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Guide to what to see in Idukki

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Cheruthoni: The area surrounds Iddukki arch dam and Cheruthoni dam. The Idduki Arch Dam is the solitary Arch Dam in India. The area is scenic and green.

Moolamattom: The underground power house of Idukki Hydro Electric Project is situated here, 40 km away from Idukki. Visitors allowed to enter the Power Station with permission from Kerala State Electricity Board.

Perumedu: 75 km away from Kottayam. A hill station. The Summer Palace of erstwhile Rajas of Travancore, an important monument, is here. It is on the way to Periyar Wildelife Sanctuary....Click here to see more about Perumedu

Kuttikkanam:Kuttikkanam, situated near Peermedu is also a plantation town where most of the area’s Resorts located. Peermedu Development Society-run Sahyadri Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Factory and Treatment Centre are located here. Here treatment with accommodation is available. The Ayurvedic Factory, a km away from Treatment Centre, is open to visitors to have a close look at multi-staged processing of ingredients into medicinal concoction and decoction. Watching the process is informative and interesting.

Vandanmedu: Vandanmedu is 25 km from Kumily. It is one of the largest auction centres in the world for cardamom. A simple leisure walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations gives exciting experience.

Pullumedu: This hill town is located at 43 km from Thekkady. The winding journey to Pullumedu is along the Periyar river. The stunning view of the exciting hills draped in lush-green is an unforgettable experience. Velvet lawns, flora and fauna amplify the glamour of Pullumedu.

Thommankuthu Waterfalls: 38 km from Idukki. The waterfalls here unbox an enchanting sight. The area is highly picturesque.

Kumily: Kumily is a hill twon situated on the Kerala-Tamilnadu border. The entry point to Periyar Tiger Reserve is Kumily. Kumily is a spice centre. Almost all shops here stock spice packs. Super quality spices are available here.The Kottayam-Kumily state highway ends here.

Thekkady: Thekkady is king of jungles. The drumming calls of Nilgiri langur, probably a coded message to the denizens of the forest to be alert and careful, will greet the visitors who enter the forests. Moving further, barking deers, a characteristic alarm signal to the inmate species, may shake the visitors. Amongst Thekkady’s worthy inhabitants, there is an exclusive charm in watching the majestic tuskers and the bright-eyed tigers in their exclusive kingdom. It is meaningless to think of returning without a sweet brush with animals.That is fun.

It is mandatory to have a guide. Most of the guides are poachers turned. The poachers were roped in as protectors as part of eco-tourism and rehabilitation. The sprawling Periyar Tiger Reserve, in an area of 777 sq km, is rated as one of the 18 hot spots in the world in bio-diversity. Its tropical rain forests present world’s most ancient and complex environments. Home to elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, gaurs, antelopes, variety of reptiles and birds of numerous species. The location is ideal and adaptive. Amidst mountain ranges, valleys, lakes and rivers – superb dramatic settings. The largest sanctuary in the State, it is in the south end of Western Ghats with splendid cardamom hills, in an altitude upto 6000 ft. The boathouse is the starting point. Just 2 km from the entry gate. Eco-tourism centre is near the boathouse. Booking is to be made here for guide, treks, boat rides and other activities.

350 sq km core area is declared as National Park. The Pamba river flows through the west side.

The sanctuary’s forests fall in three categories – evergreen, grassland and moist deciduous. Each forest is the haven of specific species. The plant species include teak, rosewood, bamboo and orchids....Click here to see more

Tiger Spotting: In most of the sanctuaries the sighting of animals is luck or a matter of chance. But, at Thekkady Reserve the story is different. The chance to come across is plenty. Spotting a leopard, gaur, sambar or chital is usual. The majestic animal, gaur, is the largest size, weighing upto 1000 kgs, in Western Ghats. Sambar, the big among deer, is easily sighted in groups or singly. Chital is seen in groups only.

Cats and Dogs: The dhole, or the wild dog, is a carnivore and large sambar is nothing for it. Their operation is during day time, making very easy to sight them. Small carnivores, such as, mongoose, marten, ratel and small cat, are easily seen. The nature of jungle is nocturnal, making it impossible to get in sight. Look for large ruddy mongoose. In winter it acquires brick- red coat, making it easy to spot and recognize..

Fly Sky-high: Periyar is the paradise of bird watchers. The forests inside and the lake are their territory. Large species of natives and migrants co-exist here. To spot orange-headed grand thrush, forest wagtail and for other rare ones sign up for a bird trek.. If no time to trek, walk from main gate to the boat jetty early morning to have the belly filled.

