The Kookal caves are ancient rock shelters that show traces of and are believed to be home to the descendants of the original Palaiyar (meaning "old ones") tribes who used to wear leaf clothing. The caves are overhanging slabs of different types of metamorphic rocks called charconite and granulite. Till the mid-1980s, over 30 families resided on the hill top, where a small temple is located.
To reach Kukkal Caves, travel by bus from Kodaikanal to Poombarai and begin walking northwest. After walking through geranium plantations, and pine and wattle forest, the Kukkal Forest Rest house can he reached. From there is a 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) trail to the Kookal natural rock cave formations on a hill top. This stretch is leech-infested and best avoided during the monsoon.