Day 1: We started from Coimbatore at around 8:00 AM in the morning then we had a stopover at Pollachi for Breakfast at the popular vegetarian Gowri krishna restaurant. The tiffins here were delicious. Then we started to Anamalai Masani Amman temple which is located at Annamalai Hills, in Coimbatore district, enroute Topslip.
Masani Amman Temple: “Goddess of Justice”
This temple is believed to answer the prayers of the devotees in 3 weeks! Masani Amman Temple, also known as Annamalai Masani Amman Temple is located around 25 kms from Pollachi in Tamil Nadu.
Interesting Stories behind the temple:
According to an interesting legend, during the Sangam Era, Annamalai was ruled by a chief called Nannan. He had a big mango grove and was so possessive of it that he appointed check post officials to guard the trespassers. It so happened that one day a woman was bathing in the Aliyar River and a mango came floating to her in the waters. Unable to resist tasting it, she bit it. This was reported to the ruler and the innocent woman was produced before him. She pleaded that she did not steal the mango. Nonetheless, she was executed. Angered by the unjustifiable ruler, her kins killed him in a battle. People then started worshiping her to honor her martyrdom and soon a temple was built for the same. Since the lady was killed, the deity was called as Shmasani, which in Sanskrit means ‘graveyard’. Later, the deity came to be called as Masani.
The Deity of Masani Amman Temple, is one who grants justice to her strong believers. The 15ft long idol is in lying position with four hands, each holding snake, trident, skull and drum respectively. The Neethi Kal, or the Stone of Justice, is a stone that is present in the temple that is believed to have unique powers. Devotees who lost their belongings or were cheated in business by their enemies etc. come here seeking justice. They grind red chillies with the stone and pray. This is believed to free them from all kinds of evil in life.
Then we headed to Topslip, which is at a distance of 30 kms from Pollachi & 76kms from Coimbatore,.
Topslip is the Tiger Reserve Forest in small part of Annamalai Tiger Reserve, which is separated from the Nilgiri Hills by Palghat Gap in north. It got its name during British era, as lots of its timber slipped down to the plains below. It is famous for the elephant camp, wildlife safaris, pleasant weather and beautiful views of Annamalai Hills.
Forest Department organizes elephant safaris and jeep rides into the sanctuary. A four hours trek around the forest along with a guide is also available here. Unfortunately due to some issues, forest department had temporarily closed elephant safari & jeep safari.
Parambikulam: Well maintained Tiger reserve
So we drove to Parambikulam which is just 4 Kms from Topslip. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a well protected ecological portion in the Nelliampathy – Anamalai landscape of the Southern Western Ghats in India. It is located in the Palakkad District of Kerala.
Considering its biological richness, abundance of wildlife and landcape beauty makes Parambikulam Tiger Reserve one of the most attractive places in the entire stretch of Western Ghats.
Since we went on a day trip we took Van safari which was Rs. 200 per head. They wont start the trip until they’ve minimum of 20 passengers. So we had to wait for around 30 mins for the other passengers to gather.
What did we spot?
Parambikulam- Aliyar Project: Top ranked Embankment dam
It is an embankment dam on the Parambikulam River in Parambikulam tiger reserve. It ranks number one in India as well as in the top ten embankment dams in the world in volume in the year 2000.
Kanimara Teak Tree: India’s oldest tree
The bus safari took us to Kanimara Teak tree which was 450 years old. And it is believed to be one of the oldest tree in India.
Sunset at Aliyar dam:
Aliyar Dam Reservoir Park is located on the way to Valparai from Pollachi. Placed at the foothills of Valparai. The dam has a park, garden & play area for kids. The dam offers a relaxing environment as the surrounding is beautiful with mountains and greenery all around. A nominal entrance fee is charged for entry into the dam premises..
We managed to explore a historical temple, An adventurous tiger safari & a soothing sunset at Aliyar dam all in a day. Then we headed to Valparai. Overnight stay at Valparai. ..
Info from my perspective:
- Parambikulam Park entry fee is Rs. 23/head for Indian citizens and Rs.300 for foreigners. Vehicle entry fee for is Rs.70 for car, Rs.50 for a still camera and 200 for a video camera.
- Jungle Safari per head Rs.250. Safari duration 3 to 3.5 hours. Timings 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Aliyar dam entry fee Rs.5/head. Timings: 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
- You can enjoy your trip leisurely by staying in Tree house & going on a night safari.