Keralites flock to Roja’s ‘native place’ to bask in charm of sunflowers

Kerala tourists flock to Sundarapandiapuram to soak in sunflowers’ beauty
Tourists among Sundarapandiapuram sunflowers. Photo: N Rajesh Babu

As the name suggests, Sundarapandiapuram is an extremely beautiful place. And now this region, which is a treasure trove of natural scenic beauty, is carpeted with expansive bright sunflower fields and it will not be a misnomer if the place is renamed as ‘Sooryakanthipuram’ (sooryakanthi means sunflower). Presently, travellers from Kerala are flocking to Sundarapandiapuram, which is a small hamlet near Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, to soak in the charm of sunflowers that are in full bloom. 

Photo: N Rajesh Babu

Sundarapandiapuram was featured as the native place of Madhoobala’s character in Mani Ratnam’s super hit film ‘Roja’, which hit the theatres in 1992. The popular song ‘Andangkaka Kondakari’ of the 2005 Vikram-starrer ‘Anniyan’ was canned at this exotic location. The eye-catching dance sequence of the song was shot against the backdrop of the caricatures of Tamil superstars such as MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan painted on the rock formations, and now these rocks are known as ‘Anniyan’ rocks.

Photo: N Rajesh Babu

The vast coconut groves, the sweeping she-oak tree fields and large swathes of land with vegetable farming can give a surreal experience to the tourists coming to Sundarapandiapuram. 

The best time to click some Insta-worthy snaps is from 7 am to 10 am and from 5 pm to 6.30 pm. People visiting Sundarapandiapuram can also buy tomatoes, shallots and ladies’ fingers at a price much lower than the market rate. The farmers are now charging Rs 20 as an entry fee to step into the sunflower fields. If you want to enjoy the beauty of sunflowers just head to Sundarapandiapuram without much ado as the flowers will be in full bloom for only the next two weeks.

Photo: N Rajesh Babu

How to reach
The Punalur-Thenmala-Aryankavu-Chenkotta-Sundarapandiapuram route from Pathanamthitta is peppered with Palaruvi waterfall, Thenmala eco-tourism, Kuttalam waterfall and Thirumalai Murugan Kovil. 

Photo: N Rajesh Babu
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