Sightseeing places of South India which I have visited and Enjoyed!!! - Tour 2
In this hub I am going to share my second trip which I enjoyed a lot. At this point I would like to thank my friend Vinodh who arranged for this trip and made us to enjoy a lot.
Initially I would like to say you the places which we visited – Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, Papanasam, Agasthiyar Falls, BaaNa Theertham Falls, Manimuttar Dam, Karaiyar Dam, and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
This time our tour group strength was reduced to 6. We guys started our adventurous trip on Friday night from Chennai after finishing our work (Please don’t laugh, we really had work on that day). We boarded into train from Chennai Egmore Railway station around 8 Pm. Vinodh has bought us dinner for us. I want to say about him, he is really a good cook. He made us cup idly for us. We finished our dinner first as we all were tired after a hard day (Don’t laugh again!!).
We people took snaps in the train and we all started to play cards. Some friends were busy in their phone updating their loved ones. Then we guys had a small walk into other compartments just to relax!!!
Then by around 10 Pm we all slept. By morning 5.30 Am we reached the Temple town of South India – Madurai. Then we took an Auto to the guest house which was arranged by one of our friend Refoi (Who is a native of Madurai). The Guest house was very good and we all refreshed in the guest house. We all took some snaps over there. Then Refoi has bought his car and we started our Journey towards Meenakshi Amman temple.
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated toand his consort, Goddess Parvati (in the form of Meenakshi). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built in 1600. In 2009, the temple was selected one of the Seven Wonders of India by NDTV. The tallest temple is 51.9 metres (170 ft) tall.
Our friends worshiped the god and we started our journey towards Papanasam which is located in Trinelveli district (A District located at Tamil Nadu in South India) by 10.45 Am. The distance from Madurai and Trinelveli is 154 Kms which will take 4 hrs in our car. So we had our breakfast at a hotel in the national highway. We also some snacks to bite in the car while we travel.
The car was drove by Refoi. He is a good driver. (On our previous trip we had Vijay who is a great driver who drove the car in 110 Kmph). On all our trips we had good drivers who are well trained in driving the car fast and safely.
By 2.45 Pm we reached Trinelveli and had our Lunch in a hotel. Then we moved towards Papanasam.
Papanasam is a small village. It is 60kms from Tirunelveli. The river Tamiraparani flowing from the Western Ghats reaches the plains at Papanasam. While flowing down the rocky bed it forms into many falls. The Agasthiyar falls being the popular one. We saw many paddy fields on both side of our road towards Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
By 4.45 Pm we reached Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Vinodh have got permission from Forest department to stay in their forest guest house. Before we go to the guest house we decided to go to Karaiyar Dam first, as by 5 Pm boating to BaaNa Theertham Falls will be stopped.
Baana Theertham is a waterfall which is located in the Karaiyar dam. He only mode of transport to reach the falls is by boat only. It will be a 30 mins boat drive to reach the falls. We took an individual boat. The cost of boating is INR 300, which is nominal. The boat travel was very exciting. We all enjoyed a lot and took snaps (More funny snaps when we see now!!).
Please look into the below link to see some videos on boating to Baaba Theertham waterfalls.
We reached to the top of the waterfalls. The place was drizzling by the force of the water coming from the falls. The Tamil film song “Chinna Chinna Asaai...” from the movie ROJA – music composed by Oscar winner A.R.Rehman was pictured in this falls only. Then by around 6 Pm we reached to the banks of Kaaraiyar dam. There was a lady who was preparing Fish fry (The fish was caught in the dam). The fish was very spicy and by seeing her preparation we all were tempted and we all ate the fish fry. She had a good business on that day. Then we ordered fresh fish to her which will be bought by us next morning.
Then we all moved to the forest guest house by 7.00 Pm. Rooms had been kept ready for us. We all refreshed our self. The guest house also had a cook and a supervisor. The guest house was very good. It was very near to the bank of the river (This River was originated from Baana Theertham falls). Friday it had rained a lot in the place. So the river had full water and we were able to hear of the sound of the water moving in the river when we sat in our room itself.
