Tamil Nadu, the state which is the most sought after pilgrim destination, is home to some of the most magnificent temples in India. The state's distinct culture, tradition and cuisine attracts people from all over India. Thanjavur, Madurai and Kanchipuram are some of the most important sites of pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu.
Since most of the limelight is taken from the places mentioned above, you might not know about the town of Tenkasi. This temple town is located 108 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 625 km from Chennai. It is popular for the many temples as well as waterfalls found in its vicinity. Tenkasi is flanked by the Western Ghats on three sides, with a river Chittar flowing through the town.
Established by the Pandyan rulers during their reign, Tenkasi means "Kasi of the South" and might've gained this name due to the Kasi Viswanathar Temple that is found in the town.
Here are some of the main places to visit in and around Tenkasi.
Kasi Viswanathar Temple
Also known as Ulagamman Temple, the Kasi Viswanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built by the Pandyan ruler Parakrama Pandya and bears a gopura that is the second biggest in Tamil Nadu. It is built in a classic Dravidian style of architecture, the brilliance of which shines mainly from the 150 ft gopura.
The temple has beautifully carved musical pillars and shrines dedicated to Amman and Murugan apart from Lord Shiva. Some of the festivals celebrated with absolute grandeur include Navratri, Thirukalyanam, boat festival, etc.
The Courtrallam Falls, or Kutralam Falls, is found in the Western Ghats, located on the river Chittar. It is believed to be medicinal since it flows through plants that have medicinal properties. Courtallam Falls is a collection of 9 different falls of varying intensity.
The main waterfalls of the 9 is called Peraruvi which falls from a height of 985 ft and is the most popular one of all. The best time to visit Courtallam Falls is no doubt the monsoon months of July to October when the water will be gushing in its full speed.
Courtrallanathar Temple (or Kutralanathar Temple) is located near Courtrallam, which according to a popular legend, was the very spot in South India where Lord Shiva allowed Sage Agastya to witness his holy marriage with Goddess Parvati that happened in Kailash.
Thirumalapuram rock-cut temple is located 24 km from the main town of Tenkasi and is perched on the Thirumalapuram hills. The two cave temples were built during 750 AD by Pandyan Kings, out of which only one of them is completed. The sculptures found inside these temples are a classic example of the Pandyan architecture.
PC: Koshy Koshy
How To Reach Tenkasi
By Air: The nearest airport is located 113 km away in Thiruvananthapuram. The Thiruvananthapuram airport is well connected to places like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, etc. From the airport, many taxis are easily available to Tenkasi.
By Rail: Tenkasi has a railway station, which is connected to neighbouring places, such as Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Chennai, etc.
By Road: State government run buses connect Tenkasi to other places in Tamil Nadu, like Chennai, Madurai, Kanyakumari, etc., along with neighbouring states, such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.