Waterfalls and temples. Photographs and pilgrimages. Beauty and faith. Tenkasi, the largest town in Tenkasi District on the Madurai-Kollam highway, is a tourist’s delight. Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, with the River Chittar flowing through, Tenkasi is quaintly charming.
Tenkasi strikes everyone with a strange familiarity even if one has never been there, simply because the picturesque locales are a favourite with filmmakers. From waterfall scenes to temple backgrounds, Tenkasi offers it all.
A temple town
Established by Pandyan kings, Tenkasi gets its name – ‘Kasi of the South’ - from the famous Kasi Viswanathar temple built by Parakrama Pandyan after Lord Viswanatha appeared in his dream. Restored in the 1990s, the temple remains a focal point of life and tourism.
Tenkasi is home to another magnificent place of worship – the Kulasekharanathar Temple. The Kannimaramman Temple, with its adjoining pond, and the Anggalap Parameshwari Temple are other points of religious and historical significance.
Apart from temples, numerous waterfalls dot the region, with the Courtallam or Kutralam Falls being the most famous. Stunningly beautiful, this is one of the must-visits of Tamil Nadu.
Here, the River Chittar cascades over a drop of 92 metres at varying volumes. Peraruvi, the biggest, falls from 60 metres and is right inside Courtallam town. The waters of Courtallam are believed to have medicinal properties as it flows through forests of herbs. The Kutralanathar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located near the falls and draws flocks of tourists.
The Chitraruvi Falls is a favoured bathing spot. Other falls such as Shenbagadevi and Thenaruvi are enticing for the more adventurous tourists as one has to hike through forest land to reach them. A temple to Shenbagadevi Amman stands near the Shenbagadevi falls and attracts devotees during the full moon. The Honey Falls or Thenaruvi, with its beautiful horseshoe shape, is considered the purest and can only be reached after a tough 30-minute trek. July to October is the best time to experience the waterfalls at their fullest.
The Gundaru Dam is in the district, about 7 kilometres from Sengottai. Though small in size, this is a favoured picnic spot as it is surrounded by the lake and hills. Close by is also the Adavinainar Dam and Reservoir in Mekkarai village. Another picturesque spot, this is also a popular picnic destination.
Sundarapandiapuram, a small village, is another tourist favourite with its picturesque sunflower fields that have been featured in several songs, movies, sitcoms and documentaries, including Mani Ratnam’s Roja. The Rukmani Sathyabama Sameda Sri Rajagopala Swamy temple, the oldest temple in Sundarapandiapuram, is said to be around 4000 years old. Legends say that the idol of Raja Gopala belonged to Sage Kanwar's ashram. Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple and Sri Muppudathi Amman temple are the other famous temples of the town.
On the food trail
Being a temple town, Tenkasi has a wondrous array of vegetarian food. But non-vegetarian food is also easily found with fresh fish catches being the tourist favourites.
Tenkasi is well connected.
By air: Trivandrum International Airport, about 122 km away, is the nearest
By rail: connected to all major Tamil Nadu cities and towns
By road: regular bus services ply, taxis and private cars are easily available.
Hotel Tamil Nadu, Courtallam
Opp. to Parasakthi Women’s College
Contact. No. 91 9176995821
Hotel Tamil Nadu, Courtallam
Contact. No. 91 9176995821
Courtallam Boat House
Contact : 91 4633 283003
For booking: www.ttdconline.com
Tamil Nadu Tourism: www.tamilnadutourism.tn.gov.in
Social Media: @tntourismoffcl
The delectable cuisine of Tamil Nadu is a culinary style which dates to antiquity and has since influenced the other states of South and South-East Asia.8 months ago
Next time you visit Tamil Nadu explore beyond idli, vada and sambar. Instead savour each regional cuisine that boasts of unique cooking methods and spices. They have been backed with heirloom family recipes, ancient culture and traditions, community history and external influences.8 months ago
No meal can be treated as complete without the desserts. The indulgent desserts of Tamil Nadu are exquisite and nutritious. Most are healthy preparations using less sugar and include healthy proteins like green gram and chickpea.8 months ago
The great Chola king, Rajaraja II (1143 CE –1173 CE), built the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, which is ranked only third after the two famed Chola temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram. Read more...8 months ago
Dazzling through the woods on top of hills of the Eastern ghats is the road that bends the most. Located in the high altitudes of the Eastern ghats, the Kolli Hills derive their name from the Goddess who guards the hills-ettukai Amman, also called the Kollipavai. Run wild and free in the unrevealed greenery.8 months ago
Check out these five lesser-known but pristine hill stations of Tamil Nadu that will certainly leave you spellbound. Explore the unexplored.8 months ago
The southernmost tip of India is a charming town blessed with beautiful temples, historical monuments and serene beaches. Kanniyakumari has been and remains a preferred destination for tourists. Part 5 of an Outlook special on tourism in Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
A district steeped in the history of faith, with links to epic legends as well as to modern-day visionaries, Ramanathapuram delights those who love history, gladdens the hearts of nature lovers and soothes the souls of spiritual seekers. Part 6 of an Outlook Special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
