Public Interest | Tourism

Tourist Places

Resounding cascades, silver-lined clouds resting a top billiard green hill tops, sheer rock faces and temples of antiquity are the stuff that distinguish the tourism destinations of the Theni District. These unique places warm the soul and provide the much-needed balm to the mind. Rustic ambience, hospitality of the local populace and their pastoral way of life make the destinations in Theni district a tourists' dream. Theni district in the Southern part of Tamilnadu is one among the choicest tourist delights and destinations with a delightful mixture of tourist attractions such as captivating dams, waterfalls and countless pilgrim centers.
This district is surrounded by the western ghats, with it ubiquitous green stretches of cultivated lands and tea gardens. Silk cotton, soft towels, coffee seeds, cardamom, mango, are the main produce of the district. Theni district is the main route for the tourist bound from Madurai to Kochi via Bodinayakanur and Munnar and Madurai to Thekkadi wildfife sanctuary.

DISTANCES FROM THENI
Fact File
Madurai 76 kms
Andipatti 16 kms
Periyakulam 16 kms
Bodinaickanur 16 kms
Cumbum 45 kms
Uthamapalayam 30 kms
Chinnamanur 22 kms
Kumuli 65 kms
Kodaikanal 87 kms
Palani 132 kms.
Area (District) 2889 sq. km.
Population 10,34,724 (2001 census)
Altitude 100 m above sea level
Climate Max 39.5 C
Minimum 25.8 C
Season Throughout the year
Clothing Tropical
Language Tamil, English
STD Code 04546
Theni

Theni is the district headquarters. It is a business centre for cotton, chilli, textiles, etc. It is connected by Rail and Road to Madurai. The nearest Airport is Madurai. Good network of Road links all destinations within the District, State and Country.

Andipatti

Andipatti is a taluk headquarter, comprising a number of villages including small hamlets in the ghat section of Varushanad hill ranges. Handlooms, textiles are popular here.

Vaigai Dam

Built across the majestic River Vaigai near Andipatti, the dam with a height of 111 feet can store 71 feet of water. It is 7 kms from Andipatti, 14 kms from Theni and 70 kms from Madurai. This dam was opened on January 21, 1959.The dam is unique for the sylvan garden around it. The stillness and quiet are soothing to the mind. The garden deserves the surname "Little Brindavan". It is a popular picnic spot for the local population, particularly school children. There is a separate play area for the Tourist.

Mavoothu

The main attraction in Mavoothu is the Vellappar Temple. This holy shrine is situated in the Varushanad hill ranges, 20 kms from Andipatti. Nestling among the hills, the temple is atop a peak, surrounded by natural vegetation. Transport is available up to the foothills only. Rainwater gathers around the mango trees near this temple and flows downhill in torrents. This has given the place the name "mavoothu" which in Tamil stands for "spring of the mango grove". This place has a perennial water source.

Vellappar Temple Legend
The main vigraha (idol) of this temple was discovered by the local tribes called "Paliyars" while the temple was constructed by the then Kandamanur Zamindar. The temple has shrines of Vinayaka and Saptakannikas.

Curative Powers

It is believed that a ritual bath in the spring and eating food cooked in the water will cure the incurable of diseases.



Pooja Timings


7.30 am to 8.30 am in the morning and 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm in the evening.

Important Festivals

Adi Amavasya (Blue Moon) and Thai Amavasya are celebrated with gaiety. There is also an annual festival in the month of Chithirai

Devadanapatti


The main shrine in Devadanapatti is Kamatchi Amman Temple. It is situated on the banks of the Manjal river. This temple is 3 kms from Devadanapatti in Theni District. In this temple, the doors to the sanctum sanctorum are never opened, and all the pujas are offered only to the portals

The special puja performed in the evening to the accompaniment of local musical instruments is a spectacular audio-visual feast

Important Festival

The important festival in Kamatchi Amman Temple are Masi Maham and Shivarathri, which falls in February-March

Periyakulam

Periyakulam is an important town in Theni District. It is situated 16 kms from Theni and located in the foothills of Kodaikkanal. Mangoes of this town are very popular. Mango is the largest harvest here, considered second only to Salem, and is exported to foreign countries.

