A great getaway from Tenkasi and Tirunelveli is Courtallam, also known as Kutralam. Courtallam, a small town bordering the Kollam District, renowned for its Western Ghats waterfalls. The township is popularly regarded as the ‘Spa of the South’ with captivating panoramic views. In the area, it has nine waterfalls which add a charm to its exotic beauty. Kutrallam adorned with ancient temples representing the age-old legends attached to them will also be found.
Perhaps what Julie and I considered to be the creme de la creme of the Courtallam Waterfalls collective was Courtallam Main Falls (or Kutralam Main Falls, Courtallam Falls, or Kutralam Falls).
The waterfall itself was at least 30-40 m high and sufficiently wide to attract large numbers of people who wanted to be pummelling by its Ayurvedic waters.
Apparently, some physicians have prescribed the Ayurvedic healing properties of water as a medicine for the treatment of some ailments.
Since we knew India was well-known for producing physicians, they may have been on something.
The two sides at the base of the waterfalls separated by a small stone arch bridge. Another larger bridge further downstream did the same thing. Any local officials were watching to make sure that on either side of the falls there was no mixing of the sexes.
In terms of nomenclature, we found that this waterfall is often only called Courtallam Falls. Although that name also applied to all nine waterfalls collectively around the town of Courtallam, which could get a little confusing.
We sandwiched the “Main” word in the name to clarify that this indeed the Main Falls of the Courtallam region to mitigate the amount of misunderstanding.
Top Places to Visit In Kutralam (Courtallam)
Kutrallam is a small town known for its cascading waterfalls and its elegance. If you’re visiting the city for one day, make sure as many waterfalls as possible protected. Early in the morning, start your day with a warm breakfast at the hotel. The list of the major waterfalls in the city is Five Drops, Old Falls, Major Falls, Palaruvi Falls, and Small Falls. Besides that, in the town, there is also a temple of Lord Thirukuttralanathar that should not miss.
Bear in mind, however, that every waterfall opens at 6 in the morning and closes at 8 at night, so schedule your trip accordingly. To savor it later, make sure you catch this town’s true nature and its natural beauty. Overall, I could not help but catch up on the energy of this venue. Given the juxtaposition of the impressive Courtallam Main Falls and the bustling marketplace before it.
Below are some of the best places to visit in Kutralam.
1. Shenbaga Falls, Kutralam (Courtallam)
Shenbaga Falls is one of those places that is also a big place of worship for locals, apart from being a popular tourist site. Also known as Chembakadevi, this place can be easily reached through a trekking trail from Main Falls.
The length of the tow is almost 3 km. This fall derives its name from the nearby village of Shenbaga Devi, which houses a temple dedicated to Goddess Shenbaga Devi, an incarnation of Durga’s Goddess. The place flocked by devotees in large numbers because of its religious significance. They pay homage to the goddess with Shenbaga flowers that can be purchase from different shops on the way to the temple.
2. Palaruvi Waterfalls, Kutralam (Courtallam)
The Travancore kings constructed a palace at the falls in Kollam during the 17th century to avoid the scorching heat of the sun. They began to feel that the place was full of negativity and lousy luck with the years going by. They believed in it, superstition or not, and moved to the falls at Palaruvi Falls, Kutrallam. The abandoned history is demonstrated by some remains of ancient buildings and a stable.
The plastic-free zone is now designated to be the area near the waterfalls. Greenery and cleanliness are all you see here. The government agency that looks after this whole place is the Palaruvi River and Forest Conservation Society.
One of the prime attractions in Kutrallam, or as some call it Courtallam, Tamil Nadu, is Palaruvi Falls, cascading downstream from a height of 300 ft. It’s the 32nd highest fall in our nation because of its height. In the regional language, the word Palaruvi means ‘Course of Milk.’
Ironically, as it flows down, it appears to be a sparkling waterfall of milk. The beauty of this fall, therefore, remains unimaginable until seen with one’s own eyes. Unlike the calm of the trees and mist-kissed mountains surrounding it, the roaring sounds of the fall stand in stark contrast.
Trekking at Palaruvi Waterfalls
It’s always fun to trek. By trekking through various trails, you can reach the milky falls.