The cook and the supervisor were very pleasant and they provided us a fresh tea. The cook asked us what menu do we want for dinner and we all opted for chapattis. The supervisor said that we can have our dinner and get ready by 10 Pm in the night, so we can go into forest for night safari. We all were excited for the trip and we all started to chat on different topics (At the same time we were playing cards as we don’t want to waste the time).
Then by 8.30 Pm the hot chapattis were ready with vegetable kuruma (An Indian dish). Then we all enjoyed our dinner. Then we all went into the safari dress for going into the forest to meet the animals at nighttime.
Initially we had given some instructions by forest officers about what we should do and don’t in the safari. They gave us the instructions like not get down of the car and should not disturb the animals. They also provided us a guide who will take us to the place usually were the animals like Tiger, deer, bear will roam around in the night.
We started our Safari with the guide. The guide is born and bought up in the forest. He is also live in the village near the forest. He was around 24 yrs old. So he got easily mingled with us. He said more info about the forest. He asked Refoi to drive the car slowly as by hearing the sound of the car the animals will get frightened and go inside. We were very eager to watch at least one tiger (Particularly Vinodh) in this tour.
The guide had a power light in his hand which took the Power from the car battery. When we hear any sounds in the bushes of the forest the guide would make the light into the side from where we got the sound. He said us that the eyes of animals will glow like a diamond in the dark. So when we seen any element glittering we use to say him to show the light on it. All our eyes where seeing the whole 360o to see at least a tiger today, while car was moving slowly. Vinodh saw something glittering in the back side of the car. As he said this we all turned back and saw, the guide also showed the light on it. It was Polythene cover glittered when the car’s rear light fall on it. By seeing the cover we all started to laugh and tease Vinodh. It was a humorous even now when we think about it. We saw more deer’s which were eating the grass and relaxing in herds. Finally we were tired and disappointed without seeing Tiger. Once we stopped at a place where the guide said it is the [place where usually tigers would cross. We waited there for 15 minutes and went with a disappointment.
On the way to our guest house (The time was around 1 Pm in the mid night) guide said to stop the car suddenly and said that there is a watch tower by showing his hand towards one direction. He said the car could not go into the direction which he showed. The watch tower is 250 feet distance from the car. He said we can only go by walk. It was midnight and there was no light. The torch which the guide has also cannot be used as the power for the torch is from Car battery. So we don’t have any source of light. The direction to which the guide pointed was full of trees and bushes. So we friends started to think whether to take a risk. All were silent for a while and was thinking. Some friends were not even wearing shoes. Finally making the courage we took the decision to walk into the forest towards the direction of the Watch tower around 1 Pm at night. After 10 minutes we reached the watch tower. We climbed into the steps and reached the top of the watch tower. We spent 30 minutes there. Then we returned to the car. If we think about the travel to watch tower it was exciting even now. We used only the light from the display of our mobile phones. Finally around 2 Pm we reached the forest guest house. Our guide said by 6 Am in the morning we can go a small trekking into the forest.
On the next day which is Sunday we got up around 7 Am. We had our breakfast prepared by the cook. The breakfast was awesome. At the mean while myself, vinod and Refoi went and bought fresh fish from the lady whom we met last evening. We gave the fish to our cook and asked him to cook for us. Then we started our trekking into the forest with the guide while we were walking he gave us more info on the forest like the rare spices of flora and fauna. We walked for about 3.5 Kms into the forest and he showed us a waterfalls which is very calm. We 7 people (including the guide) were only present there and we enjoyed a lot. We had a nice bath and some friends also demonstrated their water gymnastics. Then after spending for 2.5 hrs we returned to the guest house around 12 noon. While returning also we had a chance to see some deer’s. we had some fun while trekking and took some snaps in the mid of forest. So totally for 7 kms we walked on the day.
