Parasakthi Mari Amman Temple, Virdhunagar.
The Mari Amman the temple in Virudhunagar was constructed in 1923.The Panguni Uttiram, celebrated in the month
of Panguni for 21 days at this temple, is the main festival of the town and its surroundings.
Andal Kovil, Srivilliputhur.
Sri Andal is a great vasishnavite sanities and her pasurams are as popular in Tamil Nadu as "Meera bai's Devotional Songs are in the the north.It is located 74 kms.away from Madurai and 45 kms.away from Virudunagar.Andal like a seetha,is presumed to be not born out of mother's wormb (Ayani Sambhava).
She left her mortal body and merged with Lord Renganatha,When she was 14 year old every Vaishnavite temple in south has a Sanctum dedicated to sir Andal.This temple is also dedicated to lord Vishnu Known as Vadapathrasayee.He was a principal deity of Srivilliputhur,before Andal was born.The temple belongs to the 18th century A.D.testified by the inscription in it.
Thirumalai Nayak of Madurai and his sister have made intensive addition to the temple. the Characteristic feature of the temple.192 feet height tower which has 12 storeys.The massive wooden car which is several centuries old, has 9 huge wheels.
Perumal Kovil, Tiruthangal.
Tiruthangal is located on the road from Virudhunagar to Sivakasi. The area around the town has been under almost continuous occupation since 4000 BC. Three Sangam age poets - Mudakkorranar, Porkollan Vennahanar and Athireyan Sengannanar were said to have lived at Tiruthangal. The ancient name of the town was Thangal. The town is mentioned in the Silappadikaram
On top of a low hillock in the town there is a structural temple Ninranarayanaperumal koil originally constructed during the Early Pandya period. The temple is considered one of the 108 sacred sites of the Vaishnava faith. Bhuthathalvar and Tirumangaialvar have sung hymns in praise of the temple.
A bronze image of Tirumangaialvar was installed in the temple in the 10th century AD. The Ninranarayanaperumal koil was renovated in the 13th century AD and completely rebuilt in the Nayak period.
Thiruchuli which was known as Thiruchulliyal is the 10th of 14 ancient padal petra sthalam in pandya nadu.This is the birth place of Sri Ramana Maharishi, the famous saint of Thiruvannamalai.The house where he was born is a place of pilgrimage. The great Shaivaite sage Sundaramoorthy Nayanar in the company of Cheraman Perumal, worshipped Lord Shiva in this sacred place. Thiruchuli is the railway station on Manamadurai Virudunagar line. It is 32 kms from Manamaduari.
It is also connected by bus with Madurai, Virudunagar etc. Sri Thirumeninatha Swamy temple in this place is one of the famous temple,which has been managed well for long by the Rajas of Ramanathapuram. It is an area of 43,500 sq.ft. There are astalingas i.e. 8 lingams in the temple. There are as many as 10 Theerthams in and around shrine.
Sattur is 24 kms away from south of Virudunagar. The town of Sattur is said to be a corruption of Sathanur. This place was formerly a forest and there was Sathan temple in it. Sathan temple also known as Ayyanar Temple. It is an industrial town.
There are match factories, nib factories, cotton ginning factories and many others. Wholesale business is transacted in chillies, blackgram and coriander.
Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple
Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple is located on the banks of River Vaipparu in Sattur town. The 800-year old Vaishnavite temple commands a good view. The presiding deity of the temple popularly known as Sathurappan. His divine consorts Sri Devi and Bhudevi are in 9 standing postures.
Legend has it that this temple came into existence through the efforts of a devotee blind king, who ruled over the neighbouring place. He got back his power of vision miraculously by the grace of Lord, When he came here on his way to Tirupathi and stayed for 20 days, offering worship. Soon, this shrine became popular and started attracting devotees from different parts of the district.
This is a 150 years old CSI Church. C.M.S missionaries built it in 1861. It is a famous church in the area. It is situated at a distance of 3 km. west of Sivakasi.
Irukkankudi is situated 8 kms east of Sattur, where there is a Mariamman temple. Irukkankudi means the meeting place of two rivers i.e. Arjuna River and Vaipparu River join in front of the temple. To reach it one has to cross the River Arjuna on the foot.
The forefathers of the present poojaris built the temple 200 years ago. The legend of the place is that a poojari girl who was picking cow-dung placed her basket on the ground but could not remove it later. She had a vision that a temple should be built there.
The Mariamman temple in the town was constructed in 1923. The Panguni Uttiram, celebrated in the month of Panguni for 21 days at this temple, is the main festival of the town and its surroundings.
Arul Migu Thirumeni Nadha Swamy Temple
Arul Migu Thirumeni Nadha Swamy Temple is situated on the State Highways of Srivilliputur to Parthipanur. This temple is ten of the Pandiya's Thalam out of fourteen in Tamil Nadu. This temple has 9 kinds of Theerthas and 8 kinds of lingas.
Pallimadam is situated on the outskirts of Tiruchuli on the eastern bank of the river Gundar. Sundara Pandya, a 10th century AD Pandya ruler, famous for his erudition, died while visiting Pallimadam. He was buried there and his younger brother Vira Pandya (AD 946-966) erected a sepulchral shrine (pallipadai) over his grave.
