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Idukki District

Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers- Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar and their tributaries. It offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc.

Idukki district was formed on January 26, 1972 , from parts of Kottayam and Ernakulam districts. The district is bounded by Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam districts of kerala and Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirunelveli districts of Tamilnadu.  This district’s name, ‘Idukki’ is supposed to be derived from the Malayalam word ‘idukku’, which means a narrow gorge. That could well be true, for narrow, steep-sided valleys are not a strange phenomena in this hilly district, flanked by the Western Ghats in the east. 
Located at about 2500 ft above sea level, Idukki has extensive reserve forests, rich flora and funa, a number of streams and valleys. Idukki is emerging as one of the popular holiday destination.The district also houses the most important hydro-electric power station in the state. The idukki arch dam connecting two huge hills across the river periyar is the first of its kind in India.

Altitude : 2500 ft above Sea Level
Temperature : (deg C) - Summer- Max 30 Min 20 Winter- Max 24 Min 19
Rainfall : 250 cm
Best Season : October to March

Places of Interest


Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni, Kundala. 1600 m. above sea level, this hill station was the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station.

Known for its cool climate and tea plantation, this serene and tranquilhill town houses many colonial bungalows, tea factories, wildlifesanctuaries and many lakes. Situated at analtitude of 1600 m above sea level, it was the erstwhile summer resortof the British government in South India.

These hills are famous for theblue flowers of 'Neelakurinji', that blossom once in every twelve yearsto bathe the hills in blue. Next time they will bloom in 2006. Munnaralso has the highest peak in south India, Anamudi, which towers over2695 m and is an ideal spot for trekking.

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. 

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 77 sq km in the Thodupuzhaand Udumpanchola talukas of Idukki and occupies the forested areabetween the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. Suroounded by a panoramiclake on three sides, it is home to tropical evergreen and deciduoustrees. Lying adjacent to the famed Idukki Arch Dam, one may enjoy thelovely boat rides here while viewing the elephants, bisons, sambars,wild dogs, jungle cats, tigers and wild boars along with numerousspecies of snakes including cobras, vipers, kraits and numerousnon-poisonous varieties. The local avian fauna includes jungle fowls,mynas, laughing thrushes, black bulbuls, peafowls and woodpeckers. Itswildlife is very similar to that at Thekkady.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the rain shadow regionof the Western Ghats, the sanctuary occupies the forested region on either side of the Marayoor - Udumalpet road. This is the second habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel of India. The location of the sanctuary offers the unique advantage of watching its fascinating wildlife at close quarters fromt the road without venturing deep into the jungle. The Marayoor sandal forest and the beautiful Thoovanam waterfalls are located here.

About 40 km from Kumily,Idukki district, central Kerala. The best place to halt enroute is Peermade, 43 km before Thekkady, a fertile land at an altitude of 914 metres. Formerly the summer palace of the Travancore Rajas, this tiny and cool hill station is full of rubber, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations, interspersed with waterfalls and open grasslands.

Peeremede and its surroundings are suitable for trekking, cycling and horse riding. Kuttikanam a place for adventure tourism and trekking is just 3 km from Peeremede.

Another attraction here is Thrissanku Hills four km away. The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this a choice spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset.

This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is in Kumily. 
Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. 

Idukki Arch Dam
This is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam, constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills. 550 ft. high and 650 ft. wide, the dam lies close to the Cheruthoni Barrage.

This picturesque place is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border is a popular picnic spot. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight. 
Mangala Devi Temple 
This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 M above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the other side of the ghats and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden at Thekkady. 

Eravikulam National Park
Devikulam taluk of Idukki district, 15 km north of Munnar. Established in 1975 to protect the Niligiri Tahr, the Eravikulam Sancturay was declared a National Park in 1978 considering its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological and zoological significance. The park is breathtakingly beautiful and comparable to the Alpine ranges. This land of the Neelakurinji is 7 km from the Rajmalai hills.

This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains (and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons) is a feast for your eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kumbam in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. 
The river Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthurium. 

This is one of the world's largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantaions of Vandanmedu is a pleasent experience.

How to reach Idukki?

Air : Nearest Airport: Madurai (Tamil Nadu): 140km, Kochi: 190km, Thiruvananthapuram: 265 km, Kozhikode: 315km, Chennai( Tamil Nadu): 570km.
Rail :
Kottayam: 114 km (4 hrs), Madurai: 136km, Changanacherry: 93 km, Theni 60 km.
Road : Kottayam- Kumily 110 km, Munnar- Kumily 110 km, Madurai- Kumily 136km, Thiruvananthapuram- Kumily 265km, Thekkady- Kumily 4km, Kodaikanal- Kumily 149 km, Idukki- Kumily 65 km.

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