Idukki

Idukki

Idukki is the second largest district in Kerala and is known for its hill stations and thick dense forests. Periyar, one of the largest rivers in Kerala flows through Idukki and its hill stations, namely Munnar, Vagamon and Ramakkalmedu and its abundant natural resources and forest regions attract tourist to this place. The lush green land that is so fresh to the eyes does promise a wonderful journey and experience at this home of many hill stations. Idukki is the major source of power generation in Kerala. About 66% of state’s power needs are met with hydroelectric power projects of Idukki. Idukki Dam, Asia's largest Arch Dam is located at Idukki Township of Idukki Taluk.


Places to visit


Munnar

Munnar is a place in Idukki which is immensely blessed by nature with mesmerizing scenic beauty. The beauty of this hill station which is located at about 5200 feet above sea level cannot be described in words should rather be experienced. It lies in lap of the Western Ghats. Munnar is located at meeting point of three rivers Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly as its name suggests. The beauty of Munnar is beyond description with some of the largest tea plantations in the world spread across this hill station. Situated at a height of about 5000 feet above sea-level the picturesque destination is also comprised of rich natural resources and wildlife. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. The Neelakurinji flower which drenches the hills with blue colour is the most exotic view of Munnar. Munnar is a heaven in the God’s own country which should be visited by all nature lovers.

Ervikulam National Park

Eravikulam National park is located along the Western Ghats in Idukki district at an altitude of about 2000m. Eravikulam National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is mainly covered with shola grasslands and becomes a hot tourists spot when the hill slopes are covered with blue carpet of Neelakurunji, an endemic plant which blooms once in twelve years. The highest peak Anamudi 2695meters height of the Western ghats is located inside this park. Lakkom waterfalls is also located in this region. Twenty six species of mammals have been recorded in the park including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr, estimated at about 750 individuals. Tourists are taken inside this park in the forest department vehicles to enjoy the rich flora and fauna here, especially the endangered species of mountain goat Nilgiri Tahr.The park gives an enchanting and refreshing view of the mist laden tea plantations down the hilly slopes. The other animal species found here are gaur, Indian muntjac,  sambar deer. Goldenjackal, junglecat, wilddog, dhole, leopard ,tiger,Nilgirilangur, stripeneckedmongoose, Indian porcupine, Nilgiri marten, small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, and dusky palm squirrel. Around 132 species of birdsa re found here including  black-and- orange flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri wood pigeon, white bellied shortwing, Nilgiri flycatcher and Kerala laughing thrush. Various endemic species of butterflies are also found here.

Anamudi peak

Anamudi peak in the Western Ghats being the highest peak in India, outside the Himalayan range is a secret pride of Kerala.Other than the Ervikulam National park, the biggest attraction here is that it has the largest surviving population of Asian elephants, gaurs, and the Nilgiri tahrs.It is paradise for the wildlife with dense vegetation and shola grasslands. Another critically endangered species is the Raorchestes Resplendens, which is a new species of frog that was recently found near the mountain and is found nowhere else on the Earth. Around 200 species of moths including the Altas moths, the largets moths in the world are found here. Wide varieties of rare medicinal plants like wintergreen, Anaphalis, and Impatiens are found here.This peak is also famous for the Neelakurinji flowers, which blossom once every 12 years. For trekking to the Anamudi top we need to take permission from the authorities at the Eravikulam National Park.

Pallivasal

Pallivasal is a small village situated at about 8kms from Munnar in Idukki district. The first Hydroelectric project of Kerala was started here. The major attraction in this place is the Pallivasal waterfalls which holds our eyes due to its immense scenic beauty. The Nature in its virgin form is preserved here untouched by commercialism.Due to its picturesque landscapes photographers would love to visit this place.

Chinnakanal

Chinnakanal is small village in Idukki district, at about 16 kms from Munnar. The Chinnakanal waterfalls known as Power house of waterfalls is located near to Devikulam. The view of water falling through steep rocks from reasonable height and cascading down is splendid. The water is said to originate from Devikulam hills .It forms a natural pool down where swimming activities can be carried out.The best time to visit this falls is during monsoons.

Anayirangal dam

Anayirangal dam including lake is a must-see spot in Munnar. It is situated amidst the Tata tea plantation and evergreen forest and thus is a wonderful picturesque landscape. A boat ride in this lake enjoying the ever-ending stretches of tea plantations blanketed in mist is a different experience altogether. It is an ideal picnic spot for refreshing one’s mind. It is situated at about 22 kms from Munnar and is a hot tourist spot here.

