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Situated in the Western Ghats, Banatheertham is part of the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and lies above the Karayar dam. A 20-minute boat ride (costing Rs 20) takes one from the dam across the lake. A 10-minute trek takes one to the magnificent waterfalls. Not many people knew about the waterfall as it was inside the forest. However, Roja (released in 1992) changed all that and hundreds now visit the waterfalls every day. Unlike Courtallam, which is season-oriented, the Banatheertham fall is perennial, with December and January being the peak season. Surrounded by dense forests, the waterfalls present a magnificent sight when viewed from the lake. The boat ride also offers a breathtaking view of the adjoining hills. This range is also known for its plant diversity. The legendary Sage Agasthiya, who is called the father of the plant-based Siddha stream of medicine, is believed to have roamed these hills collecting herbs. In fact, an idol of the sage can be found installed on the hill that abuts the dam.