Srivilliputtur - Shenbagathoppu giant squirrel sanctuary:
The forest is just continuation of Megamalai forest and Periyar Tiger Sanctuary. The height is 100mtrs to 200 mtrs. It is 480 sq.kms in area. The endangered grayish brown squirrels with a weight of 1-2 kgs are the VVIPS protected here. The length of the animal is about 370mms. They jump from trees to trees when survival is the priority. It is interesting to know that each squirrel has a home range of 2000 to 6000 sq.meters of area for survival.
Further this forest gives shelter to elephants, panthers, deer, leopards and giant squirrels along with exotic flora. The bird watchers can have an enjoyable time in locating flycatcher, rosy starling, Reed warbler, serpent eagle brownshriekfly and Indian pitta. In real you can, if you are an expert , watch much more.The season is all round the year.
The giant Squirrel sanctuary is a composition of dry deciduous, moist deciduous, green to ever green forests depending on the rain it receives. The common trees found are jig, rosewood, mango etc. People visit Meenvettiparai for its water falls and calm atmosphere during rainy seasons and winter seasons
This temple town is just an hour’s drive from Srivilliputtur. The main deity is Lord Sankaranarayanar- One half Lord Shiva and the other half is Lord Narayana. This is a rare place of worship emphasizing that Lord Shiva and Narayana are one and the same Sri Gomathi Ambal and Lord Sankaralingam are other main deities.
It is endowed with many water falls. From June to February one can visit courtallam and enjoy bath at the falls. Main Falls, Puliaruvi, Five falls, Shenbagadevi falls and old Courtallam are famous ones. Courtallam Temple with its Chithira- meaning drawings- Sabha is one among the five abodes of Lord Nataraja- the dancing deity.One cannot miss Tenkasi which is very near to Courtralam. Temple and sculptures of Pandya period are famous.
Distance to Courtallam is two hours drive from Srivilliputtur.
An all season place for water falls- that is 24*365 days you get water in Agathiyar Falls. The hills, called “Pothigai Hills”, have dams on river Tampraparani and much water falls. One who likes forests and nature can venture to go to ‘BanaTheertham’ or ‘Kalyani Theertham’ by boat in the hills or can take bath at the perennial ‘Agathiyar Aruvi’ at Papanasam. This is a part of Mundanthurai Tiger sanctuary.
Three hours Journey-Buses available from Srivilliputtur