Sunday, September 13, 2015

Manjolai Hills

Manjolai Hills
Manjolai is a hill station, at a height of around 1162 m. This place is famous for its tea plantations, amongst which the Bombay Burma Tea Estate is the most prominent. Due to its scenic beauty, this place is compared with Udhagamandalam (Ooty). Other important tourist spots near Manjolai are the Kakkachi and Nalumukku.

The hill is located in the elevation ranging between 1, 000 meters and 1, 500 meters. Manjolai area is located deep within Western Ghats within the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tirunelveli district. The area around Manjolai hills comprises tea plantation, Upper Kodiayar Dam, a view point named Kuthiravetti and small settlements. One can spot three tea estates within the Manjolai area.

A trip to Manjolai is worth the visit. There are many small waterfalls amidst lush greenery all the way to the top. The place has not been, however disturbed by mankind and the birds with their cries and chirps welcome all visitors to the place. Manjolai is also called the ‘poor man’s Ooty’. This place is a hill station above the Manimuthar Dam.

Manjolai Tea Estate falls within the vicinity of Manimutharu town in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu. The Manjolai area is set within the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve at altitudes that range between 1000 and 1500 metres in the Western Ghats.

Perched at an altitude of 1000 meters to 1500 meters, Manjolai Hills is yet another enticing destination nearby Tirunelveli District. Manjolai is well amidst of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Sanctuary. On the route to Manjolai, you will be mesmerized by the greenery and nature’s stunning work. Atop Manjolai, you can come across few private tea and coffee plantations. 

Trekkers can have good time trekking amidst of thick plantations. You should also visit the Manimuthar Falls. A dam was built across the fall and it is named as “Manimuthar Dam”. One can also catch the breathtaking view from the windy view point called “Kuthiravetti”. It is essential to get permission from forest department while travelling in private vehicles. Government buses are also available to reach this lovely hillock.

General information about Manjolai
16.41 Sq.Kms
12290 (Manimuthar Population)
1162 Meters
Winter: 10°C - 20° C Summer: 16°C - 25° C
13°C - 20° C 
800 mm
Beast Season - November - March
Light Woolen in Winter & Cotton in Summer
Calling Code
+ 91 - 462

Places of Interest
Nalumukku is only a short distance away from Manjolai estate. The approach to Nalumukku is very adventurous. The roads are small and through dense vegetation. There are sudden sharp turns leading through dense vegetation straight in to the forest. This road leads on to a wooden bridge under which there is a steady stream. The place looks like a picture right out of an adventure story. Nalumukku is also a part of ‘poor man’s Ooty’. The climate is cool and pleasant because of the altitude and the dense cover of the forest.

Nalumukku is situated within the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve. It is situated in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu.

Nalumukku can be visited throughout the year. In summer, it is sweltering hot during the day and sweaters are needed in the night as it will be very cold in the night. In April there is a festival at the local temple and worth a visit.

 Place to Stay

It is difficult to find accommodation in Nalumukku and the nearest place will be at the base of Manjolai Tea Estate. There is a small tea shop where food is available but has to be ordered in advance. Accommodation is also available in the Government Guest House at Kuthiravetti but has to be booked earlier. The ground behind the Guest house is a good location to view Sambar deer, wild boars, and bears.

Travel Advisory

Permission from the Forest Officer is required to go to Manjolai Estate and further and all places being visited, that is, Nalumukku, Kodaiyar and beyond should be specifically mentioned on the order. To visit Kodaiyar Dam, permission is required from the officials of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. To visit local places, it is advisable to hire a local taxi as they will handle the permits and passes that are required.
The place is about 8 Kms from Nalumukku. There are three dams at the place. The peak is a very windy viewpoint. The Manimuthar, Karaiyar Dams and Servalar Dam can be seen from this place. The valley below the point is dense forest. Beyond the mountains are Kakkachi and Manjolai. There is a watch tower on the peak.

This place is only 8 Kms from Nalumukku. The road to the place is adventurous as the road is narrow and there are dense undergrowths. The landscape is scenic and misty during the monsoons. The villages Kakkachi and Manjolai Tea Estate are not visible but beyond the mountain slopes. This is a windy viewpoint from where the Manimuthar Dam and the Kariyar Dam can be seen. Thick forest separates these dams. There is a watch tower on the hill.

This beautiful view point is located after the Nalumukku and Ooth Esate. From this view point one can view the lush green forests of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve and the dams like Kadamparai (Papanasam Dam) and Manimuthar Dam. Sunset at the point provides a beautiful view of the valley.

