the tiny orange robed figure as it approached them down the path.

Sai Baba walked over to the children. He looked at each one with such love in his gaze that it brought tears to my eyes. He manifested vibutti for each child, rubbing their cheeks or patting their heads as he gave it to them. When he returned inside a tray of candy and gifts was sent out to be shared among the children. They were beaming with happiness and delight.

Sia Baba had shown us all how to put love into action, without uttering a single word. All those who had been complaining earlier were silenced. Now as I looked at them they were smiling, some with tears in their eyes, and as the children were gathered in preparation to leaving, there were many willing hands offered in assistance.

online source: http://home.iprimus.com.au

Sai Itinerary

Please note: Generally, Sathya Sai Baba does not make His travel plans known in advance. For example, residents of Prasanthi Nilayam may find out that He is going to Brindavan only when He is actually leaving or even a few hours later. All the information we have about His travels is given below.

Swami usually spends most of the year in Puttaparthi, but He does visit Brindavan (near Bangalore) and Kodaikanal. Going by Swami's past travels, the following may give you an idea for planning purposes, but there is no guarantee that this itinerary will be followed.

  • January: Swami is usually in Puttaparthi until mid to end January.
  • February-March: Swami may go to Brindavan for a couple of weeks in early February, but He usually will be in Puttaparthi.
  • March:By the end of March, Swami usually goes to Brindavan.
  • April: Swami usually goes to Kodaikanal. The climate in Kodaikanal is very good at that time. A hill station, it is cool in the daytime but cold at night.
  • May-June: Swami is usually in Brindavan. He sometimes leaves for Prasanthi Nilayam about mid June.
  • July-September: Swami is usually in Puttaparthi.
  • October-November: Swami is usually in Puttaparthi where Dasara and the Birthday celebrations take place. He may go to Brindavan between Dasara and the Birthday celebrations.
  • December: Swami is usually in Puttaparthi for Christmas, but He may go to Brindavan in the first week of December (after the Birthday celebrations in November) and return before Christmas. However, He has spent Christmas in Brindavan in a few of the past years.

Our humble thanks: For information excerpted and collected form from online web sources: SBOI group /saibabaforbeginners.com/ sathyasai.org/ srisathyasai.org.in