Monday, September 21, 2015

Ayyanar Falls

Ayyanar Falls
Ayyanar Falls are located 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Rajapalayam city and municipality in Virudhunagar District in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. They can be placed at a distance of 10 kilometers from Rajapalayam village. Ayyanar Falls are a part of the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats of the south. The source of water to these falls is the monsoon rains in the region. The water of the cascade is believed to be very pure and hence used by the nearby villages for drinking purpose. These waters are also used for irrigation in the surrounding areas, by the local farmers. The area near the Ayyanar falls is ideal for woodland mountain climbing for the tourists.

The falls is one of the main attractions of Rajapalayam, and is a famous tourist spot for the people living in East part of Virudhunagar District, especially Srivilliputtur and Sivakasi. It provides good opportunity for woodland mountain climbing. A dam is situated on the way to Ayyanar Falls which provides water for the whole city.

The name Ayyanar is given to these falls because there is a small forest temple named Ayyanar Temple beside the falls. Water from Ayyanar Falls is the only source of water for irrigation developments in the city of Rajapalayam. Ayyanar falls are amongst many cascades that grace the southern part of the state of Tamil Nadu.

A long trek of about 3 hours, along with some climbing, leads to the prestigious falls of Ayyanar. The Ayyanar falls are a natural flowing cascade. The height of these falls is 15 feet above sea level. The ideal time to visit the Ayyanar falls is in the months of September to January, after the monsoons subside. The Ayyanar forest area is graced with many water bodies such as waterfalls, springs and streams, bringing greenery into the area.

The 15 feet high segmented Ayyanar Falls has dense forest as its backdrop. The forest with its natural beauty is an added attraction to this place. It is advised by the forest department not to venture near the falls during heavy monsoon rains as it would cause the waters to flood in a very short span of time.

Geographically protected by verdant hills on all sides, the falls is located in the midst of scenic green vegetation and is off-limits for the public. But several spots on the way to the falls appear to be popular picnic locations. Many rare and endemic varieties of flora and fauna are found along the mountain slopes here.
The falls are maintained by the Department of Forest, Tamil Nadu and by the Rajapalayam Municipality. Located in lush woodlands, Ayyanar Falls is a delightful place to enjoy the magnificence of nature. Located on the eastern slopes of the mighty Western Ghats, trekking to these falls will give you a great opportunity to enjoy woodland mountain climbing. You will need permission from the Forest Department to trek to Ayyanar Falls. The ascent to the falls will take you about three hours.
The forest is home to the Grizzled Squirrel and Varaiyadu Goat, so it is a protected area. It is recommended that you return before sundown as the forests are home to wild elephants.

Apart from the Ayyanar falls, other tourist destinations around the area are Ayyanar Kovil, a dam near the falls, Srivilliputtur, Ayyanar Koil Forest area, Sri Vallakattu Karuppasamy Kovil, Sanjeevi Hills and Shenbagathoppu Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary. Tourism is the main source of livelihood for the people residing in the neighboring villages of the Ayyanar falls. Some of the important tourist destinations have been elaborated below:

Ayyanar Koil Forest Area

The Ayyanar forest area is graced with many water bodies such as waterfalls, springs and streams, bringing greenery into the area. The famous Ayyanar temple is located within this forest. Hiking, trekking and mountaineering is undertaken by the locals and tourists visiting this forest area.

Sri Vallakattu Karuppasamy Kovil

This temple is located near the Ayyanar temple, in the middle of the Ayyanar forest area. This temple is the most coveted in the region.


By Air

The nearest airport to Rajapalayam is Madurai which is located at a distance of about 79 Kms. After reaching here, you can reach Rajapalayam through train, bus or by hiring a private taxi.

By Rail

The nearest rail head to Ayyanar Falls is Rajapalayam at a distance of about 12 Km from the Ayyanar falls. You can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the falls from the railway station.

By Road

The nearest bus station is located in Rajapalayam at a distance of about 10 Km and it in turn is connected with other major cities of Tamil Nadu through a well developed network of roads.