The club in its present form officially came into being on the 1st July 1887 and the club house was opened for use in May 1889. The first life members of the Kodaikanal Club were already members of the Kodaikanal Reading room and Lawn Tennis Club, which came into existence from about 1870. Though this was the parent body, it was wound up after the Kodaikanal Club was established.
The club owes a great deal to these original life members for their initiative and prescience. The first president was E. Turner Esq., and the club’s first honorary secretary C.H. MounseyEsq. The Lord Bishop of Madras was made an honorary member. At the time, there were 10 life members and 10 ordinary members, which included the President and Honorary Secretary.
In step with time, the club shed its rigid tenets governing membership and effected radical changes to its constitution. At the 1969 General Body Meeting several outdated rules were erased and fresh changes incorporated as found necessary. In the beginning there had been a ban on all Sunday games but this was lifted in 1927. The early 1930’s saw the rule on dancing relaxed. Dances commencing on Saturday evening were permitted to continue until 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The present rule however continues to forbid a dance to commence on a Sunday despite a worldwide change in attitudes. The rules governing the social and economic welfare of the club however have been under constant revision.
Ladies were first permitted to use the Chambers in 1935 when married couples were allowed to occupy these rooms, and in 1940 the rule was extended to cover unaccompanied ladies. Members of the Princely families of India, Peers of the Realm, royalty of European nationality, governors, prelates, judges, generals and politicians, along with industrialists, businessmen, clergymen, planters and sportsmen have been associated with the club. In 1890 members of the Kodaikanal Club formed the present Boat Club and remained closely connected with it for a few years.
Kodaikanal is a prominent hill resort. Situated on the southern pinnacle of the upper Palani hills near Madurai in Tamil Nadu, it is surrounded by rocks, woods and serene lakes. It has increasingly become the desired destination for tourists across the Nation. At an altitude of 2,133 metres the municipality spreads across an area of 21.45 square kilometres. Mostly agrarian from its earliest days, it is famous for its pears and hill bananas. It also sports a variety of plums.
Considered to have one of the most equitable climates of any hill station at this altitude, January can see temperatures plummet to zero with ice forming at the edges of the lake. During the summer from March to May temperatures remain between 11 and 23 degrees. The winter, between December and February, sees temperatures ranging from 0 to 18 degrees.