Average climate: Summer 26 to 36°C, winter 15 to 21°C
Best season to visit: September to March
Language spoken: Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English, and Tamil are also widely spoken in the region.
Currency: Indian Rupees
Food: Most of the people eat rice, rice products, and tapioca. All traditional food dishes of Kerala are available here. Food habit of Kerala and Tamil Nadu is mostly followed in Kerala and Tamil Nadu boarder.
Clothing: Tourists are advised to carry appropriate winter warmers while traveling in the winter season.
Travel Tips: There are two National High ways, namely NH - 49 and NH – 220 and twelve state high ways passing through the district. As the whole district is a hilly terrain, the railway does not pass through the district and nearest railway stations are Eranakulam, Kottayam and Alwaye. Nearest Port is Cochin Port and Nedumbassery, the International Airport is near to the northern boundary of the district. The best season to enjoy the serene beauty of Kochi is between September - March, with a soothing climate and captivating landscape. The region offers a number of tour packages because of its long list of places of interest and vast marvelous geographical area such as Munnar is a 2- day tour package, Thekkady offers a 2-day picnic, Idukki region also offers a 2-day lengthy tour package
Idukki with an area of 4,479 km2 (1,729 sq mi) the second largest District of Kerala after Palakkad was formed on 26 January 1972. The altitude of the district is varying from 2500 feet above the mean sea level in Kulamavu to more than 5000 feet above the MSL in Munnar. It is comprised of Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermedu taluks of the erstwhile Kottayam district and Thodupuzha taluk. 97 percent of the total area of the District is covered with Rocky Mountains and forests.
The district shares it border with Pathanamthitta to the south, Kottayam to the southwest, Ernakulam to the northwest and Thrissur to the north and Coimbatore, Dindigul and Theni Districts in Tamil Nadu to the east. As the major portion of the district is hilly terrain, it is only connected by road National Highway NH 49 and State highways 13 and 33 pass through the district.
The diverse forest types, vayals, marshes, and a large water habitation together shelter almost 62 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 27 species of amphibians, and 38 species of fish. Highly endangered Nilgiri Tahrs are found in the high altitude grasslands of Mangaladevi. It is estimated that the tiger population is between 35 and 40 in the district. The whole strength of various specious of animal in the district is estimated over 1000.
Mountainous hills and dense forests with its abundant treasures of tropical flora and fauna, various species of wild animals and birds, wild sanctuaries, waterfalls, long list of dams, both big and small, make the district one of the most-sought-after tourist destinations. No other district in Kerala is immensely gifted nor beautifully fashioned like Idukki. Large number of tea plantations is the yet another highlight of the district.
The district is also known as High Range as it is highly placed from the sea level. Idukki is also known as the Power House of Kerala producing about 66% of the State’s power needs from hydroelectric power projects and Idukki is the biggest among all other hydroelectric projects in the district.
Periyar wildlife sanctuary in Idukki district houses herd of elephants, Sambar, Tigers, Gaur, lion-tailed macaques, and Nilgiri Langurs. India’s sole Tiger reserve, Thekkady, with its abundant treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many endangered species and a rich tribal culture.
Idukki district is known as the spice garden of India with natural spices like Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and clove. The highest peak in Kerala, Anamudy is located in Idukki district.
Idukki is popularly known as high-range, housing a dozen of dams and hydroelectric project, both big and small. In the heart of the District lies the Idukki Dam, which is Asia's biggest Arch Dam with 555 feets height proudly standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters). The Idukki hydroelectric project is the biggest of its kind in the State with an installed capacity of 780 MW, which is 39.15% of the total hydroelectric project capacity of 1992.85MW. The Kashmir of South India, Munnar is located in the Western Ghats of the district. Because of the high altitude of the region from the sea level, most of the areas in the region have a cool climate throughout the year, making it one of the finest tourist destinations.
The very name Munnar means ‘Three Rivers’ in the vernacular language, where three rivers; Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly amalgamate in a place which was named Munnar. Munnar is also popularly known as Kashmir of South India and it is spread in 26.2 sq. km area. Munnar is situated at an altitude of 6000 ft above the sea level in the Western Ghats range of mountains in Idukki district; Kerala, India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar one of the most-sought-after tourist destinations in the tourist map of India.
