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Plan to develop eco-tourism at Maruthuva Malai

By Our Staff Reporter

NAGERCOIL, OCT.28. The district administration has drawn up a contingency plan for developing eco-tourism at Maruthuva Malai. The Government has allotted Rs. 3 lakhs in the first phase for laying a pathway for the benefit of tourists.

The Maruthuva Malai, an abode of medicinal plants, forms part of the Western Ghats. According to tradition, the Marunthu Vazhum Malai was a fragment of the Sanjeevi mountain, which fell down here while it was being carried by Hanuman from Mahendragiri to Sri Lanka for healing the wounds of Lakshmana, brother of Lord Rama.

It stretches for more than a km, with a height of 800 feet. A large number of devotees used to visit a small temple 300 feet above the hill during the Karthikai Deepam festival in December. There is a cave in the top, where saints, including the sage, Agasthiyar, lived.

There are nine `theerthams' — Siva, Agasthiyar, Hanumar, Palar, Sita, Rama, Devendaran, Brhama and Kalidhasan — in this hill.

From here, one can see the coastal area from Leepuram to Muttom in Kalkulam taluk, with vast stretches of paddy fields, the estuary of the Manakudi lake in the mouth of the Pazhayar, the lofty towers of temples, coconut and palm groves and the salt spans in the villages of Manakudi, Tamaikulam and Varriyoor.

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