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171/365 – Kutraalam

Kutraalam is a panchayat town situated at a mean elevation of 160 m, on the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, India. Many seasonal and a few perennial rivers such as the Chittar River, the Manimuthar River, the Pachaiyar River and the Tambaraparani River originate in this region. The numerous waterfalls and cascades along with the ubiquitous health resorts in the area have earned it the title the Spa of South India.

Location

Nestled in the Western Ghats, Kutraalam has exquisite surroundings. The charming hillocks which dominate the scenery disappear into the blue mist of Agasthiarmalai, the mountain bearing the name of a sage who made immense contributions to Tamil literature and is believed to have lived in the area.

The closest towns to Kutraalam are Sengottai and Tenkasi at 5 km and Panpoli at 9 km away. The closest airport is Tuticorin Airport approximately 86 km away and the nearest railway station is Tenkasi, 5 km away.

Falls in Kutraalam

Kutraalam has nine waterfalls.

Peraruvi (main falls) the biggest, is about 60m high. The water, interrupted by the Pongumakadal, a 19m deep crater, comes down with greatly reduced impact, making a bath there safe.

In Chitraruvi (small falls), the flow is thin. Here nature has provided separate places for men and women to bathe. Chitraruvi leads to other waterfalls such as Shenbagadevi and Thenaruvi and the herbal farm.

At Shenbagadevi falls, the water flows through shenbaga (Michaelia champak) trees. There is also a temple there, dedicated to Shenbagadevi Amman.

About 3km from this is Thenaruvi (honey falls), 40m high and cascading between two large stones. In places where there is no water, one sees big honeycombs.

Aintharuvi (five falls) is one where one thoroughly enjoys being in a crowd of bathers. Five separate cascades of water form this waterfalls.

From the orchard above flows Pazhathotta Aruvi, the ‘VIP falls’.

The Pazhaya Courtalla Aruvi (Old Kutraalam falls) used to fall into a valley from between two rocks. The valley was closed and the rocks were broken to change the course of water and make bathing easier. It was reopened later.

The artificial Puli Aruvi (Tiger Falls) has a moderate flow of water which collects in a lake and is diverted for irrigation.

The three major waterfalls reachable by road are the Main Falls, Five Falls, and Old Kutraalam Falls. Other waterfalls like Shenbaga Devi Falls and Honey Falls are reachable only by trekking on the mountain. The smaller falls called the Tiger Falls, called by that name as it was known to have been frequented by tigers looking for water. There is another small falls inside the Government Horticulture Park above Five Falls, but it is off limits to the public. Other attractions include the boat houses near Five Falls and Old Kutraalam Falls, snake park, a public aquarium, small children’s parks and play areas.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutraalam

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Categories: General Knowledge, Place
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