Munnar is popularly a tea town. The tea plantations have now been taken over by the Tata Tea Company. The tourists get a cordial welcome by the unending greenery and exotic smell of tea plantations in Munnar. Among the exotic vegetation found in the forests and grasslands, Neelakurinji with the botanical name Strobilanthes Kunthiana flowers and bathes the hills in blue colour once in twelve years. The Neelakurinji will extensively bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 Mts offering exiting trekking for the mountaineers.
Splendid tea plantations - perfect valleys, mountains, and lakes - exotic species of vegetation, wild sanctuaries, and forests – fragrance of spice perfumed cool air all truly making Munnar fascinating and makes Kerala truly a God’s own country.
Pothamedu which is 6 kms away from Munnar proposes an outstanding view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the awe-inspiring scenery here is perfect place for trekking and long mountain walks.
Devikulam which is 7 kms from Munnar has relaxing hill station with its velvet lawns, soothing vegetation and fauna and the fresh mountain air is an unusual experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and scenic backdrop is a perfect picnic spot.
Pallivasal, which is 8 kms away from Munnar where the first Hydro Electric Project was established in Kerala. It is a place with enormous picturesque beauty.
Attukal which is 9 kms away from Munnar offers perfect scenery of waterfalls and rolling hills and it is a perfect place for trekking as well.
Nyayamakad, which is 10 kms away from Munnar, is a land of captivating waterfalls. The waters gush down the hill from a height of about 1600 meters.
Chithirapuram, which is 10 kms from Munnar, is hallowed with lethargic little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds, and courts. This being the home of the Pallivasal Hydel Power Project, the hill town is also renowned for its scenic tea plantations.
Lock Heart Gap
Lock Heart Gap, which is 13 kms away from Munnar, is a perfect tourist spot for trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mist-covered hills, and panoramic view make the place alluring.
Rajamala, which is 15 kms from Munnar, is 2695 Mts above sea level is natural abode of the Niligiri Tahr. Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or Tahr faces extinction is found here. The tourists will get to see the Niligiri Tahr in moving in small herd in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is expected to be over 1300.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park spreading over an area of 97 sq. km is located 15 kms from Munnar is famous for Nilgiri Tahr. Anamudi peak towering 2695 Mts is located in southern region of the park. The park was established to protect the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex). In view of the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, the park was declared a National park in 1978.
Mattupetty located at a distance of 13 kms away from Munnar town is renowned for its extremely specialised dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are nurtured here. Tourists are permitted to visit three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm.
The Mattupetty also has a lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is an attractive tourist spot. The extensive Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake are other attractions in the neighborhood. Boating facilities in the Mattupetty Dam are provided for the tourists.
Anayirankal Dam Reservoir
Anayirankal Dam located 22 kms away from Munnar is one of the well-known tourist destinations. Anayirankal Dam is a small hydroelectric dam. As herd of elephant often comes to the shore of the dam to drink water, the dam got the name ‘Anayirankal’ Dam in vernacular language, which means ‘Elephant Climbing Down.’
It is a perfect place to cultivate the tea and tea plantation looking like a green mat adds more attraction to the place. The dam offers chance for the tourist to have boating in the lake. It is a perfect destination for relaxation and a location to spend time with family.
Sita Devi Lake
Sita Devi lake also known as Devikulam lake located at a distance of 13 kms south west of Munnar at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level is a tourist destination with captivating beauty. The dazzling crystal waters, towering trees, flowering bushes on the banks of the lake, and chirping songbirds make it a perfect tourist spot.
The Goddess, Sita Devi, of the Ramayana epic is believed to have bathed in the serene Devikulam lake waters bordered by flourishing, green hills. The lake allures tourists because of its therapeutic powers of its mineral waters.
Anamudi mountain towering 2,695-m is located 10 kms away from Munmnar in the Eravikulam National Park. After the Himalayan Mountain Ranges, it is the highest peak in India. The name Anamudi literally translates to "Elephant's Forehead," it is a reference to the resemblance of the mountain to an elephant's head.
The trekking to the top of Anamudi is the mother of all trekking and depending on one’s level of physical fitness and stamina the trekking can take between 1.5 to 3hrs. The trekking is really challenging as herd of elephants grazing on the mountain could come on the trekking pathways. Tourists who would like to venture into the audacious trekking have to seek prior permission from the Eravikulam National Park authorities.
