Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thandikudi – A place where I felt quite tranquil!

Nestle amid the mountains of Palani Hills, at a range of about 1500m on the Western Ghats; Thandikudi is a pretty small village encompassed by coffee plantations, dense forest and mountain peaks keep it always cool and comfort weather to stay forever. I was so glad exploring this place last summer in June (2013) and the most fascinating thing I find there was bird watching. Though, Thandikudi is famous for Murugan Temple, coffee plantations and archaeological significant site, where Pre-Iron age burials are found. The pleasant weather and quite calm environment (where melodies of birds resonate) was something I never used before and deserves peace at best.

Panoramic view on the Thandikudi village
Thandikudi is about 45 km northeast of Vathalagundu in the lower Palani Hills in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. The village is on half the mountains of Kodakanal, hence named as half Kodai, was reached partially driving on the Kodaikanal Ghat Rd and then take right near Ooothu and drive past Pannaikadu. Thandikudi is about 10 km from there. Though there are also alternate routes via Palani and Oddanchatram, apart Pattiveeranpatti which I preferred during my course of travel, since I sought for a change, this road comes as an isolate, fresh and traffic free unlike Kodaikanal Rd. It’s a pleasure on its own driving past dense forest and coffee plantations with few mountain villages making mild voices amid the chirping of birds.

Thandikudi,  a close-up at the village
Close-up on the village residence 
We reached Thandikudi in the evening, since began to climb the hill between 4-5pm driving all the way from Chennai. It started to drizzle slightly as soon we are on the narrow mountain road, and looking down the plains was then a sight of active rainstorms playing on the ground. Past Dindigul, the weather has been stormy making it only more exciting. We made a leisure drive across the winding ghats, just being cautious at the occasional opponents since the road is sufficient only for a vehicle to pass at a moment. The slightly wet condition then made pretty cool as the elevation rises slowly, we stop at the Mangalamkombu, a small village near Thandikudi, to pick a person who booked rooms for us at the Panchayat Kudils (concrete huts) for accommodation. 

Mountains of Palani
Derived from the belief of people here that during the fight with monster Idumban, Lord Muruga jumped over the hill to reach Palani and thus obtained the name “Thandikudi”, which is a two, conjoined Tamil words meaning “cross-jump”. According to an archaeological survey, there’s one more reason to call it Thandikudi. The Kulasekhara Pandya inscription issued during the 12th regnal year (1280 AD) records this village as Tanrikudi. Where “Tanri” is a variety of tree (termenalia bellarica) famous for its medicinal value and found in abundance in this region and “Kudi” means a clan based settlement. The archaeological survey also suggests that the site lies in a perfect ecological background, which helped to occupy continuously for more than 3,500 years.

Green Coffee Beans
Coffee beans at Thandikudi
Thandikudi is a coffee hub, where the famous Leo Coffee brought their base there. The central government has also established a Regional Coffee Research Station (the sole kind across the state) there in aim of evolving suitable practices for the cultivation of coffee, since this areas come under the North-East monsoon influence with low rainfall and hence require set of package for cultivation. The Panchayat run cottages or huts (made of concrete) had also built their premises among the coffee plantations and canopy of trees provides quiet environment and enrich with birds sighting. Black pepper, orange and jack-fruits where also among the plantations thrive aside coffee in Thandikudi, the silver oaks too rooted strong base abundantly across the mountains.

A screen of silver oaks
Thought Thandikudi is not a tourist destination, it too has places at receiving end. Except for the Balamurugan temple and certain view points (that come along roadsides) which we covered during our sightseeing, most of the places are pedestrian based or hiking. Although we managed to cover the area within a day, I still believe there’s much to experience and enjoy through personal exist. The Thandikudi chapter doesn't end here, but there will be more come into the blog through some other pretty posts. 


TexWisGirl said...

the 2nd image didn't load for me, but the others are rich, green and peaceful!

Twilight Man said...

Wow! The houses being clustered together at the valley looks so nice like a good painting.

I always love to hear more about Tamilnadu as we hardly have TV news or documentary about this exotic place.

Destination Infinity said...

Excellent place to go for a vacation or even live in, I guess. I hope it's not as cold as Kodai! Beautiful pictures. Waiting to see more :)

Destination Infinity

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wow - Thandikudi definitely looks and sounds like an amazing place. I can see why it would make you feel so tranquil.

Anonymous said...

The scenery is just lovely!

George said...

It sounds as if you found a quiet mountain sanctuary just as we did during our visit to the Smoky Mountains last week. We didn't see any houses or coffee plantations, but we did enjoy pretty mountain scenes similar to the ones you've shared. I look forward to seeing more from your visit.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

What an interesting place, Jeevan. AND--there is so much history there. It is so beautiful and peaceful. Can't wait to read and see more from Thandikudi.


Karen Lakis said...

The close-up of the village is very colorful and the plantations and forest surrounding it looks so beautiful and peaceful!

Priya said...

It looks absolutely stunning.

Indrani said...

No doubt a beautiful place to stay.
All green and peaceful.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful and scenic.

Vetirmagal said...

தாண்டி குதி! கேள்விப்படாத அழகிய இடம். அறிமுகத்திற்கு நன்றி.

Unknown said...

Hi Jeevan, I am Anand, Thandigudi is my native place where my Grand parents lived. I spent most of my childhood time in thandigudi, my grand father was a farmer there, he cultivated Coffee, Orange, Banana and Pineapple.

In childhood I was lonely in thandikudi , but I had the Nature itself as my best friend. The belongings of nature such as birds in the forests of thandikudi, Trees, flowers, fruits, cold breeze every thing was my friend

Presently I am Chennai working as Software Engineer. I am having Job and money here, but I lost my dear friends in Thandigudi

Thanks for your article regarding Thandigudi. I am happy seeing my friends back in thandigudi through your blog