Sunday, February 14, 2010

Trip to Karaiyar Dam (Papanasam)

   I was in my home town then, owning to the Pongal Festival (the festival of harvest) in Tamil Nadu. Nothing can substitute the happiness that one gets, when he visits his hometown after a long span. I had quite reasonable number of days in hand, that I could spare a day for this outing.

   I've heard about this place Papanasam, often remembered as a town with spiritual importance, beautiful mountains and few water falls. One must be careful with the season of visit since it can be highly disgusting if hit at the wrong season. January is a perfect time, with the rainy seasons just about over and the dams in full flow. Be sure to pack your own food, as you don't find any hotels once you reach the hills.

  Me and my brother in law started in our hatchback around 11 AM. The starting point of the hill station reads lower camp. The route spans nearly 62 Kms from Tirunelveli to Papanasam.
Tirunelveli --> Tharuvai --> Cheranmahadevi --> Ambasamudram -->Papanasam -->Karaiyar.

Took some breaks inbetween to enjoy the flavour of nature that the little towns enroute threw at us. This shot was made near Tharuvai about 10 Km away.

   The road from Tharuvai to Ambasamudram was OK to tread, should be able to do some decent speed. Had a sip at Ambasamudram. From Ambasamudram, the road was horrible until Papanasam. Exercise caution to avoid hitting the chassis on the ground. It is said Papanasam is famous for a medical treatment, a particular family that cures people from Jaundice.It is said that the treatment is inherited from their ancestors and no others can do it.

From Papanasam begins the Reserve forest area, spread across a massive area marked as a reserve for tiger rehabilitation programme. At the lower camp, the place where the reserve starts, officials kept constant vigil for any illegal poaching and even alcohol.. They inist to swith off the music system and refrain using horns inside the forest area.

Toll gate

In few Kms, the road diverges into two , the left one towards Agasthiar falls and right side towards Karaiyar dam. We took the 'right' one. New road was laid by the time we visited, it was narrrow though. We also encountered a metal bridge where people stalled to have a click.

Finally we reached Karaiyar Dam. Odo zeroed before taking the trip, now read 62. Parking the vehicle alongside the narrow road was tricky, a slight miss and you park it over the vehicle behind ! The day being Sunday witnessed a pretty decent crowd, not irritating however. You gotta hire a boat to reach the Karaiyar falls, which is situated right in the middle of the forest, engulfed with mountains on all sides. Rs 300 for a boat of 15 seats. We joined along with a gang of 5 and hired a private boat for the new 7 of us.

Karaiyar Dam

The boat ride was amazing, giving the perfect thrill of trekking a forest.

The boat ferry, maintained by TTDC

The boat cruised thought the crystal clear taking us into the dense forest radar.

The first glimpse of the falls

After 15 minutes of travel, we reached the shore where the Karaiyar falls flows. The boatmen insisted us to return within an hour. We had to walk a bit to reach the falls. The path was lined with vendors selling mangoes, snacks, etc .  where we had a smack too.

View of the dam from the falls.

   To conclude, it was worth the visit, a truly rejuvenating experience. If you are visiting Tirunelveli, Kannyakumari or nearby places, Karaiyar is a must visit place and should be first in your list !!

More interesting travelogues yet to come,
Watch Out !!


  1. Nice and informative blog... Photos are excellent.. :)

  2. It was the beautiful day to start for karaiyyar dam which is situated 48 km from tirunelveli.
    a wonderful trip that could never be erased from heart.karaiyyar dam is situated in the western
    ghats so the place is been gifted with wonderful natural life..the nearest landmark to reach karaiyyar
    is the papanasam a famous place for lord shiva temple.this place has the history that once shiva and
    parvathi's marriage was taking place at the all the gods gathered in kailayam to celebrate
    the ceremony. By that time the world gets unbalanced because of the gods who came to kailayam.agasthiya
    munivar was the loveable devotee of lord shiva is very eager to watch his lord's marriage .that time shiva
    ordered agasthiya munivar to go south to bring the world balanced.agasthiya not able to bear this but to
    respect his lord he started to south and bringed the world stable. But after doing so agasthiya sat in
    the rock and was thinking about his lord's marriage.knowing this shiva with parvathi appeared before agasthiya
    with garland and blessed agasthiya with some boon.that i and parvathi will be here to bless the people so
    here a temple will raise for the same time there will also be a temple for your own.the world praises
    u when they comes to this place.So the papanasam is been blessed with holy water that is the tamirabarani river
    which flows through the papanasam starting from the karaiyyar a point called banathirtham.banathirtham is in the
    midest of the karaiyyar dam .we took a boat wearing life jacket to reach banathirtham through boat it takes
    20 mins but it seems has we reach it in some seconds because of watching to mountains that is in a circle form
    makes one's heart forget everything the scenery is simply awesome to watch . Once we reach there we have to take
    some walk to reach the beautiful falls called the banathirtham falls. The place where the thamirabarani starts.we
    can refresh freely there and it is said that the boating hours to the place is allowed till 4pm and the cost for
    boating one individual is 35 inr and 300 for booking a separate boat .this boats carries 16 members. We booked a
    seperate boat to reach the place without any difficulty .we came back from banathirtham at 3.30 and started for
    agasthiyar falls which is at the lower part from karaiyyar .and there too we refreshed and started for papanasam
    to worship the god at 6.30 pm and made our come back to tirunelveli by 9pm.readers please visit to such beautiful
    place to feel the nature effects thank you .

  3. Thank you ram for giving me the good response for the above blog.

  4. i was married a month back.. and i was searching for a place for trekking.Its Very informative. Thanks a lot.. im sure i'll visit soon

  5. Hey !
    Cool blog and thanks for that.
    I had a few questions though. How long did it take for you to reach Karaiyar? We are planning to checkout the waterfalls on our trip from Chennai to Kanyakumari, so we were wondering if we could spend sometime in karaiyar.
    And do you think that we will have any public transports available from Papanasam to karaiyar?
    Please advice!
    Thanks in advance!


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