Anamudi, along with the Eravikulam Park, homes one of the largest surviving populations of Asian Elephants, Gaurs and the Nilgiri Tahrs. The mountain, covered with evergreen flora and fauna and a vibrant avian life, makes it a paradise on earth. The green forest is also the source of some large and picturesque rivers in Kerala and the nearby State of Tamil Nadu.
The 160-foot-high Mattupetty Dam is located about 12 kms from Munnar town is a storage concrete gravity dam built between mountain ranges for hydroelectricity project. The Dam has a vast reservoir extending several kilometres into the hills allowing wild animals and birds to flourish. A cruise here in the dam an exciting experience, offering occasional view of Elephant, Gaur and Sambar. The dam has been an important source of power for the locality.
The Pambadum Shola National Park situated about 35 kms from Munnar on the eastern part of the South-Western Ghats shelters various dying out species of flora and fauna. It is the smallest national park in Kerala, with 131.80 hectares of land was declared a national park in 2003. The park cordially welcomes travelers with cloudy skies and mist offers options like wildlife watching and trekking. April-September is the perfect time to enjoy the marvel of Pambadum Shola.
Pambadum Shola National Park shelters Elephant, Gaur, Leopard, Wild Boar, Sambar, Common Langur, Nilgiri Marten, the only species of marten found in South India. Over 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals and 93 species of moths are also seen here. The biggest surprise that the park has kept for the tourists is an incredible variety of butterflies that dwell in the shola forests.
Nature trail, an exciting trekking option offered here takes travellers through the Munnar-Kodaikanal forest road to Vandaravu where there is a watchtower offering amazing sight seeing.
The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including these parks, are under consideration of UNESCO World Heritage Committee to declare a World Heritage Site. The park is managed by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, along with Muttikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary.
Marayoor is located 42 kms north of Munnar on SH-17 connecting Munnar with Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu. Marayoor is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. Marayoor is a rain shadow region enclosed by mountains.
Marayoor is known for 'Marayoor Sarkara' (Jaggery) is of high quality with 97 percent sugar content is the sweetest one in India. Charming sugarcane fields spreading over 1,500 acres welcome tourist to the beautiful destination. Tourists visiting Marayoor during sugarcane harvest season can watch how jaggery balls are prepared in traditional ways. First, the sugar cane juice is boiled in a special type of huge vessel and then condenses to jaggery balls.
The sandalwood factory in the Forest Department, the caves (Muniyaras) with murals and relics from the New Stone Age civilization and the children's park elongates all over a hectare of land beneath shade of an individual Banyan tree are some of the major tourist magnetizations regarding Marayoor. Thoovanam Waterfall as well as Rajiv Gandhi Nation's Park are additionally nearby.
Idukki district is with mountainous hills and dense forests with its abundant treasures of tropical flora and fauna, various species of wild animals and birds, wild sanctuaries, waterfalls, long list of dams, both big and small, make the district one of the most-sought-after tourist destinations. The region houses herd of elephants, Sambar, Tigers, Gaur, Lion-tailed macaques, and Nilgiri Langurs. The region is popularly known as the spice garden of India with natural spices like Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and clove. Anamudy, the highest peak in Kerala, is located in the district.
Daily sightseeing tours - Timing: 1000 - 1800 hrs. Fare. Rs.250.00 per head. For bookings, Please contact - DTPC Information Centre, Munnar, Ph: 04865 231516.
Tea factory visits - Permission to visit any of the 26 factories of Tata Tea Ltd. can be had from the Regional Office at Munnar, Ph: 04865 230561 to 230565.
Boating - Mattupetty: Speed launch: Rs. 300 for 15 minutes (max. 5 persons). Safari Boat: Rs. 700 for 20 seats for 30 minutes. Boating Time: 0930 - 1630 hrs.
Cycle rental: DTPC provides cycling facilities at Munnar (Rs 10.00 per cycle / hour and Rs 75.00 per cycle / day).
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the center of attraction in Thekkady. Forest spreading over an area of about 777 sq km with about 360 sq. km was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 and it houses some of the rare species of flora and fauna. The wildlife sanctuary includes flowering plants, grass species, species of orchids, and the only South Indian conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus. Apart from the tigers, the park shelters wild elephant, gaur, sambar deer, wild boar, Nilgir Tahr, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear, hornbill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter, cobra, viper, krait, monitor lizards, frogs, toads, masheer (famous and endangered game fish of India) and otter.
The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River is really the fascination of the area and it is located 85 kms away from Munnar. This is the only sanctuary in India where viewing wildlife can happen at close quarters with the safety of being in a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge to drink water as well as to have a bath.