The first trek, the Palaruvi Trek, takes you through caves, thick forests, gushing streams, and some minor waterfalls on a 5 km long journey. From 7:00 AM-2:00 PM, trek permits. For you to make it to the top, it usually takes 3 hours.
The Kurishumala Trek, the second trek, is very difficult. Not a lot of people are familiar with this 8 km difficult journey. The six-hour trek takes you to the magnificent Palaruvi Falls, introduces you to the unusual and endemic Chenkurinji ‘s special ecosystem, and finally gives you a glimpse of neighboring states from the frontier. This trek through the forest area of Themela permitted between 7:00 AM-11:00 AM.
3. Honey Falls, Kutralam (Courtallam)
Honey Falls or Thenaruvi, located 4 km from the Main Falls, is very popular among locals as well as tourists. The stream derives its name from the beehives that develop on the face of the rock during the dry season here.
The view of the falls, produced in the shape of a horseshoe, is quite enchanting. The falls consist of three streams in the middle of a rainforest that plunge to form a small pool. Located about a 2-hour trek from Main Falls, there is no bathing provision for these falls.
4. Five Falls, Kutralam (Courtallam)
Five Falls, a sight of pure brilliance, is one of the most sought after destinations in Kutrallam, about 4 km from the main town. Before rushing down to the Aranvankadu Pass, visitors are utterly amazed by the sight it offers with falls splitting into five sections.
These five falls are known by the locals as the five heads of cobras. However, three out of five falls can access by males, while only two falls are accessible to females. In the vicinity of waterfalls, Swami Ayyappa Temple and Vinayaka Temple are also two temples that draw many devotees.
5. Main Falls, Kutralam (Courtallam)
In the center of the district, Main Falls, also known as Peraruvi, is one of the main attractions of all the nine waterfalls. It falls from an altitude of 60 m and serves as the area’s largest of all falls.
In fact, in addition to being a big sightseeing spot, the water stream is also a place of worship for locals. Take note of the time you drive, however, as the stream dries up between November and January. But at the same time, it reveals a view of absolute beauty during the peak season. In the vicinity, two temples dedicated to Goddess Kuzhalvaimozhi Amman and Sri Thirukutralanthar (Lord Shiva) are both great attention seekers.
What is the best time to visit Kutralam (Courtallam)?
The summer season in the city brings hot and dry weather with it, leading to all the waterfalls drying up. Thus, it is not at all worthwhile to fly to Kutrallam during summers. However, in its absolute glory and elegance, the monsoon season has the city back once again. The winter season sees a mercury dip with lovely temperatures. During the monsoon, the drizzle and gentle breeze refresh the entire city, and your senses do the same.
Therefore, as an ideal time to explore the city, the monsoon, and winter seasons are suggest. Kutralam is also popular for its low prices-you can easily visit all the sites and stay at low rates in a luxurious resort.
How to Reach Kutralam (Courtallam)?
Air: The nearest air force base is Tuticorin Airport (TCR), located 86 km from Kutrallam. It is not, however, well linked with other towns. Madurai, which has connecting flights to Chennai, is the main airport nearby. You can easily hire a taxi to the appropriate destination from outside the airport.
Nearest airport: International Airport of Trivandrum (TRV)-63 km from Kutralam (Courtallam)
Option 1 By Road
It is very convenient to travel to Kutrallam by road, particularly with regular bus services running to and from the town. You can also ride special buses operated by the state government during the peak season. The town has two buses, one in the southern part and the other in the northern part, namely the Central Bus Stand and the Chatram Bus Stand.
Option 2 By Train
Tenkasi Railway Station serves as the closest railway station to the town of Kutrallam, located only 6 km away. The station is well connected via regular trains to Tirunelveli and Chennai. For a convenient quick drive to the desired destination, taxis or autorickshaws can hire from the station.
Due to the availability of different modes, traveling in the city of Kutrallam is very convenient. At almost every nook and corner of the city and particularly near the popular tourist spots and waterfalls, one can find auto-rickshaws. Moving around the area is quite convenient for these vehicles. Another choice is to hire a taxi, which is also very popular in Kutrallam. Cabs are recommending as the best choice for visitors, as nearly all the major attractions in the city have accessible parking facilities.