Back in July this year, I had been to my ancestral town, Kallidaikurichi, to spend a week and enjoy the monsoons. Now, this town, Kallidaikurichi, which literally means "in the midst of hills" is located on the leeward (eastern) side of the Western Ghats in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. A quaint town with a rich history, Kallidaikurichi is known for its famous temples, the famous Kannadigan irrigation canal, the Thamaraparani river and the famous waterfalls (Courtallam, Agastyar, Papanasam, Vana Theertham and Manimuthar) that are situated close by.
As is the case with me, I set about exploring these beautiful surroundings yet again. Took a trip to the famous tourist town of Courtallam and visited the Old Courtallam falls, New Courtallam falls and Five falls. Since these waterfalls are seasonal and this happened to be the monsoon season, all these places were lively with tons of tourists thronging to visit these falls. There were scores of make shift shacks selling goods from ayurveda massages, rare mountain fruits to hot piping tea/coffee and snacks.
These waterfalls originate in the Western ghats and are believed to carry medicinal properties owing to the medicinal/herbal terrain they traverse and tradition beckons one to take such a medicinal shower. And I kept up with tradition! Lathered in sesame oil from head to toe and after a brief exposure to the sun, I went into the falls to feel rocks of water hit me and take me to a world of bliss sans any pain. When I came out of the experience, all the oil from my body had disappeared and that too without any soap or shampoo. Now, tradition also beckons you to eat a whole-hearted meal after your waterfall experience and succumb to your sleeping senses. That's exactly what I did when I took a bus back to my ancestral home.
The next day was Aadi Ammavasay (No moon day in the Indian Lunar Calendar month), an auspicious day to take a dip in the waters of the Thamarabarani river at Papanasam and wash away all your sins. Papanasam, in sanskrit, literally means to destroy your sins. Though, I have been to Papanasam many times before, I have never done so on this auspicious day and was pleasantly surprised to see the entire river bank swarming with people taking dips and offering their prayers. I joined this large group of people, took a dip in the holy waters and offered my prayers.
The rest of the week was spent watching nature's beauty offered free of cost at this quaint little town. Be it lush green freshly sown paddy fields, views of the Western Ghats, amazing bird life, dip in the Thamarabarani river or a swim in the Kannadigan irrigation canal, they were all a treat to my senses.
My bird watcher's instinct moved into overdrive mode when I spotted a couple of white breasted kingfishers and little cormorants catching their prey from the Kannadigan irrigation canal that runs behind my ancestral home. I was able to spot Indian Pond Heron, Large Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Ibis, Little Cormorant and White Breasted Kingfisher in the nearby paddy fields. All of these were food-spotting in their own unique ways. I spotted some more terrestrial birds, but they were too far away for me to recognize.
An entertaining monsoon week this was for me at my ancestral home town in the Western Ghats!!
The complete photo album can be viewed by clicking below.
|Monsoon in the Western Ghats|