Traveling towards Udumalpet, in the south of Pollachi, is a breeze of a drive along the SH17 that runs between farmlands growing a variety of crops and towering windmills dotting the scape.
On the outskirts of the town, flanked by tamarind trees on either sides arching-in to form a green tunnel, you will soon reach the forest check-post of the Chinnar range of Anamalai Tiger Reserve. A slight deviation from here will have you arrive at Amaravathinagar, a quaint village in the foothills of the Anamalai Hills.
The major attractions in this village are the reservoir, dam, and the Crocodile farm. Built to contain the excess water flowing through the Amaravathi River, the reservoir is a significant catchment basin in the area with the Chinnar, Thennar and Pambar rivers, also draining into it.
The land’s idyllic reputation, the Amaravathi River swells to life in the Anjanad valley, between the Anamalai and Palani Hills, descends through the reservoir and dam, adding beauty and charm to the landscape while forming an essential lifeline to the human settlements in and around Amaravathinagar.
At the reservoir, one can soak up the panoramic views of the plains below and the vast expanse of shimmering waters receding into the blue haze of the Anaimalai and Palani Hills that rise in the backdrop. A boat ride on the luminous waters of the reservoir is a great way to experience this magical landscape.
For a wildlife enthusiast, the most interesting species to watch out for are the Mugger Crocodiles that can be seen basking along the shorelines of the reservoir. Home to the largest wild breeding population of crocodiles in South India, the reservoir hosts the broad-snouted Mugger as its common resident.
This healthy population of wild crocodiles is complimented by the conservation efforts at Amaravathi Sagar Crocodile Farm that is nearby, which was established in the year 1976. The farm collects eggs from the wild nests of the reservoir, to be hatched, reared, nurtured and re-introduced back into the wild. The farm is open for public visitation from 9 a.m. onwards.
For a travel enthusiast, Amaravathinagar is an ideal weekend getaway that conjures up images of tall, Blue Mountains, turquoise waters, gushing streams, and picturesque landscapes all around.
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