The Periyar Lake heartily welcomes grey heron, ibis, the great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbill. Birds such are kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket-tailed drongos, parakeets, also the odd blue winged parakeet and flycatchers visit the serene lake.
Muttikettan Shola National Park located at a distance of 78 kms from Thekkady in Poopara Village on Munnar - Kumily Highway is a 12.82 km² national park. It notified as a national park to protect the wildlife and rich biodiversity of the area in November 2008. The very name Muttikettan is derived from a Tamil word means ‘Mind Confuser,’ because one is tend to forget the path once he/she enters into the park.
Managala Devi temple
Managala Devi Temple devoted to Kannaki is positioned on the top of a hill in Periyar Tiger Reserve which is 15 kms away from Thekkady. 12kms of rough forest road has to be covered to reach here. Only during the annual Chithrapournami festival, the temple is open for the public.
Murikkady is another important site to visit which is located 5 kms away from Thekkady. This vantage viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the spice and tea plantations, the mist clad mountains and verdant valleys. The area is famous for cardamom plantations, tea plantations, and pepper cultivation. The wholesome climate here is seasoned with the alluring fragrance of exotic spices.
Peermede situated at an altitude of 915 -1100 m above sea level is just 44 kms away from Thekkady. Peermede is a renowned for its tea, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed with sculptural rocks, meadows, and mist-cloaked hilltops. Some of the other major attractions of this place are Kuttikanam, a place for adventure tourism and trekking, Thrissanku Hills, a haunt of trekkers and picnickers, Mausoleum of the Sufi saint, the summer palace of the royal family, residence of the Diwan, and many lofty peaks and streams.
Vagamon is a hill station located in Kottayam-Idukki border of Kottayam district at an altitude of 1, 100 meters above the sea level. It has a chilly weather with the temperature between 10 and 23 °C during a summer midday. Vagamon was discovered by the British as an ideal place for tea plantations. National Geographic Traveler has listed Vagamon on their directory of the '50 most attractive places to visit in India.’
Vagamon is located far away of 25 kms from Peermede, 76 kms from Idukki and to 63 kms from Kottayam. Spectacular places make Vagamon an impeccable holiday recede. Any curious coalescence of religious mysticism and European legacies, this hillside village is often a haven of serenity. The chain of three hills- Thangal Hillside, Murugan Hill and Kuri-sumala - is often a mark of religious accord.
Pandikuzhi is yet another picturesque spectrum of nature’s flora, fauna and gurgling streams. It is located 5 kms from Kulmily between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border, it remains an essential excursion point in Thekkady. Being an idyllic picnic, trekking, and photographic spot, it is also the favorite day and weekend destination for the localities as well.
Chellarkovil is a beautiful village located 15 kms away from Kumily and it is a sleepy wind-stricken village of lush scenery and gushing waterfalls. A bird’s eye view of the extensive coconut groves of Kamabam and the plains of Theni in neighboring Tamil Nadu is possible from here.
Watchtower is positioned at a distance of 5km from Thekkady. Spectacular views of the spice and tea plantations, the mist clad mountains and lush valleys could be enjoyed at Murikkady. The area is quite known for cardamom plantations, tea plantations, and pepper cultivation.
Vandiperiyar is often a home to a number of tea factories is located 18 kms from Thekkady. The Periyar Pond is gushing over the centre of this specific town nourishing its prodigious tea, gourmet coffee, and pepper plantations. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens have a delectable array connected with rose plants, orchids, in addition to anthurium.
Pullumedu is located 43 kms away from Thekkady and 26 kms from Periyar. The zigzag ride to the top of hill along the Periyar River provides a dazzling view of slopes swathed with flourishing foliage. Velvet lawns and exotic plant life and animals make Pullumedu actually charming. The famous Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala as well as the Makara Jyothi illuminations on the shrine are noticeable from here.
Parunthumpara (Eagle Rock) looking like an eagle is a very attractive place which is just 5 kms away from Peermade, 10 kms away from Vandiperiyar, and 30 kms Kumily. From the top of a cliff, the panoramic view of forests and plantations seen as and endless carpet of greenery could be enjoyed.
Parumthumpara carries a panoramic view involving High peaks and trenches. Trishanku hills of Kuttikanam along with the Pattumala church are generally visible from below. It additionally provides a 360-degree view on the High-range. It is verbalized that you'll be able to glimpse the divine mild the "Makaravilaku on the Savirimala from below.
