The English Club, Kodaikanal, was established by British nationals in 1887 to cater to their social, recreational, literary and other cultural needs. Since approximately 1926 the amenities of the club were thrown open to non-British, particularly Indian, nationals with similar tastes. After 1970, ‘The English Club’s name was changed to ‘Kodaikanal Club’.
The English Club owes its origin to members of the Indian Civil Service Missionaries who were largely responsible for the development of Kodaikanal. Sir Vere Henry Levinge, Bt., M.S.C. (1819 – 1885), Collector of Madura, was one of a number of persons living in Madura District, who, during the mid eighteen hundreds, helped open up and greatly improve the settlement of Kodaikanal. He retired in 1867 and took up permanent resident at Pambar House and it was here that all parts of the then small but united community, civil and missionary, British and American, came together for their social gatherings. One can well imagine that talk and speculation during those now distant “At Homes’ and ‘Soirees’ must often have revolved round the need for a more permanent social centre, for by 1886/87 the American Madura Mission had contributed the piece of land upon which the Club now stands and subscriptions had been raised from which tennis courts were made and the foundations of the Clubhouse completed.