“Sometimes a simple, unplanned visit to a place can change the whole purpose of your existence”, these are some of the most beautiful words by an anonymous person who had traveled without a purpose and found his life completely changed. Not all the places are hidden yet not all the places are frequently visited but in some the nature has its own charisma that would purify spirits. The below places are some of the most mystical spots in south India that has left travellers in an awe.
1. Vellingiri, Tamil Nadu
The Velliangiri Mountains are a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and are located at the Western Ghats border of Coimbatore district. They are also known as the “Thenkailayam” i.e Kailash of the South. It is a myth that Lord Shiva existed as ‘Swaymbhu’ and is worshiped as such on the top of mountain. Vellingiri is a consortium of 7 hills. One has to travel over 6 hills by foot to get to the spot where lord shiva took the form of swayambhu. There is no hotel or restaurant in these six hills, one has to carry their own food and sleeping bags to eat and sleep. Scientifically the air and water are the purest in this place (in south India) and also the journey is said to invoke the 7 Chakras that revives the whole body. Vellingiri is one place to be in one’s lifetime and tops the list.
2. Pakshipathalam, Kerela
Pakshipathalam is a Nature’s boom box covered by thick and untouched forest in Brahmagiri Hills. Located at a distance of 7 km from Thirunelli, Pakshipathalam houses birds of several species and the chirruping of these birds is what makes it the nature’s musical instrument. It is believed that the sounds and the music in this place was once used as an audio therapy to cure many psychological disorders. The proof for this lies in a cave nearby which is believed to have been used for medical purpose by the saints to produce medicines that combined the ayurvedha and the modern bio musicology. A species of birds known as ‘Edible Nest Swift’ which built their nest with their saliva are the major inhabitants of this cave now. Pakshipathalam is a major region of study and experimentation for the researchers in the field of Psychoacoustics. Reaching to Pakshipathalam requires a walk of 8kms which takes about 3 hours time and rquires a Special permission from the forest department. A natural curing centre and an adventurous trek that involves slippery rocks, thick forest, small waterfalls and wildlife is what makes this place a second on our list.
3. Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh
Belum caves are one of the nature’s creation of self sustained ecosystem with long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons formed by the constant flow of underground water. These underground caves are the longest in the plains of Indian subcontinent and are known for their stalactite and stalagmite formations. These caves are made of black limestone and there are large deposits of quartz in them. These Caves are 3229 metres long which make them the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. Today even though 3.5 km of the cave has been successfully only 1.5 km is open to tourists. There are 16 different pathways, including the main entrance. Although there are various chambers in these caves the reason they are ranked third in our list is majorly because of the two chambers that are described below:- 1. Saptasvarala Guha or Musical Chamber – Saptasvarala Guha means chamber of seven notes. The stalactite formations in this chamber reproduce musical sounds when these are struck with a wooden stick or knuckles. 2. Dhyan Mandir or Meditation Hall -. An interesting formation at Meditation hall looks like a bed with pillow to recline. The local legend has it that this has been a constant place of meditation for many sages especially Buddhist Monks and many of their relics that were found here which are now housed in museum at Ananthapur.
4. Coutrallam, Tamilnadu
Known as the natural spa of South India, Coutrallam has more than nine waterfalls with many seasonal and a few perennial river as their source. There are a large number of ayurvedic massage parlours and health resorts which have cured many muscular and orthopaedic problems. It is because of these factors this place has been rated third in our list. There are majorly two waterfalls that are visited 1. Peraruvi ( the main falls) is the biggest falls in Courtallam and is about 60m high. The flow of water is interrupted by a 19m deep crater and comes down with greatly reduced impact thus making it great for bathing. 2. Aintharuvi (five falls) has five separate cascades of water that forms this waterfall.
5. Ambuthirtha, Karnataka
Ambuthirtha is a mountain that is situated 9kms from Thirthahalli in the district of Shimoga of Karnataka state, India. Shravanthi river originates from this place.This place is a highly valued sacred spot in Hindu mythology. It is said that lord Ram shot an arrow to the ground to quench the thirst of his wife Sita which brought about the water flow and both the name of the River and the Headwater is named after the arrow. The scientifically surprising fact is that there is a temple of god Ram on the mountain top which has small pond and the water level in this pond remains the same all year round due to the Sharavathi river which originates underneath it. Small creeks feed into the pond as well and help maintain the ponds equilibrium. The water level remains the same regardless of the type of season, rainy or dry. The water in this place has been rated as one of the purest and the place has been described as a site of heritage by the UNESCO.