Kallidaikurichi to Manimuthar Dam: A Top Scenic and Rustic Cycling Route - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Kallidaikurichi to Manimuthar Dam: A Top Scenic and Rustic Cycling Route

Cycling through the rustic roads of Manimuthar

To all those of you who do not know, I have been living in the rustic setting of Kallidaikurichi in Southern Tamil Nadu for a little over half a year. Its rustic environment, culture and solitude is a far cry from the humdrum of Bangalore city life. There is no incessant honking, the air is much cleaner, the people are more relaxed and easy going and there is oodles of culture here.

However, even such a relaxed environment cannot keep the traveler in me quiet. And that is when I pick up my bicycle and explore the nearby nature trails in the Western Ghats, the gorgeous temples in the region or simply just explore the neighbouring villages.

This was one such trip that I did yesterday. The destination was Manimuthar falls, but the forest department did not allow me beyond Manimuthar dam. The reason is they have a blanket ban on all two wheelers beyond Manimuthar Dam.

Cycling Pit Stop at Manimuthar Dam

Kallidaikurichi to Manimuthar Dam is all of 9.8 kilometers one way. As always, I cycled bare minimum, which means I was on my bicycle in my crocs slippers and wearing my sunglasses. I did not carry any water with me or carry any cycle spares. The idea as always was to soak in the surroundings while getting some good exercise in the morning sun.

Manimuthar dam is one of the larger dams in South Tamil Nadu that carries water from the catchment areas of Oothu, Manjolai and Kuthrevatti, one of the wettest regions of India during the North East monsoon. It is located inside the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and the route from Kallidaikurichi to Manimuthar dam falls on the fringes of this tiger reserve.

At the Kannadigan canal next to Manimuthar Dam

After leaving the agraharams of Kallidaikurichi, I hit the main road of Kallidaikurichi and headed south towards the railway station. Right after the railway station, I turned west, crossed a railway crossing and eased into the quiet countryside surrounding Kallidaikurichi, one of the larger villages in this area.

Once you cross the railway station, the tarmac becomes nicer and the traffic drops to a bare minimum. Rocky outcrops, palm trees and small houses dot the view in front of you and the leeward face of the Western Ghats looms right in front of you. In a few kilometeres, you come across the chiselled massive boulders of Pothai, once illegally quarried for their high quality marble. This is also the place where kids play cricket. As you ride forward, you will see a road that leads to Pottal, the vegetable basket of this region. This is a separate cycle route that I will talk about in another article. You continue west towards Pappankulam village and this is where the terrain starts to climb up and the landscape starts getting green. Rocky outcrops reduce and lush plantations crop up in its place. Amidst this green terrain, you will see a lot of government buildings especially the battalions of the Tamil Nadu police special force who have their training grounds here. This location is Manimuthar village. And as you keep crossing the different government buildings and coconut plantations, you will see a final steep ascending road. The check post at the end of this steep curve is that of the forest department. As I mentioned earlier, no two wheelers are allowed beyond this point and you can relax and enjoy the dam views from here.

The Kannadigan canal from Manimuthar Dam that irrigates this region

This return cycling trip, about 20 kilometers long is a fairly easy ride with a few curves and steep tracks in between. As most of the terrain is green and rocky, the temperature remains pleasant till 10 AM. As the roads were recently laid, they are buttery smooth and in top condition. My favorite part of this journey has to be the lush village of Manimuthar with its officer quarters, police training grounds, fisheries and plantation land. The views from Manimuthar Dam of the mountains beyond and the Kannadigan canal flowing through the villages are special. Kallidaikurichi to Manimuthar Dam is a top scenic and rustic cycling route in the Western Ghats of Southern Tamil Nadu and one that I highly recommend. If you are a cyclist, you should definitely keep this route in mind for your future rides.

Welcome to BE ON THE ROAD Travel Blog! I am Sankara, its founder, a 40 something male from Bangalore who is living his dream of exploring the world and simultaneously trying to inspire others to live their dream.
Wanna live your dream? Find Some inspiration here!
Wanna know more about me?
Track blog updates from facebook and/or twitter!

Logo Credits : Jobi T Chacko. UI/UX Credits : Murugan S Thirumalai
Copyright © 2009-2024 Sankara Subramanian C (www.beontheroad.com)
Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved

Join the Travel Club for FREE!!
and every fortnight get in your inbox...interesting experiential and off-beat travel stories , destination guides, handy tips (travel, photography and visa) based on personal experience, global vegetarian delights with helpful survival guides and gorgeous world travel images and videos as I (the Indian traveler) trot the globe! And a lot of other travel invites and soon to be launched goodies !

* indicates required