Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pazhaya Courtallam Falls (Old Courtallam Falls), Courtallam, Thirunelveli

Pazhaya Courtallam Falls (Old Courtallam Falls), Courtallam, Thirunelveli
Old Courtallam Falls, regionally known as Pazhaya Courtallam, is situated along with the road to Tenkasi. The 200 ft. fall features steps that are cut out into the rocks for breaking flow of cascading water. Pazhaya Courtallam is located 7 Kms away from Peraruvi and Courtallam Bus Stand. This falls is rarely frequented by the visitors. Along with separate bathing areas for men and women, tourists can engage themselves in oil massages. Old Courtallam Falls is also known as Shivamathungai Falls. The water flows through two rocks and drop into the valley to form this waterfall.

Bathing here is safe and is a popular activity. Road access is available close to the falls and about 100 meters walk is needed to reach the falls from parking area. Old Courtallam Falls will offer you much quieter experience compared to the other Courtallam Waterfalls like Courtallam Main Falls and Five Falls as there were far fewer people. So that will allow you to visit the falls and pay more attention to the scenery as well as seeing how the locals enjoyed the Ayurvedic healing properties of the water (as its feeding streams were said to pass through groves of naturally growing herbs with medicinal qualities).

This falls consisted of a somewhat naturally stair stepping upper tier before continuing on in a lower man-modified tier. The man-modified characteristic of the lower tiers appeared to be brought about because they artificially dammed the plunge pool between the upper and lower falls so there were shallow pools that were more like swimming or bathing pools. These pools were lined with concrete along with stairs and railings in much the same way that we would think of public swimming pools.

There was also the option of walking past the pools and getting directly underneath the waterfall itself for a drenching. It was about a 10-minute drive from Courtallam Main Falls to the Old Courtallam Falls. The drive will be along the outskirts of Courtallam town passing through a somewhat idyllic agricultural area with rice paddies and palm trees fronting the foothills of the Western Ghats. Pazhaya Courtallam Falls are seasonal in nature and are best visited in the post monsoon months.