Ottakathalamedu is located at a distance of 4 kms from Thekkady at an altitude of 1300 metres above sea level, providing an panoramic view of Kumily town, the Periyar National Park and even the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu State.
Activities in Thekkady
Tourists can have the excitement of riding on an elephant from Time:10 am-17 pm for a duration of 30 minutes. Tickes are available from Wildlife Information Counter, Ph: 04869 222028.
The region is trekker’s paradise with vast hilly terrain offering ample opportunities to get into some adventurous trekking experience. The most important trekking areas are: Kurisumala near Kumily. Pullumedu. Ottakathamedu. Grampi . Forest Department (Ph: 04869 222028) conducts daily treks from the boat landing station at Thekkady to the Nellikkampetty area and Mana-kkavala.
Tourists get a golden opportunity to have a leisurely walk through the spice gardens like - Cardamom, Pepper, Coffee and tea plantations, factories, surrounding hill regions and tribal settlements. Plantation tours are arranged from District Tourism Information Office, Thekkady Jn., Kumily. Ph: 04869 222620.
Boat cruise through Periyar River gives a splendid opportunity to enjoy the beautiful river, forest and closely see the wild animals coming to the bank of the river shore in the safety of being in the boat in the middle of the river. The boating time is 7 am to 9.30 am, 11.30 am, 2 pm, 4 pm. The forest department (Ph: 04869 222028) and the KTDC (Ph: 04869 222023) conduct boating trips.
The Idukki Arch Dam towering 168.91 m (554 ft) located in Idukki is 106 kms from Kochi and 109 kms from Kottayam. The dam is constructed between the two mountains named Kuravanmala with 839m height and Kurathimala with 925 m and owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. It is technically a concrete double, curvature parabolic, thin arc dam.
This dam constructed in addition to two other dams on Cheruthoni, KulamavuIt is one of the highest arch dams in Asia, and third tallest arch dam engendering electric power from 4 March 1975. The three dams jointly have engendered the artificial lake that may be 60 km² with area and fortifies the 780 MW hydroelectric electric power station in Moolamattom situated inside in rocky caves.
The dam is open for public for 10 days during Onam and the Christmas holidays. Cameras and cell phones are strictly prohibited inside the dam area. There will be boating service for the tourist to enjoy the captivating beauty of the dam.
Elephants, Bisons, Sambars Deers, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Tigers, Wild boars, variety of Snakes like Cobra, Viper, Krait, a number of non poisonous snakes, Jungle fowl, Myna, Laughing thrush, Black bulbul and Peafowl are commonly found in the Idukki forest.
The place owes its name to the lord Sree Rama, the Hindu mythological god had set his foot on this rock, is located 73 kms away from Munnar and 57 kms from Idukki. Kerala’s biggest statue of Kuravan & Kurathy is here. The rocks, between which the Idukki Arch Dam was built, are named Kuravan & Kurathy, two historical characters of the local community.
Gently sloping green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu and enthralling retreat. The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of Bodi and Cumbum villages on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats.
Calvary Mount is a famous Christian pilgrim destination and trekking track located 25 kms away from Idukki. The sight of Idukki Arch Dam from Kalvari mount is mesmerizing. The State Forest Department conducts trekking expeditions to explore the wilds.
Kurisumala literally meaning the ’Mountain of the Cross’ is trekker’s paradise and it is the highest peak in Thekkady. The hill offers a panoramic view of surroundings including a glimpse of Periyar Lake, Kumily town and vast areas of neighboring. It is a renowned Christian pilgrim centre where hundreds of devotees climb the hill in faith during the holy week and especially on Good Friday and after, carrying small wooden crosses. There is a peaceful Monastery at the top of the hill. The silence of the hills, the chilly mountain air, and the lush green landscape are soothing to the soul.
The Cheeyappara waterfall is situated between Neriamangalam and Adimali on Kochi - Madurai Sate Highway. The Cheeyappara Waterfall cascades down in full swing in seven steps during the monsoon is a perfect visual treat for the eyes and it is a perfect place for those who love to be engaged with some audacious trekking experiences.
Ponmudi Dam is located 15 kms away from Adimali on the Way to Rajakkad. It has been constructed across the Panniar River, an offshoot of the Periyar River in 1963 with a length of 294 m.
