Suruli falls is located 56 km (35 mi) from Theni and 10 km (6.2 mi) from Cumbum in the Theni District in Tamil Nadu, India.
It is a 2 stage Cascading waterfalls. The Suruli River supplying the falls originates from the Meghamalai mountain range. The falls drop from a height of 150 feet (46 m) gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets an additional 40 feet (12 m).
Lying on the way to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Suruli Falls are a perfect place for outing. The beauty of the falls increases with its surroundings. With the dense forest all over, the wild flowers and fruits add charm to the route of the falls. The sounds of the falling fall can be heard from the road which leads to the Falls. Reaching here is adding life to the excursion. Suruli Falls are so beautiful that they have even been mentioned in the Tamil Epic Silappathikaram written as poem. Suruli Falls are round the year Falls but June to October is the best time to be here as there is a lot of greenery. This is also the time when the water of the Falls at its best with full volume of water flowing in it.
Situated amidst rich flora fauna, Suruli Falls serve as a perfect picnic spot. They lie on the way to Periyar National Park, at a distance of 123 km from Madurai. The falls originate from the Megamalai hills and descend from a height of 150 feet. The best feature of Suruli Falls is that they are round-the-year falls. There are facilities for both men and women to bathe in the falls separately.
The falls serve as the venue of Summer Festival, organized every year by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department. Although tourists visit the place throughout the year, the best time to come here is June to October. During this time, the volume of the water in the falls is astounding. The Kailasanathar Temple Cave is also an added attraction of the place. It is located near Suruli Falls, at a height of 800 meters above the falls and has a spring, which is believed to have water with curative powers.
There are also other 18 caves in and around the Suruli Falls of Tamil Nadu. Then, there is a dargah near the falls, named after a Muslim mystic, Abubacker Masthan who lived around here in 1630s. Being the last resting place of the mystic, the dargah is an important place of worship. The dargah also lies close to the cave temple of Kailasanathar. There is another temple near the Suruli Falls called the Suruli Velappar temple, dedicated to Lord Kartikeya about half Kilometer from this waterfall. The pilgrims visit the temple with pots of milk on Saturday.
The holy water is said to cure several diseases. The Festivals during the months of Adi Thai and Chitrai are important ones. This hill has been mentioned in the literatures like "Silappadikaram".
At a distance of 123 kms from Madurai, 22 Kms from Thekkady (via Gudalur & Karuna Muthevan Patti), 10 Kms from Kambam (via Suruli Patti) & 548 Kms from Chennai, Suruli Falls are situated amidst rich flora fauna and serve as a perfect picnic spot.
The beauty of this falls finds mention in the ancient Tamil epic, Silappathikaram written by the poet Ilango Adigal. Near Suruli Falls are 5 caves which represent Indian rock-cut architecture of the 11th Century. On the Suruli River, The water is said to act as medicine and cure diseases.
It is one of the major tourist attractions in the Theni district and draws tourists from different parts of the state, particularly during the southwest monsoon. June - October is the best season due to monsoon activity, though there is some flow year round. This falls is tourist friendly with showers and changing area near the falls. There are frequent bus services available from Cumbum and Uthamapalayam to reach this falls on the way to Periyar National Park. The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department celebrates summer festival at Suruli falls every year. Construction of a bridge across the Suruli River at a cost of Rs.45 lakhs has increased tourist flow to the falls significantly.
Festivals Celebrated in Suruli Falls
The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department takes great initiatives to conduct the summer festival in Suruli Falls every year. “Saaral Festival” will be conducted during the first or second week of August. In the exhibition, the Department of Forests, Horticulture Education, Health and ICDS will make their presence. The Tourist officials will ensure to upgrade the basic amenities like bathrooms, toilets, drinking water facilities and dress changing rooms for the exhibition. People including devotees would gather in the destination and celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm. In order to help out the tourists, the Tourism Department has arranged separate facilities for men and women to relish in the falls.
Suruli hills are the part of the Pothigai Malai. Pothigai hills are a highly divine and spiritual center. There is a story that when Shiva and Parvati entered into divine matrimony at Mount Kailash in the north, the place was unbalanced because of the large number of holy beings witnessing the wedding. Lord Shiva asked Agastya Maharishi to proceed to the South of India to balance the world. Agastya Maharishi then proceeded to Pothigai hills and balanced the world. Agastya Maharishi was able to visualize the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati on a Shivalingam that was at Tiru Kalyana Teertham at Pothigai hills. These hills are visited by several saints and sages from Himalayas particularly on a full moon day. The striking similarity between the profiles of Mt. Kailash and Agasthyamalai strengthen the mythological connections of these sacred peaks.
While Swami Arulananda was at Pothigai hills, he often visited Subramania Swami temple in Thiruchendur. In 1981, on Thaipusam day (Full moon day in January), Agastya Maharishi appeared in Swamiji’s dream and asked him to proceed to Suruli Aandavar temple (Subramania Swami temple) at Suruli hills to practice Tapas. In this place, Subramania manifests as Suruli Aandavar.
Suruli Velappar Temple in praise of Kartikeya is located near the falls. This temple is shaped like an OM Pranava. OM is the source mantra of the universal. This Mantra was generated before the Earth and all planets were created. At this cave one can hear the OM Mantra when you are in meditation frequency. This statement was told by Omgara guru Sidhar Gunaneethy, who is the founder of Rishi's Meditation.
800 m (2,600 ft) above the fall is the Kailasanathar Cave Temple. At Kailasanathar cave a lot of Sidhars meditate at a natural spring with waters having medicinal powers. Now also a lot of Meykanda Devar's souls are there. Kailasanathar cave is connected with the Sathura Giri Mahalingam Kovil Cave. The Palani temple Murugan statue was built by Bogar with Navapasana (A unique type of medicine created using nine types of poisons). The bogar installed the statue before he came to Kailasnathar temple. Here he took a lot of Herbals and constructed the Murugan's Navapasana Statue.
The Dargah at Suruli is an important worship place for some Muslims. This is named after Abubacker Masthan who lived around the 1630s in this area and is buried here.
India-based Neutrino Observatory
In November 2009, Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, in a letter to Anil Kakodkar, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (India) (DAE) and Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission of India (AEC), denied permission for the Department of Atomic Energy to set up the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project at Singara in Nilgiris, as it falls in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).
Instead, he suggested an alternate site near Suruli Falls. The Minister said this site did not pose the same problems that Singara posed and environmental and forest clearances should not be a serious issue. He also assured the DAE that the Ministry would facilitate necessary approvals for the alternative location. Dr. Naba K. Mondal of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, who is the spokesperson for the INO project said:
"But Suruliyar too is in a reserve forest area that is dense and would require cutting down of trees, something that was not required at Singara. Can the government assure us that clearance for this site will be given?" he asks. "Alternatively, we can move to the nearby Thevaram, which is about 20–30 km (12–19 mi) away from the Suruliyar falls. This forest area has only shrubs but there is no source of water here and water will have to be piped over a distance of 30 km (19 mi),"
· Distance - Approx 56 kms from Theni and 10 kms from Cumbum
· Nearest Medical Help - Theni, Tamilnadu
· Nearest Human Vegetation - Cumbum, Tamilnadu
· Best Time- June to October
· District - Tamil Nadu
By Road: Theni is well-connected to all main towns.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Theni Railway station.
By Air: Nearest airport terminal is Madurai.