There’s never a wrong time to pack your bags and go explore some place new. In Tamil Nadu, unlike the bigger cities like Coimbatore and Chennai, the idyllic town of Pollachi is a place to go if you simply want to relax, unwind and do nothing.
You won’t find a happening nightlife scene, crowded markets or shopping malls here – which may be why Pollachi doesn’t attract the young traveller looking for fun. Instead, it is abound with coconut plantations, fields, winding roads and fresh air, more suited to weary souls or peace-seekers in search of inspiration, quietude and calmness.
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Did you know that the coconuts of Pollachi are famed all over South India? They are quite different from the average coconut and I explained why that is in my last blog post!
Anyway, I experienced quite a lot of things to do in Pollachi during my stay at Coco Lagoon by Great Mount, one of the finest resorts near Coimbatore. The pleasant staff at the resort arrange day trips to keep you occupied. Some of them include:
Visit an Organic Farm – If you’d read my last post, you’d know that it rained throughout my trip to Pollachi. We still took the opportunity to visit the organic farm, around half an hour away from Coco Lagoon. Spare around an hour or two and walk around with the tour guide who’ll give you a refresher course on the science you learnt in school – from botanical names of the plants, their uses, how to incorporate them in your diet and the health benefits that every plant and fruit on the farm offers. From fertilizers to pesticides, everything is 100% organic here!
The Cotton Trail – From there, we made our way to Ethicus, an eco-conscious, sustainable fashion brand by Appachi, run by two very passionate people – Mani Chinnaswamy and Vijayalakshmi Nachiar. While I have a fair bit of understanding of the trade, I was blown away at how every sari designed at Ethicus is backed by a story – be it from Vijayalakshmi’s stint in Mumbai to an intern’s ideas on a theme, such as ‘love.’ I was shown the entire process of making a sari – from the harvesting and processing of cotton, to dyeing, weaving and even labelling! In fact, the tag of every sari has the names of the designers, weavers and students who worked on the project. I don’t even wear saaris and I was going ga-ga over every vibrant garment I saw! It’s hard to be unimpressed by the thought and passion that goes behind every garment at Ethicus.
Drink Coconut Water And Just Drive Around! – Who would have thought that those aimless drives down the lanes in Pollachi with the windows rolled down would be so fresh in my mind, a month later? Pollachi is an astonishingly gorgeous place – and just driving through the coconut plantations will rejuvenate you! Watch daily local life unfold, find yourself at dead ends with open fields in front of you and remember to stop and sip on some coconut water along the way!
Coco Lagoon also organizes bird watching trips and Tea Tours and Palm Jaggery Tours in Pollachi.
Visit Masani Amman Temple – A temple in honour of Masani Amman, an avatar of the Goddess Shakti, this is a highly revered temple in Pollachi. It is located at the spot where the Aliyar River meets the Uppar stream, with the Anaimalai Hills at the back. There are several stories about the deity and worshippers believe that praying to the idol will yield a solution to any problem. What is interesting about the 15 foot long idol is its position – that of the 4 handed deity lying down, with 2 hands placed on the ground and 2 hands raised above, holding a skull and snake, drum and trident.
Experience Kundam Festival – If you’re interested in culture, try and visit Pollachi during the annual Kundam festival which is the annual festival held at Masani Amman Temple. Spanning 18 days, it is celebrated with pomp and gaiety and thousands of devotees travel here to celebrate. Special worship is held in the graveyard at midnight and the devotees jump into a fire pit, walking 40 feet in the fire to fulfil their vows.