Bisonvalley

In early days the area of Bison valley forests was rich in Black pepper and Cardamom which attracted traders from all over the world to India. Later, after 18th century this place was converted into a major agricultural produce in Kerala. This area has more bio diversity than Himalaya ranges. It is the home for around 5000 species of flora and fauna in which 325 species are globally endangered. It also is home to 140 unique mammals, 16 of which are seen nowhere in the world. The endangered Lion Tailed Macaque and the Nilgiri Thar are also found here. Around 508 bird species are found here, amongst which 16 are only found in this area.

Kolukumalai

Kolukkumalai is about 7,900 feet above sea level and gives a distant view of Tamilnadu and Kerala borders. The terraced tea plantation hills covered with mist in all directions is a mesmerizing sight. Kolukkumalai has the world’s highest tea plantations. The aroma and freshness of the cup of tea from here is unbeatable by any other. It is spot preferred for family vacations to enjoy the misty morning in the midst of tea plantations in colonial bungalows. The Kolukkumalai tea estate was set up by the British back in the 1930s.The old tea factory here use the old equipment and tea is processed by orthodox methods. Kolukkumalai Mountain Hut is ideal place to stay for trekkers. Kolukkumalai Guesthouse is more family friendly and larger in space. Visitors can sip different flavours of tea and buy fresh tea from the factory outlet.

Mattupetty dam

Surrounded by the hills of Munnar and near close proximity of Anamudi peak lies Mattupetty.This hill station lies at 1700m above mean sea level and is located 13 kms from Munnar. The best part of Mattupetty is the dam and lake. The dam was constructed under the Pallivasal Hydro-electric project in 1940s for power generation. The reflection of the surrounding tea plantation in the still water of the lake is a captivating view. Tourist can either sit in the shore and enjoy the serene ambience of the lake or indulge in boating activities. Adventure lovers also have options here like trekking in the Shola forest which surrounds the lake. Mattupetty is known as ‘Cattle village’ the name which came from the famous Indo Swiss farm project or Livestock project launched in 1963. The farm is around three kilometers away from the Mattupetty Dam and is dedicated to cattle development and research centre set up by the Government of Switzerland currently handled by Kerala Livestock Development and Milk Marketing Board.

Ramakkalmedu

Ramakkalmedu is situated at a height of 3500 feet above sea level and its unique characteristic is that it is a windy hill station with a lot of windmills installed in the mountain range. It is considered as the world’s one of the largest windiest area. This place mainly has grassland with lacing of bamboo forests. The captivating scenic beauty of Ramakkalmedu has even caught the attention of the Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who described it as the paradise on earth. The famous monument statue of the Kuravan and Kurathi depicting the Sangham Period and Sangham landscape of Kerala and Tamilnadu is located in Ramakkalmedu. The statue of the architect C.B Jinan “Kuravan and Kurathi” depicts the characters who helped in the construction of Idukki by spotting the right place. The fresh air blowing down the green hills can provide tourists the most refreshing experience. From top of the hill one can enjoy the scenic beauty of Tamilnadu villages.

Thekkady or Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar wild life sanctuary better known as Thekkady is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in South India. Periyar is one of the 48 tiger reserves in India. It has a rich deposit of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna and has abundant water supply from the two rivers, Periyar and Pamba. This wildlife sanctuary is spread in Wayanad, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta. It is also famous for its rich elephant reserve. The protected area covers an area of 925 km 2 of which 305 km 2  core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982 or Thekkady. It lies in the middle of Cardamom hills and Pandalam hills of the Western Ghats. The highest peak here is the Kottamalai. The Periyar river is surrounded by the sanctuary and Mullaperiyar dam is erected here. The park mainly made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forest and grasslands. It is rich in flowering plants which includes 171 species of grass and 140 speciesof orchids.Teak, rosewoods, terminalias, sandalwoods, jacarandas, mangoes, jamun, tamarind,ba nyans, sacred fig, plumerias, royal poinciana, kino tree, bamboos are also found here in abundance. The park is surrounded by tea, cardamom and coffee plantations. 35 species of mammals  including many threatened species like gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali's fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten are found here.A total 24 Bengali tgers including few white tigers are found in this park. Around 266 species of birds can be seen in the park, including  Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri wood pigeon, blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri flycatcher, crimson-backed sunbird, and white-bellied blue flycatcher can be seen here. The park also has 45 species of reptiles, amphibians, 40 species of fishes and different types of butterflies. This rich source of flora and fauna makes the jungle safari for the tourists memorable.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekad Bird sanctuary will be the best rated place for any bird watcher in India. It was as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, as good as eastern Himalayas by The birdman of India, Dr.Salim Ali. Thattekad got its importance mainly through his writings and later officially named as Salim Ali Bird Sancturay. Thattekad is evergreen low land forest mainly lying between the branches of Periyar river. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary houses a wide variety of rare birds such as falcons, water hens, Hornbill and others and the beauty of this park is worth experiences. The Bird sanctuary is the home for different varieties of cuckoos like Drongo cuckoo, Indian Hawk cuckoo and Long Hawk cuckoo hence called as "Cuckoo Paradise".It is not a very hot tourist spot ,but bird watchers will appreciate and value it.

