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.

Neelakurinji at Munnar

Munnar Hill Station and Nearby Tourist Attractions

Munnar  is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The highest peak in South India, Anamalai, is situated in these range of hills. Munnar hills are  part of Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chinnakanal, Munnar in KeralaChinnakanal, Munnar.

This picturesque hill station is known for its rivulets, tea plantations and colonial bungalows built during the British rule in India. The word Munnar means ‘three rivers’.  River Muthirapuzha, River Nallathanni and River Kundala  confluence at this serene hill station.

Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park is a nearby wildlife Sanctuary worth visiting. Rajamala (King of Hills) is situated inside Eravikulam National Park. Rajamala is at around 15 kilometers distance from the Town, on your way to Anamudi.

Nilgiri tahr (Varayadu) in and around Anamudi Nilgiri Tahr at Munnar
Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas Hylocres) at Munnar. Image Courtesy – Aju P. John

Anamudi is the highest peak in South India. Anamudi is located inside Eravikulam National Park. Its is also home to a large number of ‘Nilgiri tahr‘ (Hemitragas Hylocres), a rare mountain goat, which is in the extinct list of animalsHalf of world’s ‘Nilgiri tahr’ is found in Rajamalai. You can see them roam around the steep hills, at a very close proximity, on the roads inside Eravikulam National Park. Approximate number of Nilgiri tahrs at this area is 1300. It is locally known as Varayadu.

Neelakurinji Flowers (Strobilanthes Kunthianus)

Neelakurinji
Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthianus).

Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthianus), a shrub which flowers once in 12 years, is found here in this national park and its surrounding areas. The flowering started in August 2018 and is coming to an end in October 2018. Neelakurinji flowering areas were declared as “Neelakurinji National Park” by the state government in 2006.

It is known as ನೀಲಕುರಂಜಿ in Kannada, குறிஞ்சி in Tamil, നീലകുറിഞ്ഞി in Malayalam.

Power House Waterfalls originates from Sita Devi Kulam’. It is believed that ‘Sita’, wife of ‘Raman’, the hero of the great Hindu epic Ramayana, used to bath here in this lake. It is situated at Chinnakanal, at around 21 kilometers from the heart of the city.

Mattupetty dam, which is a nearby dam,  offers boating (speed boat, pedal boat) inside the dam waters. There is also an adventure park here. Majority of plantation in and around Munnar consists of Tea estates, a large portion of which is owned by “Tata Tea Limited”, one of India’s leading corporate groups,

Some of the other places to visit in Munnar are listed below.

There is a flower garden maintained by Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd (K.F.D.C.) near Munnar town. Blossom park near old Munnar town is also a beautiful tourist destination.

Tourist places in and around Top Station

Top Station, known for the picturesque view of the hills,  is at around 30 kilometers distance from town, on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The village Ellapatti, en route to top station is famous for vegetables like carrot, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. You may buy these vergetables here.

Meesapulimala

Meesapulimala is just opposite to this village and the view is excellent.

Echo Point

Echo Point is another tourist destination near Munnar, on your way to Top Station.   ‘

Anayirankal
Elephants near Mattupetty dam in MunnarElephants at Munnar. Image courtesy – Sajeevan


Anayirankal
(the word means elephants comes down) is another beautiful place, where herds of wild elephants can be seen roaming around in the slopes of the mountain ranges.

Kundala Dam (The First Arch Dam in Asia) and Kundala Lake

Kundala Dam is situated at around 20 kilometers from Munnar town, on your way to Top station. Boating facilities are available in this dam. Lake Kundala is on one side of the dam. It is the the first arch dam in Asia. Aruvikkad Waterfall is situated near to this dam.

Yellapetty Tent Camp or Yellapetty Camping site

Yellapetty Tent Camp is one of the best private tent camps near Munnar. It is situated at around 6-7 kilometers from Yellapatty Post office. Yellapatty Post office is on the Munnar – Top station Road. entry fess is Rs 2500 per person, as on March 2019. They offer trekking  to nearby beautiful hills covered with mists. Sunrise and sunset can be seen from here. Overnight stay with campfire at the tents is also part of the package. They can be contacted on telephone number +91 96339 96929.

Pallivasal Hydro-Electric Power Project

Pallivasal, Kerala State’s First Hydro-Electric Power Project, is at around 10 kilometers distance form the town. “Sethuparvathy Dam“, part of ‘Pallivasal Hydro electric Project’, is another tourist destination, where boating facilities are available. Iduky dam, the largest and the oldest arch dam in India and the third largest in the World, is around 1.5 hours drive from this town. Munnar is one of the best Kerala tourism destinations.

