Ayyanar Falls are located 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Rajapalayam, city and municipality in Virudhunagar District in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is situated in the Western Ghats, which gets its water source mainly during the North East monsoon rain. The water from the falls is mainly used for drinking purposes by the people living in Rajapalayam.
The falls is one of the main attractions of Rajapalayam, and is a famous tourist spot for the people living in East part of Virudhunagar District, especially Srivilliputtur and Sivakasi. It provides good opportunity for woodland mountain climbing. A dam is situated on the way to Ayyanar Falls which provides water for the whole city.
The falls also attracts wildlife photographers who are interested in the bio-diversity of the Western Ghats. The ayyanar falls also serves as the source of water for the animals like Monkey, Elephant, Deer and Buffalo living in the forests of Western ghats.
The name Ayyanar is given to these falls because there is a small forest temple named Ayyanar Temple beside the falls.
Neer Katha Aiyyanar Temple
The Neer Katha Ayyanar Temple is the main reason for the name "Ayyanar Falls". Graceful Neer Katha Ayyanar temple is situated at the foothills of Western Ghats where two rivers, Palaru and Neeraru meet. Its more than 500 years old. Devotees approach Ayyanar for solutions for various problems in their families. Realizing their expectations, devotees perform abishek to Ayyanar, feed the poor and contribute what they could to the temple.
Flood in the Ayyanar falls
As Ayyanar falls serves as the major tourist attraction, Many people visit the place everyday. During rainy season, sudden flood occurs in the river, causing the people to be stuck in the temple. The fire fighters from the Rajapalayam fire station takes care of the rescue operations to rescue the people and help them cross the river safely. During heavy rain, people are not allowed to the falls.
A water reservoir is situated on the way to Ayyanar falls. Its called "6th Mile Dam",as its situated 6 miles away from the Rajapalayam town. The main water source for the reservoir is Ayyanar falls. Water from this dam is the only source of water for irrigation developments in the city of Rajapalayam. It also serves as the main source of drinking water for the people ling living in Rajapalayam and the Villages around the town. It also a major tourist attraction. A water treatment plant is situated near the water reservoir. Many Tamil films like Kutti Puli are shot in this dam.
The nearest airport to the Ayyanar falls is at Madurai. Ayyanar falls are among many cascades that grace the southern part of the state of Tamil Nadu. Apart from the Ayyanar falls, other tourist destinations around the area are Ayyanar Kovil, a dam near the falls, Srivilliputtur, Ayyanar Koil Forest area, Sri Vallakattu Karuppasamy Kovil, Sanjeevi Hills and Shenbagathoppu Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary. Tourism is the main source of livelihood for the people residing in the neighboring villages of the Ayyanar falls.