Are you planning to have that perfect getaway from your daily routines to enjoy those refreshing weekends….??? Then, here is one such place, you should try out – Sundharapandiyapuram, a rustic Tamilnadu village located in the farm fields of Tenkasi, Tirunelveli district, which is bordering with the Kollam district of Kerala. For those people looking for an escape from their usual millennial stuffs and those drastically evolved cities, I insist you to plan a trip to this magnificent sunflower fields of Sundarapandiapuram….
It isn’t exactly, a long and tiresome journey from the city. With good roads and clear skies, one can drive to this village in Tamil Nadu from Trivandrum in three-and-a-half hours (just 115 kms). It has been on my list of must-see places ever since I saw lot of insta pics and travelogues during last year, featuring this vintage tamil village with its fields of sunflowers, an infamous location for photographers.
My journey to view this magnificent yellow hue started from my hometown, Attingal in the Trivandrum district of Kerala. For experiencing a serene getaway, i chose my most trusted companion, the one and only ‘Hero Hunk’ for this trip. Riding a bike, especially my Hunk, on a solo trip is sometimes inevitable for me to bring down those oncoming expenses. As i mentioned earlier, it will take 3 hours to reach this destination and it will be nice, if you start early in the morning…. because to get those perfect daylight exposures for your photographs. And one can avoid that dry hot climate of forenoon (without any shady areas ), especially occur in that parts of the region.
The topography starts to change as one approaches the Tamil Nadu border. The crowded cityscape has been replaced with expansive windmills, lush green paddy fields, and picturesque mountain ranges. Those tree lined straight roads bordering with farm fields are so marvelous and exciting for our eyes…
After passing the Tamilnadu border, you need to travel on these straight roads up to Shenkottai (around 11kms from the famous ‘S’ bend – Kerala-Tamilnadu border). Upon reaching near the new police station of Shenkottai take a left towards Surandhai route (within 30kms)…..
Sundharapandiapuram is an agricultural village and most of the residents own its land. While the farmers are into cultivating rice, onions, corn, coriander and the like, sunflower was added to that list 15 years ago when a sunflower seed company encouraged them to plant a few patches as a trial run. And now, they have been planting them ever since. The hot dry sunlight cant hurt these regions, because of the presence of those strong western winds and heavy rainfalls occur from the bordering western ghats of Kerala.
Actually one has to search around this small village in order to find these sunflower fields, because they are cultivated along with other crops and the fields are scattered in different parts of this region. So, only by communicating with the locals, you will get to know the exact location of these perfect spots to enjoy the day….
Initially I saw nothing except few female farmers cultivating crops. Then, I understood that I have to walk a bit further to reach the exact spot with fully bloomed sunflowers (So, i went after cultivation)….
At first, I see only green, and then I spot it, flecks of golden flowers dancing in the wind….
Heavy rains can cause severe damages to the sunflowers. The flowers tend to decay if it remains wet for a long time. The farmers here cultivate sunflower in the same fields after paddy is harvested…
But in any way, i had to admire these beauties and the best way to do so, was by taking amazing portraits of them….
Most farmers cordon off their sunflowers as over-enthusiastic photographers tend to damage the stalks in their quest for that perfect shot. In some areas, dogs guard their plots…
Sunflower fields of Sundharapandiapuram are also famous for wedding shoots. Actually, its an amazing place to design your pre-wedding and post-wedding photo shoots….
Sundharapandiapuram was once a popular setting for many Tamil and Malayalam films and sitcoms. The residents are so used to seeing film shoots and movie stars here that it is no longer exciting. Most of the stars have visited or dined at their homes. In fact, quite a few of them have starred as extras in various films. Movies like Roja, Anyan, Soothradharan, Kalabham and Thenkasi pattanam all have Sundarapandiapuram as background…
And a farmer will get roughly Rs.7000 from 1 acre of this field as income. So, its our responsibility to ensure no damage to these flowers during our pleasure visits….
As said earlier, Sunflowers are beautiful, and iconic for the way their giant yellow heads stand off against a bold blue sky. And of course most of us love to munch on the seeds they produce. However, have you ever stopped to look at the pattern of seeds held within the center of these special flowers? Sunflowers are more than just beautiful food — they’re also a mathematical marvel….
Anyway, all i was afraid of is saying goodbye to them… But these sweet short journeys can give us some good memories and new friends to our life. The same happened to me also… ‘Making new friends’….
For me, the one thing that everybody has to do after visiting these kind of places is ; Thanking those innocent farmers who made these mesmerizing and ravishing flower fields with their hard fought efforts and determination to achieve success….
While heading back, I was thinking of this little village with its smiling villagers, picturesque landscapes and golden blooms that had captured my heart and cherished my soul….
********************To Those Who work in Acres, Not in Hours**********************