Synonymous with stainless steel, Salem’s other charms usually go unremarked. About 160 km from Coimbatore, this small city on the route to many better-known getaway destinations is overlooked by tourists. While religious travellers flock here, Salem is as significant for its lush greenery, waterfalls and rich history. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on unknown tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
Replete with a unique history and heritage, nature and nuance, culture and cuisine are the town and district of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on lesser-known tourist spots takes you on a tour of this unforgettable destination.5 months ago
One of the top hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal has many well-known attractions. Yet, in spite of its popularity, it remains a serene island and retains the simple charm of a century ago. Part 10 of an Outlook special series on tourist spots of Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
With its magnificent houses of worship and its heavy industries, the symbols of its past glory and the titles of its present significance, Trichy is an intriguing city. Part 11 of an Outlook Special series on Tamil Nadu tourism.5 months ago
Bustling and yet soulful, ancient and yet modern, cultured and progressive, Madurai epitomises the best of Tamil Nadu. Part 12 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
Enveloped in an ambience of spirituality, Thiruvannamalai is one of the most serene destinations in Tamil Nadu. Part 13 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.5 months ago
Tamil Nadu has a plethora of towns famous for their temples. But Kumbakonam is special among these. Part 14 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.5 months ago
Yet another beautiful temple town built by the Cholas, Chidambaram has a quaint charm in addition to its spiritual significance. Part 15 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.5 months ago
Endless greenery, unique temples, interesting festivals and wildlife reserves make Pollachi in Tamil Nadu an intriguing destination. Part 17 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.5 months ago
This Independence Day weekend over the Bay of Bengal, kite history will be created! The state of Tamil Nadu welcomes kite flying culture on the most historic weekend of India as it celebrates 75 years of Independence!4 months ago
Azure waters, clear skies, and shimmering sand. Tamil Nadu is where each beach lover's heaven exists4 months ago
Discover the beauty left behind by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, the Scottish, and the Irish in Tamil Nadu4 months ago
Chennai, the steamy capital of Tamil Nadu, is huge, sometimes hectic, and a perfect introduction to the wonderful, frenetic energy of South India. The city sprawls for miles along one of the world’s largest urban beaches, dotted with temples, museums, Raj relics, and restaurants serving what could well be the world’s finest vegetarian cuisine.4 months ago
Often overlooked by the crowds who flock to Delhi and Mumbai, fascinating, foodie Chennai is the gateway to India’s steamy south. Within easy striking distance of the Tamil Nadu capital are timeless temple towns, coastal nature reserves, old colonial outposts and beach resorts that are as popular for monsoon watching as sitting on the sand.4 months ago
In the beautiful state of Tamil Nadu, is a quaint town that is typical as well as atypical of the state in several intriguing ways. Part 17 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in Tamil Nadu looks at Karaikudi3 months ago
In our times of matchbox apartments and crowded parks, uninspired design and soulless malls, Chennai offers up a slice of both grandeur and grace through its several heritage buildings reflective of colonial times. Part 18 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in Tamil Nadu3 months ago
Chennai is graced with a rich architectural legacy from the times of British colonial rule. Part 19 of an Outlook special on lesser-known aspects of Tamil Nadu as a tourist destination.3 months ago
Much before the British established their stronghold over India, the Portuguese had established trade relations with the country. Heritage buildings in various parts of India reflect traces of Portuguese architectural traditions. While Goa might come first to mind, Tamil Nadu also has quite a few imprints of Portuguese culture. Part 20 of an Outlook special on lesser-known places of interest in the state.3 months ago
The imprint of the Portuguese in Tamil Nadu has a long history that predates the British, the Dutch and the French. This is still evident today in some churches and other buildings that remain, offering travellers who are interested in history and heritage an intriguing glimpse of our past. Part 21 of an Outlook special on lesser-known travel ideas in Tamil Nadu.3 months ago
The East India Company and the British Empire’s presence in Tamil Nadu caused an influx of officers, officials and men from not just England but Scotland and Ireland. This also left a distinctive and beautiful imprint on the landscape of Tamil Nadu, especially its architecture. Part 22 of an Outlook special on lesser-known travel ideas in Tamil Nadu.3 months ago
Marghazi. From the name of an auspicious month to a word synonymous with a month-long festival of music and dance today, as the global cultural cognoscenti will attest to. Part 23 of an Outlook special on tourism in Tamil Nadu gives you a peek into one of the world’s biggest music festivals.3 months ago
The Shore Temple. Magnificent sculptures. Windswept beaches. The whisper of waves. That is Mahabalipuram every day. But, for a month every year, it becomes a stage for the tinkle of anklets, the beat of the drum and the glorious sight of dancers in tandem. Part 24 of an Outlook special series on the tourism events and destinations of Tamil Nadu - the Indian Dance Festival.3 months ago