Today I will be writing about one of the most beautiful trips I have had with my mom and dad. This happened a few years ago, and I wanted to share it here as – 1. It is a truly beautiful place and 2. It is sparsely documented on the Internet.
We had been to Tirunelveli (Ambasamudram to be specific) for a friend’s wedding. Once that was over, we had two days all for ourselves to look around. We visited quite a few places in and around Tirunelveli. For now, I am going to be writing about and showing you pictures of Karaiyar Dam and Manjolai Tea Estate.
Karaiyar Dam & Falls –
The Karayar Dam is built on the river of Tamarabarani. It is near Papanasam. Karaiyar Dam is also known as Papanasam Upper Dam which is around 20 – 25 Km’s from Papanasam Falls. The Karaiyar and Papanasam are not the same.We hired a van from Ambasamudram. The entire journey towards Karaiyar is so beautiful.
The surroundings are lush green and the rocky terrains are so much fun. Ensure you reach the Karaiyar Dam before 3 PM. Tourists are not allowed after 5 PM. (Timings might have changed now, please check it before you go). It is because, you need to go by a boat till the foot of Karaiyar Falls. After which you need to trek for about 30 minutes to reach the falls.
I would say it is better to be there around lunch time. That way, you get a lot of time to soak in the natural beauty of the place and also to simply sit and look at the waterfalls and the river. Oh yeah, they also sell fresh fried fish there. I am not sure if it is really a fresh catch, but the fish lovers might have some fun. I am a vegetarian, so I did not try that.
Manjolai Tea Estate –
Manimutharu is a small town in Tirunelveli district. You must have heard about Manimutharu Dam & Falls. So, Manjolai is a small tea estate above Manimutharu town. Till where I know, you would require permissions to enter the estate. It is part of the forest area. It is a must visit. A very very beautiful village. The greenery and the small quaint waterfalls are definitely soothing for your eyes and your soul. And do you know what the best part is?
- Absolutely little human intervention.
- No plastics / No dirt – Just you and nature. 🙂
- Not commercialized at all.
I remember when I visited the place, along with us there was just one more family in another car. So we were around 15 visitors (apart from the locals). That’s it. Imagine the serenity the place would have had. 🙂 It might get a little difficult in case you are planning to have lunch somewhere in Manjolai, as there are no hotels or restaurants at all. You might not even find a tea stall.
However, there is a very small (note very small) place which serves lunch. But for that, you need to get it booked in advance as they only prepare food based on the bookings. However, I’d say Manjolai is a perfect family picnic spot. So pack your food, some games, and, some music – and head to this amazing place. 🙂 Apart from that, there is a view-point which is called Kuthiravetti, from where you can see the Manimuthar river.