A Rustic Walk in India’s Deep South - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, February 01, 2018

A Rustic Walk in India’s Deep South

Gorgeous evening landscape at Kallidaikurichi village, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

In our fast paced lives where everything goes by like a blur, I seem to find great solace in quiet, rustic walks during my travels. These rustic walks not only allow me to experience, admire and appreciate the beauty of our Indian countryside, but it also allows me to relax, unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Even though I live in the city, I have roots in India’s rustic deep south and that allows me to keep visiting its villages quite often on the pretext of meeting my grandmother and relatives.

Kannadigan Canal, Shiva Temple and Banyan Tree at Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

To all those of you who do not know, my roots (on my father’s side) can be found in a culturally and agriculturally rich village that lies at the foot of the Western Ghats in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. This village attracts a lot of visitors for its Thamarabarani river bank, its ancient practices and temples, its proximity to great many dams and waterfalls of Tamil Nadu, a small hill station, the Manjolai tea estate, the Kalakad Mundanthurai tiger reserve and so much more. The village is Kallidaikurichi and it is located about 35 kms from Tirunelveli city on the Tirunelveli – Papanasam highway. It is more or less equidistant from the west, the east and the southern coastline, which means that within two hours you are either in Kerala’s Kollam or Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi or Kanyakumari.

A colorful and traditional Pongal shopping moment from Kallidaikurichi, Tamil Nadu

I have been to this village a countless number of times. As a young boy, I used to love spending my summer vacations here and I used to thoroughly enjoy it. These days, I visit at least once a month or once in two months. As I have explored this region and its attractions a good many times, I more or less spend my time in the village with my grandmother, but I go on long village walks almost every day. Some times, it is a walk to the local market to buy fruits, vegetables and/or groceries, a walk to one of the many temples in the village, a quiet walk through some of the classic old lanes, a walk to enjoy the sun setting behind the mountains from the lush green paddy fields or simply watch the river action at the Thamarabarini river bank.

Kallidaikurichi Sannadhi Street at Night
The one thing that you notice during these walks is that the pace of life here is so slow and thus you seem to be able to experience more or at least that is the way I perceive it. The happy chatter in the shops, the decorations in front of the homes, the smile on the faces of the people, the idiosyncrasies of the people, the macaques and langurs that jump from building to building, that washing and bathing daily trip to the river and those happy evening get-togethers, I seem to notice all these as I amble past the quiet lanes of Kallidaikurichi.

Freshly painted streets of Kallidaikurichi in preparation for Pongal

The concept of living here is human interactions, instead of gadget interactions which seem to have taken over the urban world. Every one in the village greets you with a smile and are always keen to engage in a good conversation and will also help you if you express the need. Whether you are walking on Sannadhi street towards the Lakshmi pati temple or its kollam decorated Agraharam, the Ramaachandra or the Vaithyapuram streets that run parallel to the Kannadigan canals, the paddy field surrounded path to the Thamarabarani river, the small lanes surrounding the local markets, grocery shops, eateries and the Panchayat Board, the main road that leads to the ancient post office building, sub-registrar office and to the railway station and that scenic walk to the Pothai cricket ground that offers stunning panoramic views of the Manimuthar range of the Western Ghats, these rustic walks in India’s Deep South are an absolute treat to the soul and the senses? Have you been on any rustic walk recently? What did you think of it?

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