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Introducing Chitharal

Best time to visit : October to March
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Chitharal located in the district of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu is among the top tourist places in Southern India. Not only is it famous for the temple and heritage sites but also offers enormous scope for adventurous trekking and mountaineering for people looking for thrill. A historical site with a host of Jain temples, Chitharal is a unique combination of natural beauty, peaceful and tranquil environment, and historical interests. It is also one of the few reminiscent of fast dwindling Jain religion and culture. Visitors can see Jain monuments in Chitharal as a perfect effort to enliven the disappearing signifying Jain culture and civilization from the world scenario. To add to this, Chitharal is a veritable heaven for nature lovers coming from all over the world.

Facts

Chitharal is not far away from Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. Located in close proximity to Marthandam, Chitharal is situated midway between Trivandrum and Kanyakumari. Amazing structural designs of Jain monuments of Digambara sect located on the bank of river Tamiraparani has made Chitharal a renowned pilgrimage site as well as tourist location. More tourist information on Chitharal can be gathered from books, brochures offered by Maharashtra Tourism Department and of course from any tourist guide. The place earned international name and fame when the Chinese delegates desired to visit the place in the time of Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. After that Chitharal was included in the list of natural heritage site controlled by the Architectural Survey of India. It also figures among the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO.

There are not many classy restaurants in Chitharal. Yet the food available in roadside shops is quite good, though it may not be of the class of other cities and towns in the State. Food is less spicy in comparison to other parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. One can easily relish South Indian non-vegetarian delicacies.

There is no shopping complex at Chitharal and for shopping visitors and travellers have to depend on nearby cities or the places where they are camping like Courtallam or Punalur. Since it is a tourist place and travellers and visitors from across the country as well as all over the world come here, some stray shops can be found near the temple selling out small articles of tourist interests.

Nearby Places:
  • Places nearby that visitors may include in their itinerary while sightseeing in Chitharal include the Thiruvattar Adikesave Perumal Temple, a heritage temple of Lord Vishnu, Mathur Aqueduct, historic palace at Padmanabhapuram, exotic waterfall at Thirparappu, and the water reservoirs and Petchipparai and Perunchani dams.

  • Also Chitharal does not have any tourist facilities like boarding and lodging. Hence most people prefer to camp at Courtallam that is approximately 66 km. away and Punalur that is around 34 km. from Chitharal. However in Chitharal and places around it, visitors can have excellent experience of nature’s bounty besides ancient Jain heritage and culture.

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