Munnar

Under Holdays to Kerala, Munnar is a town and and a Hill Station located in the southwestern state of Kerala, India. Munnar is situated around 1600 m above sea level in the Western Ghats range of mountains. The name Munnar is believed to mean “three rivers”, referring to the location at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.  Munnar town is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills village in Devikulam taluk and is the largest panchayat in the Idukki district in Kerala having an area measuring nearly 557 km². The nearest major railway stations are at Ernakulam and Aluva (approximately 140 kilometers (87 mi) by road). The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is 125 kilometers  away.

Best time to visit :October to february

Devikulam Hills

Devikulam is a small hill station about 5 km from Munnar. It is 1800 m above sea level.According to legend, 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 draws tourists not only because of its sacredness but also for the curative powers of its mineral waters. Most of the inhabitants in this town speak Malayalam and Tamil. Nearby, are the scenic Pallivasal Waterfalls, dense, green tea plantations, and the natural vegetation of slim red and blue and yellow gum trees.

 

Echo Point

Echo Point is located within 15 km away from Munnar. It got this name due to its natural echo incident happening here. It is located on the way to top station from Munnar. It is situated at an altitude of 600 ft. It is one of the best tourist destination and adventures spot in Idukki district.

Echo Point is fully covered with abundant green sceneries which looks like a whole place is covered with green blanket. And it is the heavenly place for the adventure lovers. It is the ideal place for nature walks and trekking. It is fully surrounded with clean air, mist covered hill and gardens which is the eye worthy scene to view. In this place you can clean hear your echoing voice which is excitement to hear. It has very cool and calm place which gives peacefulness to mind to enjoy the beauty of this place. It is the best tourist destination for all natural lovers.

 

Mattupetty Dam

Cradled by the undulating plantation hills of Munnar, and not far away from the Anamudi peak is Mattupetty. Situated in the famous hill town of Munnar, Mattupetty located 13 km from Munnar is situated at a height of 1700 m, and is a delight for nature lovers.

Mattupetty offers many fascinating sights to relish. Besides the lush green tea plantations, and the rolling grasslands, the Shola forests in and around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and are habitat to a variety of birds. Rivulets and cascades crisscross the terrain here, which again adds more attraction to the place. One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Mattupetty Dam, which are ideal picnic spots. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Idukki provides boating facilities in the Mattupetty Dam. Speed launch, slow speedboat and motorboats are available on hire. Other nearby places of interest includes the picturesque Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake.

 

Anamudi Hills [ Eravikulam National Park]

Located 12 km from Munnar town.It is an ideal place for seeing the biodiversity of high elevation shola-grassland ecosystem. Visitors are taken to Rajamalai in forest dept vehicles and given an opportunity to see all this. Private vehicles are not allowed here. The National Park is usually closed at the time of calving of Nilgiri Tahr which is usually during the early months of every year.A sanctuary for the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrious), the Eravikulam National Park stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan devan hills.

Anamudi, the highest peak (2695 m) south of Himalayas, stands majestically in the core area of the national park. The slopes of the hills abound in many kinds of rare flora which include rare terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, and beautiful wild balsams. Important fauna here are the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, leopard, tiger, Indian bison, etc.Rajamalai is the tourism zone of the National Park, where the visitors are taken in forest dept vehicles and introduced to the shola – grassland eco system unique to this region. There is a very informative interpretation centre at Rajamalai.

A protected area, the sanctuary is divided into three regions – the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area – Rajamalai – the region lying beyond the road entry into Eravikulam. Here one can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters.

During the early months of the year, the park may be closed for visitors because it is calving time of the Tahr.

 

Kundala Dam

Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station in Munnar. The sprawling Kundala Tea Plantations and the Kundala Lake are the main attractions here. A golf course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd is located here. The Kundala Artificial Dam is another attraction and is also known as Sethuparvathipuram Dam. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala.