Periyar Wild life Sanctuary

Periyar Wild life Sanctuary near Kumaly Town, is around 3 hours drive from Munnar. Periyar Wild life Sanctuary offers boating facilities inside the lake. You can see many wild animals during this boat safari. Hoards of Elephants can be seen drinking water during the summer season. Periyar wild life sanctuary is one of its kind among the wildlife sanctuaries in India,  offering boat safari inside deep forests, which allows one to have a close look at the beasts of the jungle. (Some other wildlife sanctuaries in India offers boat safari,; but only limited animals can be seen in such cases.)

How Do I Go to Munnar in Kerala?

Madurai airport is the nearest airport at around 160 kilometers from this hill station. Cochin International Airport, at Nedumbrassery near Cochin (Kochi), is another nearby airport. Munnar is around 4 hours drive from Cochin.

Theni railway station is the nearest railway station at around 75 kilometers distance. Angamaly  railway station is  at around 100 plus kilometers distance. Kottayam Railway station is at a distance of around 145 kilometers. It takes around 3 hours drive from this beautiful hill station town to reach Kottayam.

Munnar is well connected by roads to Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thekkedy in Kerala. Cities  in Tamilnadu like Kambam, Theni, Dindigul, etc, are also well connected by bus services.

Which are the Best Munnar Hotels and Munnar Resorts?

Tea County is one among the good hotels run by Government of Kerala’s tourism department, KTDC. Eastend is another one among the good hotels in the center of the town, offering 4 star facilities at affordable rates. Club Mahindra resorts is one of the best Munnar resorts having a large property at a vantage point in Munnar. Ayur County Mountain Resort is at Chinnakanal, Munnar.

Carmelia Haven is another good resort; an Eco-friendly resort in the middle of cardamon, pepper and tea estates.  It is one of its kind in the state. Carmelia Haven is at Vandanmedu, at around 68 kilometers from Munnar on Munnar- (Kumuly) road.  Kumily is at around 23 kilometers from this resort. Apart from regular rooms, Carmelia Haven has a tree top house and an underground house (cave house).

Cloud farm is a much soughtafter camp site  near the Top station.

Mar Thoma Retreat center (under Malankara Mar Thomas Syrian Church) also has rooms for rent. Contact numbers are +91 4865 208399/ 232289/ 232290/ 232285.

North Indian Restaurants at Munnar

Sree Mahaveer Jain Restaurant (Near Sterling resorts) and Purohit Restaurant  (Tea County Road, Ikka Nagar)  are two good North Indian restaurants at Munnar.

Kashmir Dal Lake

Kashmir Tour

Kashmir, the Paradise on Earth, is in the Jammu and Kashmir state, India. Being on the north western corner of the India. it shares its borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Visit the Paradise on Earth, Kashmir
Shikaras are a common feature in lakes and rivers across the valley.

Many Indian travel & tour operators have India tourism group travel packages, specially tailored for enthusiasts to Kashmir. Even though there are militancy problems in some parts of the state, tourists are spared and it is normally safe to visit the state. Tourism is the major industry here and the majority of the local population is dependent on tourists for their livelihood.

Kashmir is called the paradise on the earth as it is a beautiful area on the Himalayan ranges. There are many hill stations known for their adventure sports and winter sports.

Kashmir offers abundant beauty. Gulmarg in Baramulla dictrict, Pahalgam in Anatnag district, Srinagar, Jammu, etc, are some of the well known tourist places to visit in the state.

Gulmarg has the steepest and longest ski slopes in Asia. The rope way takes you to 13000 feet height at Gulmarg! world’s highest Golf Course can be seen here at Gulmarg. There are many a ski resort at Gulmarg and attractive skiing packages are available. Buy some cheap snowboards and go for ski vacations. Kashmir tourism offers adventure at its best in India.

Amarnath Pilgrimage Yathra starts at 15 kilometers away from Pahalgam. Amarnath Pilgrimage Yathra is an annual Hindu pilgrimage tour.

Dal Lake in Srinagar is famous for the house boat ride in the summer season. Dal lake freezes in winter season. There are many beautiful Mughal gardens in Srinagar which were built mainly by the Mughal  Emperors in the 16th century.

How Do I Go to The Paradise on Earth

Kashmir is well connected to the rest of India. There is a railway station at Srinagar which connects Srinagar to Baramulla. Srinagar Airport connects the state to other parts of the country. national Highways, NH 1A and NH 1D,  connects Srinagar to the other parts of India.

What About Kashmir Hotels?

There are many luxury hotels, along with a large number of low budget Kashmir hotels.

Water Activities and Health Resorts at Kovalam Beach in God’s Own Country

Kovalam Beach on the Arabian Sea coast in South Kerala is one of the best beaches in India, known for its Water Activities and Health Resorts. There are three main beaches in Kovalam; Howah Beach, Light house Beach and Samudra Beach. Entry to Light house beach is only for the tourists and fishermen are banned here. This Beach at Kovalam offers best relaxation to any tourist.

View of Kovalam Beach
View of Kovalam Beach, one among the best beaches in India.

