Courtallam is known as the “Spa of the South India”. It is located in the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District. There are numerous small and big waterfalls are found here. Among them, the major important tourist attraction are the nine waterfalls which are Peraruvi (Main Falls ), Chitraruvi (Small Falls), Thenaruvi, Chenbagadevi Falls, Five Falls (Aintharuvi), Palaththotta Aruvi, Puliyaruvi (Tiger Falls), New Falls (Puthu Aruvi) and Old Courtallam Falls (Palaya Kutrala Aruvi).
Bathing in the falls not only refreshes us but also the water has herbal curing medicinal properties. The water runs through the forest of medicinal herbs and hence it is believed to cure skin diseases, nerve disorders and other physical ailments. There are more than 2000 variety of herbs, plants and trees are found in the Mountain.
Courtallam has 22 names in Tamil language and they are 1. Pithurkandantheerthapuram (பிதுர்கண்டந்தீர்த்தபுரம்), 2. Sivathu Rogam Theertha Moothoor (சிவத்து ரோகம் தீர்த்த மூதூர்), 3. Madhuvundaan Uyirmeettapuram (மதுவுண்டான் உயிர்மீட்டபுரம்), 4. Pavarkkam Meettapuram (பவர்க்கம் மீட்டபுரம்), 5. Thendrarperoor (தென்றற்பேரூர்), 6. Mudhugangaivanthapuram(முதுகங்கைவந்தபுரம்), 7. Thirunagaram (திருநகரம்), 8. Nannagaram (நன்னகரம்), 9. Gnanapuri (ஞானபுரி), 10. Vedanvalavanthapuram (வேடன்வலவந்தபுரம்), 11. Yaanai Poojiththapuram (யானை பூஜித்தபுரம்), 12. Sakthipeedapuram (சக்திபீடபுரம்), 13. Mummoorthipuram (மும்மூர்த்திபுரம்), 14. Munikkurugum Peroor (முனிக்குருகும் பேரூர்), 15. Devakoodapuram(தேவகூடபுரம்), 16. Thirikoodapuram (திரிகூடபுரம்), 17. Pudaarchunapuram (புடார்ச்சுனபுரம்), 18. Kurumbalathirunagar (குறும்பலாத்திருநகர்), 19. Tharisanavethi (தரிசனவேதி), 20. Kutrallam (குற்றாலம்), 21. Chenbagaraniyam (செண்பகராணியம்), 22. Panchatharisanam(பஞ்சதரிசனம்).
Season time – The Best Time to Visit
The season time is during the South West Monsoon rains in June to September. During which the water in the falls are good and also this is the best season to take bath in the falls. The breeze of the south West monsoon is very pleasant to the body and thrilling to the heart. During this season time, you can get various mountain fruits and also the Special Chenbaga Flowers (Magnolia champaca, known in English as champak) of Courtallam. During the season time, it is very much crowded.
During the North East monsoon season from October to January, the water will fall heavy and hence it does not have a good time for bathing in waterfalls. Sometimes the falls are flooded with water and the tourists are prevented from bathing at the falls.
Main Falls (Peraruvi)
This water fall is about 60 meters high. This is the biggest, attractive and popular waterfalls among the others. This waterfall welcomes everyone by spraying the water droplets from the falls. There is separate place for bathing for men and women here. It is safe here to bath as the water slows down after interrupted by the Pongumakadal rock and falls gently.
Another attraction near the Main Falls is the marketplace shopping centre where you can get many items like fancy, clothes, medicinal oils, food items, snacks, sweets etc.
Small Falls (Chittaruvi )
This is a small water falls situated just above the Main Falls. There are steps to access it easily. This falls is very small in size and hence the name. Men and Women can bath here separately.
Shenbaga (Chembakadevi) Falls
The Forest Department has banned this waterfall due to the presence of wildlife in this waterfall. The water flows through the Chenbaga Trees and hence the name. To reach this falls, one has to trek for one hour approximately. Water falls from the height of 40 feet. There is also a Shenbagadevi Temple present here.
Honey Falls (Thenaruvi)
Honey falls is situated 3 kms from Chenbakadevi Falls. To reach this falls, we need to go on trekking for atleast two hours. The journey is very inconvenient. Unlike other waterfalls, bathing is not allowed here due to the rugged rocks and unsafe environment. However, with the help of local peoples, this falls can be reached.
Tiger Falls (Puli Aruvi)
Tiger falls is situated around 2 kms from Courtallam bus stand. This is a small waterfall. Safe place for everyone and even kids can enjoy.
Five Falls (Aintharuvi)
Five Falls is one of the most beautiful falls. The water that falls from the mountain is split into five branches, and hence the name. Here is also a reservation system. In three branches, men can bath and women are allowed to bath in the other two branches.
Old Falls (Pazhaya Courtallam)
In this falls, the water falls from a height of about 600 feet. Usually this place is less crowded. Men and Women have separate place for bathing.
Temple Attractions in Courtallam
Courtallam is famous not only for the falls, but also for the Thirukutralanathar temple and other Temples. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The “Chitra Sabai” present here is gained specialty. It is one of the five Sabhas of Shiva, in dancing posture. We can see here paintings drawn with colours from herbal plants. There are many inscription about the Chola and Pandya Kings.
This Temple has many sub – Temples located in and around Courtallam. Those temples are ShenbagaDevi Amman Temple, Koothar Koil, ChithiraSabai, ThirugnanaSambandar Koil (Pillaiyar Koil), Courtalla NangaiKoil, AdiyaetumParaipanri Madaswamy Koil, AavaranapPillaiyar Koil, NannagaramPillaiyar Koil, ThittaiPillaiyar Koil, PasupathaSastha Koil, PaatapathuSastha Koil, SundaramoorthiKoil.
Thirumalaik Kovil temple is located in Panpoli, 8 kms from Courtallam.
Kumaran Kovil temple is located in Ilanchi, 3 kms from Courtallam.
Kasiviswanathar temple is located in Tenkasi, 6 kms from Courtallam.
This temple is located in Puliyarai, 12 kms from Courtallam.
Accommodation / Hotels / Resorts
Good Accommodation is available at Courtallam. There are many Resorts, Hotels, Lodges and home stays in Courtallam.
There are also good accommodations available at Tenkasi, close to Courtallam.
Tuticorin – 120 kms.
Madurai – 160 kms.
Trivandrum – 120 kms
Tenkasi Railway Station is the closest train facility available.
Bus facility is available in Tenkasi.
Madurai – 160 kms.
Tirunelveli – 59 kms
Tenkasi – 5 kms.
Senkottai – 5 kms.
Kanyakumari – 137 kms.
There is charge for parking in all falls.