 

Gavi

Gavi Eco-Tourism a project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation has caught the attention of tourists, mostly from European countries. The project is exclusive in many respects and the majority who visited was nature lovers and adventure tourists. Over a short period of time visitors to Gavi gradually increased, especially after ‘Alistair International’ the world acclaimed tourism major listed it among the leading eco-tourism centres and one of the must-see places in India.

A highlight of the Gavi eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners and cooks. This will provide livelihood for the locals and also will help to create awareness on conservation of nature.

Gavi, located in Pathanamthitta district offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris. The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. En route to Gavi are places of interest like Mundakayyam, Kuttikanam, Peermedu, Vandiperiyar and Thekkady from where the road deviates to Gavi. Once you reach Gavi the serene eco-lodge ‘Green Mansion’ awaits you like a fairy to embrace you in its protective fold. From the ‘Green Mansion’, one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests. Besides the accommodation provided in ‘Green Mansion’ visitors can also try out the tree houses here and can even pitch tents amidst the wilderness. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are overseen by trained local people. Those who would love to be left alone can do so in the tranquil environs of Gavi or may even go canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually provided vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly ambiance of the place.

The place is rich in flora and fauna. There are hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, sholas, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations. Endangered species including the Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-tailed macaque are often sighted at the outskirts of Gavi. With more than 260 species of birds including the great pied hornbill, woodpecker, and kingfishers, Gavi is a heaven for birdwatchers. Some of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi like the Valley View offer spectacular view of a deep ravine and the forest below. From Kochu Pampa, a point near Green Mansion eco-lodge one can track the grazing Nilgiri Tahrs.

Another unique feature of Gavi is camping in the forests. One can pitch a tent in the camping site, which is a rarity in many Indian forests. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere, an experience that cannot be explained in words. There are also tree top houses where one can enjoy the avian life to the fullest. Gavi is bound to cast its magical spell on every visitor and is surely a place that should not be missed in one’s lifetime. Gavi is pristine, and it belongs to the wild, which is a reminder that visitors are responsible for their intentions and actions, which will have a bearing on the upkeep of Gavi for a long time to come.

 

Vagamon

65 km from idukki town,situated at an elevation of 110 m above sea level, Vagamon also known as the ‘Scotland of Asia’, this hill station is a trekker’s delight. Still untouched by commercialisation, the sleepy town with its scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, enchanting pine forests, mists, fogs, tea estates, waterfalls with the overall greenery is really striking. The landscape is mostly hilly bald with green meadows.  This picturesque hill is noted for its rolling hills, grass lands and sprawling tea plantations and with a cool climate round the year.

Still untouched by commercialisation, the sleepy town with its scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, enchanting pine forests, mists, fogs, tea estates, waterfalls with the overall greenery is really striking. The landscape is mostly hilly bald with green meadows. Vagamon is also home to a large variety of flowers and orchids

Vagamon is at the fringe of the Western Ghats and the foot hills on its lower side reach up to Teekoy with a gradual descent. This narrow strip of descending land gives a vital connectivity to the plains as both sides of vagamon up to kuttikkanam on the south west and moolamattom on the north east, are marked by steep and inaccessible hill slopes. Travelling by the hill highway in this section is an exhilarating experience with deep valleys and magnificent views all around. Vagamon presents very spectacular views with an ethereal touch. Vagamon’s charm is worth experiencing and is indeed one of the must see places for tourists. Reaching Vagamon itself is an extraordinary experience. The meandering road to Vagamon is cut in solid rock lined with pine forests. And as you wind your way through green capped hills, the rolling plains come into view thousands of feet below you.

Vagamon is an emerging international paragliding destination in south India.

Best time to visit :October to june

Vythiri

Vythiri is located in Kerala’s hill district of Wayanad, which has earned the reputation of having vast areas of spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions, especially that of the tribal communities.  The misty hills with full of lush green vegetation provide a breathtaking view to its visitors. The fresh and pristine breeze laden with the fragrance of nature soothes and refreshes your mind and soul. Vythiri, which still retains its immaculate natural wealth, makes it an excellent picnic spot for both locals and tourists. Lakkidi and Pookot Lake are nearby attractions.

