Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Road trip to Kanyakumari from Bengaluru, 'To the CAPE' Part - 2

Direction to Tenkasi from Dindigul: Proceed on NH 7 till you reach Thirumangala ,continue on the bypass of Thirumangala on NH 7 till you get a crossing for NH 208, take  a right turn.Continue on NH208 till you reach Tenkasi . On the way, one will get Srivilliputtur .The primary landmark of Srivilliputtur is a11-tiered tower structure dedicated to the Lord of Srivilliputtur, known as Vatapatrasayee. The tower of this temple rises 192 feet high (64 meters) and is the official symbol of the Government of  Tamil Nadu.

About Tenkasi : It is located at the foothills of  the Western Ghats.Tenkasi is also know as 'Varanasi of she South'. It is home to the very famous Courtallam Falls  and Shiva temple dedicated to Kasi Viswanathar. The temple tower was built by king Parakirama Pandian in 1456  and the temple tower ,originally was172 feet tall . It was damaged in 1924  and rebuilt to a height of 163 feet . It has beautiful sculptures and also houses musical stone pillars, that emit notes of different pitch when tapped with fingers. The entrance is really grand, with heavy steps and unique pillars . Photography is prohibited . 
The Sahyadris
Tenkasi travel guide
The Grand Entrance and heavy steps

Then we  headed  towards to the Courtallam falls . This was the second important place to visit  in our itinerary after the cape. This place is also known as 'The Spa of  the South '. It has many falls.
7 falls
On the way to falls, there is a ticket counter .The ticket collector advised is to go to another place, the Papanasam falls since Courtallam and its neighbors actually did not have any water falling!! But ,we insisted on going and checking it out anyway.
Mud puddling (common emigrants butterfly)
And so, there it was! Or may be wasn't!!  The best season  to visit most of the falls is during monsoon or just after it. In South India, it is any time between July and December. Since we had nothing much to see here,we followed the route to Papanasam. 

About Papanasam : It is a holy place situated on the western ghats of Pothigai hills, about 42 kms from Tirunelveli. The natural beauty of this place is enhanced by the Water falls due to the river Tamparani (Thamiraparani).This place is located inside the Mundanthurai  Sanctuary. River Tamparani cascades into two waterfalls namely, the Panatheertham and Agasthiyar falls. Agasthiyar Hill Karaiyar Dam (Thamiraparani Dam) is the dam built across the river Tamparani .
Not to miss: The Falls, dam with boating facilities  and  the wildlife sanctuary with great chances of sighting  a Nilgiri Langur.
Agasthiyar Falls

Stone inscriptions near the temple
Soothing and healthy drink (nice and natural way to beat the heat)
Nilgiri Langurs
View of Western Ghats
The Road
Back Waters, the Route to Pannatheertham
Initial view of the Panatheertham Falls 
The Boat Ride

Panatheertham falls
Magical Rains
Pirates of the Panatheertham
In and Around
Invariably, to our notice or may be it is so, all falls in Tamil Nadu have a provision for bathing under the falls. This place took away all the disappointment of Courtallam falls . We had the reward for our patience. Panatheertham was indeed magical to us. The boat ride across the river was the most beautiful experience. It started to drizzle mid way during the boat ride and the picture looked perfect. There was nothing more we could ask for. Here on, we decided to head towards the Cape to catch the sunset. But we were late and so missed it. Back to the lodge, we rested, had our dinner and slept early to catch the sunrise.

Day 2 : Total kms : 204 . 
To be capped ..........................................

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