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Timings : 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Papanasam Falls, Tirunelveli Overview

A twin brother to the Banateertham Falls, Papanasam Fall is an immaculate sheet of white water that flows enchantingly in the rainforests of the Western Ghats mesmerizing one and all with its sheer volume, beauty and height. The Papanasam Falls, with a drop of 120 meters is highly revered by the locals both for their immense beauty and religious significance. It is believed that a dip in its waters can absolve one of all their sins. It is, therefore, also called Papanasam Falls; Papanasam in local language means removal of all sins. It is also said that these pleasant force waterfalls possess unique herbal and medicinal properties and that the waters are so nourishing it feels like a soothing oil massage. 

In the quaint town of Papanasam in the Tirunelveli district are located these beautiful and mighty waterfalls, tucked in the mesmerizing rainforests of the Western Ghats. The waterfalls form in the Tamirabarani River right before they hit the plains of Tamil Nadu. The scenery surrounding the waterfalls is marked by lush greenery all around, colossal boulder rocks and a great Shiva temple, all of which make a visit to the falls absolutely worth it. If you are lucky, you could spot a Cheetah or a Tiger in the forest along with other animals. A must-see for nature lovers. For the ones seeking to get a step closer to their spiritual side, the Agasthiyar Falls are highly recommended. Come, soak in the beauty of the falls and breathe in the cool, fresh air in the forest. It's an experience worth having.

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Legend of Papanasam Falls

The Agasthiyar waterfall holds major religious importance in the region. The name Agasthiyar is said to have derived from a saint named Agasthya who, according to a Hindu legend, prayed to get a glimpse of the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Shiva, pleased by Agasthya's devotion, appeared along with his wife Parvati at Papansanathar, which he made his abode and the waterfall nearby was named Agasthiyar Falls.
Another legend states, Indra, the king of all deities, slaughtered a demon named Dwastha when he was seeking superior power. Dwastha was the son of the Guru of Asuras, Shukracharya and he was seeking supremacy to destroy the Devas. It is said that Indra had to incur a dosha called the Brahmatti Dosha, which is a sin attained for killing a Brahmin. To pay the penalty for this sin, Indra roamed around a lot, but in vain. It was only after Brihaspati’s advice that Indra landed at Papanasam where his sin was forgiven. The place was since then known as Papanasam.

As per another legend, Sage Urosamar set afloat some flowers in the river and the place where the first flower reached the shore was chosen as the location for a Shiva temple in Papanasanathar.

Geography

The waters from Papanasam falls flow towards the river to Papanasam Hydro Electric Project on the Western Ghats of India. It further reaches the Papanasam Dam catchment area. The falls are located very close to the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve; hence a lot of animals are frequently spotted in the area. Rainfalls play a very important role. Majority of the waters are received from October to December, during the North-east monsoon and from May to September each year during South-west monsoon. Also, it is located close to a dam, so the Agasthiyar falls never go dry and flow throughout the year.

Cultural Rituals at Papanasam Falls

1. The Chittirai Vishnu Festival is celebrated every year on the Tamil New Year day during the Tamil months of Chittirai (April to May).
2. The waterfalls are visited frequently by pilgrims on their way to the Papanasanathar Temple to take a dip before visiting the temple.
3. Tourists also visit the falls during their trip to Sabarimala to take a cleansing dip for religious purposes from November to December.

Best Time To Visit Papanasam Falls

The best time to enjoy a visit to Papanasam Falls is during the winters, i.e. the months of November till January as humidity levels are low which makes the temperature very pleasant and the entry to the waterfalls is not closed due to flooding. 

Sightseeing Around Papanasam Falls

Sri Ramalingaswami Temple and Srinivasa Perumal Temple are some of the places you can visit while in the area.

Activities At Papanasam Falls

Boating and Trekking can be enjoyed at and around the falls.

Shopping At Papanasam Falls

Papanassam in Tirunelveli is famous for its range of hand woven textiles, ceramic pottery and inventive jewelry made out of shells etc. which can be found at the city's various shopping complexes.

Food at Papanasam Falls

The Tirunelveli wheat halwa is a speciality is only available at Irritukadai, a small sweet shop, during the evening. Along with this, you can find authentic Tamil food in Papanassam such as idli, sambar, vada etc. GV Unavagam and Durai Unavagam are some of the popular restaurants.

Sample Itinerary For Papanasam Falls

The falls are best visited as a day trip from Papanasam. Start you day at Papanasam with the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve and follow it with a boat ride to Papanasam Falls.

Tips For Visiting Papanasam Falls

1. The region is watched by the authorities, but there is no reason why one shouldn't be responsible for their own safety.
2. To avoid the crowd, one can visit early in the day or avoid public holidays.
3. Carry extra clothing.
4. Watch your step and use handrails under the waterfall.
5. Visitors can carry their own food and beverages.
6. Carrying alcohol and its consumption is strictly prohibited.
7. The route to the waterfalls has some checkpoints and all vehicles passing by are checked diligently.
8. Do not litter.
9. Do not pollute the water by using soaps and detergents.
10. The area of the waterfall is divided by a wall to maintain separate sections for men and women. This arrangement has been specially made for women to enjoy their trip to the waterfall comfortably.

How to reach Papanasam Falls

  • Air: Nearest airport is at Madurai which is some 150 km away from Tirunelveli. One can hail a cab or public bus till Papanasam in Tirunelveli.

  • Rail: Tirunelveli is the nearest Rail head which is well connected to Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.

  • Road: The Biosphere reserve is well connected by roadways. One can get a public bus from Papanasam which is just 20 km from the Biosphere Reserve or hail a cab.

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Q. Hi sir.... I am Andra, next month I will go to Chennai and I want to visit the Papanasam waterfalls.... I am asking if any Travel buses available In Tirunelveli to see the Papanasam?

Holidify 6 months ago
There are many options from Tirunelveli to reach Papanasam Falls which include the Public Transport Buses and Cabs.
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