Tourist Places in Tenkasi
Tenkasi, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, is the district's second-largest town and is situated along the Madurai-Kollam Road. This popular tourist destination in the western ghats is surrounded by the river Chittar. This town is renowned for its waterfalls and temples, but it is most recognized for its Courtallam Falls and Kasi Viswanathar Temple. It is stated that Lord Viswanatha appeared to King Arikeari Parakrama in a dream and gave him the command to build it. The building of the temple is covered in many inscriptions and sculptures of mythical figures.
Let's look at some of the top tourist destinations in Tenkasi:
A little village called Sundarapandiapuram is found in Tamil Nadu's Tenkasi district. It has appeared in several songs and movies and is well known for its beautiful sunflower fields. These meadows served as the backdrop for Mani Ratnam's critically acclaimed movie "Roja." To obtain the greatest views, tourists typically schedule a one-day trip to Sundarapandiapuram and visit the sunflower fields first thing in the morning.
The Rukmani Sathyabama Sameda Sri Rajagopala Swamy temple, which is said to be around 4,000 years old, is the oldest in Sundarapandiapuram. The Raja Gopala deity at the temple complex is said to be a relic from Sage Kanwar's ashram. Sri Mupadathi Amman Temple and Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple are the two well-known temples in the vicinity. Tenkasi and Sundaripandiapuram are distanced by around 14 kilometers from Tenkasi, and it takes around 30 minutes to go to Sundaripandiapuram. The quickest method of transportation is by rental car, which could cost you between INR 400 and INR 500.
2. Kutralam Falls / Courtallam Falls
Courtallam, or Kutralam Falls, is a magnificent waterfall close to Tirunelveli. It is located 7 km from Tenkasi, 62 km from Tirunelveli, and 160 km from Madurai. It is one of the most well-known waterfalls in Tamil Nadu and one of the top attractions in Tenkasi. The "Spa of the South" is another name for Courtallam.
At Courtallam, the river Chittar descends over 92 meters at nine different waterfalls with various volumes. The most well-known and largest of the nine falls are the Main Falls or Peraruvi, located approximately 300 meters from the Courtallam bus stand. It is situated inside Courtallam town and drops from 60 m. The Pongumakadal rock softly descends and blocks the water's flow, making it a safe area to take a bath. Due to its proximity to herb-filled woodlands, the waters of Courtallam are thought to have therapeutic properties. Nearby these falls is the Kutralanathar Temple, devoted to Lord Shiva.
3. Kasi Viswanathar Temple / Ulagamman Temple
Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple is a revered Hindu shrine in the town of Tenkasi. It is approximately 1.5 km from the Tenkasi bus stand, 5 km from Courtallam, and 55 km from Tirunelveli. It is a well-liked Tenkasi tourist destination and one of the important religious sites close to Madurai. The Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple is devoted to Kasi Viswanathar, a self-incarnated manifestation of Lord Shiva (swayambu). This temple gave the town of Tenkasi, sometimes known as Kasi of the South. According to popular belief, praying to the Lord in this temple is equivalent to doing so in Kashi, and the neighboring river Chittar is compared to Ganga.
Parakrama Pandyan erected the temple in Dravidian design. In the year 1505, Rajagopuram's building was finished. The gopura was damaged by fire in 1824 and remained thus until 1966. The remodeling then started, and it was finished in 1990. The second-largest structure in Tamil Nadu, the Rajagopuram, is 180 feet tall. To get a bird's-eye view of Tenkasi, a pathway is also given up to the tower at the ninth tier. This temple, often called Ulagamman Temple, is a must-see location on the Tenkasi trip.
The three shrines in this temple are those of Siva, Amman, and Murugan. Ullagamman is the name of Kasi Viswanathar's consort at this temple. This temple features lovely sculptures and melodic stone pillars that, when touched with fingers, make various sounds. Twin sculptures of Veerabhadra, Nataraja, Rathi-Manmatha, and the exquisitely sculpted Thirumal and Kali Devi idols are also present.
4. Thirumalai Kovil
Thirumalai Kovil is a Murugan temple located in Panpoli, 5 kilometers from the Panpoli bus stop, 14 km from Tenkasi, and 71 km from Tirunelveli. On a tiny hill bordered by the western ghats and at an elevation of 400 meters, the temple is located on Kerala's border.
The main deity Murugan is shown standing with four hands. Thirumalai Murugan or Thirumalai Kumaraswamy are two names for the local deity. Lord Muruga paid the Sage Agasthiar a visit to this place. This temple has two enclosures and two entrances. Towards the east is the sanctuary. The temple contains a mukha-mandapa and a maha-mandapa in front of the shrine. At the entrance to the main sanctuary, there is a little Ganesha statue. A three-tiered gopura covers the entrance to the inner enclosure. The current structure of the temple predates the fifteenth century in major part. A few 18th-century inscriptions may be found throughout the shrine.
There is a temple to Lord Vallabha Vinayaka at the bottom of the hill. In the center of the hill trail lies another Vinayaka temple. Ashta Padmakulam is the name of the holy spring at the pinnacle of the hill. Here, a flower named Kuvalai is found. The Saptha Kannikas offered the flower to Muruga as an act of adoration. On the banks of the spring, Saptha Kannikas statues are erected. The temple at the summit of the hill is 625 steps away. A motorable road will take you right up to the temple's gateway. Many coconut trees surround this hilltop monument.
