Idukki Tourism

Image of Idukki Arch DamThe largest district in Kerala, Idukki covers nearly 13 percent of Kerala’s total area, 97 per cent of which is covered in rugged mountains and dense forests. Three large rivers, numerous trekking trails, stunning views and a diverse wildlife make it an outdoor enthusiast’s delight. This pristine hideaway has successfully retained its charm – sans tourist hysteria.

Idukki has a predominantly tribal population with 200 tribal settlements scattered all over the district in remote hilly areas and dense forests. Base yourself at Cheruthoni or Kulamavu to explore the three great dams on the Periyar and other tourist attractions such as Nadukani Viewpoint, the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary and the mesmerizing Thommankuthu Waterfalls.

For details of Idukki District , see the web page http://halokerala.com/picnic-spots/idukki/

Sights

Idukki Arch Dam

The Periyar River flows through a gorge formed by two huge rocks called kuravan and kurathi.The magnificent parabolic structure of Asia’s first arch dam spans the gorge. On one side stretches the placid reservoir, whereas on the other, the dam plunges deep into a forest valley.

Kalvary Mount

Loathed 35 km from Thodupuzha, Kalvary Mount offers a stunning view of tits scenic surroundings – the vast Idukki reservoir and the forested valleys. A wonderful place for trekking, visitors may,if they are fortunate, spot a herd of elephants, During Lent, pilgrims climb up the hillock in procession, and on Good Frday,they carry crosses up the hill to the top.

Thommankuthu

Thommankuthu is famous for its waterfall. These falls have been named after Thomban,a tribal leader who was washed away near a waterfall called “Thombankuthu”.Later,the name changed to “Thommankuthu”.The seven step fall drops down a rock from a height of 1,500 m and is a popular picnic spot. At each step, there is a cascade with a pool below it. The 12 km trek to the top of the hill is memorable expeirnce.The less adventurous have the option of enjoying the shallow pools below.

Parunthumpara

The scenic journey from Kottayam to Parunthumpara via Kuttikkanam offers enchanting views of hills, rubber estates, tea plantations, steep curves and massive gorges. On the arrival awaits a birs’s eye view of endless stretches of green forests, valleys and small streams. The rocky terrain and the grasslands made it a ideal spot for spending some quiet moments.

Parunthumpara is undoubtedly and emerging hill station, already popular with off- beat travelers from Idukki and Kottayam districts. There were a few steep slopes which called for careful trekking.

Many flock to this place to sight the Makarajyothi in Sabraimala for a better view. On clear day, visitors can view the Sabarimala forest too. The hill station is also a stopover for tourists arriving from Kumarakom on the way to Thekkady.

Anchuruli

Anchuruli, a wonderful picnic spot, located at Kanchiyar.It is an extension of Idukki dam and is situated at the rear end of the dam. The name Anchuruli Is derived from the five small hills resembling inverted vessels, which will become visible when the water level s low in the dam. Another attraction of V is the large circular tunnel of five kilometer length brings water from Erattayar dam to the Idukki reservoir. During the monsoon, the water flowing through the tunnel creates a magnificent waterfall.

Ramakkalmedu

Ramakkalmedu ViewRamakkalmedu known as the cradle of winds, located near Kattappana. Ramakkalmedu Tourism Centre (RTC) was opened in 2011 and is an emerging eco-tourism cum adventure tourism spot receiving an average of 1,500 visitors every day. Tourist can trekked through bamboo forests from the base to the hill top to see the wind mills, footprints of Lord Rama on the rock and vistas of green fields in Cumbum and Theni.The statue of Kuravan and Kurathi designed by sculptor C.B.Jinan is the prime attraction of RTC.Its location on the main tourist route connecting Thekkady and Munnar is a big advantage.Ramakkalmedu, which is now becoming a busiest tourist spot, didn’t catch tourist’s eye until recently. The place is considered as one of the windy places and provides a panoramic view of Tamil Nadu villages and towns.

Shankurandampara

Image of ShankurandamparaVisiting places which one can’t find in the regular tourist map is what youngsters love to do these days. The advantage of touring such spots, according to them is that they can wander freely as they are less congested. Such places are not polluted and ideal for a day’s visit.Shankurandampara and Ramakkalmedu in Idukki are now thronged by off- beat visitors.

Shankurandampara is ideal for adventure travelers. Positioned between Thekkady and Munnar in Idukki district. Shankurandampara is an exotic place popular for its huge rock. The place has a superb sitting that gives a bird’s eye view of several nearby places. The space underneath the rock can accommodate upto 30 people.

Thondaman Kotta

Thondaman KottaNature has endowed Idukki with some naturally scenic and unexplored places that do not find a mention in too many tourist maps. Such little known places are Thondaman Kotta and Kathakupalamedu where a Zen like tranquility pervades. This spot is situated 150 km from Kochi.Misty Mountains that chill to the bone stand majestically amidst a lush carper of green that peeks out from the swirling mist.

Extensive tea gardens and nature are at her beautiful best en route to Rajapara from where go hiking  to Thondaman Kotta atop a mountain which was a fort. Human habitation is minimal and what one can see are narrow trails. Even at 10 am, the atmosphere is chilled. If any of the tourist expected to see the remains of a grand fort, alas that was not so! The fort made of mud is not there anymore. What remains are some steps made of mud. There is a sheer ravine on the edge of the spot where chilly winds blow ferociously almost making one feel like it would push you off the mountain. From there, one can see villages in Tamil Nadu like small dots.

There is a legend behind the name Thondaman Kotta.A ruler from Tamil Nadu names Thondaman fled to this place to escape his enemies and built a fort of mud. He carried all his treasures with him and folklore is that he hid it inside a vault made in a rock on a mountain and sealed it with a big boulder which had a huge chain to pull it open, with one end immersed in a lake. The saying is that once you find the chain and pull it, the boulder would move to reveal the treasure filled vault.

The mountain that contains the vault is named Kathakupalamedu which means a hill with a wooden door.

Getting There

By Air: The nearest is Cochin (Kochi) International Airport,110 km

By Rail : The nearest railhead is Ernakulam,120 km drive.Kottayam railway station is 114 km

By Road: Thodupuzha, which provides easy access to Idukki,is about 65 km east of Kochi.Munnar- 65 Km,Thdupuzha – 55 Km,Aluva – 110 Km.

Where to Stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Munnar and Thekkady, see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/munnar/ and http://halokerala.com/hotels/thekkady/

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