New features on offer at the weeklong festival

Courtallam, the ‘Spa of the South,’ is gearing up for yet another ‘Saaral Thiruvizhaa.’ With high tourist arrivals, the district administration has decided to add new features to the colourful festival this year.

Poor rainfall and depleted waterfalls dampened expectations during the last season. The customary ‘Saaral Thiruvizhaa’ celebration was abridged from the weeklong extravaganza to a 3-day low-key affair.

The season is panning out differently this year. The salubrious climate and the good flow in all the waterfalls have been drawing visitors in droves.

For a start, the swimming pool was refurbished to stage swimming competitions. Larva-infested was pumped out and replaced with fresh chlorinated water.

The boat jetty at Vennamadaikulam will be the venue for boat races to be held on July 29. ‘Mr. Courtallam’ (bodybuilding) competition will be held the next day. Dog show (July 31), tug-of-war and rangoli (August 1) and a vintage car rally (August 2) are the other attractions this year. The organisers requested participants of the dog show and the vintage car rally to register their names with the Assistant Director, Department of Animal Husbandry and Regional Transport Officer respectively.

The Department of Agriculture has made elaborate arrangements for conducting a show featuring flowers, vegetables, fruits, spices and condiments to be displayed in more than 20 stalls.

Initiatives have been taken to bring rare and beautiful flowers from other parts of Tamil Nadu, especially from Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal, to Courtallam for the show, sources said. The Eco Park near Five Falls, maintained by the Department of Horticulture, will be the venue for the fruit and vegetable show.

Collector C. Samayamoorthy has directed the town panchayat to keep the surroundings clean by deploying an additional number of conservancy workers.

“The traders of Courtallam have been warned against dumping garbage on the road or the vicinity. If they violate this instruction and pollute the environment, action will be taken to cancel their license,” said Mr. Samayamoorthy, adding that steps had been taken to ensure that the hotels serve quality food at fair prices, at least during ‘Saaral Thiruvizhaa.’

For the first time, the district administration has come out with a colourful logo for this year’s ‘Saaral Thiruvizhaa.’ Stickers with the logo have been pasted at public places and on the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation buses to promote the festival.

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