I have been attending Tirunelveli Book Fair from Last Year. Last year it was surprise grand success. Most publishers did not attended the event as it was organised after a gap of few years. Further when the book fair was organized few years back it did not went well. So last year I reached Tirunelveli with not much expectations. My only ambition during that time was to visit Nellaiyappar temple, Tiruchendur Murugan Temple, and visit Nava Thirupathi Temples and Visit Kutralam. Above all to taste the Halwa. During that time I could only visit Nellaiyappar temple on the first day, and Tiruchendur a few days before the close of the fair. Even though I have tasted halwa from all major shops, I could not able to taste the Iruttu Kadai Halwa. Mainly because I could not go there to buy as I was alone. Visiting Kutralam was only in drams last year.
This year My father accompanied me. But still there is not much change. The Book Sales was drastically down, due to very many factors. Similarly this year also I could visit the Nellaiyappar temple and Tiruchendur Murugan Temple only. Visit to Nava Thirupathi was elusive this year also. But to my satisfaction I purchased Halwa from Iruttukadai and tasted it to my pleasure. To my disappointment, this year also I could not able to visit Kutralam. To satisfay myself, I am furnishing some facts about Kutralam Falls below.
Courtallam or Kutralam, Spa of South India, is situated at a mean elevation of 160 m (520 ft) on the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu, India. Many seasonal and few perennial rivers such as the Chittar River, the Manimuthar River, the Pachaiyar River and the Tambaraparani River originate in this region.
Courtallam has nine waterfalls.
1. Peraruvi (main falls) the biggest falls in Courtallam, is about 60m high. The flow of water is interrupted by the Pongumakadal, a 19m deep crater and comes down with greatly reduced impact, making a bath safe.
2. In Chitraruvi (small falls), the flow is thin. Here naturally separate places for men and women are there to bathe. Chitraruvi leads to other waterfalls such as Shenbagadevi and Thenaruvi and the herbal farm.
3. At Shenbagadevi falls, the water flows through shenbaga (Michaelia champak) trees. There is also a temple there, dedicated to Shenbagadevi Amman.
4. About 3 km from this is Thenaruvi (honey falls), 40m high and cascading between two large stones. The Thenaruvi is difficult to reach. The falls are so called due to the large number of beehives in the area.
5. Aintharuvi (five falls) is one where one thoroughly enjoys being in a crowd of bathers. Five separate cascades of water form this waterfalls. This waterfalls is located 4km from the Kutralam town. The waterfalls is situated 6km away from the bus stand in the western side of the hills. There is a Ayyanar temple and Lord Muruga temple in front of these falls.
6. Pazhathotta Aruvi, (Orchard Falls) is located above Aintharuvi. This was usually visited only by politicians and bureaucrats to experience the luxury of bathing, hence also referred as VIP Falls.
7. The Pazhaya Courtalla Aruvi (Old Courtallam falls) used to fall into a valley from between two rocks. The valley was closed and the rocks were broken to change the course of water and make bathing easier. It was reopened later.
8. The artificial Puli Aruvi (Tiger Falls) has a moderate flow of water which collects in a lake and is diverted for irrigation,sometimes tigers visit this place for water. This waterfalls is located 2km away from Kutralam bus stand. This waterfall is very small that is suitable for the kids and the old people to enjoy.
9. Palaruvi (Milky Falls) is located around 4km away from the mountain pass and state border at Aryankavu. This 300-feet waterfall, also called as Aryankavu Falls is located close to Kerala border with Tamil Nadu.
The three major waterfalls reachable by road are the Main Falls, Five Falls, and Old Courtallam Falls. Other waterfalls like Shenbaga Devi Falls and Honey Falls are reachable only by trekking on the mountain.
There are two popular temples located here - Thiru Kutralanathar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and another temple dedicated to Lord Muruga. About few kilometers away, there lies Chitra Sabha, a temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja
The closest towns to Courtallam are Sengottai and Tenkasi at 5 km (3.1 mi) respectively. The closest airport is Tuticorin Airport (TCR) approximately 90 km (56 mi) away and the nearest railway station is Tenkasi, 5 km (3.1 mi) away.