Tourist Places

Resounding cascades, silver-lined clouds resting a top billiard green hill tops, sheer rock faces and temples of antiquity are the stuff that distinguish the tourism destinations of the Theni District.  These unique places warm the soul and provide the much-needed balm to the mind.  Rustic ambience, hospitality of the local populace and their pastoral way of life make the destinations in Theni district a tourists' dream.  Theni district in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu is one among the choicest tourist delights and destinations with a delightful mixture of tourist attractions such as captivating dams, waterfalls and countless pilgrim centres.  This district is surrounded by the western ghats, with it ubiquitous green stretches of cultivated lands and tea gardens.  Silk cotton, soft towels, coffee seeds, cardamom, mango, are the main produce of the district. Theni district is the main route for the tourist bound from Madurai to Kochi via Bodinayakanur and Munnar and Madurai to Thekkadi wildfife sanctuary.

 

  Fact File 

Area (District)      :   2889 sq. km.

Population          :    10,34,724 (2001 census)

Altitude               :    100 m above sea level

Climate               :     Max 39.5 Degree

                                 Minimum 25.8 Degree

Season                :    Throughout the year

Clothing              :     Tropical

Language           :     Tamil, English

STD Code           :     04546

 

Theni

Theni is the district headquarters.   It is a business centre for cotton, chilli, textiles, etc.  It is connected by Rail and Road to Madurai.   The nearest Airport is Madurai.  Good network of Road links all destinations within the District, State and Country.

 

 Andipatti

Andipatti is a taluk headquarter, comprising a number of villages including small hamlets in the ghat section of Varushanad hill ranges.  Handlooms, textiles are popular here

 

 Vaigai Dam

Built across the majestic River Vaigai near Andipatti, the dam with a height of 111 feet can store 71 feet of water.  It is 7 kms from Andipatti, 14 kms from Theni and 70 kms from Madurai.  This dam was opened on January 21, 1959.The dam is unique for the sylvan garden around it.  The stillness and quiet are soothing to the mind.  The garden deserves the surname "Little Brindavan".  It is a popular picnic spot for the local population, particularly school children.  There is a separate play area for the Tourist.

 

 Mavoothu

The main attraction in Mavoothu is the Vellappar Temple.   This holy shrine is situated in the Varushanad hill ranges, 20 kms from Andipatti.   Nestling among the hills, the temple is atop a peak, surrounded by natural vegetation.  Transport is available upto the foothills only.  Rainwater gathers around the mango trees near this temple and flows downhill in torrents.  This has given the palce the name "mavoothu" which in Tamil stands for "spring of the mango grove".   This place has a perennial water source.

 

  Vellappar Temple Legend

The main vigraha (idol) of this temple was discovered by the local tribes called "Paliyars" while the temple was constructed by the then Kandamanur Zamindar.  The temple has shrines of Vinayaka and Saptakannikas.

 

  Curative Powers

It is believed that a ritual bath in the spring and eating food cooked in the water will cure the incurable of diseases.

  Puja Timings

7.30 am to 8.30 am in the morning and 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm in the evening.

  Important Festivals

Adi Amavasya (Blue Moon) and Thai Amavasya are celebrated with gaiety.  There is also an annual festival in the month of Chithirai .

 Devadanapatti

The main shrine in Devadanapatti is Kamatchi Amman Temple.  It is situated on the banks of the Manjal river.  This temple is 3 kms from Devadanapatti in Theni District.  In this temple, the doors to the sanctum sanctorum are never opened, and all the pujas are offered only to the portals.

 

The special puja performed in the evening to the accompaniment of local musical instruments is a spectacular audio-visual feast.

   Important Festival

The important festival in Kamatchi Amman Temple are Masi Maham and Shivarathri, which falls in February-March.

 

 Periyakulam

Periyakulam is an important town in Theni District.  It is situated 16 kms from Theni and located in the foothills of Kodaikkanal.  Mangoes of this town are very popular.  Mango is the largest harvest here, considered second only to Salem, and is exported to foreign countries. 

 

During summer the climate is cool at night, like Kodaikkanal.  Periyakulam is connected with all major towns in Tamil Nadu by road.  Nearest Airport is Madurai (80 kms).  Budget accommodation is available

 

 

 

 

  Balasubramaniya Temple

One of the important temples in Periyakulam is Arulmigu Balasubramanya Temple.  This was constructed by Rajendra Chola nearly 2000 years ago.

   Legend

Once king Rajendra Chola went lhunting in Agamalai near the banks of the Varaha river.   There a pig was feeding milk to its young ones.  The king unknowingly killed the pig.  Seeing the hunger of lthe young pigs, Lord Muruga fed the piglets.  King Rajendra Chola saw this amazing sight, and constructed this temple in memory of this Divine event.  This temple is considered equal to Kasi.  Since Brahma theertha runs in this river it is believed that any incurable disease is cured when we have a bath in this river water.

The idol of Lord Muruga with six faces seems to have been pierced from the ground-under.  Lord Muruga, seen here with lhis consorts, blesses all His devotees.

The old name of Periyakulam is Kuzhanthai Maanagaram.

