Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kaarayaar Baanatheertham – The hiding beauty

            Kaarayaar, a major tributary of the perennial river Thamraparni, originates from Agasthya hills, in the Western Ghats, joins Manimuthar, at the foot hill, and flows east to join Indian Ocean, near Thoothukkudi (Tuticorin). I had been earlier to the mountain sector where Manimuthar originates. Then onwards Kaarayaar was in the hit list. Thamraparni dam is built across Kaarayaar, near to its origin and came to know that, unlike in other reservoirs, Kaarayaar plunges into the vastness, locally known as Baanatheertham falls. To add, this one denies view to a regular visitor to the dam, unless you ride in a boat along the reservoir. Planned the visit as a part of our Dhanushkodi trip, which I had mentioned in my earlier post. 
                Reached Kallidakurichi, close to Ambasamudram, by around 9 at night. The team comprised of four families, as detailed in the earlier post. While planning the trip, though I ploughed the web, couldn’t find a place to stay at Ambai. Then thought of an old internet friend, Mr. Robert Manjolai, and through his contacts, could book four rooms at Hotel Baskar, perhaps the only thing of its kind in the Ambai sector. And the loan Bar, for the entire region, is the one attached to this hotel. Owing to shortage of base area, the structure was tower fashioned, and we were allotted rooms in the fifth floor. Occupied the rooms, had a lightening body wash, and hit the bed, as we were good for nothing else, after the tiring drive. 

           Woke up by 7 in the morning, to have an aerial view of Kallidakurichi town surrounded by the greenery of fields, bordered by the majestic mountains, from the balcony of our floor. Even Manimuthar dam was visible from that height. Got down to earth to have tea from a wayside vendor. Got ready by 9, had break fast from Hotel Gowry Sankar at Ambai, and came back to Kallidakurichi, to watch the making of famous ‘Kallidakurichi Murukku’ and ‘Appalam’. Had to wait for a while, to have them that much we needed, out of their pans. Vacated the rooms, drove to Ambai and took a left turn for Papanasam, via Vikramasingapuram. 

                Went past Papanasam temple and entered Mundanthurai reserve. Drove along the winding road, somewhat in good shape. Stopped to have a distant snap of Agasthiar falls, at lower Kaarayaar. 

          Crossed Servalar, another tributary of Thamraparni, along the iron bridge and proceeded further. 

                A peacock, by the wayside, was used to intruders, and didn’t shy away.

          Parked our vehicles near the dam and walked along the reservoir side. Way side vendors had ‘ready to fry’ dam fish, soaked in generous spread of red masala, all over. Dinesh had upper levels of hygiene concern which deprived us of a bite over the crispy thing. 

       Hired a boat for Rs.300 and got geared for the ride. 

           Though Dinesh and Sangeetha opted to view the trail, from the shore, their kids had enough enthuse in them, to join us. 

                The reservoir was bordered by thick woods of Mundanthurai reserve, and the cruise amidst the greenery was enchanting. 

      None were bothered of the slight drizzle. Anoj was entrusted with the video capture and the poor guy could enjoy the beauty only through the three inch screen. Our boatman was very informative and he helped me in locating Kuthiravetti view point atop the towering mount to the left. 

             Thought of Jakkayya who lead me to Kuthiravetti, to have an aerial view of Kaarayaar and Manimuthar reservoirs, during an earlier visit to Manjolai and Upper Kodayar. After a 20 minutes ride, the white descent appeared all of a sudden, to the right. 

       Took the boat as close as possible, to have the richness well captured. Spent about 15 minutes there and took the U-turn. 


               We had an otter swim by our side with occasional aquatics. And he was keen not to be in any of our frames. We were dropped back at the boarding point, in another 20 minutes, where Dineshs were waiting eagerly, for our safe return. 

                On the return, took a right deviation for Agasthya falls, which was a thin descent. Spent a while under the shower, to wash of the tiredness. Got back to the wheels, drove back to Papanasam, and took left at Dana to join the Senkotta stretch. Crossed over to our state through Aryankavu Pass and back home by 9 PM.

        It has become a practice nowadays to wind up every travel with the planning of the next. Might be to have hope lead, till the next venture. For instance, 10th 11th and 12th of September were holidays and had to start the planning, the next day itself, for that was just two weeks ahead. 

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  1. Hi

    great work !!!

    good photo of peacock

    You are really a DLC man

    good narration and photos

    This is only place(its surroundings) in the Thirunelveli dist. has plenty of water.


  2. So every trip ends with a planning of the next. Every trip gives us new experiences which compel us to learn more. I really admire your effort to explore new.

  3. Krishna : Thanx for opening the comment box with a pleasing comment

    Pramod : 'Asambu' is waiting for the rains to subside

  4. pls advice the route from tvm to amba samudram including papanasam falls,banatheertham...

    1. Ajay : You may take Nagercoil - Panakudi - Kalakkad - Cheranmahadevi - Kallidakurichi - Ambai - Papanasam - Banatheertham route. Papanasam falls is a slight left deviation from Papanasam - Banatheertham route

  5. My id


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