Painavu located at a distance of 37 kms away from Idukki at an altitude of 3,900 ft above sea level is the administrative headquarters of the Idukki district in Kerala. It is largely significant for its natural beauty and for its attractive surroundings. Idukki wildlife sanctuary, Kalliyanathandu, Hill View Park, Kallarkutty Dam, Thommankuthu and Nadukani are the other major tourist destinations close to Painavu. During the rainy and winter seasons, herd of elephants are seen moving on the roads.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
Idukki popularly known as high-range with an altitude of 450 – 748 m above the sea is one of the most naturally-gifted areas in Kerala. The sanctuary occupying the forestland between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers is spreading over an area of 105.364 sq km in Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district. There is a picturesque lake around the sanctuary, enclosed by a captivating shade of evergreen and towering trees, and offers boat rides.
Apart from various species of snakes including Cobra, Viper, Kraits and numerous non-venomous, Elephants, Bison, Sambar deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Tiger, Wild boar etc. are also found here in the sanctuary. Grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, several species of Woodpeckers, Bulbuls, Flycatchers, etc are also very common in the sanctuary. The sanctuary lies close to the Idukki Arch Dam is almost similar to Thekkady wild life sanctuary.
Cheruthoni dam towering 138 m is located 5 kms away from Idukki dam, along with Kulamavu and Idukki dams form the Idukki reservoir which is the biggest hydroelectric project in Kerala. The very name Cheruthoni in vernacular language could be translated as ‘Small Boat.’
Cheruthoni Dam, which is the largest concrete gravity dam in Kerala and the third highest dam in India, was constructed in 1976 across Periyar River. Two-hour boating facility between Cheruthoni and Kulamavu is such a fabulous experience to enjoy the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) looks after the dam and rents out the boasts.
Other villages adjoining to Cheruthoni are Vazhathope, Thadiyanpadu, Karimban, Manjappara, Maniyarankudi, Bhoomiyamkulam, Peppara, Manjikkavala and Painavu.
Palkulamedu at 1200m above sea level is one of the highest peaks in Idukki district located about 13 kms from Idukki. The place is so soothing to the eyes with the greenery all around and offers panoramic view of surrounding areas from a lofty place.
The small fresh water pool at the top of the hill is really a marvel and makes the destination even more vibrant. The unspeakable splendor and perfect ambiance of nature make the place an ideal trekking location. The sight of Periyar valley from the peak of the mountain is spectacular.
Kuttikkanam located 79 kms away from Idukki and 71 kms from Kottayam at an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,100 m) above sea level is a famous plantation town in Idukki district. The whole region is surrounded by lush green tea plantations. There are some enchanting trekking stations and beautiful mist masked hilltops in and around Kuttikkanam. Pine Forest in the region makes it the whole place even more charming.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary situated about 12 kms from Kothamangalam, spreading an area of 25 km² is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. The sanctuary falling between the offshoots of Periyar River like a cape is greatly indebted to Dr. Salim Ali, Globally famous ornithologist. After the bird survey he had undertaken in 1930s, he found that the region was enormously rich with bird diversity and made a proposal that it shall be converted to a bird sanctuary thus, the globally acclaimed bird sanctuary came to being.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is immensely rich with over 300 species of birds, both forest birds as well as the water birds, visit the sanctuaries, More than 300 species of birds are found here. Srilankan Frogmouth, Racket tailed Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Whitebellied Treepie, Shama, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Parakeet, Whitebellied Blue Flycatcher, Malabar Grey Hornbill, are some of the bird specious that are frequently found in the sanctuary.
Thattekkad also has widespread plantations of teak, rosewood, mahogany and the thick vegetation shelters almost 28 species of mammals and about 9 species of reptiles.
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam situated 35 kms from Thodupuzha town and 12 kms from Idukki is a marvelous eco-tourism destination. The serenity and quiet atmosphere make it a perfect to fall in love with nature, unwind and to get rejuvenated. The mount offers tourists audacious trekking experience.
Being on the top to the Mount, the panoramic view of high range hills and valleys and the Idukki reservoir can be experienced. Tourists also get a chance to closely enjoy the wildlife of Idukki and can have a glance of the wild elephants in the forests.
The valley of Calvary Mount is a home to variety spices of fruits and plantations. The area is having abundant tea, coffee, and cardamom plantations in the area. The enchanting sight and charming beauty of the Malankara Dam and the backwaters of Idukki make every visitor feel the marvel of nature.
