Pongal Celebrations and Hot Air Balloon Festival with Thadam

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Pongal celebrations in Samathur are one of the grandest in the Pollachi region. On the 3rd day of Pongal, the agrarian community comes together, to offer thanks to their Cattle and celebrate the good harvest for the year.

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Credits – Keerthana Balaji

As the live beats of thaara thappatai infused with the rhythms of Pongal O Pongal fill the air, come sink in a festive fervor with Thadam as we take you on a unique experience to partake of the Patti Pongal (Maatu Pongal) celebrations and the International Hot Air Balloon festival, in Pollachi.

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Credits – Keerthana Balaji

The trip starts with a delicious lunch served at a private farm house in Sethumadai (your accommodation for the trip), on 15th of January. Unwind and relax for a while after lunch and then we go for a Nature walk with our Naturalist Lingesh. Soak in the pristine atmosphere as we walk along the feeder canal road that is engulfed by the Anamalai Tiger Reserve on one side and tall, green coconut plantations on the other.

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Feeder Canal Road, Sethumadai | Credits – Rohit Kalingarayar

After the Nature walk, we come back to the farm house for tea and snacks.

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Celebrate the night with BBQ, campfire, music and dinner before winding up the day.

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Hot Air Balloon getting ready for flight | Credits – Students Guild of Service, Dr. MCET

We start early, the next morning and travel to Pollachi for the Hot Air Balloon ride (tethered). Fly up and soak yourselves in the spectacular scenery as you fly above the sea of lush green coconut trees.

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Credits – Global Media Box

The Balloon ride is offered as part of the Tamilnadu International Hot Air Balloon festival – a yearly carnival organized by Global Media Box and Camping Retreats of India in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Tourism Department.

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The Angry Bird and the giant bee Balloons | Credits – Global Media Box

This truly global event adds color to the Pongal festivity in the town with creatively-designed balloons like the giant bee and the red hot angry bird adorning the blue skies of Pollachi.

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Angry Bird glowing on a lit evening | Credits – R Goutham

After the balloon ride and breakfast, we return to Sethumadai for lunch. We relax and unwind for a while before we proceed to Samathur to partake of the Patti Pongal (Maatu Pongal) celebrations.

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Artists performing the traditional “Thevar Aatam” | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

These mini processions are led by dancing farm hands, sometimes in costumes and accompanied by music from local instruments such as the thaarai thapattai.

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Credits – Viren Mohan

You’ll get to see the cattle that are washed, with their horns covered in a fresh coat of paint, a nice dab of sandal and vermillion, applied on their foreheads with a finishing touch of new ropes and bells wound around their necks.

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The corales being decorated for the Patti Pongal celebrations | Credits – Rohit Kalingarayar

After the proceedings at the Patti (corales), authentic, traditional spread of meals will be served to a horde of guests. There is an array of food prepared that includes freshly husked rice, pumpkins and mochai and a host of other vegetables.

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Traditional dishes being prepared for dinner | Credits – Rohit Kalingarayar

You’ll return back to the farm stay for the night’s stay. The trip ends the next day after the breakfast is served. The itinerary and cost is as follows.

Itinerary:

Day 1, 15th Jan:

1:00 pm – Check in at Sethumadai for Lunch

3:00 – 6: 00 pm – Birding and Nature walk at canal road

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – BBQ, camp fire, music and dinner

Day 2, 16th Jan:

6:00 am – 10:00 am – Depart from Sethumadai to Pollachi for Hot Air Balloon flying (tethered ride)

12:00 pm – Return to the farm stay for lunch. Relax and unwind till tea and snacks.

5:00 pm – Arrive at Shenbaga Vilaasam, a regal farm stay for Pongal Celebrations

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Cultural performances and Patti Pongal processions.

9:00 pm – Traditional Dinner

Reach farm stay at Sethumadai for the night’s stay

Day 3, 17th Jan:

Leave home after breakfast, with wonderful holiday memories.

Cost: Rs. 8,500/- per person (transport not included)

To participate, book your experience here – https://www.instamojo.com/pollachipapyrus/pongal-celebrations-and-hot-air-balloon-fest/

Written By

An enthusiast at heart, Pravin considers himself a Nature lover, dreamer and God's child. Through The Pollachi Papyrus, he aspires to offer a platform where like-minded travel enthusiasts can come together, collaborate and contribute towards efficiently documenting and creatively publishing the richness of the bio-cultural diversity, the land of Pollachi and the Anamalais hosts!

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