 

 

 Sothupparai Dam

Sothupparai dam is located at 12 kms from Periyakulam.  This dam is built across the Varaha river.  It is a beautiful picnic spot.  The vide expanse of stored water is an impressive sight.

 

  Kumbakkarai Falls

An amazing feet of Nature, the Kumbakkarai Falls is yet another jewel in the crown of Tamil Nadu's tourist attractions.  Comparatively less known, these falls offer a breath taking view of the fascinating interaction between gushing water and solid rocks.  Add a verdant and wild backdrop and you have an exquisite sight.

Situated on the foothills of the Kodaikkanal hills, the falls are located at 8 kms from Periyakulam.  The water from these falls is full of the goodness of mineral and herbs. 

 Kannagi Temple 

Kannagi  temple  which  witnesses   a single day      festivity during Chitra Pournami day is in the interstate border. 

 

Veerapandi

Gowmariamman Temple which is located here attracts many pilgrims.  This 14th century temple was built by the Pendya King Veerapandi.  The Pandya Kind is said to have regained his vision by praying to Govmariyamman and Kanneeswaramudaiyar.  Close by the temple, the perennial Mullai river runs its course.  The temple is nearly 8 kms from Theni.

 

Kuchanur

Saturn or Saneeswarar is the main deity worshipped in Kuchanur.  In this temple Lord Sani is present in splendid isolation bereft of the other planets.  Here he is known as Kuchanooran. The Temple is located at Kuchanoor near Chinnamanur of Theni District on the bank of main channel of River Surabhi.  The Chief deity Seneeswaran  in the man God and its Genesis was on it own and not created (Suyambu).  In all temples Saneeswaran in either of Navagrahah or he remain in separate sannithi.  Where as in kuchanoor the Lord exists as prime deity Saneeswaran is other wise called as “Kuchanooran”

 King Dinakaran ruled “Kulinga” country with its capital Mainagar.  His son chandravathana through astrology  predicted that his father was suffering for seven and a half-years, which could be overcome by praying Lord Saneeswaran Chandravathanan ventured into forest, created Lord Saneeswaran’s image out of iron and started prayering Lord Saneeswaran.  Impressed by his devotees’s prayer before him at Kuchanoor where the present temple is located.

 Chinnamanur

This was formerly known as "Harikesarinallur" and it is mentioned in "Tholkappium".  This municipal town is a business hub for the nearby villages. Weekly Shandy here is very popular.  Sivagamiamman Temple located on the banks of the Mullai river is worth visiting.

 

Theertha Thotti

This natural spring is located on the Madurai-Kochi national highway between Theni and Bodinayakkanur.  Subramanya Temple here is a popular pilgrim centre.

 

Suruli Falls

The Suruli Falls which falls from a height of 150 feet gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets to a depth of 40 feet, offering a spectacular sight of nature's raw and wild beauty.  The dense forest that surround it provide an awesome backdrop.  Facilities are available for men and women to bathe separately in This falls. The special feature of the fall is that it is "a round the year" fall.  However, the best season to visit is June - October, when the thickness of the water column is astounding.  The beauty of this fall finds mention in Tamil Epic, Silappathikaram written by poet Ilango.

 

Kailasanathar Temple Cave is located near Suruli Falls.  There are 18 caves in and around the Suruli falls.  The Kailasanathar Cave Temple is situated 800 metres above the fall and lhas a spring, which possesses water of curative powers.  A Dargah named after Abubacker Masthan is another important place of worship in Suruli.  This is the place where the body of Abubacker Masthan is interred.  This is very close to the cave temple of Kailasanatha. 

 Abubacker was a Muslim mystic who lived around the 1630s.One more temple for Lord Kartikeya is also located near the falls which is called Suruli Velappar Temple.  Devotees carry pots of milk on Saturdays in the Tamil month of Chithirai to this temple.

 

Meghamalai

This scenic place is dotted with tea estates and cardamom plantations.  Situated at an elevation of 1500 metres above sea level, the place is rich in flora and fauna.

 

Velli Malai

A densely forested place replete with natural flora and fauna is located 6.5 kms from Theni in the Varushanadu hill ranges

 

Cloud Land Falls ( Chinna Suruli)

Situated 54 kms from Theni near Kombaithozhu Village.  These falls originate in the Megamalai - This is popularly known as Chinna Suruli.

Mullaiperiyar Dam

The Mullai Periyar dam is of a unique distinction of being one of the oldest irrigation Projects in the country for diversion of water to meet out the requirements of the drought prone area of the deficit water State of Tamil Nadu in the concept of Trans-basin.  This dam was constructed during the year 1887-1898 across the river Periyar based on the lease deed of 1886.

 Even though the catchments water spread and the dam are being located in the territory of  State of Kerala, the dam is being owned, maintained and operated by Government of TamilNadu. The water from the Periyar Lake is being diverted through the water shed cutting and a subterrancan tunnel to Vairavanar River and thence to Suruliyar & Vaigai.  Before construction of fore-bay dam, all the waters were hurled out from the month of the tunnel.  After constructing fore bay dam, all the water drawn from Periyar lake and fore bay dam has been let out into Vairavanar River from tail race of power house after utilization for power generation.

