Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Courtallam had a population of 2368. Males constitute 41% of the population and females 59%. Courtallam has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78% and, female literacy is 74%. 7% of the population is under 6 years of age. Although very close to the Kerala border, the entire population of Courtallam is homogeneously Tamil.

Location

Nestled in the Western Ghats, Courtallam has scenic surroundings. The 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 Courtallam are Sengottai and Tenkasi at 5 km (3.1 mi) respectively. The closest airport is Tuticorin Airport (TCR) approximately 90 km (56 mi) away and the nearest railway station is Tenkasi, 5 km (3.1 mi) away.

Places to visit

  1. Therkumalai Estate can be reached from Honey falls in 1 hour, which is roughly at 2000 ft altitude.
  2. Boat Houses near the Five Falls and Old Courtallam Falls.
  3. Snake Park nears to the Main Falls.
  4. Aquarium near the Main Falls.
  5. Children’s Park.

Nearby Tourist Interests

Tenkasi is a town located in the foothills of the Western Ghats near the Courtallam Waterfalls, close to the Tamil Nadu – Kerala border in Tirunelveli District. Tourists prefer staying in either courtallam or Tenkasi and the close proximity allows tourists to frequently travel between the two. The Palaruvi Falls is across the state border in Kerala.

Nearby temples

  • Thirukutraalanaadhar Kovil in Main falls. During the Thamizh month of Chithirai a ten-day festival is arranged which ends in a special prayer on Pournami (Full Moon Day).
  • Thirumalai Kovil in Panpoli, 8 km from Courtallam.
  • Kumaran Kovil in Ilanji, 3 km from Courtallam.
  • Kasivishuwanathar Kovil in Tenkasi, 6 km East from Courtallam.
  • Dhakshinamoorthy Kovil in Puliyarai, 12 km West from Courtallam.
  • Papanasam Ulagaambihai & Sivan Kovil in Papanasam, 35 km Southeast from Courtallam.
  • Ariyankavu Iyappan Kovil in Kerala, 35 km Northwest from Courtallam.

History

Thirparappu is famous for its waterfalls and is located in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu in the southern part of India. Thirparappu Falls is located 42 km (26 mi) from Nagercoil (headquarters of Kanyakumari District), 55 km (34 mi) from Thiruvananthapuram (capital of Kerala) and a distance of 5 km (3.1 mi) from Kulasekaram (nearest town panchayat). This famous falls is in the Kodayar (Kothai River). The Kodayar makes its descend at Thirparappu and the water fall at this place is about 13 km (8.1 mi) from Pechiparai dam.

Thirparappu waterfalls is 300 ft (91 m) feet long and consists of a rocky riverbed. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 ft (15 m). The waterfall has flows with great force for around seven months in the whole year.The whole bed above the falls is one rocky mass which extends up to a distance of about quarter of a kilometer upstream where the famous Thirparappu weir has been constructed for supplying water to the paddy fields. This irrigation facitlity is extremely useful here and it is fascinating to see the process of irrigation from the dam to the fields.

On either side of the river, on the left bank of the river in between the water falls and the weir, there is a temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification. Called Mahadever Kovil it is the third one of the twelve Sivalaya’s. It is said that Lord Shiva lives here as Virabhadra which is a fierce form of this Indian God.There are many old inscriptions in this temple including the one of the Pandiya King dated ninth century. This temple is built around A.D. 9th Century.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Thiruparappu had a population of 21,722. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Thiruparappu has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 72%. In Thiruparappu, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

How to Reach

By Air : The nearest Airport is at Trivandrum (Kerala).

By Rail : The nearest railway station is Marthandam/Kuzhithurai.

By Road : You get buses from Kulasekaram, Nagercoil, Marthandam.

River

The 145 kilometres (90 mi) long Chalakudy River, originates in the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats and flows through the Vazhachal Forest toward the Arabian Sea. The river initially runs smoothly but becomes more turbulent as it nears Athirappilly. At Athirappilly Falls, the water surges around big rocks and cascades down in three separate plumes. Below the falls, the river remains turbulent for about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) until it reaches Kannamkuzhi. Then it calms and flows smoothly until reaching the dam at Thumburmuzhi.

 Athirappilly waterfalls

Wildlife

 A near threatened great hornbill

Forest wildlife in the area includes the Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar, and lion-tailed macaque. The unique 180 metres (590 ft) elevation riparian forest in the Athirappilly-Vazhachal area is the only location where all four South Indian species of hornbills — the great hornbill (the state bird of Kerala), Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, and the Indian grey hornbill are found living together. If the proposed 163-MW Athirappilly hydroelectric project is built, these unique birds may vanish from these forests because it will submerge the hornbills’ habitat.

Plantations in the area contain teak, bamboo, and eucalyptus. Environmentalists claim that Athirappilly is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala. V.S. Vijayan, Chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board and former Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, has been quoted in Down to Earth magazine as affirming that the Vazhachal forest division is the second most biodiverse area in the State. The International Bird Association has declared it an ‘Important Bird Area’ and the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation has recommended that the area should be declared a sanctuary or a national park, he points out. The Wildlife Trust of India says it represents one of India’s best elephant conservation efforts. “Any disruption to this fragile ecosystem will spell disaster,” says Vijayan. The river provides habitat for 85 species of fresh water fishes. Among these, 35 are endemic species. This place is the best place to find most animals in the wild.

