Tami Nadu - Tamil Nadu Wild Life - Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary - Point Calimere Wildlife Cultural Heritage

Point Calimere Wildlife Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

Several sites of religious, historical or cultural importance are located within the sanctuary:
Ramar Padam shrine containing the footprints of Lord Rama in stone

* Ramar Padam (literally: Ramas Footprint) located on the highest point of land in the sanctuary, is a small shrine containing the stone footprints of Lord Rama. Large numbers of Rama devotees gather here during the second week of April to celebrate Ram Navami Festival.

* Sanyasin Muniaswar Kovil is a shrine between the eastern bank of Muniappan Lake and Kodaikarai Road visited by devotees on all auspicious occasions. On March 20 a special Puja is celebrated here.

* Mattumunian Kovil is a small temple in the south of the sanctuary where people worship and offer prayers throughout the year. A major festival occurs here on the 3rd Friday of September.

* Modi Mandapam is a shrine located near Ramar Padam where people of all castes worship. Hindu legend says that Lord Vedaraneswarer spends a night here with his consort during January - February. In the first week of March a major festival is held here.

* Avulaiganni Dargah is the grave of a Muslim saint located near the road by Ramar Padam. His death anniversary is observed here at the end of November.

* Shevrayan Kovil is a shrine to the deities Shevrayan and Soni located deep in the forests of the northern part of the sanctuary. A small village near this shrine was relocated outside the sanctuary after the creation of Kodaikarai Reserve Forest. A large congregation of devotees from Arcothurai celebrate a special festival here in June/July.

Adivasi Colony

* Adivasi Colony is a backwards community of Ambalakars living in ramshackle huts of mud, coconut fronds and palmyrah leaves on the edge of Kodaikarai village. Their traditional livelihood was the collection of non-timber forest products in the areas that are now the sanctuary. These practices are now prohibited but not fully eliminated. Many of these people catch fish and small prawns in the nearby mudflats and swamps simply by groping in the water with their hands. Some work as day labour in the nearby salt pans. They have little interaction with other communities on the island.

Kodaikarai Lighthouse near Kodaikorai Beach

* Chola Lighthouse is the remains of a brick and mortar lighthouse near Point Calimere said to have been built by the Cholas more than a thousand years ago. This structure was badly damaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami but can still be seen in the intertidal zone near the British lighthouse.

* British Lighthouse is a 13-metre (43 ft) tall operating lighthouse built by the British at the tip of Point Calemere in 1890 and can be seen 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi) at sea.

* Kodaikarai Lighthouse is a 45-metre (150 ft) tall modern aid to navigation located near Kodaikorai Beach and is not accessible to the public. This dominates the sanctuary and may be seen by seamen far at sea.

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