During summer the climate is cool at night, like Kodaikkanal. Periyakulam is connected with all major towns in Tamil Nadu by road. Nearest Airport is Madurai (80 kms). Budget accommodation is availab

Balasubramaniya Temple

One of the important temples in Periyakulam is Arulmigu Balasubramanya Temple. This was constructed by Rajendra Chola nearly 2000 years ago.

Legend
Once king Rajendra Chola went for hunting in Agamalai near the banks of the Varaha river. There a pig was feeding milk to its young ones. The king unknowingly killed the pig. Seeing the hunger of the young pigs, Lord Muruga fed the piglets. King Rajendra Chola saw this amazing sight, and constructed this temple in memory of this Divine event. This temple is considered equal to Kasi. Since Brahma theertha runs in this river it is believed that any incurable disease is cured when we have a bath in this river water.

The idol of Lord Muruga with six faces seems to have been pierced from the ground-under. Lord Muruga, seen here with his consorts, blesses all his devotees.The old name of Periyakulam is Kuzhanthai Maanagaram

Pooja Timings
6.00 am to 12.00 am in the morning and 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm in the evening.
Important Festivals
Chithirai Thiruvizha in April-May; Vaikasi Vishakam in May-June; Aadi Pooram in July-August; Thai Poosam in January-February; Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November; Tirukarthikai in November-December and Panguni Brahmmotsavam are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

Sothupparai Dam
Situated at the foothills of western ghats
Sothupparai dam is located at 12 kms from Periyakulam.
This dam is built across the Varaha river.
It is a beautiful picnic spot
Best time to visit the dam during the rainy months
The vide expanse of stored water is an impressive sight
The stored Varaha river is used for drinking & irrigation purpose




Kumbakkarai Falls


An amazing feet of Nature, the Kumbakkarai Falls is yet another jewel in the crown of Tamilnadu's tourist attractions. Comparatively less known, these falls offer a breath taking view of the fascinating interaction between gushing water and solid rocks. Add a verdant and wild backdrop and you have an exquisite sight.

Situated on the foothills of the Kodaikkanal hills, the falls is located at 8 kms from Periyakulam. The water from these falls is full of the goodness of mineral and herbs.

Mangaladevi Kannagi Temple

The Kannagi Temple is a 2,000 years old temple at an elevation of around 1,337 m above the sea level. The temple is situated on the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It represents the Pandian style of Kerala architecture.

Believed to be constructed by Cheran Chenguttuvan, the king of Kerala, the shrine is dedicated to Goddess Mangala. Devotees can only pray in the temple on Chitra Pournami day that falls in the months of April and May.

The Mangala Devi Kannagi temple is located on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is located about 7 km from Pazhiyankudi in Theni district and 15 km from Thekkadi of Idukki District, Kerala. Cheran Chenguttuvan, the king of ancient Tamilakam, had erected the temple for Kannagi around 2000 years back at Vannathiparai and called it Kannagi Kottam or Mangaladevi Kannagi temple and performed regular pujas.



Veerapandi

Gowmariamman Temple which is located here attracts many pilgrims. This 14th century temple was built by the Pendya King Veerapandi.The Pandya Kind is said to have regained his vision by praying to Govmariyamman and Kanneeswaramudaiyar. Close by the temple, the perennial Mullai river runs its course. The temple is nearly 8 kms from Theni

Kuchanur

Saturn or Saneeswarar is the main deity worshipped in Kuchanur. In this temple Lord Sani is present in splendid isolation bereft of the other planets. Here he is known as Kuchanooran. The Temple is located at Kuchanoor near Chinnamanur of Theni District on the bank of main channel of River Surabhi.

