Kodaikanal owes its personality and fame to the American Missionaries and British Bureaucrats who recognized and appreciated its worth and established it as a renowned summer getaway. The present day Kodaikanal reveals the demeanor that depicts the fine spectrum of erstwhile tribal life, medieval British and American influence and contemporary modern Tamil character. The maximum population of Kodaikanal comprises of the Tamilians, while the indigenous tribes known as Puliyans and Paliyans make the minority section of the inhabitants. These aboriginal clans dwelling in this hilly area since 1st century AD are hunters and gatherers by origin, but now they are increasingly being incorporated into the main stream community life. Constantly frequented by the tourists from every part of the globe today, Kodaikanal mirrors a colorful populace all round the year.
The chief languages spoken in Kodaikanal are Tamil and English. The economy of the residents here mainly depends upon the tourism industry, agriculture, plantations and cattle husbandry. Apart from its captivating scenic beauty and pleasing climate, Kodaikanal is principally admired by the tourists for its special shopping delights such as assorted cheeses, home made chocolates, herbal tea, coffee, spices, marshmallows, jam, peanut butter, brown bread, muffins, eucalyptus oil, herbal oils, aromatic oils, winter oil, flowers, fruits, woolen clothes, Tibetan warm clothes, shawls, leather items, handloom, handicrafts, embroidery, ceramic items, toys, jewellery, bone and walnut wood articles, and so on.
Major festivals celebrated at Kodaikanal include Pongal, Jallikkattu, Miladi Sherif, Mother Salette Festival, Natyanjali Festival, Chithirai Festival, Tourist Fair, Summer Festival, Dance Festival, Tea and Tourism Festival, Deepavali, Christmas and so on.
Pongal, celebrated in the month of January is a four days harvest festival that begins with the last day of the Tamil month Margazhi