Malankara Reservoir is located 6 kms from Thodupuzha on the way to Moolamattam Power House. The manmade lake looks like a real lake covering an areas of about 11 kms is the ideal place for boating and fishing. It was built across the water from the tailgate of the Moolamattom Power house as a part of Muvattupuzha valley irrigation project.
Nadukani Pavalion, Elaveezhapoonjira waterfall, lakes, wildlife sanctuary, Kudayathor hills, and National park are the other attractive places located near the Malankara Reservoir.
The seven - step Thommankuthu waterfalls located 20 kilometers away from Thodupuzha town is one of the major eco-tourism centers in Kerala. The stimulating beauty of the waterfalls enthralls tourists visiting Thommankuthi.
The waterfall is named after the great hunter, Mr. Thommachen Kuruvinakunnel, who made known the beautiful waterfall in the jungle to the world in the late 1920s. Thommachen was also instrumental in discovering the spot for the Idukki Dam.
Thommankuthu waterfall is a scenic seven step silvery cascade in which water gushes hitting on seven layers of rocks. This astounding tourist destination is a fabulous spot for mountain climbing or trekking. Tourists can get engaged in boating and fishing in the nearby lake.
Keezharkuthu waterfall, also known as Rainbow falls, is located about 25 kms from Thodupuzha. The waterfall cascades down at altitude of 200 ft. The great attraction of this waterfall is that it never dries up so it can be visited on any season.
It requires 10 kms trekking through the forest to reach the waterfall and accompanied by local tribesmen living in the forest. Trekking gives splendid opportunity to come across wild animals and even the herd of elephants. Apart from the usual waterfall trek, there are also other treks conducted in the surrounding areas. Rock climbing, mountaineering and camping are the other picnic options available here.
Onam is the most significant festival celebrated in Idukki, which falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September), it is the state festival of Kerala. It coincides with the harvest season and celebrates the home-coming of the great king Mahabali, it is believed that in his regime prosperity and affluence prevailed. Onam also coincides with the tourism week celebrations in the state.
Christmas and Easter are the two major Christian festivals celebrated with much zeal in Idukki. The Adimali Fest (Adimali is an important place in the district) is a significant tourism and agricultural fair of the region. It is celebrated during the last week of December at Adimali every year. Farmers bring their agricultural products to the fair for the exhibition and sale. Exhibition stalls of various government departments, institutions, and agencies are a great attraction at this trade fair. An agricultural fair named Karishika Mela held at Thodupuzha every year is very remarkable.
The ancient history of the district is incomprehensible and there is no clear indication about the Paleolithic age. The burials in the High Range date back to the Megalithic period. Some historians consider that Kuzhumur, the capital Sangam age is the present Kumily in Peermade taluk. During 800 –1102 AD, the High Ranges consisting of present Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks were part of the Kingdom of Vembolinad. During 16th Century, Major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of Poonjar Raja.
With the advent of Europen planters to this region, the Modern history of the district starts. In 1877, 227 Sq. miles of Kannan Devan was sold to John Danial Manroe, a British Planter by Kerala Varma, the Raja of Poonjar. The region was largely uncultivated and covered with thick forest. The Raja formed the North Travancore Land planting and Agriculture society. The members of the society developed their own estates in various parts of High Ranges. Roads were opened, Transport organised, Houses and factories built and productions rose rapidly in the succeeding years. The first hydroelectric project of the State, The pallivasal Hydroelectric Project, was initially constructed by the tea companies for the industrial use. Planters were the first migrants to the High Range region covered by dense forest.
With beginning of the plantation industry by the end of the 19th century, deforestation process started in the High Ranges. As part of constructing several hydro electrical projects, Roads, factories, vast area of evergreen forest were destroyed.
Idukki with an area of 4,479 km2 (1,729 sq mi) the second largest District of Kerala after Palakkad was formed on 26 January, 1972 by carving out portions from erstwhile Ernakulam and Kottayam district. The district is consisted of Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks of erstwhile Kottayam district and Thodupuzha Taluk of Ernakulam District (excluding Kallorkkad village and portion of Manjalloor village). It shares it border with Trichur, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala and Coimbatore, Madurai and Ramanathpuram districts of Tamilnadu. It spreads by 115 KM from South to North and 67 KM from East to West.
When the district was formed, its headquarters had been at Kottayam until 1976 and later it was shifted to Painavu.