The Chief deity Seneeswaran in the man God and its Genesis was on it own and not created (Suyambu). In all temples Saneeswaran in either of Navagrahah or he remain in separate sannithi. Where as in kuchanoor the Lord exists as prime deity Saneeswaran is other wise called as Kuchanooran

King Dinakaran ruled Kulinga country with its capital Mainagar. His son chandravathana through astrology predicted that his father was suffering for seven and a half-years, which could be overcome by praying Lord Saneeswaran Chandravathanan ventured into forest, created Lord Saneeswarans image out of iron and started prayering Lord Saneeswaran. Impressed by his devotees prayer before him at Kuchanoor where the present temple is located

Chinnamanur

Chinnamanur is a town and a municipality in Theni district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. As of 2011, the town had a population of 42,305. The town is one of the major trade center in the district and supports basic needs for more than 1,00,000 population in and around the town. Chinnamanur in recent times is known for banana marketing. Processed banana from more than twenty units in Chinnamanur are exported to various countries.

Chinnamanur was formerly known as "Harikesarinallur" and it is mentioned in Tholkappium. This municipal town is a business hub for the nearby villages. Weekly Shandy here is very popular. Sivagamiamman Temple located on the banks of the Mullai river is worth visiting




History of the Temple
Chinnamanur, stands back to a very historic period when the king of Madurai, Thiru. Rajasimar, The temple was constructed by the king Rajasimar with the lingam as the deity in the middle, named as 'Thiru Poolanandeshwarar Sivakami Amman temple', The lingam is traditionally worshiped with deeba aradanai. The aradhanai shows the reflections of the embossed ornaments of king Rajasimeshwaran on the lingam. The deity has various other names like, 'Palkonda naadar' meaning, the lord who asked for milk; 'Alavodu alavanavar' meaning, the lord who came down for the humble request of a true devotee; ' Tazhuva Kudaindavar' meaning, the lord who was compassionate to the hug of an honest king and a true devotee. The deity is also named after the king as Rajasimeshwarar.

Theertha Thotti

Pooja Timings
6.00 am to 1.00 pm in the morning and 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm in the evening.


Virupachi Arumuga Nayinar is the Moolavar and Subramaniar is the Urchavar of this temple. Sri Vinayaka graces the devotees in the temple as Lord Selva Ganapathy. The Vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is of Tridala design. There are two Vilwa trees in the prakara before Lord Muruga shrine. These are the sacred trees of the temple. On the wall of the Theertha Thotti (Sacred Water Tub) are the sculptures of Saptha Kannikas the seven virgins worshipping Lord Muruga and Shivalinga and Vinayaka. There is a temple nearby for Chitra Gupta Nayanar recording the sins and noble deeds of the people.

Important Festivals
Tamil New Year day falling almost on April 14; Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, Tirukarthikai in November-December; Thai Poosam in January-February and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

History of the Temple
This Temple is 500-1000 years old. The Saptha Kannikas on their mission to kill a demon, killed a sage by mistake. For relief from the dosha they incurred, they created a spring here and worshipped Lord Muruga who granted them the relief they required. The Theertha-the sacred spring alone existed then. A Muruga devotee was returning after a visit to Palni, a famous Lord Muruga sthala but could not proceed further from Virupakshi due to some riots in the place. As he did not want to stay anywhere till he returned home, he prayed to Lord Muruga to show him a way. A young boy came there, gave the traveler a Vel without a sharp edge and advised him to proceed as the Vel guided him. He had a bath in the Theertha Thotti at Virupakshi, left the Vel on the bank and reached home. People of the place, worshipped this Vel as Lord Muruga.

Uthamapalayam


Uthamapalayam has two old temples one dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sri Kaalahasthiishwara Swami temple, and the other one to Lord VishNu, Sri Narasimha Swami temple. Sri Kaalahasthishwara Swami temple is situated on the bank of river periyaaru, where it runs uththaravaahini (towards north), which is considered quite auspicious. It is amid of green paddy fields.