This beautiful Beach is surrounded by coconut trees. It is around half an hour’s drive from Kovalam hotels like Vivanta by Taj – Green Cove, The Leela Kovalam Beach, Hotel Samudra KTDC, Abad Harmonia, etc.

The lighthouse and beach at Kovalam.
The lighthouse and beach at the Beach.

There are a variety of relaxation facilities and water activities available at the beach. Scuba diving, Wind Surfing, Para Sailing, Water skiing, Catamaran skiing, Swimming in the clear shallow beach waters, etc, are to name a few.

Underwater diving has recently become very popular among tourists to Kovalam beach. Scuba diving kit or scuba diving gear is provided free of cost as part of the Underwater diving package tour. Kovalam beach is one among the best scuba diving destinations in India.

There are many hotels near the waterfront and surrounding areas. Waterfront restaurants are also there on the beach coast.

There are a large number of Resorts, Ayurveda centers, etc, also, that offers rooms to tourists. ‘Somatheeram’ is a leading Ayurveda Health resort at Chowara Beach, 9 kilometers south of the world famous Beach at Kovalam.

God’s own country,Kerala, beacons you. Kovalam tour packages are one of the best Kerala Tourism packages one can think of. If you are planning for an Indian holidays trip, do not forget to include Kovalam in your trip.

How Do I Go to Kovalam Beach known for Water Activities and Health Resorts?

Kovalam Beach is very near to the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram Alias Trivandum at 13 kilometers away and it takes only 30 minutes drive to reach from Kovalam beach. “Thiruvananthapuram Central” is the nearest railway station to this beach. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the nearest airport to Howah Beach, Light house Beach and Samudra Beach at Kovalam.

Varkala Beach, another famous beach known for its geographical formations near the beach, is just 55 kilometers away from Kovalam Beach.

 

Fall In Love With Sri Harimandir Sahib Golden Temple; The abode of God

Golden Temple alias Sri Harmandir Sahib, is situated at AMRITSAR, Punjab, India. Sri Harmandir Sahib means ‘The abode of God’. Amritsar is the spiritual center for the Sikhs and the administrative headquarters of Amritsar District.

Visit Golden Temple

The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

This Gurdwara (temple) is the holiest Gurdwara (place of worship) for Sikhs. The first gurdwara here was built in the 15th century and the current gurdwara was built in 1764. Golden temple is built around the man made pool or lake called “AmritSarovar”, which was shortened to become the name of the town, Amritsar. Amrit means nectar,   sarovar means pool.

The four entrances of the holy Sri Harmandir Sahib symbolizes the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religion. Four entrances represents the four directions; North, south, East and West.

History Behind Construction of Golden Temple

The third Guru of Sikh religion, Guru Amar Das has chosen the site for this holy temple. Guru Ram Das, who succeeded Guru Amar Das in 1574, acquired the land chosen by his predecessor. He started building the new township in 1581, with the pool at its center. The pool was kept dry during the contraction period. It was filled with water after the inauguration of the temple.  The construction of the temple was completed in 1589. The original temple was made of bricks. The town was initially known as Ramdaspur.

Later on, during Guru Arjan’s time, the town expanded and was named Amritsar with the Golden Temple complex,  at its center.  It was Guru Arjan who is credited with installing the first version of the scripture of Sikhism inside the Golden temple in 1604. He also established Amritsar  as the main pilgrimage destination for the Sikhs.

In 1802, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of Sikh Empire, took control of Amritsar. He rebuilt the Sri Harimandir Sahib temple with Marble and Copper. He also donated gold to cover the sanctum. The sanctum was covered with gold foils. He also made the temple officials position a hereditary one.

Golden temple is  a mixture of different architectural styles. Hindu Rajput architecture along with  Indian and Islamic Mughal architecture  can be seen here at the Golden temple.

Custom & Free Food at Golden Temple

It is customary to wash your legs before entering the golden temple. There is a free community kitchen which serves food to thousands of visitors,  daily. It is called Langar.

Wheat Halwa is the prasadam at Golden temple. Prasadam is  the food that is a religious offering in Sikhism. It is consumed by devotees after worshiping.

How Do I Go to the Golden Temple at Amritsar?

Amritsar is well connected by buses to cities like New Delhi, Dehradun, Shimla, Jammu, etc. Amritsar Railway Station is the nearest railway station to the Golden temple. Direct trains connects this holy city  with many of the major Indian cities.

Operation Blue Star at The Golden temple

Operation Blue Star was a military operation undertaken in June 1984 by the Indian Army, on Indira Gandhi’s orders, the then Indian prime minister, to contain militancy. To take revenge, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguard, on 31 October 1984.

Golden Temple Website

If you are looking for more details on golden temple, please check out Golden temple website.

Conclusion

Are you interested in going to Golden Temple, The abode of God for the Sikhs? Please leave your comments.