Thommankkuthu Waterfall

Thommankkuthu is scenic spot with series of waterfalls near Thodupuzha in Idukki. The seven step waterfall is the most attractive one among all other waterfalls. This spot provides chances for adventurous trekking. It is one of the major eco-tourism spot in Kerala. The small cascades and mountainous streams adds to the beauty of this place. For nature lovers it is a paradise where they can feel the coolness and freshness of streams in between the woods. Mainly tourists only visit the bottom two waterfalls namely Thommankuthu and Ezhunilakettu, but by strolling further little down one can enjoy the treasures of nature to its best. Other than waterfalls there are several caves and viewpoints here. Tourists and enjoy boating and fishing in the lake nearby. Few places in the valley also provide horse riding to the visitors.

Kurinjimala Sanctuary

The Kurinjimala Sanctuary is famous for the endangered Neelakurunji plant which is purplish blue flower that blossom only once in 12 years. The sanctuary also hosts the Neelakurunji Fest during the time when the flowers blossom. The sanctuary was declared by the Kerala Forest Minister Benoy Viswam at the Neelakurinji Fest at Munnar on October 7, 2006 during which there was massive blossom of Neelakurinji here which attracted tourists in plenty. Endangered species of Elephants, Nilgiri Tahr and deers are also found here.the sanctuary mainly aims at the protection of the Neelakurinji and its habitat.

Malankara Reservoir

The Malankara Reservoir is a man-made lake constructed across Muvattupuzha river. The dam is constructed from the tail water of Mullamottam power house. It is ideal for fishing and boating which is spreads over 11 kms and is part of the Muvattupuzha Valley. Tourists can visit this dam around the year. A park is also under construction near to this dam.

Nedumkandam Hills

Nedumkandam Hills at a height of about 3200 feet is called the land of coffee, pepper and cardamom and is situated between Munnar and Periyar Tiger Reserve or Thekkady. It is situated in one of the busiest tourists route Kumily -Munnar Kerala making it accessible for all vacationers. Most of the evergreen forests are converted into agricultural land by farmers. The picturesque landscape and scenic beauty makes this hilly region a picnic spot. The wind mill farms of Idukki can be seen from this hill top.

Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam and Calveri Mount

It is located 35kms from Thodupuzha of Idukki district. The Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam is a beautiful spot for nature lovers who would like to spend time relaxing amidst the forest. Tourists can enjoy an evening walk or meditation to unwind themselves. The steep steps to climb up is hectic but worthy ones we reach the hill top. This spot is less explored by tourists but hill top gives marvelous view of the Idukki Arch dam, hills and valleys. The Calveri mount valleys are blanketed with tea, coffee and cardamom plantations. The State Forest Department will arrange for trekking and also trekking expeditions to explore the hidden treasures of this site. The steep mountain is also famous for the procession during Good Friday and Lent.

Idukki Arch Dam

It is the Asia’s largest Arch dam of 555 feet height built across the Periyar river standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). Idukki Arch Dam is the world’s second largest arch dam. This dam is major source of power generation in Kerala. In earlier there were lot of restrictions for tourist’s entry due to security reasons. Later the dam was open to the tourists during 10 days of Onam and Christmas, now being extended to one month. The Idukki wildlife sanctuary is located nearby to the dam which rich in all varieties of flora and fauna. This prestigious project is a must watch destinations for all tourists.

