Sites to See
Andipatti: Andipatti is a taluk headquarters, comprising a number of villages including small hamlets in the Ghat section of Varushanad hill ranges. Handlooms and textiles are popular here.
Mavoothu: The main attraction in Mavoothu is the Vellappar Temple. This holy shrine is situated in the Varushanad hill ranges, 20 km from Andipatti. Nestling among the hills, the temple is located atop a peak, surrounded by natural vegetation. Transport is available up to the foot hills only. Rain water gathers around the mango trees near this temple and flows down hill in torrents. This has given the place the name "mavoothu" which in Tamil stands for "spring of the mango grove". This place has a perennial water source. Legend says that the main vigraha (idol) of this temple was discovered by the local tribes called Paliyars while the temple was constructed by the then Kandamanur Zamindar. The temple has shrine of Vinayaka and Saptakannikas. It is believed that a ritual bath in the spring and eating food cooked in the water will cure the incurable of diseases. Puja timings are: 7.30 am to 8.30 am and 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
The important festivals of Adi Amavasya (Blue moon) and Thai Amavasya are celebrated with gaiety. There is also an annual festival in the month of Chithirai.
Devadanapatti: The main shrine in Devadanapatti is Kamatchi Amman Temple. It is situated on the banks of the Manjal River. This temple is 3 km from Devadanapatti in Theni district. In this temple, the doors to the sanctum sanctorum are never opened, and all the pujas are offered only to the portals. The special puja performed in the evening to the accompaniment of local musical instruments is a spectacular audio-visual feast. The important festivals in Kamatchi Amman Temple are Masi Maham, Shivarathri, which falls in February-March.
Balasubramanya Temple: One of the important temples in Periyakulam is Arulmigu Balasubramanya Temple. This was constructed by Rajendra Chola nearly 2,000 years ago. King Rajendra Chola while hunting in Agamalai near the banks of the Varaha River inadvertently killed a sow which was suckling its young ones. Seeing the hungry piglets, Lord Muruga fed them. King Rajendra Chola constructed this temple in memory of this divine event. Since Brahma theertha runs in this river it is believed that any incurable disease is cured by a bath in this river. The old name of Periyakulam is Kuzhanthai Maanagaram.
Sothupparai Dam: Sothupparai dam is located 12 km from Periyakulam across the Varaha River. It is a beautiful picnic spot.
Kumbakkarai Falls: Comparatively less known, these falls offer a breathtaking view. Situated on the foothills of the Kodaikkanal hills, the falls are located 8 km from Periyakulam. The water from these falls is full of goodness of minerals and herbs. There are two stages in these falls. At the first stage water gathers in huge rocky recesses which are variously named after wild animals such as tiger, elephant, snake, etc., before falling as the main fall.
Veerapandi: Gowmariamman Temple, which is located here, attracts many pilgrims. This 14th century temple was built by the Pandya King Veerapandi. The Pandya king is said to have regained his vision by praying to Gowmariamman and Kanneeswaramudaiyar. Close by the temple, the perennial Mullai River runs its course. The temple is located nearly 8 km from Theni.
Chinnamanur: This was formerly known as Harikesarinallur and it is mentioned in Tholkappium. This municipal town is a business hub for the nearby villages. Weekly Shandy here is very popular. Shivagamiamman Temple located on the banks of the Mullai River is worth visiting.
Theertha Thotti: This natural spring is located on the Madurai-Kochi national highway between Theni and Bodinayakkanur. Subramanya Temple here is a popular pilgrim centre.
Suruli Falls: The Suruli Falls which fall from a height of 150 feet gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets to a depth of 40 feet, offering a spectacular sight of nature's raw and wild beauty. The dense forests that surround it provide an awesome backdrop. Facilities are available for men and women to bath separately in these falls. The special feature of the falls is that it is 'a year-round' fall. However, the best season to visit is June-October, when the thickness of the water column is astounding. The beauty of these falls finds mention in Tamil epic, Silappathikaram written by poet Ilango. Kailasanathar Temple Cave is located near Suruli Falls. There are 18 caves in and around the Suruli Falls. The Kailasanathar Cave Temple is situated 800 m above the falls and has a spring, which possesses water of curative powers. A Dargah named after Abubacker Masthan is another important place of worship in Suruli. This is the place where the body of Abubacker Masthan is interred. This is very close to the cave temple of Kailashanatha. Abubacker was a Muslim mystic who lived around the 1630s. Another temple for Lord Karthikeya is also located near the falls, which is called Suruli Vellappar Temple. Devotees carry pots of milk on Saturdays in the Tamil month of Chithirai to this temple.
Bodinayakkanur: Located on the foothills of the West Ghats, this town is popular for cardamom, mango and coffee market.
Bodi Mettu: A hill resort situated at a height of 4,500 feet, it is a most scenic place. It is 26 km from Bodinayakkanur.
Tiger Falls: A dainty falls on the route to Munnar between Bodi and Bodi Mettu from Theni.