Krishnagiri Reservoir (KRP Dam) situated 7 km outside Krishnagiri town, halts and regulates the flow of the Thenpennai river. Located between Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri, KRP Dam provides drinking water for Krishnagiri and irrigates thousands of acres of surrounding farmland. Inaugurated in 1958, the dam harnesses the full potential of the Ponnaiyar river. The KRP Dam, since the time it opened, has been an oasis of lush landscaped gardens. The gardens offer a spot of tranquillity far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
It is very often for this reason that locals and tourists flock to the dam. The best season to visit the dam is between November and March, especially the post-monsoon season when rains fill the river to the brimming capacity. It is usually post-monsoon that the floodgates are open and one may experience the thunder of water rushing beneath your feet whilst standing on the dam. The dam is well connected by road; the nearest airport being Bangalore International airport and the nearest railway station is the Hosur railway station (5 km).
The river Ponniar that originates on the eastern slopes of Chennakesava hills has irrigation projects, such as the Kelavarapalli Reservoir and the Sathanur Reservoir constructed across it. The dam sustains agricultural projects in the surrounding areas and provides drinking water for Hosur. The river Ponniar in its journey of 331 km sustains agriculture, flora and fauna provides drinking water for towns along its path. The dam being 13.5 metres high offers resplendent views of the river and the landscaped gardens surrounding the dam. The dam is well known not only for being an oasis of peace and nature, but for being a sanctuary for birds.
A large number of migratory birds call Kelavarapalli Reservoir and the surrounding area home. A visit to the Kelavarapalli Reservoir is a treat like no other, as the resident and migratory birds flock to the river and the surrounding area. Avid birdwatchers claim that there is no sound like the call of a bird and there is no place like Kelavarapalli Reservoir to see birds. Kelavarapalli Reservoir is an enjoyable place for children and adults. A beautiful park with play equipment set-up is a treat for children while the adults enjoy the serenity of nature.
The Government Museum on Gandhi Road in Krishnagiri is an attraction for both the young and the old. Founded in the year 1993, the Government Museum has an infinite collection that grows with every passing year; it offers a glimpse into the tradition, art and architecture, culture, the heritage and the history of Tamil Nadu. The museum is not only a place of recreation but a place of education. The museum keeps history and culture visible and alive in an era where sweeping globalisation erases uniqueness and identity.
The museum collects, classifies and conducts research on the historical value of various objects. Exhibits about anthropology, botany, archaeology, geography, zoology, children’s gallery and painting gallery are a part of the museum. The museum remains open to visitors between 9.30 am and 5.00 pm, Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays except for second Saturdays and national holidays. The museum maybe a disappointment for photo enthusiasts as cameras are not allowed in the premises.
Shree Parshwa Padmavathi Shaktipeet Tirth Dham in Orappam village, 7 km outside of Krishnagiri, is a spiritual organisation established by His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Vasanth Gurudev Ji. The 23rd tirthankaras of the 24 tirthankaras, Sri Parshwanath Bhagwan, in the holy dharma of Jainism, is worshipped in the temple. The organisation promotes peace and harmony, ideals that the temple personifies and embodies.
The temple while being colourful and festive is a sanctuary of peace and quiet motivating devotees to find their own inner peace and calm, to be balanced so that humanity as a whole maybe balanced and harmonious. The founder, Sri Sri Sri Vasanth Gurudev Ji, has participated in numerous global peace conferences and promotes spiritual well-being through supporting the needy. The temple regularly organises anna dhan for those devotees in need of a good meal. A visit to the temple can certainly help restore some measure of peace and calm to life.
Rajaji Memorial in Thorapalli is the house that Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878–25 December 1972) was born and raised in till he was 11 years old. C. Rajagopalachari, or Rajaji as he is fondly remembered, was a freedom fighter and a leader of caliber. C. Rajagopalachari was not only the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, he was the leader of the Indian National Congress, minister for home affairs of the Indian union, the governor of West Bengal and premier of the Madras Presidency.
C. Rajagopalachari was the first Indian viceroy and the last governor general of India. Rajaji, fondly remembered as the Mango of Salem, was the recipient of the Bharath Ratna award. Rajaji was a virtuous leader who did complete justice to every cap that he wore. There are numerous lessons that are relevant to this day to be learnt from Rajaji’s lifetime. The memorial, with his belongings and his life story, immortalised in photographs, keeps his legacy alive. The memorial, while upholding his values and ideologies, keeps a part of Rajaji alive long after his lifetime.
