Camp Splendour, flanked by dense forests and the Thirumoorthy dam reservoir, has something for adventure buffs as well as those looking for a relaxed holiday.

The main building of Camp Splendour with hills in the backgroundCamp Spendour | Susheela Nair
Features Travel Saturday, July 10, 2021 - 13:02

If you are tired of vacations filled with frenetic guided tours, ‘must-see’ tourist attractions and hectic activity, Camp Splendour in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur district is the perfect retreat. This wooded, rustic campsite is within driving distance from Coimbatore and Udumalpet. With its vast outdoor spaces and COVID-19 protocols in place, visitors can safely enjoy a vacation here. Fringed by dense forests, with the far end rising into hills of the Anamalai range in Western Ghats as a backdrop and glistening waters of the Thirumoorthy reservoir on one side, Camp Splendour is nestled in a tranquil setting.

Fascinated by the great outdoors, I spent the night zipped up in a tent under a starry sky, and discovered the adventurer in me at this camp in the pre-pandemic days. While those who enjoy a relaxed holiday can hang up their feet in hammocks, I opted to explore the wilderness. Quiet, hidden and relatively free from swarming tourists, you can be one with nature at Camp Splendour, where Robin Hood would have felt at home, I am sure.

The adventure camp is dedicated to experiential tourism, aiming to connect people with nature. It is an ideal mooring point for individuals pursuing adventure sports. The camp is simple and utilitarian on the surface, but encourages one to be close with nature. Camp Splendour also has rooms for those who don’t want to rough it out. But I could not find anything more thrilling than camping in the great outdoors under a starry sky, amidst sylvan environs with the silence broken only by the sound of rushing wind.

The experience encompasses a broad canvas. You can chart your own way over hills and through forests in the Western Ghats. Those who want to have fun on the water can bounce on the water trampoline that is moored near the campsite. I tried jet skiing in the expansive reservoir of the Thirumoorthy Dam, egged on by the organisers who dispelled all traces of fear. I battled the foam, spray on my face, and excitement and fear coursing through my veins. Activities like kayaking, jet skiing, stand up paddle, canoeing and boating are available for those who are interested.

The Siva temple in the hills

“You can flit from one activity to another at this multi-adventure campsite in this dream destination. Birding, bonfire, camping on the shores of a reservoir, forest exploration, trekking, games, and visits to a nearby ancient Siva temple, Panchalinga waterfalls and tribal hamlets are all part of the wilderness escapade,” says Group Captain (Retd) Jayshankar, National Adventure Awardee, who has been running this camp for the past seven years along with his wife, Shyamala. There is also a scenic trek route from the camp, leading to a viewpoint of the dam and fills.

“If you are not happy being on terra firma, fly high in the sky on a parachute, go paragliding. It is a multi-adventure campsite active in the region. where you will find paramotors and parasails in the air on certain days, windsurfing and stand-up paddle on the water occasionally,” Shyamala Jayshankar explains. The camp is active round the year with kayaking, trekking, jet skiing, stand up paddle, trampolines, archery, ropes, etc.

I tried jet skiing, egged on by the organisers who dispelled all traces of fear

Camp Splendour also employs the local residents of the village, especially the women, who provide homely food for the camps’ guests and staff.

Apart from catering to tourists, Camp Splendour also provides Outbound Learning for students and corporates, offers online sessions for holistic growth by an NLP trainer and life coach, and also helps provide safety equipment in case of natural disasters or emergencies.

As we helped ourselves to a hearty dinner around a bonfire, we chatted into the night, recounting the experiences of the day. And what a day it was— spending time in the quiet environs of a sylvan setting, enjoying the serene backwaters of the dam, ambling relentlessly and savouring the many marvels of nature without a care in the world! We rounded off our day sitting around a bonfire listening to Jayashankar crooning some yesteryear melodies.

Getting there: Udumalpet and Pollachi are nearby towns. There is good road access from Bengaluru and Chennai. Munnar and Valparai are close to Camp Splendour as well. It is an excellent adventure travel circuit connecting Camp Splendour, Munnar, Valparai and the forest drive to Athirapalli Falls. The nearest airport is in Coimbatore.

Address: 368 1A, Thirumoorthy Dam, Dhali Village, Udumalpet- 642 112, Tirupur District, Tamil Nadu, India.

For further information, contact: +91 93445 31938/ +91 93631 45544

Susheela Nair is an independent food, travel and lifestyle writer and photographer contributing articles, content and images to several national publications besides organising seminars and photo exhibitions. Her writings span a wide spectrum which also includes travel portals and guide books, brochures and coffee table books. All pictures by Susheela Nair.

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