Bodinayakkanur

Located on the foot hills of the West Ghats, this town is popular for cardamom mango and coffee market.

 

Bodi Mettu

A hill resort situated at a height of 4500 feet, it is a most scenic place.  It is 26 kms from Bodinayakkanur.

 

Tiger Falls

A dainty fall on the route to Munnar between Bodi and Bodimettu from Theni

 

 

 

 

Excursion

 

Kodaikkanal

Situated at the southern tip of the upper Palani hills in the Western Ghats, this beautiful hill station is one of the most famous tourist spots in the South.  At a height of 2133 m above sea level. Kodai, as it is popularly known, is set amidst the wooded slopes and "Shola" forests of the ghats, making for a very pleasant climate throughout the year.  This hill resort is known for hill plantains and plums.  Several varieties of flowers abound here, including the Kurinji, which blossoms once in twelve years.

 

Palani

This is one of the most famous pilgrim centres of the South.  The temple is situated on a hill top and is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.  The presiding deity here is called Dandayathapani and the idol is made of medicinal herbs.  There is an electrically operated winch from the foot to the top of the hill for those pilgrims who prefer not to use the steps.

 

Madurai

Madurai is more than 2500 years old and was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 A.D., when the Pandyas made it their capital.  Modern Madurai is a burgeoning commercial centre and temple city.

Places of interest

Meenakshi Amman Temple

Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal

Gandhi Museum

Mariamman Teppakulam

Koodal Azhagar Temple

 

Accommodation in Theni

 

Theni (STD Code -04546)   Phone No.
  Sri Vijay Niwas A/C 253369
  Adhitya A/C 252607
  New Everest Hotel 52173
  Hotel Vaigai 252975
  Sri Sankar Lodge 272067
Vaigai Dam Vaigai Illam 242232
Andipatti DSKA Lodge 242175
  VGT Complex  
Periyakulam M.S.P.Lodge 231472
  Rajendra lodge 231329
Bodinaickanur Thirupathi Lodge 280269
  Hotel Dhalavai 280585
  Alankar Lodge 280348
  Krishna Lodge 280497
Chinnamanur (STD-04554) Sri Shanmuga lodge A/C 247530
  Manai Matchi  
  Thangam 247254
Uthamapalayam Delux Lodge 265231
  Akbar Tourist Home 265348
Cumbum Universal Lodge A/C 221908
  KNP Lodge A/C 221908
  Indira lodge 221-65
  RR Hotels 222228
  Jabbar international 222389
     
     

 

RESTAURANTS

Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Restaurants are available in all major towns.

 

PLACES OF WORSHIP:

TEMPLES:  

Veerapandi       -   Gowmariamman Temple          

Kuchanur          -   Saneeswaran Temple 

Movoothu         -   Velappar Temple                  

Theni               -    Bathrakaliamman Temple            

Bodinaickanu   r-    Paramasivan Temple                     

Chinamanur      -    Sivakami Amman Temple              

Allinagaram      -    Veerappa Ayyanar Temple               

Suruli Falls        -    Suruli Andavar Temple

 

CHURCHES:      

Rayappanpatti

Pani (snow) Madha Church

 

MOSQUE:          

Periya palli vasal, Uthamapalayam.

 

FESTIVALS:      

Andipatti          -   Sri Mavoothu Vellalar 

                           Chithrai Festival (April)

Devadhanapatti -    Kamatchiamman Maha Sivarathiri Festival 9March)

Veerapandi       -    Gowmariamman Festival (May)

Kuchanur          -    Saneeswaran Adi Festival (July/August)

Suruli               -    Velappar Festival (May0

Bodinaickanur   -     Paramasivam Temple Festival (April)

 

OTHER INFORMATION :

BANKS:       

Nationalised banks are available in Andipatti, Theni, Periyakulam, Bodi, 

Chinnamanur, Uthamapalayam and Cumbum.

 

TOUR OPERATORS

Even though government approved tour operators are not available taxis and  vans are available  for visiting places of interest.

 

POSTS AND TELEGRAPHSAvailable in all major towns.

 

BOOK STALLS :     Theni Madasamy & Co.

                              Bodinaickanur Sankar Eswari Stores and Jaya Stores.

 

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

 

               Office / Place Phone No.
District Collector, Theni    Office 253676
Camp Office 254732, 253626
Superintendent of Police, Theni 253999, 254100
Joint Director, Medical Service, Periyakulam 231292
Railway Station, Theni 252319
Tourist Officer, Kodaikanal 04542-241675
Hotel Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal 04542-241336
Madurai 0452-337471 to 77

  Tourist Officer, Madurai                                           0452 - 334757

  

DISTANCES FROM THENI

 

Madurai              - 76 kms

Andipatti              - 16 kms

Periyakulam          - 16 kms 

Bodinaickanur       - 16 kms

Cumbum              - 45 kms

Uthamapalayam    - 30 kms

Chinnamanur        - 22 kms

Kumuli                 -  65 kms

Kodaikanal            - 87 kms

Palani                  - 132 kms.