Meghamalai Hills, situated on the Western Ghats, is 70 km away from Theni. It is situated at a height of about 500 ft above the sea level. The place is rich in natural vegetation and wildlife. There are over 100 species of birds found in this area. This is a popular spot for bird watchers.
The Tamil Nadu government has proposed a wildlife sanctuary here to preserve the biodiversity. The Meghamalai Hills is home to many animals, reptiles and butterflies as well. You can spot leopard, tiger, wild boar, Nilgiri tahr, porcupine, gaur, flying squirrel spotted deer, sloth bear, barking deer, smooth-coated otter, sambar deer, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, common langur, bonnet macaque, grey junglefowl, and many more animals.
The place is also well known for tea gardens and cardamom plantations, but the major portion of the land remains untouched and is covered by evergreen forest. Pepper and cinnamon are also cultivated in Meghamalai Hills.
Meghamalai Hills is also known as “High Wavy Mountains”. It provides a beautiful view of the neighbouring places. It is also the birth place of the Meghamalai Falls and the Suruli Falls.
The Suruli Falls is famous for the 18 caves that depict the Indian rock-cut architecture of the 18th century. This waterfall is situated about 47 km from Theni. The waterfall cascades in two phases, and it falls from a height of 150 ft. The water gathers into a pool and then plummets again for around 40 ft.
Meghamalai is the place from where the Suruli Falls originates. The Tamil poet Ilango Adigal has sung the beauty of this fall in the epic, Silappathikaram. The area near to the fall is a hub of herbs with medicinal properties. At a distance of about half kilometre away from the waterfall, stands the Suruli Velappar Temple.
Every year the summer festival is celebrated at the Suruli Falls by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department. This waterfall is an important tourist attraction in Theni. During the monsoon season, it is flooded by tourists from different parts of India. Changing rooms are constructed, and showers are installed for the tourists.
The Kailasanathar Temple Cave is situated near the Suruli Falls. The Temple cave stands at an elevation of 800 m above the sea level. In the Tamil epic Silappathikaram it is said that festivals were conducted in the Kailasanathar Temple Cave during Aadi, Thai and Chithtirai. The temple has a natural spring that is considered to have medicinal properties.
In close vicinity to the temple cave is a Dargah named after the 17th century Muslim Saint Abubacker Masthan. On Saturdays, devotees carry pots of milk to this temple.
The Kumbakkarai Fall originates in the Western Ghats at the Kodaikanal Hills. It lies at a distance of 9 km from the small town of Periyakulam in a place called Kumbakkarai. It is around 24 km from Theni. The waterfall is situated in a natural set-up where the chirping of birds welcomes visitors.
The Kumbakkarai Fall comprises of two stages. Water plumages from an elevation of 400 m and gets collected in the huge rock alcoves that are named after wild animals. There is a statue of Lord Murugan near the fall.
Visitors love to take a dip in this fall. It is advisable to take help from a local person to guide you to the fall as the rock recesses are a bit risky to tread on. Kumbakkarai Falls can be visited any time of the year but during the monsoon season it gushes out with full force.
Kuchanur is famous for the Sani Temple, one of the temples dedicated to Lord Sani exclusively, without the other accompanying planets or a ruling deity of a temple. It is believed that Lord Sani appeared in Swayambu or naturally appeared in this place.
Hence, the place got its name from the word Kubjanoor, one of the names of Lord Sani, that later became Kuchanur. Kuchanur also houses the Vadaguru Temple dedicated to Lord Guru which faces North. This temple is quite old, and legends say that Lord Indra worshiped the deity of this temple.
There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman where there is also a deity of Pancha Mukha Ganapathi or Lord Ganesh with five faces in this temple. The rivulet Surabhi flows by the village of Kuchanur and the Sani Temple stands on the bank of this small river.
Kuchanur is around 20 km from Theni. Thousands of devotees from all parts of India come to Kuchanur every year to visit this temple to get relief from the malefic effects of Sani.
Bodi Mettu is an idyllic hill station in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. It sits on the laps of the Western Ghats at a height of about 4500 ft above the sea level. This is a beautiful tourist spot and hundreds of visitors come here every year to spend a peaceful time in this hill station.
Bodi Mettu is rich in flora and fauna. Many rare species of birds and animals are sighted here. It is 43 km from Theni and lies on the way to Bodinayakkanur from Theni.
Theertha Thotti is around 19 km from Theni and just 2 km from Periyakulam. It falls on the road to Bodinayakkanur from Theni on the Madurai–Kochi National Highway. It is a popular pilgrimage centre as the Lord Subramaniar Temple is situated there.
