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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kallidaikurichi: The Village of the Saaral Season – A Photo Story

Typical street in the old quarter of Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: Quaint homes, laidback lifestyles, unique cultures and lots of history greet one in the old lanes of Kallidaikurichi.

When the rest of India suffering from the sweltering summer heat welcomes the monsoon rains, there is a certain part in India’s deep south that welcomes a different kind of season. Popularly called ‘Saaral Season’, this season includes cloudy weather, beautiful breeze, views of clouded mountain tops, lush waterfalls, eastward flowing rivers and most importantly a romantic powder like rainfall that is akin to a light snow flake.

Kallidaikurichi - the land at the foot of the hills

About the Photo
: Located at the foot of the Western Ghats, this village is blessed with views of clouded mountain tops, lush agricultural lands and bountiful rivers.

Such a season is the norm every year in the months of June and July in Kallidaikurichi and the surrounding villages. Literally meaning ‘At the foot of the hills’, Kallidaikurichi, my ancestral hometown is an ancient village that is hemmed between tall Western Ghat mountains and lush green forests and agricultural tracts.

Kallidaikurichi - the village with the famous saaral season

About the Photo: The perennial Thamarabarani river, a holy river of India’s deep south>

Mighty waterfalls (Manimuthar, Agastyar, Vana Theertham, Courtrallam), a tea estate (Manjolai), hydroelectric power projects and dams (Manimuthar, Papanasam, Karayar), the perennial eastward flowing Thamarabarani river, views of green Western ghats, easy access to the diverse and off-beat wildlife holiday destination of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, lots of ancient temples, interesting unique cultures, delicious local cuisines and much more can be found in and around this ancient village.

Madisaar Maamis getting ready to welcome Sringeri Shankaracharya at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: Ladies dress up in traditional attire to greet a seer. Such sights are pretty common in Kallidaikurichi.

I am here holidaying in this village right now and am seeing the saaral season and the village from close quarters. Here is a sneak peak into this ‘Village of the Saaral Season’ through a photo story.

Street photograph of a boy holding the palm fruit at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu, India

About the Photo: Palm fruit (Nongu) and its drink (Pathani) is a great way to cool one in the tropical heat. A truly delicious summer perk.

My ancestral home at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu, India

About the Photo: A typical looking house in Kallidaikurichi.

Kallidaikurichi and the vaykaal or irrigation canal

About the Photo
: The Kannadigan irrigational canal locally referred to as Waykaal is typical of this region were irrigation canals are plenty. This scene gives this village a Kerala like look and feel.
 
Inquisitive kid at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: Always smiling, the people of this village are inquisitive and always ready to extend a hand. In this case, I met this inquisitive boy at a local bank where he had come along with his father.

Lakshmi pati temple and the Agraharam, Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: The Lakshmi Pati temple and the Sannadhi street. Agraharam way of living is common in the older part of this village.

Canal street of Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: Coconut palms and a lane of old houses at Kallidaikurichi.

Brahmin mamas wait for the Sringeri Shankaracharya at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: A very religious village, the men get all ready to welcome the Sringeri Shankaracharya.

Thamarabarani river - an integral part of the lives of the people of Kallidaikurichi

About the Photo: The Thamarabharani river is akin to a lifeline here. Hardly anyone young bathes at their home. Everyone prefers a dip and swim in this river.

Variety of Bananas on sale at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

About the Photo: Kallidaikurichi is a perfect place to go bananas. If you love this sweet fruit, you will be spoilt for choice as at any given time of the year, you will find close to 20 different varieties to tame your stomach, hunger and sugar crave. 



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