 

Edakkal Cave

Edakkal Caves are situated about 16 km from Sulthan Bathery and tourists have to trek up the Ambukuthi Hill to reach the caves. The trek up the hill, peppered with coffee plantations, is worth an experience and it takes almost 45 minutes to climb the hill.  The lush greenery and scenic landscape around and the cool breeze that carries the aroma of coffee will surely make your journey an unforgettable one.

A remote ticket office is perched high on the top of the mountain and the tourists can buy entry tickets from there. The authorities will open before you an iron gate, and then you can enter a world of history, which has never ceased to allure people.
A telescope is installed a few feet from the caves. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding country.

The name of Edakkal Caves literally means `a stone in between’. As the name indicates, it seems that one boulder miraculously wedged in between two bigger ones to create a cave.
Scientists too are of the opinion that Edakkal Caves is not a cave in the real sense. It is a fissure in the rocks which had been created due to natural causes/ changing climatic conditions. The split in the rock is about 22 ft. in width and 96 ft. in length. The depth of the cleft extends to over 30 ft and there is a large rock which has fallen forming a roof over it and this large cleft and the roof-rock gives it the appearance of a cave.

There are many legends associated with the gigantic fissure at Edakkal. People believe that Lord Rama, one of the earlier visitors of this area, shot an arrow which pierced the mountain and created a deep cleft there. The name of the hills, Ambukuthy too is derived from this legend.

Images of a tribal king, a queen, a child, a deer and an elephant can be seen on the wall. A human figure with headgear, another on a wheeled cart and some male and female figures too can be seen.  There are images of tools used by earlier human beings and many other symbols which suggest the presence of pre historic men.

The recent outcomes of the researches and excavations at the Edakkal Caves indicate its probable links with Indus valley civilization. There were about 400 signs that were recently identified and have significant link with the Indus Valley Civilisation and the prominent one among these signs is “a man with a jar cup’’.  This has been the distinct motif of the Indus Valley civilisation and the presence of such signs indicates that the Harappan civilisation (2300 BC to 1700 BC) was active in south India too.

Kuttikkanam

Kuttikkanam  is a hill station in Idukki district, Kerala southern  India. It is 3,500 feet above sea level and surrounded by lush greentea plantations. It is within the territory of Peermade. Kanjirappally and Mundakkayam are the nearest towns. A great amount of forest area is reserved in Kuttickanam, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Wild animals like tigers, bison, & monkeys are seen in these forests. Crisscrossed with gushing streams, valleys and hills, Kuttikanam is a gifted natural haven. Another feature that attracts tourists to Kuttikanam is its year long favorable climate.

Near by attractions:-

  • Peeru Hills. About 1 km distant.
  • Grampi. Commonly known as Parunthupara, a rock sculpture about 150 ft (46 m) high and about 3,800 feet (1,200 m) above sea level. It gives a panoramic view of the entire Peermade region attracting lots of tourists from inside and outside the state.
  • Thottapura. The place where the Travancore royal family stored weapons.
  • Baker Hills (Commercially Named To Thrisangu Hills), Rolling hills with views.
  • Panchalimedu. A viewpoint, according to legend one of the many hiding places of the Pandavas and Panchali. From a pond known as Panchalikkulam the “Makarajyothi”, can be seen, the divine flame lit during the pilgrimage season in Sabarimala.
  • Valanjanganam Waterfalls. A main attraction of Kuttikkanam, also known as Ninnumullippara. The waterfall is about 75 ft (23 m) in height and is usually covered in mist.
  • Nallathanni viewpoint. On the Kottayam-Kumily State Highway.
  • Artificial forest. A dense pine forest covering 100 acres (0.40 km2). Contains an estimated 30 species of birds, including rare endangered species. It is classified as a buffer zone by the Kerala state forestry department.
  • Azhutha Diversion Project. A project constructed by the Kerala government on the Azutha river, diverting water to Idukki Reservoir through a 987 m long tunnel

Best time to visit :October to june