Adventure Tourism in Tamil Nadu
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
- Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (American politician, diplomatist, and activist)
Adventure tourism is relatively a fresh concept, but by all odds a novel pick among the assorted tourism options in existence like leisure tourism, pilgrim tourism, heritage tourism, eco tourism and so on. As a matter of fact, adventure tourism seems to have developed as an outgrowth of outdoor recreational activities. Contrary to other assortments of tourism, adventure tourism extends a singular opportunity to tourists in which people can engage in extensive wild and exciting endeavors and become more exposed to the real adventure!
Well, if you are looking for genuine options for adventure tourism, the southern state of Tamil Nadu is the right address. With such unique and diverse topography, Tamil Nadu is an ideal destination for indulging in a wide range of adventure activities like para sailing, angling, kayaking, trekking, mountain climbing, rappelling, rock climbing and what not! As a matter of fact, Tamil Nadu receives hundreds of thousands of local, national and international visitors for its long list of options for adventure tourism, throughout the year. Did you know?
Adventure tourism is all about a blend of interesting activities, taking chances, carrying into action, undergoing emotional sensation and living an incredible experience
The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation
, popularly called as TTDC took several notable initiatives and encourages adventure touristry across the famed tourist spots of the state. A wide range of adventurous water sports has been introduced in the illustrious Mudaliarkuppam Boat House aka Raindrop Boat House on East Coast Road (ECR) and Muttukadu Boat House at Muttukadu in Chennai.
Some of the water sport facilities offered by the Tamil Nadu tourism department across the boat houses in the state include kayaking, yachting, high-speed water scooters, cruise boats, surfing, skiing, power boat rides, and banana boats and so on. Likewise, trekking gears are provided to the trekkers across the various beautiful hill stations in the state which include The Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, Anaimalai Hills and so on. Let's glance through some of the most popular and adrenaline pumping options for adventure tourism in Tamil Nadu.
Trekking in Tamil Nadu
Trekking in Tamil Nadu began pulling together pace as the Government of Tamil Nadu has recognized the potential hidden out in this particular sphere of tourism and has implemented various initiatives towards the promotion of this adventure activity. Let's get to know some of the most popular trekking spots in Tamil Nadu.
Trekking in Ooty
Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam and fondly called as Udhagai in the local language is regarded as the 'Queen of Hill Stations
'. Situated 7,350 ft above sea level, Ooty is one of the most visited hill stations in the southern India that offers numerous trekking routes that differs in lengths, elevation and terrain. It is important to note that there is a base camp in the Parson's valley which is an ideal starting point for the trekkers.
Trekking in Ooty
is surreal that it takes you through hayfields, palings, cemeteries, magniloquent eucalyptus trees and bamboo groves, dense woodlands, tea plantations and picturesque watercourses. Besides, when compared to trekking options of other states, trekking trails in Ooty are more desirable as they are suitable for beginners as well as seasoned trekkers. Some of the notable trekking routes in Ooty include:
- Parsons Valley - Mukkurthi Lake - Pandiar hills - Pykara falls - Madumalai Sanctuary
- Kokkal – Bokkapura
- Parsons Valley - Mukkurthi Lake - Western catchment Bangitappal - Upper Bhavani
- Ooty - Mukurthi - Pykara
- Kotagiri - Coonoor
- Ooty - Avalanche - Upper Bhavani - Kolaribetta - Emerald
Also Read: Tourism in Ooty
Trekking in Kodaikanal
Popularly referred as the 'Princess of Hill Stations
', Kodaikanal located in Dindigul
district of Tamil Nadu
is regarded as one of the most popular summer retreat in the state. Situated 6,998 ft above sea level, Kodaikanal is a dream destination when it is about trekking as the hill station offers countless trekking trails. Imagine your way along with your friends through grasslands, meadows, Shola forests, rocks, streams, gardens and flower beds - trekking in Kodaikanal is an affair to remember forever!Some of the notable trekking routes in Kodaikanal include:
- Kodaikanal - Batlagundu
- Perumalmalai - Palamalai - Thalayar - Manjalar - Devadanappatty
- Kodaikanal - Dolphin's Nose - Vellagevi - Vengayapparai - Kumbakkarai - Periakulam
- Shembaganur - Korappur - Adukkam - Selumbathope - Kumbakkarai - Periakulam
- Kurangani - Bodinayakanur
- Kodaikanal - Green Hut - Chinnur - Periakulam
- Kodaikanal - Thoppithookkipparai - Periyur - Sothupparai - Periakulam
- Kodai - Puthur - Bonthampally - Kavalppatty - A.Kalaiamputhur - Palani
- Karisalpatty - Vattapparai - Melpatty - Anandarayamkottai - Pithalapatty - Dindigul
Trekking in Yelagiri
Located 4,628 ft above sea level in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri Hills (often written as Elagiri) is regarded as a 'promised land
' for trekkers! Fondly referred as 'Poor man's Ooty
', the serene Yelagiri hill station is considered as an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore as it is just 158 km from the garden city (via NH7). Gifted with mountain jungles, mesmerizing valleys, boggy tracks, magnificent peaks and dense forests, the trekking trails in the Yelagiri hill station ranges from 1000 m to 14 km. Some of the notable trekking routes in Yelagiri include:
- Mangalam - Swamimalai
- Punganoor - Nilavur Jalagamparai
- Nilavur - Kardimunai
- Punganoor - Swamimalai Hill
- Boat House - Pulicha Kuttai
- Puthur - Perumadu Waterfalls
- Information Center - Koosi Kuttai
Trekking in Anaimalai
Located 8,842 ft above sea level, Anaimalai hills in Coimbatore
district in Tamil Nadu is a part of the Western Ghats chains of mountains. The name Anaimalai can be literally translated as 'Elephant Hills' in the local language of Tamil. Regarded as the highest hill in the southern India, Anaimalai hills is all about deciduous forests, grassy plateau, coffee plantations, teak wood plantations and monumental peaks. Anaimalai hills offer a lot of interesting options for trekking and the hill station is one among the most preferred spots for trekking. Some of the notable trekking routes in Anaimalai include:
- Akkamalai - Thanakkamlai - Konnalur Fishing Hut
- Varagaliar - Kurampalliar - Varagaliar Shola - Perumkundru Malai
Some of the other popular trekking spots of Tamil Nadu include:
- Kolli Hills/Kolli Malai, Namakkal District
- Yelagiri Hill Station, Vellore District
- Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tirunelveli District
- Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
- Thalamalai Hills, Tiruchirappalli District
- Yercaud Hill station, Salem District
Water Sports in Tamil Nadu
Holidaymakers see the southern state of Tamil Nadu interesting to an exceptional degree as it extends wide-ranging adventurous interests and visiting the state means a vacation packed with real adventure! One of the identities of the southern state of Tamil Nadu is its long coastline and a lot of water resources like backwaters and rivers which offer a wide range of water sports. Let's get to know some of the most popular spots for water sports in Tamil Nadu.
Mudaliarkuppam Boat House
Mudaliarkuppam Boat House, also known as Raindrop Boat House is a briny water laguna adjoining the Bay of Bengal on the East Coast Road (ECR) in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. The famous tourist spot is just 94 km away from the state capital Chennai, 38.2 km from Mahabalipuram and 84.4 km from the temple town of Kanchipuram (via SH 115 and SH 118A).
Operated by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), the Mudaliarkuppam Boat House extends options for a range of adventurous water sporting activities which include rowing, pedal boats, banana boats, speed boating, cruising, one-seater self rowing boats and water scooting. Apart from various activities, the tourist spot is also an ideal destination for bird watching.
Muttukadu Boat House
Muttukadu Boat House is yet another popular water sport facility from the East Coast Road. A renowned backwater, Muttukadi is just 36.4 km away from Chennai (via Old Mahabalipuram Road/Old Madras Road/Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway), 25.5 km from Mahabalipuram and 71.4 km from Kanchipuram (via Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road and Irumbuliyur - Mudichur - Walajabad Road).
Muttukadu is one of the most preferred destinations in the southern India for wind surfing and skiing. The facility also provides extensive options for other water sports and is equipped with high-speed water scooters, speedboats, pedal boats, row boats and so on. Imagine rocking the water scooters at 120 km/hour into the wind, you can get to taste of real adventure!