5. Five Falls / Aintharuvi
Five Falls, also known as Aintharuvi, is another significant waterfall in Courtallam and is located 4 km from the Courtallam Main Falls, 4 km from the Courtallam bus station, and 11 km from Tenkasi. This is the most well-known and pleasant waterfall in the area after the major falls.
Five Falls got its name because the water splits into five branches as it falls. Water flows in five directions, simulating the five heads of a snake, making it unusual. Locals hold it in the highest regard and compare it to Adishesha. There are five falls, three accessible to males and two to women. Near the waterfall are a Swami Ayyappa Temple and a Vinayaka Temple. It's a safe and pleasurable place to take a bath. Additionally, a boat house and Eco Park are close by. The Pazhathotta Aruvi, also known as Fruit Garden Falls, is located above the Five Falls. This little waterfall is located in dense woodland. The falls are accessible by road, and it takes around 100 meters of walking from the parking lot to get there.
6. Sivasailam Temple
Lord Sivasailanathar and Goddess Parvati are honored in the Sivasailam Temple. The Pandavas built the temple bordered by the hills Velli Malai, Mulli Malai, and Podhigai. The Shiva lingam in the sanctuary is said to be a swayambhu lingam. He is also known as Sadaiappar because of the lines that appear to be hair on the back of the statue. While wandering around the sanctum sanctorum, one may view this via a hole. This can only be seen when the Archakar offers Aarathi behind the lingam.
The enormous temple has several mandapams and sculpted pillars. The main gopuram has five floors and countless figures adorning it. The enormous Nandi statue is the temple's unique selling point. The Nandi is said to have been so expertly crafted that it sprang to life and began to fly. The other gods in this temple are Lord Shiva, Vinayakar, Murugan, 63 Nyanmars, Dakshina Moorthy, and Natarjar. Next to the primary shrine is a secondary temple dedicated to Goddess Paramakalyani.
7. Pazhaya Courtallaruvi / Old Courtallam
Pazhaya Courtallaruvi, also called Old Courtallam or Shivamathungai Falls, is located 8 kilometers from Main Falls, 8 kilometers from Courtallam bus stand, and 11 kilometers from Tenkasi. This waterfall is created when water pours between two rocks and falls into a valley. Steps carved into the rocks at the base of the 200-foot fall allow the cascading water to slow down and become bather-safe. Here, bathing is both safe and well-liked. Tourists may get oil massages in addition to separate bathrooms for men and women. The falls are accessible by road, and it takes around 100 meters of walking from the parking lot to get there.
8. Kutralanathar Temple
The Kutralanathar Temple, also known as Thirukkutralanathar, is one of Tamilnadu's busiest temples and is located 200 meters from Courtallam bus stand, 7 kilometers from Tenkasi, and 62 kilometers from Tirunelveli. It is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is one of Lord Shiva's 275 Thevara Shivasthalas. The temple dates back 2000 years and contains several ancient Tamil texts from the Chola and Pandyan eras. It's close to Courtallam Waterfall.
The primary form of Lord Shiva's idol, the Linga, is used for devotion. This temple is located in a calm environment on 3.5 acres of land at the base of Trikoodamalai. Sangakkovil is the name of this temple, which has the shape of a conch. In the shrine, Lord Shiva is referred to as Kuttralanathar, while Goddess Parvathi is referred to as Kuzhalvoi Mozhiammai. Adi Parasakthi has her temple, a Shakthi Peetha, and it's quite well-known. The Nandi idol faces the primary temple.
This temple was formerly a Vishnu temple, according to history. Lord Siva ordered Saint Agastya to the south to prevent instability brought by too many people on Mount Kailash for his heavenly wedding. Agastya the Saint discovered a Vaishnava temple in Courtallam and, using his magical abilities, transformed it into a Siva temple. The conch in Vishnu's palm grew to become the temple, and the chakra ascended to the top when he turned into a Sivalingam. The Linga still bears the traces of Sage Agastya's fingers.
9. Thiru Kutrala Natha Swamy Temple, Courtallam
The temple of Thiru Kutrala Natha Swamy is devoted to Lord Siva. It is situated close to Kurtallam's major waterfalls. The primary deity is Thiru Kutrala Nathar Swamy, also known as Kushal Vaimozhi, the Ambal Goddess. The idol of Lord Shiva at this temple is Swayambhu, a self-formed object. Several Shiva lingams in the temples are used to worship Lord Siva by conducting abishek.
It is said that before visiting Kuttralam, worshippers should first worship Shiva. When it was a Vaishnavite sanctuary, the temple was shaped like a conch. The pilgrim might see this shape while traveling to the Shenbaga Devi shrine. King Raja Raja Cholan established the first Thirukkutralanathar temple. Numerous structures, including the artha-mandapa, maha-mandapa, and separate temples for the goddess, were built during the Pandyan dynasty. The Parasakthi Temple, the compound wall, the Sangu Road, the inner street, and a few smaller shrines were all constructed under the reign of Nayak.
In the temple's enclosure, Lord Muruga may be seen holding a bow and accompanying his consorts, Valli and Devasena. This temple is close to the folk art site museum, run by the Government of Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology. All those interested in the historical Tamil culture and the arts must go there. The four famous poets, Appar, Sundarar, Gnana Sambandhar, and Manikkavasahar, have all written songs about this location.