Courtallam – ” SPA OF THE SOUTH ” (59 km from Tirunelveli.)
The “spa of the south”, is situated at an elevation of about 167 meters on the Western Ghats. It is an excellent health resort. The picturesque surroundings with the backdrops of cloud capped spurs of the western ghats lend an unusual charm to the falls. The rapturous scene of the falls gets heightened by the cool breeze that wafts during seasonal months (June to September) along with intermittent drizzle and sunlight. There are eight places where water pours down torrentially with varying velocity and force according to the height of the precipice. They are Main Falls, Five Falls, the Shenbhagadevi Falls, the Tiger Falls, old Courtallam Falls, Honey Falls, Orchard falls and Sitraruvi.
Visitors to this place like to have bath in these falls from dawn to dusk. One can have bath at anytime in a day and one would not get sneezing or cold as the water is said to possess medicinal qualities of the herbal plants grown in this mountain. Those suffering from rheumatic joints, chronic headache, nerve disorder get cured by a lengthy stay at Courtallam.
Manjolai, Kothaiyar & Kuthiravetti – Hill Station
Manjolai – Hill Station Manjolai is 57 km away from Tirunelveli and is at an elevation of 1162 sq. meter. There are ninny tea plantations in and around this place. Bombay Burma Tea estate is famous one in this area. About 4000 people work in these tea plantations.
Koonthankulam Birds Sanctuary ( 38 km from Tirunelveli )
The largest breeding water bird reserve in south India, having Koonthankulam and Kadankulam tanks with an extent of 129.33 hectares, attracts more than one lakh birds annually. The Koonthankulam community’s participation in protecting the birds from being poached by the hunters, forced the Department of Forest to declare it as sanctuary only in 1994. Anybody troubling the birds or their chicks was tonsured and then taken in a procession on a donkey.
As per the statistics available with the Forest Department, more than 43 water birds are visiting Koonthankulam every year in January or February and used to leave the place in July or August after nesting, hatching and nurturing the young ones. Large water birds like Painted Stork nest throughout the year annually around Konthankulam village as well as in the trees inside the tank.
Dabchick or Little Grebe, Grey Pelican, Large Cormorant, Lesser Cormorant, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Darter or Snake Bird, Large Egret, Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Smaller or Medium Egret, Little Egret, Night Heron, Painted Stork, Openbill Stork, Small king fisher, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Spoonbill Duck, Cotton Teal or Pygmy Goose, Indian Moorhen, Purple Moorhen, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Bronze-winged Jacana, Brahminy Kite, White-breasted Water Hen, Black-winged Stilt, Red Lapwing, Pied Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher and Indian Pied Wagtail are some of the birds recorded at this sanctuary.
Moreover migratory birds such as Barheaded Goose, Pintail, Spotted Sand Piper, Green Sand Piper, Green Shank, Coot, White Stork, Large Flamingo, Common Sand Piper and Common Teal have also been sighted here.
Now, only 30 birds can be seen in the entire Koonthankulam tank while Kaadankulam is bone-dry and the birds’ squeaking has almost vanished.
Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve ( 47 Kms from Tirunelveli )
KMTR the 17th Tiger Reserve in India and the only one in Tamil Nadu, was declared as Tiger Reserve in 1988. This includes two contiguous Sanctuaries namely Kalakad Sanctuary and Mundanthurai Sanctuary and a part of Kanyakumari Sanctuary. The total area of the Tiger Reserve is 895 Sq.KM. This Reserve has been identified as one among the Type-1 Tiger Conservation Units (TCU) representing the tropical moist evergreen forests worldwide.
The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest. Lion-tailed Macaque and common Langur are plenty. Trekking is allowed with the prior permission from the officials of Forest (wild life) Department. Accommodation is available at Forest Rest House at Sengaltheri with catering facilities. Season – September to March.
Banatheertham Falls – Karaiyar dam
Situated in the Western Ghats, Banatheertham is part of the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and lies above the Karaiyar dam. A 20-minute boat ride (costing Rs 20) takes one from the dam across the lake. A 10-minute trek takes one to the magnificent waterfalls.