Covelong, popularly called as Kovalam in the local language is a hot spot for wind surfing in Tamil Nadu. Covelong is just 37.8 km away from Chennai, 72.4 km from Kanchipuram (via Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road and Irumbuliyur - Mudichur - Walajabad Road) and 19.1 km from Mahabalipuram. Surfers from all over the world, throng this small fishing hamlet as the place offers excellent natural and commercial facilities for surfing.
Naturally gifted with a cove-like shape, Covelong is regarded as a dream destination for professional surfers as well as for people who like to try surfing. Also, the surfing spot houses quite a few surfing schools and facilities who often conduct surfing trainings and offer surfing equipments for hire. Covelong Point and Bay of Life are two most popular surfing schools located in the village. Must Read: Surfing in Chennai
Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram mangrove forest located in Cuddalore
district is also a favorite spot for adventure seekers. Pichavaram is 47.7 km away from the district headquarters of Cuddalore (via NH 45A), 25 km away from the Nataraja's abode of Chidambaram
(via Chidambaram to Pichavaram Tourism Main Road and Chennai - Nagapattinam Highway/East Coast Road) and 66.9 km from the French influenced city of Pondicherry (via NH 45A). Pichavaram offers a wide range of adventurous water sports which include canoeing, rowing and kayaking. Did you know?
Pichavaram mangrove forest is regarded as the second largest mangrove forest in the world
The picturesque spot not only extends waterscape and backwater sails, but also another very uncommon atmosphere of trees of mangrove forest that are rooted in a few feet of water. Cruising deep inside the mangrove forest along with your family and friends, sighting the unique surroundings that are embraced by trees rooted in water is nothing short of a remarkable experience! Rameswaram Island
The holy town of Rameswaram
, a part of the Char Dham pilgrimage, is known for its historic temples all around. Rameswaram is not only famous for its religious sites that the pilgrimage destination has a number of beaches namely, Dhanushkodi, Olaikuda and Pamban
, which offers a wide range of water sporting activities.
The Olaikuda beach in the holy town is just 1 km away from the illustrious Arulmigu Ramanatha Swami Temple
. The beach is flooded by coral reefs, which makes it a perfect spot for scuba diving. With proper gear like a wet suit, diving glasses and scuba set, scuba diving in Olaikuda beach offers a singular experience of witnessing what lies underneath the water!
Angling in Tamil Nadu
Angling or simply fishing with a hook and line (and usually a pole) is an enthralling pursuit for holidaymakers. Tamil Nadu is the home of several water resources which are appropriate for angling. Among the several angling spots in the state, Nilgiris is considered as the most opted spot as the exquisite destination is the home of numerous water bodies which include Mukurthi river and lake, Avalanche lake, Emerald dam, Parsons valley dam reservoir, Western catchments, Upper Bhavani reservoir and so on are first-class for trout fishing.
Pulavachiar river and Konalar river are the two most popular spots for trout fishing in Kodaikanal. Besides, carp fishing in Kodai Lake is an interesting pursuit among the travelers. Additionally, the 570 mile long coastline of Tamil Nadu offers sizeable fishing opportunities.
Aero Sports in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one among the few states in the country to offer finest locations and facilities for aero sports. Hang gliding, hot air balloon rides and flying paragliders are some of the available aero sporting activities in the state. Kodaikanal and Ooty - the two most favorite hill stations of Tamil Nadu are the two locations that are regarded as the ideal places where adventure buffs can bask the thrill of flying under the vast sky. The kick of enjoying the bird's eye view by the adventuresome instance of traveling by air!
Kalahatty in the Nilgiri Mountains, which is just 14.4 km away from Ooty (via MDR700 and NH67), is the most complete spot for indulging in para gliding jaunt. Kickoff from Kalahatty, have the unbelievable sight of dense woodlands, tiny settlements and a lot of far-out spots right under you while cherishing the incredible experience of para gliding. If you are new to para gliding, stop worrying about taking up this adventurous activity for the first time as you can also go for a gliding trip along with a professional pilot and still enjoy the thrill. After all, the view from the top is like no other!
Tout ensemble, adventure and Tamil Nadu go hand in hand and next time if you are visiting the beautiful land of Tamils, try it for yourself and become an adventurer!