The temple was known as Pallippadai Sundara Pandya Isvaramudayar koil. It is now called Kalainathaswamy koil. The name Pallippadai has over the years been corrupted to Pallimadam. This sepulchral temple is the only one of its kind in Pandya Nadu.
Waterfalls and Dams
At the bottom of the Ghats about 12 kms west of Rajapalayam, there is a temple dedicated to Ayyanar that is very popular as a picnic centre. It is situated in the dense forest with its natural beauty and the small waterfalls dropping from a height of 15 feet, adds to its attraction.
Muthaliar Oothu is situated 1 km down the ridge on the northern slope of Srivilliputhur reserve forest having a commanding view of northern hills of Sathur forests and also the beautiful plains of Khansapuram, Vathiraruppu and Pudupatti.
The River Chitar runs to the north west of this place and has more impressive scenery. This is wild spot where elephants are plentiful. Wild pig, Spotted Deer and Sambhar are limited. Barking Deer and panthers are seen occasionally.
It is 90 kms from Madurai and 45 kms from Virudunagar. The dam consists 2 divisions and they are the Kovilar and Periyar Dam. The capacity of the Periyar dam is 192 mft and Kovilar Dam is 133 mft. From October to December, the dam will be full of water. It is one of the popular picnic spots in Virudunagar district. There is a Children Park with all facilities.
Nenmeni is situated 9 kms east of sattur on the bank of River Vaipparu. Nenmeni is a corruption of Nelmeni meaning paddy yield. Paddy stands foremost in the village. The Public Works Department irrigation tank is a paradise for the bird-watcher during the winter months. When the tank is full, it attracts many visitors. Many beautiful birds from Australia and other countries are said to come here seasonally.
Kullur Sandhai Reservoir
Kullur Sandhai is situated 6 kms from Virudunagar. It is a Dam site. The PWD has formed a park here. It is a picnic spot. Tourism Department has declared Kullur Sandhai as a District Excursion Centre. The Tourism Department has been taken many steps to improve the park with play equipment for the children. City buses operate from Virudunagar.
The Vembakottai Reservoir System receives water from 7 distributaries of the Vaippar. These streams originate in the eastern slopes of the Western ghats. The reservoir is a scenic spot ideal for picnics. It is being developed into a tourist spot with landscaped gardens and boating facilities.
Forest and wildlife
Shenbagathope Grizelled Squirrel Sanctuary
The forests are found on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Only 6.3% of the total geographical area is under forests. Many rare and endemic varieties of flora and fauna are found along the mountain slopes. A wildlife sanctuary, spread over 480 sq. kms. was established in 1989 at Shenbagathopu in Srivilliputtur taluk..
This sanctuary is contiguous with the Periyar tiger reserve on the south-western side and the Megamalai reserve forest on the north-western side. The altitude varies from 100m to 2010 m above sea level. The sanctuary is home to the endangered, arboreal grizzled giant squirrel Ratufa macrora. This greyish brown squirrel weighs 1 to 1.8 kg. and is the size of a small cat. It measures about 73.5 cms. from nose to tail with the tail being 36 – 40 cm. long.
They construct drays at forked branches where the crowns of neighbouring trees meet. This enables the squirrel to move away from the site by jumping from tree to tree when threatened. The home range of an individual is between 0.197 hectares and 0.611 hectares.
The sanctuary also hosts a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. Resident and migratory elephants are common. Other animals sighted are tiger, leopard, Nilgiri thar, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar, porcupine, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, slender loris, bonnet macaque, sloth bear and flying squirrel. Over 100 species of birds have been identified. The rare Great Indian horn bill is also found.
Special steps have been taken to conserve the forest areas in the sanctuary. The annual leases given for the collection of fruit and other minor forest produce has been stopped. Fruit bearing trees and other trees have been planted. This will increase the food sources as well as ensure continuity in the canopy. Soil conservation and water harvesting measures have been undertaken to improve the habitat.
The forests of Alagarkoil valley in Srivilliputur taluk and Saduragiri are known for rare medicinal plants. The medicinal value of 275 plants has been recorded and reported. The forests host a rich variety of orchids and ferns.
The sanctuary is located 86 kms. from Maduari. The best time to visit the sanctuary are throughout the year except for the months of March, April and May.
The house were the great leader kamaraj was born has been converted into a memorial. The rooms are adorned with photographs of the leader at every stage of his life. A few of his clothes, his watch as well as articles used by him are displayed.
Aqua Ariena is a popular swimming pool located in Sattur. It is 16 kilometers away from Sivakasi.
Ramana Maharishi Ashram
Sri Ramana Maharishi was born in 30.12.1879 at Thiruchuli. His mother was Tmt Azhagammal and father was Thiru. Sundaram Iyer. He lived in the house of 'Sundara Mandhiram". He studied in Sethupathi Primary School.An ashram was established in 1988 on the banks of the river Gundar to propagate his teachings.
Guhanparai is located on the road to Kalugumalai from Vembakkottai. A small hillock to the west of the village is called Guhanparai and the village takes on the same nomenclature. There is a small natural cavern at the foot of the hillock, which is believed to have been used as a shelter by Jain monks.
A 10th century AD Vatteluttu inscription on a rock of the hillock states that a monastery Munnurruvarperumpalli was established in the name of Munnurruvar kovilpillaigal (servants of the palace).