Tourism

 Waterfalls on the long view

Entry pass to Athirappilly and Vazhachal Falls.

 Misty appearance

 Athirappilly waterfalls November 2013

 Hill top

 Bottom view of Fall

The railway station nearest Athirappilly Falls is 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west in Chalakudi Railway Station, and the nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, about 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of the waterfall and 58 kilometres (36 mi)south of City of Thrissur. Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taxi or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal. Athirappilly is situated on the highways connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, amidst thick forest, so night riding is not advised.

The journey from Chalakudy to the Athirappilly Falls passes through a landscape of winding roads, small villages and lush green trees. Visitors can reach the top of the waterfall via a paved path that leads through thick bamboo clusters. A steep narrow path also leads to the bottom of the falls. The falls attract visitors from across India, especially during the monsoonmonths (June–September). About 7 million tourists visit the falls and the Vazhachal picnic spot each year.

Jungle Safari

Daily Jungle Safari trips are organized by Thrissur District Tourism Promotion Council with Athirappilly Destination Management Council from Chalakudy to Malakkappara. It is the most attractive wildlife watch and Ecotourism Jungle safari through the evergreen forest of Sholayar ranges of Western Ghats – Kerala. It is also the most beautiful Jungle Saffari watching Wildlife in the entire Kerala and is about 90 km across the rain forests of Sholayar ranges. A unique opportunity to experience the rich flora & fauna of Athirappilly – Vazhachal Ecotourim , covering Kauthukapark, Thumboormuzhy Dam & Butterflygarden, Athirappilly water falls, Vazhachal falls, 40 km of amidst thick forests, valleys, lofty peaks, tea garden and wildlife watch. This Jungle safari is a memorable experience ,which one can have on his Kerala visit.

The grandest of places often have a story that fits the billing.  Read the enticing account of Hemanta’s family trip to Dubai as they witnessed the benchmark in luxury and dedication. Their trip cost them a total of INR 2,00,000 which included their flights, transfers, visa, accommodation, sightseeing, and meals.

Traveling has been a hobby that I’ve always held dear to my heart. So I decided to explore other parts of the world with my family. I heard a lot of good about Dubai from my friends.

While searching for packages on the internet, I came across TravelTriangle which gave us the lucrative option to customize the tour package according to our needs. So, I dropped a query with TravelTriangle and soon got a call back from their representative.

He understood our requirements and connected us to various agents. Soon, I started receiving multiple offers from different agents regarding my inquiry for a family tour package to Dubai. I selected the best quotation given to me by ‘Booking Squad’ travel agency.

Just like that, the formalities were done swiftly, and soon enough we were jet setting on our way to the land of the sheikhs to have a taste of the Arabic culture.

Day 1: Cruising Middle-eastern style

Often the definition paradise for travelers gets mangled between the details. However, Kerala has maintained an evergreen place in the hearts of all travelers. Read the enticing story of Subhakar as he recollects his family trip to Kerala which proves to be a perfect antidote to the ailing human soul. Their trip cost him a total of INR 69,500 which includes their transfers, accommodation, sightseeing, and meals.

A popular tradition amongst my friends is for everyone to go on a vacation every year. This year, we decided to visit a place which gets us greenery, adventure, and peace of mind. Anonymously, the consensus came down to Kerala and the search for a suitable package began.

Poovar is a popular tourist town in the Trivandrum district of Kerala state, South India. This village is almost at the southern tip of Trivandrum while the next village, Pozhiyoor, marks the end of Kerala. This village has a beautiful beach which attracts tourists.

Poovar lies very close to Vizhinjam, a natural harbor. Poovar has an estuary which connects with the sea during high tides. The 56 km Neyyar River passes through Neyyattinkara taluk into the Arabian Sea near Poovar. Its natural beauty enables it to be a quiet tourist spot.

Poovar was a trading center of timber, sandalwood, ivory and spices. In around 1,000 BCE, it is believed that ships owned by King Solomon of Israel landed in Ophir, which is identified by some sources as Poovar, while the village was one of the ancient Muslim settlements along the western coast of India. The central mosque in Poovar was built by Malik Deenar, an eighth century Muslim preacher. During the reign of the Chola dynasty, Poovar was a major port. The explorer Megasthenes, Roman writer Pliny the Elder and Venetian traveller Marco Polo mention connections with Greece and Rome.

There were a merchant named Pokku Moosa Maraikkar who lived in Poovar during the 18th century in a house called Kallaraickal Tharavad, which many times gave shelter to Marthanda Varma (1706–58), king of Travancorefrom his enemies. Poovar also had trade relations with international markets at this time as well as a well trained army and some ships. At the Battle of Colachel and Battle of Kayamkulam these forces assisted the Travancore army against the Dutch East India Company during the Travancore–Dutch War.

The origin of the name “Poovar” has a story related to Marthanda Varma. Before that it was called Pokkumoosapuram. During internal riots in Travancore and while escaping from the Ettuveetil Pillamar (Lords of the Eight Houses), the king reached Poovar. It was a spring season and the trees on either sides of the Neyyar were full of flowers. These flowers fell into the river making it more attractive. On seeing this pleasant scenery, Marthanda Varma commented that this was poo-var, a conjunction of the Malayalam words for “flower” and “river”.