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Classic Charm: Top Tourist Attractions in Tamil Nadu

Famously known as the "Temple State of India," Tamil Nadu is a living homage to one humanity's oldest classical civilizations

Bestowed with a plethora of beautiful natural settings – scenic landscapes, waterfalls, beaches, temples and hill stations – the state of Tamil Nadu truly exemplifies its tagline of “Enchanting Tamil Nadu.” The myriad presence of heritage sites, pilgrimage centres and a pristine coastline make it a hub of tourist activities abuzz with travellers all year round. Courtallam is one such town in the state, which is famous for its old temples, scenic beauty and waterfalls.

Courtallam Falls

Experience the joy of bathing under the cascading wonders of Five Falls in Courtallam, as you rejuvenate yourself. Famously called the “Spa of South India,” the falls have special Ayurvedic, medicinal and healing properties, and have acquired them as they stream through groves of natural herbs with medicinal properties. Bathing in these falls works like a treatment for many skin-related ailments. The name ‘Five Falls’ comes from the fact that there are five strands of segmented waterfalls coming down in parallel streams. There are separate bathing areas for men and women, and railings provide the necessary segregation. After the Main Falls, this is the most famous waterfall and the most enjoyable of all the falls in Courtallam. Bathing here is very safe and an enjoyable activity. There is also an Eco Park and boat house nearby. Fruit Garden Falls or Pazhathotta Aruvi is situated above the Five Falls. These small falls are set amidst a deep forest range. People need to seek permission from the Tourism Board for bathing at the Pazhathotta Aruvi.

Kutralanathar Temple

Situated near Courtallam Falls, and 7 km from Tenkasi, stands the 2000-year-old Kutralanathar Temple, also known as Thirukkutralanathar. It is one of the most popular temples of Tamil Nadu and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are a lot of old Tamil inscriptions from the Chola and Pandyan periods, and the temple is one of the 275 Thevara Shivasthalas of Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Saint Agastya, on Lord Shiva’s request, converted this original Vishnu Shrine to a Sivalingam to avoid any imbalance of Earth in the South, caused by the multitude of entities present at the Himalayas to witness the celestial wedding of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. The finger prints of Sage Agastya are still visible on the Lingam. The conch-shaped temple is referred to as Sangakkovil.

Gundar Dam

Located in the Tirunelveli district, near the towns of Courtallam and Sengottai, Gundar Dam provides for a relaxed and peaceful picnic spot, where young lads can be seen ready to take the plunge. The dam site is preferred for its salubrious climate and atmosphere, with long winding forest roads surrounded by flowering plants and green trees on both sides. Best time to visit is during the winter season, between September and March. There are many tourist attractions nearby, including a tiger reserve, five waterfalls, famous temples and a wildlife sanctuary.

Ulagamman Temple

Situated at 5km from Courtallam and 55km from Tirunelveli, Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple is one of the major attractions of Tenkasi. Built in Dravidian style by the Pandya Kings, the temple features the massive gopura, which is the second largest in Tamil Nadu. This temple is also known as Ulagamman Temple. The Rajagopuram is 180ft. tall and is a masterpiece, depicting aesthetic beauty and craftsmanship. You can have an aerial view of Tenkasi, climbing the pathway leading up to the tower in the 9th tier. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva, in a self-incarnated form of Kasi Viswanathar, as Tenkasi is often called the Kashi of South India. The consort of Lord Shiva in this temple is known as Ulagamman. This temple boasts beautiful sculptures, hand carved statues and musical stone pillars that produce different sounds when tapped with fingers. The 10-day Masi Magam in February/March, Navarathri in September/October, Tirukalyanam in October/November, boat festival in August/September are the major festivals that are celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm in the temple.

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