Kudiraivetti; How comes the name is a big question mark in mind, while finding the answer, The Villagers told me that earlier in kings age; they had horse training camp at this place. After some incidents the horse were killed by opponents for some reasons from then on Kutheraikatti (Making/Living Horse in English) was become called as Kuthiravetti (Killing horse in English). It was nice and interesting story, I don’t know how for it’s true.

The guesthouse of the Travancore Royal Family is located here and is called "Muthukuzhi Vayual."  Regular bus services are available from Manimutharu and Ambasamudram

Best Time to Visit: Jan to May and August to October

Bus Timings:  From Tirunelveli New Bus Terminal: 4:00, 1:30pm and 3:00pm (4 Hours Travel)

Distance Chart: 

From Tirunelveli to Kudiraivetti: 57 KM
Manimutharu to Kudiraivetti: 37 KM

Special Note: Food and Necessary things should be packed up before going

For Stay & driving in private vehicle one must get prior permission from forest official since it is coming under Reserve Forest. If you are using Public Transport no need to get permission.

Contact Details: 

The District Forest Officer 

Tirunelveli Division
North Main Road
N.G.O.A Colony
Phone: 0462 - 2553005
Fax: 0462 - 2553605

Stay Room: Forest Guest house is available to stay Rs.1500/day for 6~7 Persons.


This is another viewpoint near Nalumukku but permission is required to visit the place as it goes through a tea estate in Oothu. Wild elephants are seen to go on rampage in the area. The Karaiyar dam is visible from this viewpoint.
Shengaltheri is located in Kalakadu mountain area in Tirunelveli district. It is 20 Km from Kalakadu village, and 68 Km from Tirunelveli. This area comes under Kalakadu Wild Life sanctuary. This place is a popular picnic spot because of its natural beauty and salubrious climate. Manimutharu originates here. The perennial waterfall is an added attraction for tourists. In Shengaltheri, a Rest House and one Watch Tower are the available accommodation facilities. There is another P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow near the bus stop at the Junction. The nearest Railway stations are Valliyoor & Nanguneri. To go to Shengaltheri, prior permission has to be obtained from Field Director, Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tirunelveli.
Manimuthar Waterfalls
This falls is located near the Singampatti Zamindar’s residence. Manimuthar Falls are located in the Tirunelveli district of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are created by the waters of the River Manimuthar that originates in the Western Ghats. The Manjolai Hills grace the region atop the Manimuthar cascade. These hills are mainly covered in commercial tea plantations. The Manimuthar Falls are located at a distance of 47 kilometers from the district headquarters of Tirunelveli. The nearest rail head to reach the cascade is at Kallidaikurichi. One can reach the Manimuthar Falls from the Manimuthar Dam via Ghat road, about 5 kilometers away. A garden overlooks both the cascade and the dam, largely visited by the tourists.

Manimuthar Falls is natural water falls flowing throughout the year situated above the Manimuthar dam. Driving there by bike will be adventurous. The falls nearby has a pond which has a depth of 90 feet (27 m). It is a picturesque place. It is in 35 km from Tirunelveli city. There are some public transport services to go this place on regular intervals from Kallidai Kurichi, the nearby town. Above this fall’s the pleasant tourist spot Kothaiyar is there.

Manimuthar Falls are created by the waters of Manimuthar River, one of the most important rain fed river in South India.  Manimuthar Falls is located in the Manimuthar river cascade. These hills are mainly covered in commercial tea plantations of South India. A garden overlooks both the cascade and the dam, largely visited by the tourists.

Manimuthar Falls can be visited in railways, roadways and airways. The nearest railway head to reach Manimuthar Falls is at Kallidaikurichi. One can reach the Manimuthar Falls from the Manimuthar Dam via Ghat road, about 5 kilometers away. 

Tea estates

Manjolai, Kakachi, Nalamukku and ooth estate provides Manjolai a pleasurable experience. The roads through thiese estates not only provide access to Manjolai but offers beautiful and splendid view of the nature.

Kuttiyar dam: 

This is another small dam on the way to the Winch station from Kodaiyar lower Dam.

Dasan Pool

Plenty of fresh water, greens and fine climate dots this place. On the way to Manjolai from Manimuthar there is a very beautiful place called Dasan Pool with plenty of fresh water, greens and fine climate.Just above Manjolai, there are places like Kakkachi and Nalumukka which are real gifts of the nature.Other important tourist spots near Manjolai are the Kakkachi and Nalumukku

Mini Golf course

This natural golf course located in the Manjolai estate provides a panoramic view.

