It started as a not so serious argument, me defending the neighboring states, Karnataka and Kerala, saying it has many interesting places to see, and everybody knows it, many things to do, unlike Tamil Nadu where everything I hear about is either a pilgrim site or Nilgiris. My father put forth his point saying, Tamil Nadu too has many interesting places just that it remains unknown. They are celebrated, popular hangouts for local folks or tourists from neighboring villages.
So, I asked him to name a picnic spot within 1.5 hrs drive from Coimbatore. I was confident there were none except monkey falls and some places that could be reached crossing Pollachi. But instead, he decided to show me.
We reached Pulliampatti and continued driving on Sathyamangalam road until we reached Arasur. Took a left there and drove for 10 mins which brought us in front of a park. On walking a few steps inside the park this is what I saw:
A huge, accessible, overflowing dam (also a makeshift swimming pool if you notice the photo below) right in the middle of a dense forest against the backdrop of the majestic Bargur hill ranges!
Kodiveri Dam, built in the 17th century by Mysore Maharaja on Bhavani River, is a popular picnic spot for locals near Gopichettipalayam. Two channels arise from the Dam, Arakkan Kottai Channel and Thadapalli Channel. The latter flowing through villages is responsible for the fertile lands of Gobichettipalayam. Sugarcane and Paddy plantations for miles and miles on either side of the road make it a very scenic and pleasant drive.
This place comes alive during the months of July & August, when an important festival called ‘Aadi Peruku’ is celebrated. People from surrounding villages come to take a dip in the dam, sacrifice animals as part of temple ritual, cook within the temple premises in the allotted place and an elaborate feast is laid out for the entire crowd. It is a day which everyone there seems to look forward to.
As for the argument with my father, as long as I can keep it going, I might get him to show many more of these hidden scenic places which otherwise would never come up under “tourist attractions” in any Google-search.