The tranquil Kurinji Temple sits on the top of a mound overlooking the picturesque green hills of Kodaikanal. It’s a place to experience welcoming spirituality and admire the colorful Dravidian architectural style, which is common in South India. Kurinji Temple celebrates the Hindu god Lord Muruga and was built in the 1930s. It takes its name from the kurinji, a purplish-blue flower that blossoms once every 12 years on Kodaikanal’s hill slopes.
A major highlight of the temple is its main gopuram (gateway). Take time to appreciate the gateway’s multilevel tower adorned with intricately carved designs and brightly colored god icons. Observe the busy hive of activity outside the temple, where approaching pilgrims purchase flowers and incense from the animated hawkers. Step through the huge wooden doors to feel a sense of serenity and check out the various shrines. Watch respectfully as devotees ask for blessings and lay gifts at the feet of the deities.
Many people come to the temple for its spectacular views. Gaze out across terraced fields and undulating landscapes. Spot the surrounding Palani Hills and the rooftops of small hamlets. Ask a local about the next estimated blossoming of the kurinji flower, when the hills are covered with a carpet of vividly colored blue flowers.
The temple is about a 10-minute drive from the town center of Kodaikanal. Auto-rickshaws, public buses and taxis provide easy and regular access to the temple throughout the day. Alternatively, walk to the temple following the pleasant 40-minute uphill path from Kodaikanal Lake. While at the temple, be sure to browse the cluster of handicraft shops for wooden sculptures and religious paraphernalia, among other souvenir items.
Kurinji Temple is open daily and admission is free. This is an active temple so dress appropriately and be respectful of the worshippers.