Sundarapandiyapuram - it seems like a dream to me. Totally unexpected and unplanned journey during my last Onam holidays. Onam is always a nostalgia for every malayalee so is to me. Though its not giving me happiness like my childhood days we are trying to make it more enjoyable than those days.
Fourth onam was supposed to be at my moms house and on the previous night my sister suddenly put foward a plan- what about a trip...We expected a big nooooooo......from my dad, mom and aunt...but answer was a BIG YESSSSSSS.........i wondered whether my parents became new gen parents !!!! and there came the next quest ??? where to go ???? a lot of options flooded ..... here also sisy came with that big suggestion- sundarapandiyapuram .....yeah fine !!!! previous day only i finished reading an article on that area...i was super convinced..thank u sisy...you are simply best ......so it was all set.....
Next day morning alarm woke me up at sharp 4....alarms are sweet when they woke me for a trip...everything was all set and we started at sharp 5.30 am
Mundro islands- Kundara-Kottarakkara-Thenmala-Thenkasi-Sundarapandiyapuram ( NH- 208 )
Those coming from Trivandrum - Palode- Kulathupuzha-Thenmala-Thenkasi-Sundarapandiyapuram
To those coming from North Kerala can take MC road till Kottarakara or join with NH 208 in Punalur via Pattanamthitta and continue the course towards Tamil Nadu.
On the way towards thenkasi, after punalur the scenic beauty of western ghats began to start. being visited these places many times we skipped and headed foward ( Thenmala echo tourism project, palaruvi water falls, thenmala dam, deer park etc ). Our first destination was Thenkasi Kasi viswanathar temple.
The legend of this temple is dated back to 700 years. The pandiya king parikarma decided to take a pilgrimage to Kasi. The lord appeared to him in his dreams and asked him to follow ants that was passing through his room. King followed ants and reached a place at the base of kuttalam hills - a forest surrounded by chembaka trees and found the ant hill. He discovered a swayam bhoo lingam of lord shiva and constructed a temple on the banks of chitharu river where he found the idol. It is believed that sins will be washed away if we visit this temple and a pilgrimage is equal to visting Varanasi for mukthi. The name of the town Thenkasi itself is dervived from this legendary story- means kasi of south .
Temple has a majestic tower of 180 mts height. As we enter the eastern gopuram of the temple we will feel a gentle breeeze pushing us towards the temple till the west end and returning back to east gopuram. There is always presence of wind in the gopuram where people believe that it is swriling around an unseen idol. The temple is open from morning 5 am to evening 8.30 pm. camera and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple. Along with lord shiva , godess parvathi is also a main deity. Navagrahas are also worshiped along with Lord ganesha and subramaniyan.
After spending quite a good time at the temple we headed to sundarapandiyapuram. From thenkasi after old bus stand we are entering to thirunelveli state highway from there its 9 kms to this beautiful village.
Old agraharam street of sundarapandiyapuram built by king sundarapandiyan. This is a favorite location for many tamil and malayalam movies the main ones are roja....muthalvan and anyan...people live a very simple life here in these agraharams which is made up of lime stone. The architecture is very different and intersting where stones are arranged in rows above the wood with out plastering. and these houses are huge with many rooms and we can see long corridors and they are well ventillated . Sunflowers love sun. They dont feel tired...when we look at sunflowers we really feel fresh even it is mid noon .......it was a stunning mind blowing sight seeing sunflowers so close.
Best time to visit - JULY - AUGUST
Places of interest - Anyan rock ( we didn't cover it , agrahara street and sunflower fields )
Carry lot of water with you
Nearest town - Thenkasi
Nearest Railway station - Thenkasi ( no direct trains from kerala once the punalur line is broadgauged it will start functioning)
There is no good eateries in village - we opted MONKEY BELLS @ Thenkasi - Kollam road .
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