Agriculture is the main means of the district and above 50% of the revenue of the district is from the sector. Learning that High Range is the most fertile land for cultivation and seeing its immense natural wealth, towards the end of 19th century even before the formation of Kerala, people from all over Kerala started migrating to the region. Tamilians came as plantation workers of the European planters in Peermade, Udumbanchola and Devikulam taluks. Since most part of the district has been covered with dense forests and plantations, there was lesser area for habitation. A large scale of deforestation resulted in the increase in population in the Udumbanchola and eastern part of Thodupuzha Taluk due to the establishment of gigantic hydroelectric project in Thodupuzha.
These tribal communities associated with Idukki, living within perfect harmony having Nature, have an overall population of about 2000. There are all 5 ethnically different communities within Thekkady region: the Mannans, the actual Paliyas, the Uralis, the Mala-arayas along with the Malampandarams - possess settled in Kumily panchayat, which is on the outskirts in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
As the region is quite famous for tourism and more emphasis is given for eco-tourism initiatives, the tribal communities over there found alternative jobs leaving their traditional occupation like fishing and agriculture. They are actively involved in the tourism-related programmes and serve as guides for tourists or as forest guards to prevent poaching and illegal activities. In the isolated forests, there are tribes engaged in ancient practices such as building small dolmens for honoring the dead.
Idukki district has a good number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. According to 2001 Census, 14.11% of the total population belongs to SC and 4.51% belongs to ST group. Urban population in this district is only 4.1% of the total population. Most of the people eat rice, rice products, and tapioca. All traditional food dishes of Kerala are available here. Food habit of Kerala and Tamil Nadu is mostly followed in Kerala and Tamil Nadu boarder.
Both men and women wear the traditional apparatus, men wearing Lungi and shirt and women saree.
Idukki is having a mixed culture as people from other parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu migrated to the region to explore in rich natural resources. A large tribal population is settled in Idukki and there are over 200 tribal clans here. The major inhabitants of this place are the scheduled tribes, which include Malayarayan, Mannan, Oorali, Paliyan, Malapandaram, Malayan etc. Among the scheduled tribes, Malayarayans outshine in all the other groups in socio-economical and educational aspects. An important festival of this place is the Adimali Fest, which is both a tourism and agricultural festival that is rampant since 1991.
The agricultural fair and exhibition is a part and parcel of the Adimali Fest. Thousands of farmers exhibit their harvested products, which are in huge size and volume. Exhibition stalls of various Government Departments, Institutions, and Agencies are of great attraction along with the exhibition-cum-sales stalls of the trade fair. The agricultural fair that is being held annually by agricultural society at Thodupuzha is worth mentioning.
Weather: Summer 26 to 36°C, winter 15 to 21°C
The climate in the district undergoes drastic fluctuations from west to east. The highland regions are having moderately cold climate. Munnar, Devikulam, Pallivasal, Vellathooval etc. are places getting high rainfall while Marayoor, Kanthalloor, Vattavada, Thaliar etc experience low rainfall. Marayoor and Kanthalloor are virtually rain shadow areas in the eastern side of Western Ghats.
Idukki has a sensible climate so tourists can visit Idukki all throughout the year (but watch out for the rains). The best season to visit Idukki is from September to March. Tourists can admire the verdant beauty of this lush region.
The summer season is from the month of March to May, during this season the temperature varies between a maximum of 36°C and a minimum of 26°C.
The monsoon season in Idukki is from June and lasts until September and landslides are likely to occur during this season. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the place especially in the months of July and August.
This marvel of nature offers a cool and comfortable winter with temperature varying between 15°C and 21°C. Winter begins from October and the temperature remains cool until the month of February. It is the perfect time to visit Idukki in its festive mood.
Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English, and Tamil are also widely spoken in the town.
Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
Postal Pin Code: 685536
Telephone code: 04862 -
Vehicle registration: KL- 62
Police station number: 100
Tourist Information Offices
District Tourist Information Office, Department of Tourism, Thekkady junction, Kumily 04869-222620
District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Civil Station, Painavu 04862-232248
DTPC Information Centre, Old Munnar 04865-231516
Tourist information offices:
DTPC Information Centre, Munnar Telefax: +91 4865 231516
Email: email@example.com, Website: www.dtpcidukki.com
District Tourist Information Office, Department of Tourism, Near Private Bus Stand, Kumily Ph: +91 4869 222620