The Lake: The lake, encircled by hills is a bathing ghat for elephants. Herds of elephants bathing or playing are easily sighted. Go on a raft in the lake to watch the elephants in herds and to sight tigers (rarely).

KTDC and Forest Department have boating arrangements

Tribal Heritage Museum: Five tribal communities live in the area like Mannans(Mannakudi),Palians(Paliyakudi) etc.Tribal people who were not long ago involved in firewood and minor forest produce collection through poaching have now changed stripe to serve as eco-tourist guides in the breath-taking Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) Sanctuary.Two hours Tribal Heritage Programme by the Reserve is there. The programme includes a trip to tribal hamlet and to Tribal Heritage Museum. Traditional fishing gear, hunting implements and indigenous medicinal plants displayed in the museum.

Plantation Visits: Kerala Tourism Information Centre at the entrance gate to the Sanctuary at Kumily arranges short tours to sanctuary surrounding tea and coffee gardens and spice plantations.

Shopping: Best quality black, white and green pepper, fenugreek, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, coriander and cloves get in nice packs at Thekkady abd Kumily.

Munnar: South India’s most sought after hill resort and Kerala’s highest-bid hill station. It is the highest peak, at 8841 ft, south of Himalayas. There are three streams around. Two of these, Nallathanni and Kundale are the tributaries of Muthirapuzha River. This river cascades out of the misty hills to embrace Periyar river which succumbs to Arabian sea. Munnar is a tea-queen. 12000 hectares, manicured, lush green tea fields are paradise to honeymooners and globe-trotters and business community’s rescue home to get their tension de-wound. Gentle eucalyptus plantations sway the breeze. Shola trees, shelter of many wildlife species, hug the mist-clad hillsides. Here the air is filtered by the gentle tealeaves.

The tea plantations here are the contributions of British A club established by the British planters, Kundale Club, still retains its colonial ambiance. Tucked away in a picturesque corner of the High Range, at 6000 ft altitude, the Club smartly resembles an English house. The Indian successors maintain the Club in its pristine state without losing its ethos and traditions.

One can still find the remnants of a rail road(less than a meter gauge),leading to Kundala Valley Railway station,set by British.Ropeway and railway co existed in Munnar for several years.The railway station is now called as Top Station(Bodinayikkanur).The rail was later completely destroyed in a huge flood in early 19th century. Now you can find road ways along the routes of rails.(Now there is no rail road).

Munnar’s major attractions are within 10 to 30 km radius.of the town. The network of roads are excellent. Enough local buses, taxis, jeeps are available for transportation....Click here to see more

Eravikulam National Park: The park is at its best in wildlife conservation. Once it was British planters hunting preserve. The Nilgiri tahr is a main attraction here. They very much love human and will pose with the visitors. For a wide and clear view of the Park, go to the Directors Leap. The view from here is fantastic and enchanting....Click here to see more

Anamudi: Anamudi in Munnar is the highest peak in South India with a height of 2695 metre. It is a trekking paradise. Standing on the peak, a breathtaking view of the Munnar, Thekkady and many parts of Kerala and Tamilnadu is easily possible.

Devikulam: An ideal Hill station with exotic flora and fauna bathed in cool air, Devikulam is located 16 km away from Munnar. Sita devi lake with mineral water and picturesque sights in the foots of Devikulam is nature lovers’paradise

Tea Museum and Tea Processing: The Museum, a 1880s start, uncovers the history of tea industry in Munnar. It displays pristine artefacts and relics in good number, historic photographs and period furniture. The visitors get advantaged to the intricacies of tea-processing and tea-tasting explained. Pack a delightful experience.

Water Falls: 8 kms away from Munnar, Anthukad Falls call the visitors. During peak of monsoon, mid-June to mid-August, the Falls turn menacing and roaring. Splendid experience.

Pothenmedu: It is located 3 km away from Munnar. Pothenmedu is a lofty cliff at the entrance to Munnar. The scenic view of Pothenmedu is superb. Vehicles crawling up the serpentine road looked like miniature toys from the lofty cliff.

Cheeyapara Falls: This Falls, right next to the highway, plunge to 500 ft. A favourable site of tourists to de-load the sweat and dust of the plains on the body.

Valara Falls: Near to Cheeyapara Falls. Valara Falls nose-dive into forested ravine below the road. Very impressive sight.

Madupatty Dam: 160 ft high. Its vast reservoir stretches several kms into the hills. A cruise here is rewarding. During cruise, elephants, gaurs and sambars may be sighted.

