Last month, I had been to Tirunelveli, our native town, with my family. It has been quite long since we visited the place. We planned to go there on 2 different occasions last year and earlier this year, but had to drop off due to many reasons. Finally, we were able to go there last month.
I am not going to bore everyone with the details of the three day tour during when we visited temples after temples. But I was more interested in the Baana Theertham falls. This is situated near the Papanasam Dam in the Kallidaikurichi – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve forest.
A dense, low altitude reserve forest in the majestic western ghat, the reserve forest not just houses the tigers, but also houses the fast disappearing Langurs, Indian Peafowl (Peacocks and Peahens) and the spotted deer. From the time we entered the foot hills, we were able to spot so many peacocks roaming around freely. An easy target for senseless poachers!
The Papanasam dam can be reached through road. Best bet would be to take your own vehicle as I think the frequency of buses is very less! You can take the SH (State Highway) 178 from Ambasamudram to Papanasam.
On reaching the dam, we had to take the motor boat across the reservoir to reach the place. The capacity of the dam is about 145ft, but when we went last month the water was only 42 feet. I am not able to imagine how it will be if the reservoir is full. They send us in a group of 15 people per boat. If you think you want to be on your own, you can either have 15 people in your gang, or pay for 15 and take the boat if you are a bit less in number. NO! Don’t be ridiculous enough to take an entire boat just for 4 or 5 people just because you have the option for paying. J
It is a good 2km (approx) travel across the lake, which took about 20 minutes to cross. I am sure with good monsoon and more rains, this distance will increase along with the water level. Once we have crossed the lake, we had to climb up about 100 meters through a trail to reach the falls. This climbing will also reduce if the water level is high. We climbed up the 100 meters to reach the falls. It had good water and now there are railings for safety while bathing.What we saw was a breathtaking sight. The falls was pouring from a height of 100ft approximately. We were not prepared for a bath and the crowd also was a bit unruly. So all we did was spend some time there, click as many photos as possible and return back. The place is worth visiting again and hoping to do so at the earliest, unless any external circumstances stop me…