This temple is around 1000 years old. Theertha Thotti means sacred water tub. It is a natural spring surrounded by neem and bright trees. Amidst these trees is a tank called Theertha Thotti. This tank is a natural spring that has never gone dry and is considered holy. The tank has an inner mandapam and a staircase that goes down.
The walls of the Theertha Thotti are engraved with figurines of Saptha Kannikas or the seven virgins worshipping Lord Murugan and Vinayaka.
The Gowmariamman Temple is a 14th-century temple constructed by Pandya King Veerapandiya IV. Local beliefs say that King Veerapandiya had regained his vision by worshipping Gowmariamman and Kanneeswaramudaiyar.
The consecrated Goddess of the temple, Gowmari is believed to fulfil the wishes of the devotees and cures them from various diseases and ailments. The main festival of the Gowmariamman Temple falls in April and May during the Tamil month of Chithirai and is celebrated for 8 days.
The Gowmariamman Temple is located 8 km away from Theni at a village called Veerapandi. It stands on the banks of the river Mullai.
The Sothupparai Dam, built across the Varaga river, is situated at a picturesque backdrop of the Kodaikanal Hills. Located some 12 km from Periyakulam, this place is a wonderful spot for picnics and outings with friends and family. The road to the dam is adorned with mango trees on both sides.
A ride to the dam during summer will enchant your senses with the smell of juicy mangoes. General public can view the Sothupparai Dam from a floor bridge built near the dam. There is a beautiful garden near the dam that has this floor dam and some pleasing lamp posts.
Water from the Berijam Lake in Kodaikanal and small stream along with rain water are stored in this dam. Boasting a storage capacity of 2.831 m cum, the Sothupparai Dam provides water for drinking and farming to Periyakulam and its neighbouring places. It is the second highest dam in Tamil Nadu.
The Shanmuganathi Dam is located in the scenic backdrop of the Meghamalai Hills. It is constructed on the river Shanmugha at Rayapanpatty in the Theni district. Places of Theni districts such as Appipatti, Vellaiammalpuram, Pusarikoundan Patti, Odaipatti, Sepalakottai and Sukkangal Patti are benefitted by the water of this dam.
Around a kilometre from the dam is the Shanmugha Temple where the residing God is Lord Murugan.
Mavoothu is located around 93 km from Theni and 78 km from Anipatti. This place is famous for the Velappar Temple that stands on the Varushanad Hill. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vinayaka. There is a shrine of the Saptakannikas in this temple which was built by the Kandamanur Zamindaar.
There is a spring within the temple. It is believed that the water of this spring has the power to cure diseases and ailments. Mavoothu refers to “spring of the Mango Grove” in Tamil. The place gets heavy rainfall, and this rainwater gathers around the many mango trees that the place has. Hence, it got its name.
Mavoothu is a beautiful place to visit. It is nestled in the Western Ghats and is surrounded by rich natural vegetation.
The Devadanapatti Kamakshi Amman Temple is an ancient temple situated in a tiny village called Devadanapatti which is 27 km from Theni. The temple stands by the Manjal river.
The distinctive feature of this temple is that the door to the main shrine always remains closed, and puja can be conducted only at the door. The annual festival of this temple is the Mahashivaratri and devotees from nearby places visit this temple to seek blessings.
The Balasubramanya Temple at Periyakulam in Theni district is an important temple of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The mighty Chola ruler Rajendra Chola constructed this temple. This temple is devoted to Lord Murugan.
The main deity of the temple has a six headed Lord Murugan along with his consort. This idol of Lord Murugan has been pierced from underground. The Balasubramanya Temple is the most visited temple in Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be 200 years old. The temple sits on the banks of the river Varaha.
According to legends King Rajendra Chola had once killed a pig unintentionally when it was suckling its young ones. Later on, the great Chola ruler saw Lord Murugan feeding the hungry piglets.
Moved by this divine incident the King ordered to build this temple. This story is beautifully engraved in the temple. A visit to Balasubramanya Temple is considered equivalent to a pilgrimage in Kasi.
The Chinna Suruli Fall is also called by the name Cloudland Falls as it originates in the Meghamali Hills. This water fall is around 54 km from Theni and is situated near the village of Kombaithozhu.
The resounding cascades amidst the silver-lined clouds invite travellers from far and near. The Chinna Suruli Fall is a perfect spot for picnics and outings and a must-visit for shutter bugs.