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Excursions

Tiruchendur

Tenkasi (53 km):
The name itself implies that this town is the Kasi (Varanasi) of the South. The flagstaff of the temple is noteworthy for its sculptural beauty and is 400 years old.

Papanasam (42 km): This holy place is on the Pothigai hills of the Western Ghats. Legend has it that it was close to the Papanasam Falls, on the banks of the Tamiraparani river, that SHiva and Parvati appeared before sage Agasthiya. The falls came to be known as the Agasthiya Falls. To commemorate the visit of the divine couple, the Agasthiya temple was built there.

Sankarankoil (56 km): Sankarankovil is a unique temple dedicated to Sankaranarayana, the combined manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu. There are two other shrines dedicated to Shiva and Parvati. Twice in a year the sun's rays fall on the pedestal of the deity.

Kazhugumalai (56 km): It was one of the important centres of the Jains. The bas-relief found here is the contribution of Jains and are among the earliest. The Vettuvan Koil (Shiva Temple), the rock-cut cave temple, is another attraction.

Srivaikuntam (37 km): Srivaikuntam is famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu known as Srivaikuntapathiswami with a lofty gopuram. The Thiruvengada Mudaliyar Mandapam is rich with sculptures of yalis, elephants and warriors. The Ekadasi Mandapam, which is opened on Vaikunta Ekadasi days, contains exquisite sculptures. During the conflict of the East India Company forces and Kattabomman, this temple served as a fort. The Kailasanathaswamy temple contains six inscriptions of the times of Veera Pandiya Kattabomman.

Manapad (70 km): The Holy Cross Church at Manapad was built in the year 1581. Thousands congregate during the festival season from September 1 to 14 every year. The church is associated with St. Francis Xavier.

Krishnapuram (13 km): There is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The presiding deity is Thiruvenkatanathar. There are a number of life-sized sculptures in this temple with intricate workmanship.

Kulasekarapattinam (68 km): The Mutharamman temple is known for the popular 


Dasara festival in September-October where folk dance artists from all over the state participate in the festival. It is a coastal village with a fine beach.

Tuticorin (48 km):
 This town is a major industrial and commercial centre and also a harbour. SPIC's fertilizer, a heavy water plant, etc., are located here. It is major pearl fishing and salt production centre as well. 

Pathamadai (30 km): It is known for its beautiful corai mats. This is also the birth place of Swami Sivanantha, the Saint and Philosopher.

Ootapidaram (65 km): This is the birthplace of V.O. Chidambaram, the well-known freedom fighter. This is why he is popularly called as "Kappalottiya Thamizhan". His home has now become a memorial.

Ettayapuram (72 km): This is the birthplace of the revolutionary poet Subramanya Bharathiyar. His home has a memorial. Umaru Pulavar Dhansha is also located here.

Panchalankurichi (68 km): Panchalankurichi, a small but historic village, is where the great warrior Katta Bomman known as Veerapandiya Kattabomman raised his voice against the British regime in the 17th century AD.

Kattabomman Memorial Fort: The existing memorial fort was constructed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1974. Sri Devi Jakkammal Temple, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman, is located near the fort. The cemetery of British soldiers is seen near the fort. Within the Memorial hall, there are beautiful paintings on the walls depicting the heroic deeds of the saga. The tourists can easily get a good idea about the history of the momentous period. The remnants of the old fort are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Courtrallam (59 km): Courtrallam, the "spa of the south, is situated at an elevation of about 167 m, on the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District.I t is an excellent health resort. The waterfalls of Courtrallam are believed to have medicinal qualities as it flows through forests of herbs. The temple in Courtrallam is dedicated to Lord Thirukutralanathar (Shiva). This temple contains many inscriptions about Chola and Pandya kings. Less than a furlong from here is a small temple called Chitra Sabha (Hall of Pictures) dedicated to Lord Nataraja and decorated with paintings of rural deities and devotees, Puranic stories and religious events. The sabha is one of the five sabhas where Lord Nataraja performed the cosmic dance.


Kalakkadu Sanctuary (47 km):
Situated in area of 223 sq km in the Tirunelveli District, including the foothills of Western Ghats and the adjoining area. The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet evergreen to tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest. Macaque and common langur, Nilgiri tahr, sambar, sloth bear, gour, elephant, tiger, flying squirrel, panther, wild dog, pangolin are some of the wild life seen in this sanctuary. Besides, a wide range of birds and reptiles can also be seen. Trekking is allowed with the prior permission from the officials of Forest (wildlife) Department. Accommodation is available at Forest Rest House at Sengaltheri with catering facilities. Season: September to March.

Mudanthurai: There is nothing to differentiate this sanctuary from that of Kalakkadu, except the absence of the elephant and gaur. Situated in the Tirunelveli District, this 567 sq km sanctuary boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forests with patches of pure reeds. Animal wealth includes tiger, bonnet macaque, langurs, glender loris, sloth bear, sambhar, chital, wild dog as well as various species of avi-fauna and varieties of reptiles and insects. Trekking is allowed with prior permission from the Forest (Wild Life) Department. Accommodation available is the Forest Rest House at Mundanthurai with catering facilities and PWD Rest House at Ambasamuthram. Authority for the above two sanctuaries is Field Director, Project Tiger, NGO Colony, Perumalpuram. Tel: 04634 291227/250594

Manimuthar and Papanasam Dams: Papanasam Dam is located 49 km away from TIrunelveli. This is a beautiful picnic spot. Another dam in Tirunelveli District is Manimuthar Dam, 47 km from Tirunelveli.

Ariyakulam (13 km): A variety of birds congregate here in large numbers from March to June for breeding. Kunthakulam, 30 km from Tirunelveli, is another bird sanctuary.

Mancholai: It is a scenic place on the way to upper Kodaiyar as well as a beautiful picnic spot worth visiting.

Upper Kodaiyar: It is located southern most tip of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. It is a beautiful area where nature is at its best with verdant forests. Tea, rubber and cardomon are grown here on a large scale. Manjolai is the best-known place here. Kalachi, Nalumukku, Kuthiraiyerri, Oothu are important locales where one can have beautiful panoramic view. A mini Golf Course is also available here.

Ayyanar Sunai: This centre is 40 km from Tiruchendur. There is a natural "spring" where one can get water throughout the year. A temple is dedicated to the village deity Ayyanar. It is a good picnic spot.


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