It is said that one of the devotee here used to go to Kaalahasthi regularly. When he became old he was not able to go to Kaalahasthi to pray the Lord. So the God of Kaalahasthi appeared in this village to bless him. Hence the place is called Dhakshina Kaalahasthi or ThenKalathasthi.

It is a history that three kings who ruled the nearby regions came to a war pact and started constructing the temple at this place. The temple also lodges some nice paintings belonging to Naayakkar dynasty.
Sri Narasimha Swami temple is situated inside the town

Suruli Falls

The Suruli Falls which falls from a height of 150 feet gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets to a depth of 40 feet, offering a spectacular sight of nature's raw and wild beauty. The dense forest that surround it provide an awesome backdrop. Facilities are available for men and women to bathe separately in This falls. The special feature of the fall is that it is "a round the year" fall. However, the best season to visit is June - October, when the thickness of the water column is astounding. The beauty of this fall finds mention in Tamil Epic, Silappathikaram written by poet Ilango



Kailasanathar Temple Cave is located near Suruli Falls. There are 18 caves in and around the Suruli falls. The Kailasanathar Cave Temple is situated 800 metres above the fall and has a spring, which possesses water of curative powers. A Dargah named after Abubacker Masthan is another important place of worship in Suruli. This is the place where the body of Abubacker Masthan is interred. This is very close to the cave temple of Kailasanatha.

Abubacker was a Muslim mystic who lived around the 1630s.One more temple for Lord Kartikeya is also located near the falls which is called Suruli Velappar Temple. Devotees carry pots of milk on Saturdays in the Tamil month of Chithirai to this temple

Meghamalai


Meghamalai popularly called High Wavy Mountains, is a cool and misty mountain range situated in the Western Ghats in Theni district, Tamil Nadu, near Kumaly Idukki District, South India. It is a place of natural beauty dotted with cardamom plantations and tea estates. The place is situated at an elevation of 1,500 m above sea level and it is rich in flora and fauna. This area, now mostly planted with tea, includes Cloudlands, Highwavys and Manalaar estates, the access to which is now largely restricted. It still includes large untouched remnants of evergreen forest

Wildlife includes:
Oriental honey buzzard, great pied hornbill, Indian brown mongoose, Jerdon's palm civet, white-bellied short-wing, black-naped monarch, pied thrush, gaur, tiger, leopard, Asian elephant, mouse deer, Ghatixalus asterops, Raorchestes beddomii, Raorchestes ponmudi, Nyctibatrachus sp., Ramanella triangularis, Ramanella montana, Calotes grandisquamis, Dravidogecko anamallensis, Salea anamallayana, Kaestlea travancorica, Kaestlea laterimaculata, Uropeltis madurensis, Uropeltis liura, Calliophis nigrescens, large-scaled pit viper and the enigmatic Hutton's pit viper.

Flora
Vegetation ranges from scrub forests at the foothills, up to ubiquitous expanses of tea and coffee estates, to spice (pepper, cardamom, cinnamon) plantations and finally to the dense evergreen forests at the top.

Fauna
Meghamalai forest area hosts a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. Resident and migratory elephants are common. Other animals sighted are tiger, leopard, Nilgiri tahr, gaur, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar deer, wild boar, porcupine, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, grey junglefowl, smooth-coated otter and flying squirrel. Bird like red-whiskered bulbul, common iora, white-browed wagtail, grey wagtail, pied bush chat, Blyth's reed warbler, barn swallow, spotted dove, Asian paradise flycatcher, brahminy kite, long-tailed shrike and over 100 species of birds have been identified.

