Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Manjolai - Part 1

Manjolai, is a quite, small and serene hill station near Tirunelveli. It is a private hillstation being owned by the Singampatti Jameen family and is being maintained by Bombay Burma Tea corporation. This also falls under the Mundandhurai Wildlife sanctuary. So, to enter into this forest, you have to get the permission of either the forest department (or) the Singampatti family (or) Tea Factory people. Contact details are furnished at the end of this post. Atop this mountain there is just the tea factory and the factory workers' residence. Visiting this place wont have many attractions as you expect in Ooty/Kodai, you are sure to have a different experience and exposure to virgin and unpolluted forest. This place can be covered in one day and if you wish to stay atop, there is one EB quarters and Tea factory's guest house, for which you have to get permission before hand. Ideal for one day trip and you can visit the places around Tirunelveli and Courtallam. Dont be surprised when even some of the people residing around Tirunelveli does not know abt this place. It is such a unravelled heaven. Nearest place with decent staying option is Ambasamudram.

After our earlier disastrous trip to Manjolai, the undettered souls we are, we planned for another trip to Manjolai. It was the month of July'07, myself along with four other friends set out on a weekend trip to places around Tirunelveli and Manjolai. We got into the Nellai Express on a friday night. To our horror, our seats were occupied by some other guys. After a round of argument and enquiry, we came to know that our seats were upgraded to 3rd AC. Seems the railway dept's way of compensating for the disaster that we had the first time around. A nice sign to start the tour.

Reached Tirunelveli around 6 in the morning, got into the cab waiting for us and set out towards Kallidakuruchi which is 70 kms away where we had booked our rooms. Once out of Tirunelveli town limit, we were in for a perfect village surroundings with lush green fields, river and dense plantation all around. Reached our room in an hour. Refreshed and set out to the Singampatti Jameens palace.

Singampatti jameen - The owners of the manjolai hills!!!!! and one of the very very few persons in India who can claim to be a Raja. Had lunch in their palace, met the Raja, spoke with him for a while, took a small tour of their palace. It was a big and old palace which is very close to the Manimuthaaru dam and surrounded by paddy fields. They do have staying options here, which is being maintained by the Bed And Breakfast services of the tourism department. The staying rooms looked neat with all the facilities. These people helped us to get the permission to visit Manjolai.

After the lunch, we set out to the papanasam dam. It is an hours drive from Ambasamudram. Paapanasam is a small mountain which falls in the mundandhurai tiger sanctuary's range. Reached the reservoir and they operate boat services to the VaanaTheertham falls, which is in the middle of the dam. The boat ride was pure fun as it started drizzling the moment we got into the boat. During the boat journey, we got to see the falls, gushing at its full force. It was a splendid sight to see such a beautiful waterfalls, in the midst of a forest when it was drizzling. This is the falls, where a part of the famous song 'chinna chinna aasai' from the movie Roja was shot. The water here was very very cool. couldnt even stand under it for a minute. Took some frequent breaks and had a very nice shower. Took the return boat and reached the shore.


VaanaTheertham falls

Then went to the Agasthiyar falls, which on the foothills of this mountain. Here again took a nice shower after convincing the police man, who normally dont let people there after 5 PM. Set out our return journey to our room. On the way back, got down into the paddy fields, canals and spent some time there. Finished our dinner on the way (in ambasamudram) and reached our rooms by 9 PM.



To be continued here.

7 comments:

Dheepa said...

Hey... its Paanatheertham right ??

shankar.n said...

Yeah... they refer this falls by both the names - Vaanatheertham and Paanatheertham. Dont know which is the right one.

Arun Kumar said...

How to get pass for Manjolai Estate?

Shankar N said...

@Arun - please refer the details in http://out-of-station.blogspot.com/2009/07/continued-from-here-nextday-we-started.html

Sidhu sidhu said...

Great writing and very informative... thanks man...

Anonymous said...

Hey the code of Zamin ph no is 04634 and not 04364, which went to a wrong number.

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