Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedanthangal Lake Bird Sanctuary – View from one of the viewing galleries (a watch tower).

Chennai Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is located on the outskirts of Chennai. Lacks of birds visit the Sanctuary every year and it is a pleasure watching these birds.

It is one of the best and oldest bird sanctuaries in India. It is a water bird sanctuary.  Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary was established in the year 1858 by the order of the then Collector of Chingleput (old name for Chengalpattu). It is declared as a Reserve Forest.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is home for migratory birds such as pintail, grey wagtail, garganey, blue-winged teal, common sandpiper and many other birds.

One of the main features of Vedanthangal area is that the local villagers are concerned with the migratory birds. They take pains to protect them. They avoid bursting crackers, even during Deepavali – a major festival time, to avoid scaring the birds.

November to March is the ideal time to visit the Sanctuary. Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary is another Bird sanctuary at Nagapattinam district in the the same state.

There is a parking facility just opposite to the main entrance. The outer perimeter of the whole area  is covered by a man made a bund (mud walls) of  around 5 or 6 feet height. One can walk over the pathway on top of the bund (it is around 12 feet wide at the top). Seats  are there to sit, relax and watch birds. There is also a watch tower to watch these birds closely. It is very cool sitting there, even on a hottest summer day!

How do I go to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary?

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is in between Chennai Tambaram and Chengalpattu in Tamilnadu state, India, en route to Uthiramerur and Vandavasi in Kancheepuram District. The Bird Sanctuary is well connected by roads to nearby towns also. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is around one and a half hour drive from Chennai. Chennai Airport is the nearest airport. Tambaram and  Chengalput are the main nearby railway stations.

Vattakottai Fort Near Cape Comorin

Vattakottai Fort, meaning ‘Circular Fort’, is near to Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu state, India, on the Bay of Bengal sea shore.

Vattakottai Fort
Vattakottai Fort.

Built by the erstwhile Travancore kingdom in the 18th Century on the Bay of Bengal sea front, this fort is a protected fort. It has been renovated and attracts a lot of tourists. This fort is one among the historical places near to Kanyakumari.

Climbing to the top of the fort and viewing the Bay of Bengal Sea for  quite a long distance is the beauty of this spot.

This fort was built watch enemies coming through sea at a distance. The hills which form part of Western ghats can also be seen from here.

Vattakottai Fort 'Circular Fort', Kanyakumari...
attakottai Fort, Kanyakumari.

Vattakottai is one among the must-see tourist places in Kanyakumari.

How Do I Go to Vattakottai Fort?

Vattakottai Fort is at a distance of 7 kilometers from the southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari, off Kanayakumari – Tiruchendur Road. Kanyakumari railway station is the nearest railway station to Vattakottai Fort. Thiruvananthapuram international airport is the nearest international airport at around 90 kilometers distance.

I have visited the Fort at Vattakottai  multiple times and my last visit was in 1997 December en route to Thiruchendur Murugan Temple (via Koodamkulam) from Kanyakumari. The site leveling work of the Koodamkulam nuclear power plant was going on that time.

Jewel of the South – Yercaud Hill Station near Salem

Jewel of the South Yercaud near SalemA quiet road in Yercaud (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

Yercaud, The Jewel of the South is a beautiful hill station situated near to Salem town in Tamilnadu state, India. The hill station is around half an hour’s drive up the hills from ‘Five Roads Junction’ in Salem town. Yercaud has got moderate temperatures ranging from 13 degree Centigrade to 29 Degree Centigrade. The hill station is part of the Eastern Ghats, and is located on the ‘Shevaroys range’ of hills. It is at a height of around 1623 meter or 4970 feet above sea level.

Late night view of Salem city from Yercaud.Late night view of Salem city from Yercaud. (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

What are the Yercaud places to visit?

There are many places to visit in this small hill station. Emerald Lake or Yercaud Lake, on the hill top, offers boating facilities from Tamilnadu tourism development corporation. There is a telescopic house near by. Servarayan temple, the highest point, attracts lot of visitors. Annamalaiyar Temple is another tourist spot  frequented by tourists. National Orchidarium and a Botanical garden are two other tourist destinations at this hill station.

Anna Park, a beautiful garden, is there near to the lake. Ladies Seat and Pagoda point are two vantage points overlooking the valley.  Pagoda Point or Pyramid point offers magnificent view of the Salem city. offers magnificent view of the Salem city.

Yercaud LakeYercaud Lake (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

Other than Tourism, agriculture is another important source of income for the people. Coffee Plantations exists in plenty. Oranges, Jack fruit, guava and many spices like black pepper and cardamom are cultivated here.

These hills are rich in fauna and flora, which resembles the Western Ghats.

It is much more cheaper than other nearby hill stations like Kodaikanal or Ooty and is less polluted.

Where Can I Stay in the Jewel of the South, Yercaud?

Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation, T.T.D.C, has its own hotel catering to the tourists. There are many Yercaud hotels and Yercaud resorts. Sterling resorts has a property on the way to up-hills at a vantage point. You may also go downhill and stay in Salem town, as the Salem is very near by to the Yercaud hill station. The Regent Hill side Resort is an excellent Yercaud resort with 3 luxury rooms and a villa on the Hospital Road.

Courtallam Falls

Kutralam WaterFalls in Tamilnadu

Courtallam Waterfalls is in Tirunelveli district, off Tenkasi – Shenkottai Road. Courtalam falls are part of the Western Ghats, which are part of UNESCO World Heritage site. Courtallam Falls and surrounding hills are also part of Agasthiyamalai or Ashambu hills which is the extreme south portion of Western ghats. Over 2000 species of plants with medicinal values are found in the Agasthiyamalai ranges. These hills are named after the age old Saint Asasthiya, regarded as the founder of Siddhar, which is a form of yoga.

Courtallam Falls in Tamilnadu
Courtallam falls in Tamil Nadu, India

Many rivers originate from the nearby areas.  June to September is the best time to visit the falls. Kutralam is gifted with South West Monsoon  that has the cold breeze with mild temperatures. October to December may experiences heavy rainfall which prevents visitors from visiting the falls.

Old Courtallam falls is the best one, which is around 3 Kilometers away from the main road, (immediate left after the Hotel Tamilnadu of TTDC), when coming from Tenkasi.  Five falls and Tiger falls are near to the main Shenkottai-Tenkasi road. There are a few more falls at Courtallam. Banatheertham falls is a nearby fall, at around 60 kilometers distance. Come and visit the Incredible India.

How Do I Go to Courtallam Waterfalls or Kutralam falls?

Courtallam Waterfalls is on the Shenkottai – Tenkasi road, which is well connected to other parts of Tamilnadu and neighboring Kerala and to the rest of India by road. Tenkasi  railway station is the nearest one to Kutralam Falls. Tuticorin or Tuttukidi airport, at around 90 kilometers distance, is the nearest airport to Courtalam falls.

TTDC Hotel Tamil Nadu Near Kutralam Waterfalls or Courtallam falls?

TTDC Hotel Tamilnadu, owned by the Tamilnadu state government tourism department, is one of the best Kutralam hotels. TTDC Hotel Tamil Nadu is situated close to the old falls, on the main road. Beware of  hundreds of monkeys on the Banyan tree at the hotel premises; uninvited guests on the staircases, passage to rooms, etc. It may step into your room, if the door or windows are kept open. If one is alone, this may lead to frightful moments.

There are many other hotels at Shenkottai and Thenkasi, two nearby towns to Kutralam falls.