Velli Malai

A densely forested place replete with natural flora and fauna is located 6.5 kms from Theni in the Varushanadu hill ranges. Vellimalai (Silver Mountain, 1,650 m) area is a heart of Meghamalai. Silver-lined clouds seem to rest gently on green hilltops and nestled somewhere in this region is the place where the river Vaigai originates. This lovely place will give an opportunity to see wild animals and aesthetically and scientifically managed tea gardens. this is near periyar tiger reserve

Cloud Land Falls ( Chinna Suruli)

The Chinna Suruli Falls is also called by the name Cloudland Falls as it originates in the Meghamali Hills. This water falls is around 54 km from Theni and is situated near the village of Kombaithozhu.

The resounding cascades amidst the silver-lined clouds invites traveller from far and near. The Chinna Suruli Falls is a perfect spot for picnics and outings and a must visit for shutter bugs.

Mullaiperiyar Dam

The Mullai Periyar dam is of a unique distinction of being one of the oldest irrigation Projects in the country for diversion of water to meet out the requirements of the drought prone area of the deficit water State of Tamilnadu in the concept of Trans-basin. This dam was constructed during the year 1887-1898 across the river Periyar based on the lease deed of 1886.

The Mullai Periyar dam was constructed from lime stone and surkhi (burnt brick powder and a mixture of sugar and calcium oxide )at 173 feet hight and 1241 feet in length along the top and enclosed more than 15 thousand million cubic feet of water. The dam has impounding capacity of 10.56 thousand million cubic feet of water.



Even though the catchments water spread and the dam are being located in the territory of State of Kerala, the dam is being owned, maintained and operated by Government of Tamilnadu. The water from the Periyar Lake is being diverted through the water shed cutting and a subterrancan tunnel to Vairavanar River and thence to Suruliyar & Vaigai. Before construction of fore-bay dam, all the waters were hurled out from the month of the tunnel. After constructing fore bay dam, all the water drawn from Periyar lake and fore bay dam has been let out into Vairavanar River from tail race of power house after utilization for power generation.

Bodinayakkanur
Bodinayakanur is the second largest and most populated city in Theni district; the city is the taluk headquarters. It is located on the foothills of the Western Ghats, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. This town is surrounded by the ranges of Western Ghats on three sides, offering spectacular views of the Ghats. Theni, the nearest market town is 16 km from Bodi. Bodinayakanur is popular for cardamom mango and coffee market.

Near by hill station picnic spots location are Kurangani,Central Station,Topstation,Agamalai,Bodi mettu and Kozhuku Malai.Kotakudi Plantation which is located in Kozhuku Malai, where the world highest grown tea are cultivated.
Bodimettu

Bodimettu is a hill resort situated at a height of 4500 feet, it is a most scenic place. It is 26 kms from Bodinayakkanur, near the border with Kerala. It is 10 km from Poopara on the way to Bodinayakkanur by the side of National Highway 49, which runs from Madurai to Kochi. Bodimettu is the main cardamom-growing area of Tamil Nadu. It is close to famous tourist destinations such as Munnar, Marayur, Thekkady, Kodaikanal, Idukki Dam.

Bodimettu is a tourist place, just 30 mints from Bodinayakannur, and the perfect place for picnic and spend a nice time with mountain views and chill weather of hill station, lot of developments are going to promote this place for tourist who come to visit Munnar, Chinnakanal and near by hill & tea gardens.

Tiger Falls

Tiger Falls is a dainty waterfall enroute to Munnar between Bodi and Bodimettu from Theni. This is also a wonderful picnic spot to soak in the beauty of nature. Tiger falls is on the route to Munnar between Bodi and Bodimettu from Theni. The water that gushes down this enchanting waterfall is very tasty to quench the thirst. With dark dense woods, rolling hills and swirling mist, the surroundings are very captivating.

Tiger Falls offers a mesmerizing and magical view as it thunders down in a frothy cascade. The cool crisp air, the verdant woods and the serenity of the region make it an idyllic retreat. At the bottom of the hill is a little pond where the water from the falls pool. Vistors enjoy a refreshing bath here. The surrounding hills and ever green forests near by Tiger Falls, make it a great trekking destination and picnic spot.