Singampatti Zamin

Zamin Singampatti is a Village in Ambasamudram Taluk in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu State, India. It is located 28 KM towards west from District head quarters Tirunelveli. 670 KM from State capital Chennai. It is actually the residence of the present Zamindar, Raja Theerthapathi.

Singampatti is a small village in the district, popular for the Singampatti Zamin Palace and a 200 year old museum. This village was once a kingdom that remained under the reign of around 32 rulers, since 1100. It covers an area of around 340 sq km.

Singampatti is traditionally recognized as one of the 72 palaiyams of Tamil Nadu. This Maravar palaiyams headed 24 of 72 palaiyams was located in the Ambasamudram Taluk, two miles from the spurs of the Western Ghats, in the former Tirunelveli province of the Nayak kingdom of Madurai.

Zamin Singampatti is surrounded by Vikramasingapuram Taluk towards west, Pappakudi Taluk towards East, Cheranmahadevi Taluk towards East, Kadayam Taluk towards North. 

Vikramasingapuram, Tirunelveli, Surandai, Tenkasi are the nearby Cities to Zamin Singampatti.

Its polygar belonged to the Siruthaali-Katti sub caste of the Maravar. According to tradition, the founder of the Singampatti family was Apadhurhara Thevar, who on orders from the Pandyan ruler of the day, routed an invading Kannada army and, as a reward, was given possession of Singampatti. The fifth in descent was made polygar of Singampatti by Visvanatha Nayakar, the first king of Madurai. This palaiyam headed 24 palaiyams of 72 palaiyams of south Tamil Nadu (Undivided Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari) 

Coalition with Puli Thevar in Poligar War

Singampatti was one of the palaiyams that joined Pooli Thevan’s coalition in 1754-1761. In 1766, it joined the insurrection led by the polygar of Kollamkondan after victories over the Anglo-Nawabi forces helped the revolt spread to other polygars. That same year, General Donald Campbell began a systematic campaign, taking the forts of the major confederates one by one, including Singampatti. Anxious over Hyder Ali’s activities, however, Campbell settled the polygars’ revenue accounts and restored them to their possessions in 1767.

Post 1799

At the end of the First Polygar War in 1799, the polygar of Singampatti surrendered one fort and 105 armed men to Major J. Bannerman. The palaiyam, which had been under the Company’s administration since 1798, was restored to its former chief, Polygar Nellakotti Thevar (Nallakotti Thevar), in 1801, at the conclusion of the Second Polygar War; it survived into the 19th century as a zamindari. The zamindari originally had an area of more than 90 sq. m., and included four villages. 

Post abolition of Zamindari

Singampatti currently comes under Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli District.

By Rail: Ambasamudram Rail Way Station, Kallidaikurichi Rail Way Station are the very nearby railway stations to Zamin Singampatti. How ever Tirunelveli Rail Way Station is major railway station 32 KM near to Zamin Singampatti 

Papanasam Temple:
This temple is located about 40 Kms from Manjolai. The Papanasar temple the famous shrine in Papanasam which lies in the bank of Thambaraparani River where the main deity is Lord Shiva in the name of Papanasar (Destroyer of Sins). The name of the Goddess is Lord Loganayaki who is also known as Ulagambigai.
This Papanasar temple is first among the NavaKailayams where the Navagraha known for this temple is Surya (The Sun). Papanasar is mainly known for his healing powers where he seems to be the medicine for any diseases in the world. He has the power to cure any diseases for his disciples who really have the love and affection on him.

The temple is famous for its Chittirai Peruvila where the Urchavam used to happen for 13 days. This is in memory of Saint Agasthiyar where he got the Kalyana Dharshan of Lord Shiva and Parvathy in Rishaba Vahana along with his wife Ulobamuthirai.
The body of Lord Papanasar is wholly and naturally made of Rudraksha who is also known as Rudrakshanathar. The old name of Papanasar is Vairaja Lingam.
There are two temples; The Pallaivanatha Swamy temple constructed by the Chola King and the other is the 108 Sivalayam temples. There is also a Granary (storehouse of paddy) which measure 86 feet (26 m) in width and has a height of 36 feet (11 m) with a capacity of 3,000 kalam which is a measure. The Nayaks between 1600-1634 constructed it. It was built by stone of lime. The State Archaeological Department declared it as a monument. One can see the 108 Sivalingams only in the temple in Papanasam. Also one can see a Granary of this size only here.
The Papanasam temple structure is marvelous. There is artistic beauty in it. There are 7 steps in the Gopuram. This temple is in the western banks of the Thambirabarani river. The importance of this place is that Agathiaa Munivar stayed here and did penance. The height of the temple – Gopuram is 80 feet. This temple is divided into 2 parts. In one part Papanasam Perumal adorns. He has a number of names Vairasalingam, Pazhamurainayagar, Mukhazhalingar, Paranjothi Lingar so on and there are 3 piraharams in front of the karpagraham where the Lord adorns. There are also Mada veedhi, Nandavana churtu, Utchurtu Mandapam, Vasantha Mandapam, Vahana Mandapam and Thirumarai Mandapam. The Navagrahas appear in front of the Thirumana Mandapam. In the Nothern side, Lord Dakshinamurthy gives Darshan, facing south.