Anchuruli waterfalls

This waterfall is a wonderful picnic spot in Idukki, Kattapana. It is an extension of the Idukki dam. From this spot tourist can enjoy the beautiful catchment of Idukki dam. The name is derived from the five small hills having the shape of inverted vessels visible in the water when the water level is very low. The sounds of the birds chirruping and streams makes the atmosphere ausmn and peaceful for relaxing ourselves. Another main attraction of this place is the large circular tunnel of 4 kilometers length, which brings water from Erattayar dam to the Idukki reservoir. The water flowing through the tunnel will be huge during the monsoon season and it form splendid waterfalls. A light can be seen at the end of the tunnel when water flow is low. It is ideal place for swimming and fishing.

Devikulam lake or Sita devi lake

Devikulam is located at 1000 metres above sea level, south west to Munnar. The beauty of this lake will make us breathless. The Crystal clear water of the lake is surrounded by tall trees, tea plantations and flowering shrubs. There is a myth behind the Sita Devi lake in devikulam, it is told that the goddess Sita Devi of the Ramayana epic bathed in the beautiful Devikulam lake waters surrounded by lush, green hills, now named Sita Devi Lake. The lake is not only famous for this legend but for the medicinal powers of its mineral water. Natural springs are present within the lake from which curative minerals come out and mix with water. The chirruping sounds of birds and cool breeze blowing makes this place an ideal picnic spot.

Valara waterfalls

It is located between Adimaly and Kothamangalam, at a distance of 42 kms from Munnar. Valara is the place known for breathtaking waterfalls. The cool crystal water pours down the hill from a height of about 1000 meters. The waterfall is surrounded by thick green forest rich in wide varieties of flora and fauna. This chain of waterfalls is treat to your eyes and soul. The upcoming Thottiyar Hydroelectric Project of Kerala Electricity Board is very close to this waterfall.

Cheeyapara waterfalls

Cheeyappara waterfalls lie on the Kochi Madurai highway between Neriamangalam and Adimali in Idukki district at about 40kms from Munnar. The water falls down here in seven steps making it one of the unique waterfalls in Kerala.The Cheeyapara waterfall is situated approximately 1000 feets above the sea level. This place is ideal for trekking. As it lies in the National highway, this delightful spot can be easily accessed.

Meesapulimala

It is the third highest peat of the Western ghats after Anamudi.  Its peak is 2,640 metres (8,661 ft) above sea level.it is the highest peak which is trek - able in South India. Trekking is to be done through eight hills passing through the shared border of Tamilnadu and Kerala. The access to this peak is tough and restricted. For trekking prior permission needs to be taken from the Kerala Forest Department.

Waterfalls in Munnar

* Lakkam Waterfalls : This waterfalls is located very close to Munnar town.It originates from the Ervikulam plateau at about 7300 feet above mean sea level.It lies on the way from Munnar to Marayoor. The cascades created by the falls are not accessible, but is loved by tourists because of its beauty. It is surrounded by thick flora mainly Vaga trees.

* Attukal Waterfalls : It is located at 9kms from Munnar town on the way to Pallivasal. This waterfall is situated in towering hills surrounded by dense green forests. One must cross a narrow wooden bridge to reach this pearly crystal waterfalls. The seasonal flowers bloomed on the way and around the waterfalls is a treat to our eyes. The water gushing down becomes foggy at times due to mist. We can spend hours together gazing at this wonderful spot. One can try trekking and hiking around the Attukal Waterfalls. The best time to visit Attukal is after monsoon, as the weather will be perfect during summer and winter.

* Nyayamakad Waterfalls : Nyayamakad is a breath taking waterfalls situated at about 10kms from Munnar. The water cascades down from a height of 1600m in several steps. The water gets collected down in a pool with gravel bank where one can enjoy fishing. Trekking is the popular activity here though it is little risky during monsoon .It is an ideal picnic spot surrounded by lush green forest. The best time to visit Nyayamakad is after monsoon, as the weather will be perfect during summer and winter.

* Kuthumkal Wterfalls : Kuthumkal waterfalls is a prime tourists spot located at about 24 kms from Munnar. Due the intensity of water falling over the rock it always gives a misty effect all- around. It is an ideal picnic spot to refresh your body and soul. The waterfall is easily approachable by trekking since it lies close to the main road.

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