Movies shot at this location :
Chinna Chinna Aasai/ Dil Hai Chota Sa from Roja (released in 1992)
Vallanadu Black Buck Sancturay
Vallanadu is located 18 Kms from Tirunelveli is aScrub forest which inhabits Blackbuck, spotted deer, Macaques, Jungle cat, Mangoose and hares. Vallanadu is the southernmost place in India where a natural population of Blackbuck exists. The Vallanadu Blackbuck Sanctuary is an isolated hillock with scrub forest in Toothukudi Revenue District situated on eastern side of Tirunelveli – Tuticorin highway. A learned man would immediately think how would the Blackbuck – dweller of plains ended up in hillock. This sanctuary can be visited through out the year. The whole plain area of Tamilnadu used to have large number of Blackbucks in the 19th century. The developmental pressures, poaching and agriculture has cornered them to four places now – Guindy National Park in Chennai; Mudumalai sanctuary near Masinagudi; Point Calimere sanctuary in Nagapattinam; and Vallanadu in Tuticorin.
The Venkatachalapathy temple at Krishnapuram village on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur main road about 12 km from Tirunelveli is one of the few specimens depicting the architectural marvel and grandeur. It is indeed a treasure house of stone sculptures. Many rare intricately carved sculptures made of granite stone are fine exhibits of architectural skill. This temple is dedicated to Lord Venkatachalapathy with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. The temple is complete in itself, since it is following the temple agamas.
Manimuthar Falls & Dam
Manimuthar Dam 47 Km from Tirunelveli. Gorgeous garden of Dam, pleasure boating. Water falls is 5 Km from dam through Zig Zag Ghat road. Manjolai Tea Estate having salubrious climate can he visited is 10 km from dam. Rest house is available in the dam.
Papanasam 42 km from Tirunelveli This holy place is on the western ghats of’ Pothigai Hill. It is close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Thamiraparani River where Siva and Parvathi appeared before the great saint Agasthiya. Hence the falls is popularly called the “Agasthiyar Falls”. To commemorate the visit of’ the divine couple, the Agasthiya temple was built there. Papanasam Dam is located 49 km away from Tirunelveli. This is a beautiful picnic spot.
Kumbarutti Falls 80 Km from Tirunelveli, 20 km from Courtalam via Parpozhi beautiful falls located at western glints along with natural swimming pool (Thadagam) 3 km before Achan Kovil.
2 km from Tirunelveli. It is a multi purpose museum located on Tirunelveli Thiruvananthapuram Road (NH7) at Palayamkottai. All kinds of Archaeological remaining can be seen. Entrance free. Museum Open 8.30 am to 5.30 p.m.
District Science Centre
The District Science Centre is a unique institution situated on the banks of Tamiraparani. Popularizing Science, calculating the spirit of enquiry, fostering creative talents and infusing scientific temper in life, are its objectives. This autonomous body is a unit of the National Council of Science Museums, attached to the Department (HRD) Government of India. This is one among the 124 centers in the country. The centre has permanent galleries on ocean; a semi permanent gallery on popular science and a six acre science park where numerous exhibits help create awareness of scientific lie development among the people. In addition to the above facilities the District Science Centre is also organizing the following programmes Mobile Science Exhibition, Planetarium. Film Show, Temporary Exhibitions, Science Drama and Science Fair.
Thiruvalluvar Two Tier Bridge
The two-tier Thiruvalluvar Bridge at Tirunelveli Junction avoids the railway line crossing and was opened for traffic since 1972. This type of two Tier Bridge constructed in Tirunelveli is the first of its kind in India.
– The total length of bridge is 800 meters.
– This two tier over bridge consists of 25 spans of which 13 are of bow string arch, each with a width of 30.30 meters and 12 are single tier R.C.C girder each having a width of 11.72 meters.
Other attractions in Nellai :
– Thamirabarani River
– Holy Trinity Cathedral (Oosi Gopuram)