Then we all refreshed and had our lunch. The lunch was rice, fish gravy, fried fish and Curd. The lunch was also very good. Then we vacated the guest house by 1 Pm. Our car moved towards Agasthiyar Falls. There we spent around 1 hour were it was so calm. The place was having many monkeys which are very night.
While we return from the Agasthiyar Falls the road was very calm and no people were there. So we stopped the car at one place and we all started to dance for the music played by the music player in the car. The experience was so good. Then we started our journey on the way we stopped our car in Manimuttar Dam. The dam was so calm and there was a canal from the dam which was only 5 feet deep. So we had a swim in the canal. We played some games in the water like having a swimming completion against the flow of water etc.
Then we started our journey towards Trinelveli. We have to catch the train to Chennai from Trinelveli railway station. So Refoi drove the car fast and at the mean while safely. The train was at 8 Pm. We reached the station by 7.57 Pm.
We all enjoyed the trip a lot. By reading this we all will experience the enjoyment even now.
Friends I would suggest you people also to reach this place and enjoy a lot. If you travel to India you should travel to this place which is awesome and calm. You will feel the beauty of the nature in the middle of happiness.
If anyone wants to know the details to reach this place contact me, I can help you to enjoy.
Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve:
Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), situated in the Southern Western Ghats in Tirunelveli district, in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the second largest protected area in Tamil Nadu State. This reserve was created in 1988 by combining Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km), both established in 1962. Notification of 77 km of parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests in adjacent Kanyakumari district, added to the reserve in April 1996, is pending. A 400 km (154.4 sq mi) core area of this reserve has been proposed as a National Park.
How to reach:
By Air: Trivandrum Airport is 200 KM from Mundanthurai and 140 KM from Kalakad. Madurai Airport is 200 KM from Mundanthurai and 210 KM from Kalakad.
By Rail: The nearest railway station, Tirunelveli is 50 KM from Mundanthurai and 45KM from Kalakad..
By Road: This reserve has access by road to Thirukarangudi, Kalakad, Papanasam and Sivasailam which are 50 to 55 KM away from the District Headquarters Tirunelveli. Buses are plying to reach Mundanthurai and Upper Kodayar and these roads pass through the Tiger Reserve.
Places of Interest:
Waterfalls: There are 3 important waterfalls which attract lakhs of tourists every year. They are Agasthiyar falls and Banatheerthum falls adjoining Karayar Dam in Mundanthurai Range and Manimuthar falls in Ambasumdhram Range.
Religious Tourism: Sorimuthu Iyyanarkoil in Mundanthurai Range, Nambi koil in Thirukkarankudi Range and Golaknath Temple in Kadayam Range are important tourist destinations.
- Thalayanai – 6 KM. – Karungal Kasam/ Woodhouse and Dormitary 7.5 KM. Mudul
- Iruppan W. House – 7 KM – Mulakalasam – 15 KM – Kakachi
- (Log house) – 14 KM Upper Kodaiyar – Sengaltheri ( R. House, W.house, I.Shed) – 14 KM - K.Range – K.R.F.
- Netterikal (No halt) – 8 KM – Thirukurankudi Range K.R.F.
- Narakad (No halt) – 19 KM- Nambikoil (W.House)
- Kannikatti FRH – 21 KM. – Pandipatti
- Mundanthurai – (18th KM. Vadamadi RH) – 24 KM Valaiyar
- Karaiyar – 4 KM - Sevalar (E.B.) Rest House
- Kalakad Range – K.R.F. – Sengaltheri R.H. Dormitory – 10 KM- Mulakalasam
· Forest Rest Houses: Mundanthurai,Kalakad(Sengaltheri) and Kuthiravotti
CHIEF CONSERVATOR OF FORETS & FIELD
PROJECT TIGER, KALAKAD MUNDUNTHURAI TIGER SANCTUARY, NGO COLONY,
TIRUNELVELI 627 007