With the increased restrictions at Tourists Spots the rural tourism spots are getting flooded greatly. The lockdown, Quarantine, Hotspots, pandemic, Work-from-Home, Online classes demands a mental urge to visit some tourists spot for relaxation. As the tourism spots are closed, the visitor numbers are increasing gradually at rural tourist spots. One such place is Vathalmalai -- is a tribal hamlet nestled in the lap of Eastern Ghats and located 25 km from Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. The spot often called as 'Mini Ooty' by the residents is witnessing a footfall of an influx of local tourists.
The district witnessing rainfall recently, the water in the streams and lakes revived. Vathalmalai, a 3,000-foot hill is a famous hill stations in the district with its own unique flora and pleasant climatic conditions. A resident, M Nandhakumar, said, "Vathalmalai is one of the beautiful landscapes in Dharmapuri especially during the rainy season as dozens of lakes and streams flow during this limited period. Usually, many families prefer Hogenakkal for a trip because there are more activities there. However, Vathalmalai is quite different. The climate and journey offer a meditative calmness. Most people visiting here usually come here for tranquility. Since the place is not commercialized, families can enjoy the water flow peacefully”. Sureshkumar, a native of Vathalmalai told, “The district administration did not take much effort to develop tourism in the area. Most of the tourists who visit here are residents from the district, which is why Vathalmalai remains unknown to most people. The lack of public transport and proper roads also play a role in affecting tourism development. Moreover, the forest department does not allow a large group of people, which is, also disheartening”.
Forest staff at the foot of the hills told that the entry is restricted, in the past few years many cases were filed due to the problems created by liquor consumption."Strict checking is conducted before entering the hill station. Alcohol or any such intoxication is not allowed inside the forest. Further, we register the vehicle numbers so that we can keep track if the amount of time they spend inside the forest," the forest staff added. Farmers growing coffee and other estate owners are provided with unrestricted access, forest staff stated.