Thali, a tranquil serene oasis of a village, is also referred to as Little England. Innumerable lakes, hillocks, cliffs and the ensuring valleys, make for a landscape that has something to offer for everyone. Located 25 km from Hosur, Thali is accessible from Tamil Nadu as well as Karnataka. Treks and hikes are extremely popular in Thali given the landscape. The views that long hikes offer are second to none and worth the effort of climbing the steep paths. Thali enjoys cool weather year-round, making it a favourable summer retreat for locals especially because summer in Tamil Nadu is extremely unfavourable.
Thali, given its proximity to Krishnagiri, Bangalore and Hosur becomes a stop over for travellers between Bangalore and Krishnagiri. The cool, tranquil shade of trees invites passersby to picnic and relax in nature’s lap. Other than nature, the Denkanikottai Fort, built in 1530 by Palayakarar, beckons those interested in history. The fort although partially destroyed, even to this day resonates with history. For travellers with a religious bend of mind, the Venugopala Swami Temple is a must see. Whatever the season, Thali finds a place in everybody’s itinerary.
Venugopala Swamy Temple in Thali attracts tourists from across South India. Venugopala Swamy, an avatar of Lord Krishna, has been enshrined in this beautiful, serene temple. "Venu" translates as "flute" in Telugu and the temple personifies the melodious tune of the Lord’s flute. The vast area of the temple broken by numerous columns and pillars made of stone afford onlookers a glimpse into the glorious past of India. Sounds reverberate across the stone floor and become a part of the sounds of nature surrounding the temple. The temple stands not as an intrusion into nature, but as an integral part of nature.
Age lends itself to the temple beautifully. The temple is one of the few temples that has aged gracefully, becoming an indisposable part and parcel of Thali and the psyche of the residents and visitors alike. While the weather is not a major deterrent to visiting the temple, the month of May is special for the Venugopala Swamy Temple because of the car or chariot festival. If you are looking for peace and tranquillity, then the month of May may not be ideal as thousands of devotees visit the temple during the month of May.
Rayakottah, also known as Rayakottai, is a town which houses a protected monument by the Archeological Survey of India, Rayakottah Fort. Rayakottah Hill marks the periphery of the Palghat plateau. An ancient fort that has seen and withstood numerous wars, currently in ruins, is definitely worth a visit. The fort itself, not accessible by road, is a two-hour hike from the bottom. The hike slowly takes the traveller away from the noise and pollution of city life.
Halfway through the hike is the Rayakottah cave temple that is possibly as old as the fort itself. Onwards from the cave temple are brick structures that were possibly used to house ammunition or horses or maybe both. The summit of the fort has a giant lamp that locals light during festivals. The elevation of the fort makes for stunning views of the town, with waterbodies and railway tracks meandering through town. Rayakottah is not an extremely popular tourist destination, but for travellers seeking solitude with a little exercise thrown in, the fort makes for a perfect Sunday getaway.
Mallachandram, a protected site maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, in Tamil Nadu, is world-renowned for being the site of more than a hundred dolmens. A dolmen is a megalithic (large stone that is used to construct a structure) tomb. As the term megalithic suggests, the dolmens usually have a large capstone that is supported by three or more stone pillars. The structures, however, vary in their complexity and numbers across the world. Mallachandram has clusters of dolmens that were presumably used for the burial of families. One may observe a large dolmen surrounded by smaller dolmens in concentric circles.
Dolmens such as those found in Mallachandram are also found in Marayoor, Kerala. Dolmens, however, are not the only artefacts in Mallachandram, archaeologists have discovered stone paintings, cairn circles and urn burials in and around Mallachandram. Whilst the dolmens, cairn circle and urn burials are all related to death and afterlife, Mallachandram is a history enthusiast’s paradise. It is one of the very few places on planet earth that connects ancient history to modern day and keeps humankind connected beyond the realm of time and space.
Arulmigu Maragathamigai Chandra Choodeswarar Temple, situated in Hosur on National Highway 7, is positioned on a hillock and is surrounded by nature that is for the most part untouched. An observatory and a children’s park initiated by the tourism department of Tamil Nadu invite tourists to experience the place and not just for religious purposes. Given the temple's location on a national highway, devotees that cross the threshold of the temple are mostly travellers with destinations onward from Hosur. The location of the temple and the proximity of a park close by make the temple an ideal stop over on a journey.
The elevation of the temple affords devotees sweeping panoramic views of Hosur. The observatory entices tourists to learn more about the stars and their celestial journeys. The observatory and the temple are contradictory to each other, while one offers a glimpse into astronomy and science, the temple offers astrology and belief systems that are not completely based on facts. Whatever your belief system is, Arulmigu Maragathamigai Chandra Choodeswarar Temple has something to offer.