Sunday, May 6, 2012

Courtallam - The Spa of South India


Located close to the Kerala border, Courtallam will give the feel of just another sleepy little town in southern Tamil Nadu. But despite the predominantly Tamilian population, you can't help notice the influence of the neighbouring state on the construction style of houses in the area. It is around 5 kms from Tenkasi, the nearest big town, and a part of Tirunelveli district. Owing to the multitude of waterfalls and cascades found in the area, Courtallam (or Kuttralam as it is locally called) has earned the title The Spa of South India. A booming tourist influx has spawned numerous health resorts in the area, a few even offering international standard facilities.

Main Falls, Kutralam, Tamil Nadu, India

I was lucky to visit Kuttralam when attending a friend's wedding. The resort we were put up at was quite near the Main Falls. So we spent a good deal of time by this waterfall and had a leisurely walk through the small market on the way. A festive atmosphere all around, quaint little shops were selling a wide variety of wares, colourful and enticing.

The colourful markets Kutralam

One other popular waterfall we visited was the Five Falls. The water splits into five branches while falling. This seemed to be, by far, the most popular among the bathers. Most people preferred getting an oil massage before taking a dip in the waters. I was surprised to see police presence near the bathing sections but later gathered this is just a precaution to keep crowds in check during the peak season. I had a brush with officialdom when, much to my chagrin and slight bemusement, one of them walked over to me and said, "Either take a bath or go, why are you looking at the waterfall?"

Five Falls, Kutralam, Tamil Nadu, India

Kuttralam also attracts the devout visitor. Many devotees clad in orange towels can be seen by the waterfalls. They take a dip in the waters before offering their prayers to Lord Kuttraleeshwarar.

Devotees taking bath in the waterfall Kutralam

Away from the hustle bustle of the city, Kuttralam is a great place to relax and unwind. Endowed with natural beauty, this place is also known as poor man's Ooty. A great place to visit during the monsoons, one must plan to get a soothing oil massage followed by a bath in one of the waterfalls.

A devotee getting ready to take bath Kutralam

43 comments:

  1. Beautiful place ! Now I also think of visiting the Courtallam.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Do visit it if you get a chance, you won't regret it.

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  2. Many years ago, I had heard of Courtallam, or Kurtalam, as we spelled it. Somehow, though it did not seem to be much of a place at the time (the 50's - 60's). You have done a magnificent job capturing the falls. We did, in those days, have a place down below Kodaikanal that we would visit it was magnificent as well, with natural falls, and all the rocks around studded with garnets that wold glisten in the evening sun.

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    1. It's been quite some time since I have been to Kodai. Need to plan another trip soon. I don't seem to recall ever going to the falls you mentioned. This time, let me look it up.

      Courtallam seems to be getting good number of visitors these years though it still is not a very popular name on the tourist circuit yet. I hadn't heard the name before leaving for the place but was pleasantly surprised once I reached there.

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  3. Wonderful clicks of a place that seems heavenly!

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    1. Thank you Arti for stopping by. I guess the place will be heavenly for nature lovers as well as devout pilgrims.

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  4. WoW !!! what a fantastic pictures...first one is tooooo goood...

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    1. Thank you Vineeta for stopping by. The view is even more spectacular. The top of the falls is visible from more than half a mile away.

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  5. Your photos are magnificent, Remo, as is the story you tell. I long to return to India and posts like these only serve to intensify my longing! Wonderful, thank you. :)

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    1. Good to see you here Vee. Hope you are feeling better now. It will be great to have you visiting India again :)

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  6. Wow....very beautiful pictures

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  7. Is the first photograph for real???? It is amazing. I like the last one too! I do have an invitation to attend a friend's wedding near this place later this year. I have to make plans to have fun at this place. Thanks for the info and the lovely photos!!!

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    1. Wow! That's a big compliment. Thank you :)

      The Main Falls is actually quite spectacular and visible from more than half a mile away. If you have a chance to visit Courtallam, do go. You will love the trip.

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  8. Replies
    1. It's nice getting some encouraging words from a great photographer like you.

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  9. wow beautiful photos esp water falls

    nice info

    thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Will be glad if the information is any useful to you :)

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  10. People have been convincing me to going to this place, but due to sheer laziness I have been postponing the trip! One person told me that their family stays for two days and takes bath in the various falls of Cutralam every year. It seems there is a falls on the Kerala side of the Cutralam, as well. There is one mini falls by the name Kovai Cutralam in Coimbatore and I've been there.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. You can definitely plan a visit sometime. It's a great place. I didn't get to spend much time there. Maybe next time I can explore the Kerala side as well. Thanks for the information on the Kovai Cutralam. Will try to visit it sometime soon.

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  11. Wonderful shots of the place. The waterfall is very inviting.

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  12. Good one...
    http://www.gujaratonnet.com

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  13. Congrats Ramakant on the Nat Geo selection :)

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  14. very weekend i would like to vist some new places this time i choose to visit this place before i vist i read your blog really thanku your inforamtion helps me a lot act i am very new to that place ...next week i am planning to visit K Gudi Resort


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    1. Good to know that the blog was useful to you. Hope you keep visiting :)

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  15. Whouah. Impressionnant ! What about the ladies ???

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  16. Replies
    1. Not an issue. Good to see your doubt is cleared :)

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  17. hi,nice work done very informatic site....thanks for the info..This vacation im going to visit bandipur resorts and br hills resorts

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  18. Absolutely STUNNING! Magnificent photographs. What a pleasure to view. Thank you!

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    1. I am glad you liked the pictures. Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave such a beautiful comment.

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  19. Hi,very nice an intresting blog,thanks for sharing wonderful information..im looking out for such kind of day out for a resort in Bangalore

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Tryst with the Shutter Bug by Ramakant Pradhan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.