There are sculptures of single fish and double fish found on the top layer of Vasantha Mandapam. So it is said that this temple had been built during Pandya period. Since it is said that the Pandya king Vikramasingan built this temple, the place Vikramasingapuram is called after his name.
The month of Chithrai is Special. On the ninth day is the car festival. Then the floating festival takes place. One must realize that if we take bath in the river opposite the Papanasam temple, it is equivalent to taking bath in Kasi. There is no doubt that the sins we had committed would leave us.
It is very important to worship Lord Shivalinga during Sivarathris. There are procedures in worshipping Lord Sivalinga. If we worship according to these procedures our sins will be removed. Birth – diseases will be removed. The sages have said that whoever worships Lord Sivalinga, will be relieved of their sins.
The holy place of Papanasam contains many historical facts. Among them are Vairasalingam episode, moksha given to Virattu, The Vedas transformed into Thala Virutcham, the episode of Raja Raja Pandiyan who was cursed and Sundaran’s repentance. The disciples of Lord Siva say – If people pray to this holy Podigai Mountain with sincereity, they will be relieved of their sins and would be blessed with prosperity.
Thiruvalluvar Arts College is famous in this area.
Nearby Dams
 Banatheertham Falls
Agasthiyar Falls
Food & Accommodation
This place is not often visited and as such there is only an estate teashop where snacks and tea are available. This tea stall caters to the local estate employees and to the wander lust that arrives in the place in trickles. Accommodation at the base of Manjolai estate is provided by the State Tourism department in a place called Singampatti Zamin. There is a guest house in Kuthiravetti which has to be booked in advance. The place behind the Guest house is a great place to view elephants, bears, sambar deer and wild boars.
Hotel Alankar and Annai Chicken are some of the good places to eat near Manimutharu because Manjolai Hills does not have any good restaurants or accommodation options. Tourists have to carry fruits and water with them when they go for a trekking trip to Manjolai. Good places to stay are Hotel RAAMS Parks and Hotel Sakunthala International. These are budget hotels and are located at a minimum distance of 20km away from Manimutharu. Local specialities like Vatha Kuzhambu, padaneer, Ambai chicken kuzhambu etc. are must-eat dishes here.
Travel Advisory
Permission from the Forest Department is required for going to Manjolai estate and Kuthiravetti. This can be arranged with the State Tourist Department. There are monkeys at Manimuthar Falls and visitors have to be careful of their belongings. Plastic carry bags are frowned at and it is better to carry food in packing containers that can be destroyed after the adventure. To visit Kodaiyar Dam, permission has to be availed from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board officials.


Tirunelveli is well connected by road. The city is located on the National Highway no. 7. It is well connected to all the major cities of Peninsular India by National as well as state highways. The Tamilnadu Transport Corporation operates buses to Chennai, Bangalore, Salem, Coimbatore, Nagapattinam, Erode and Tirupati originating from Tirunelveli. The nearest major city is Tirunelveli, which is a two hour’s drive and 57 kms. away from Manjolai Estate. 

There are buses from Tirunelveli, Ambasamudram and Manimuthar.  Local taxies are available and these operators will have the necessary passes and permits. The place is accessible from Ambasamudram which is 50 kms. away and Nagercoil.


The Tirunelveli Junction railway station is an extremely busy and important railway junction in Tamilnadu. It connects Tirunelveli to all the major cities in India and Tamilnadu such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Trichy, Thanjore and Kanyakumari. Various express and super fast trains pass through Tirunelveli.


The nearest airport from Tirunelveli is Tuticorin airport that is located at a distance of 28 kilometers from the downtown Tirunelveli & Madurai Airport is around 150 Kms away. Tuticorin airport sees very less flights but Trivandrum airport that is around 150 kilometers in Kerala has regular flights for various cities in India as well as South and West Asia.


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