We went there during last week of March, we did not have a problem getting permit, we went to DFO office around 9 AM still able to get it. ( Overall Kodaikanal is less crowded at this time due to board exams + it is a weekday). The problem is finding parking for your car near the office, it is better to park on the main road and walk to the office.
About the drive:
The road conditions are decent and drive was scenic with several view points, stopped and clicked photos, we parked near the guard room at the lake and walked to the point with access to water and spent couple hours. Both my daughters played around, they were happy to spot some fishes, walked a bit along the lake shore. Overall we spent some quality time with kids.
The water levels are low due to lack of rains, the surroundings were looking very dry.
Bathrooms were not accessible, again no water is cited as reason.
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