Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its name in the Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest". Kodaikanal is referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism. As of 2011, the city had a population of 36,501.EtymologyIt is not known who first used this name or what they intended it to mean.The word Kodaikanal is an amalgamation of two words: kodai and kanal. The Tamil language has at least four possible interpretations of the name Kodaikanal.By pronouncing the first syllable of Kodaikanal with a long Tamil 'O', as in koe-dei, it means "summer", whilst the final two syllables kanal can mean "to see", rendering Kodaikanal as a "place to see in summer". Kodaikanal is a summer forest, and it is a place that the first missionaries used as a refuge to escape the overbearing and mosquito-ridden heat of the plains — a place that they would have counted on seeing in the summer!Kanal, in Tamil, can mean dense or closed forest. In this case, Kodai can have at least four meanings. By pronouncing Kodai with the long Tamil 'O' and short 'e', Ko-dai means "the end". Kodaikanal could mean "the end of the forest" which makes poetic and geographical sense — Kodaikanal is at the crown of the Palani Hills and is effectively surrounded and protected by thick forests.