Marayur: Marayoor is located 40 km from Munnar. Marayoor is an agricultural and plantation town-ship with largest sandal plantation of Kerala. The fragrance of Marayoor spreads across the globe. Here a hectare-wide Children’s Park canopied by a single Banyan tree is quite exciting.

A sandalwood factory run by Forest Department is worth seeing. Also interesting to see is the relics of Stone Age unearthed and preserved here.

Sethuparvathipuram Dam: A 70 ft high Arch Dam. Picturesque and serene ambiance.. Sky-blue reservoir. The eucalyptus plantations in the backdrops make the scene highly attractive.

Lockhar Gap: A fin spot for a bird’s view of Bison Valley and the surrounding hills. The hills extend up to Thekkady. A fit location for picnic.

Nyamakad Gap: For breathtaking view of Tayaler Valley on one side and Munnar Valley on the other. The ubiquitous greenery soothes the eyes and nerves.

Shopping: Don’t forget to buy plantation fresh tea. The other buy should be spices and strawberries. Several shops in Munnar town are the outlets for these.

Vagamon: Vagamon is a trekkers’ paradise. Trekking on pilgrimage or nature trail, Vagamon likes foot and the visitors like Vagamon.

Vagamon is mainly constituted by three Paaras (rock hills) – Thangalpaara, Muraganmala and Kurisumala....Click here to see more

Thodupuzha: Thodupuzha is a trading town for plantation produces. It is also the entry point to Idukki region.

Sri Krishna Swamy temple at Thodupuzha is a famous. The deity is Lord Krishna. A 10-day festival in Meenam (March/April) is held here.

Malankara: Malankara is famed for its artificial lake. It is located 6 km from Thodupuzha. 11 km wide reservoir is an enchanting picnic outlet. Picnickers can stroll up the pathway of the Dam. Dam top is an ideal spot to view the exciting catchment area and the greenery around.

Porathodu : Parathodu, a valley village, is encircled by huge hills. Wanton nature beauty rules the village. From Adimali 45 minute’s vehicle journey is warranted to reach 18 km terrain distance to Parathodu. The route is via Kallarkutty Dam.

There are two more Parathod in Idukki district. One is at Nedumkandam and another is at Kanjirapilly.

Mannathara : In earlier period the inhabitants of Mannathara were a tribal community called Mannan. The name of the village is derived obviously from this Mannan community.

Large scale migration took place in 1950s and 1960s from Palai, Ettumanoor, Kothamangalam, Thodupuzha and Melukavu.

Mannathara is an agrarian village the major produces of which are pepper, cardamom and paddy. The produces of Mannathara are of super quality and fetch more value.

On professional side the village is proud of supplying dozens of nurses to Middle East countries and West Europe.

Karimannoor: Karimannoor village is located somewhat away f rom Thodupuzha town.

The occupation of the village is mainly agriculture with thrust on rubber.

Predominently Christian populated village has Hindus and Muslims too.

Up to lower primary level education is available here and for above it the village depends on other villages.

Moderate infrastructure exists in healthcare sphere.

The nature-blessed village has tourist attraction in its Thommankuthu Waterfalls.

Kadikulam: Kadikulam, a plantation village, is located 12 km east of Thodupuzha town.

Rubber is the major produce and main income source.

Population is shared amongst Christian, Hindus and Muslim communities with Christians on first place followed by Hindus.

Being in high ranges, the village is extremely eye-friendly where facilities for education and healthcare are extremely good.

Murickassery: The village, donning the cap of a small town, is located 12 km from Painav.

The agri-rooted village produces spices with thrust on cardamom.

Christians, Hindus and Muslims constitute the population. Quantum-wise Christians are in first place followed by Hindus.

Advanced facilities for education and healthcare bracket the village among nearby villages. It offers even college level education and students from nearby villages turn up here.

A multi-speciality hospital named Alphonsa Hospital is a major outlet for healthcare for the neighbouring villages as well.

Muthalakodam: The village is located 3 km east of Thodupuzha town.

The predominately agriculture based village produces plantation crops with thrust on rubber.

The population consists of Christians, Hindus and Muslims. Christians are more and next is Hindus.

The landmark of the village is a church believed to be of pre-13th century make and rebuilt several times. The present form of the church was taken shape in 1973. The church is popularly known as Muthalkodath Muthappan. The annual feast of the church falls on April 21 to 24 with major events on 23 and 24. During the feast-days uninterrupted flow of worshippers sighted from sunrise to past sunset.

The village has ample facilities for education and healthcare.

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