Excursion
Kodaikkanal


Situated at the southern tip of the upper Palani hills in the Western Ghats, this beautiful hill station is one of the most famous tourist spots in the South. At a height of 2133 m above sea level. Kodai, as it is popularly known, is set amidst the wooded slopes and "Shola" forests of the ghats, making for a very pleasant climate throughout the year. This hill resort is known for hill plantains and plums. Several varieties of flowers abound here, including the Kurinji, which blossoms once in twelve

Palani

This is one of the most famous pilgrim centers of the South. The temple is situated on a hill top and is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. The presiding deity here is called Dandayathapani and the idol is made of medicinal herbs. There is an electrically operated winch from the foot to the top of the hill for those pilgrims who prefer not to use the steps

Madurai


Madurai is more than 2500 years old and was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 A.D., when the Pandyas made it their capital. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning commercial centre and temple city

Places of interest
Meenakshi Amman Temple
Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
Gandhi Museum
Mariamman Teppakulam
Koodal Azhagar Temple

Accommodation in Theni
Places Boarding & Lodging Phone No.
Theni (STD Code -04546) Sri Vijay Niwas A/C 253369
Adhitya A/C 252607
New Everest Hotel 252173
Hotel Vaigai 252975
Sri Sankar Lodge 272067
Vaigai Dam Vaigai Illam 242232
Andipatti SKA Lodge 242175
VGT Complex
Periyakulam M.S.P.Lodge 231472
Rajendra lodge 231329
Bodinaickanur Thirupathi Lodge 280269
Hotel Dhalavai 280585
Alankar Lodge 280348
Krishna Lodge 280497
Chinnamanur (STD-04554) Sri Shanmuga lodge A/C 247530
Manai Matchi
Thangam 247254
Uthamapalayam Delux Lodge 265231
Akbar Tourist Home 265348
Cumbum Universal Lodge A/C 221908
KNP Lodge A/C 221908
Indira lodge 221-65
RR Hotels 222228
Jabbar International 222389
Places of Worship
Veerapandi Gowmariamman Temple
Kuchanur Saneeswaran Temple
Movoothu Velappar Temple
Theni Bathrakaliamman Temple
Bodinaickanur Paramasivan Temple
Chinamanur Sivakami Amman Temple
Allinagaram Veerappa Ayyanar Temple
Suruli Falls Suruli Andavar Temple
Rayappanpatti Pani (snow) Madha Church
Uthamapalayam Periya palli vasal
Festivals
Places Festival in the Month of
Andipatti Sri Mavoothu Vellalar Chithrai Festival April
Devadhanapatti Kamatchiamman Maha Sivarathiri Festival March
Veerapandi Gowmariamman Festival May
Kuchanur Saneeswaran Adi Festival July/August
Suruli Velappar Festival May
Bodinaickanur Paramasivam Temple Festival April
Other Informations
BANKS:
Nationalised banks are available in Andipatti, Theni, Periyakulam, Bodi, Chinnamanur, Uthamapalayam and Cumbum.

TOUR OPERATORS :
Even though government approved tour operators are not available taxis and vans are available for visiting places of interest.

POSTS AND TELEGRAPHS: Available in all major towns.

BOOK STALLS :
Theni Madasamy & Co.
Bodinaickanur Sankar Eswari Stores and Jaya Stores.
Important Telephone Numbers
Office / Place Phone No.
District Collector, Theni Office 253676
Camp Office 254732, 253626
Superintendent of Police, Theni 253999, 254100
Joint Director, Medical Service, Periyakulam 231292
Railway Station, Theni 252319
Tourist Officer, Kodaikanal 04542-241675
Hotel Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal 04542-241336
Hotel Tamil Nadu, Madurai 0452-337471 to 77
Tourist Officer, Madurai 0452 - 334757