The district’s west and north border Ernakulam district, south Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts and east Western Ghats. Mostly a hilly district with an area of 5061 sq km. It has 1500 sq km reserved forests rich in flora and fauna. The area includes Munnar, Thekkady and Periyar Reserve.
Places To Visit
- Thommankuthu Waterfalls
- Tiger Spotting
- Cats and Dogs
- Fly Sky-high
- The Lake
- Tribal Heritage Museum
- Plantation Visits & Shopping
- Eravikulam National Park
- Tea Museum and Tea Processing
- Water Falls
- Cheeyapara Falls
- Valara Falls
- Madupatty Dam
- Sethuparvathipuram Dam
- Lockhar Gap
- Nyamakad Gap
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 remainings of a rail road(less than a meter guage),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.
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 greenic.
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.
It is on the way to Periyar Wildelife Sanctuary. Peermedu, a plantation town, located 39 km away from Thekkady. The Summer Palace of erstwhile Rajas of Travancore, an important monument, is here. Peermadu is named after the globe trotter, Peer Mohammmed, 13th century Sufi saint, who was a friend of Travancore royal family. He was buried at the hoot-hill of Peeru hill. This spot offers breathtaking view of the hills. Peerumedu has various sorts of plantations, such as, tea, coffee, cardamom, vanilla and rubber. Peermedu and surrounding areas are ideal for trekking, cycling and horse riding.
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 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.
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.
38 km from Idukki. The waterfalls here unbox an enchanting sight. The area is highly picturesque.
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 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, deers, 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 decidous. Each forest is the haven of specific species. The plant species include teak, rosewood, bamboo and orchids.
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..
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, 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).
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 & Shopping
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. Best quality black, white and green pepper, fenugneek, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, coriander and cloves get in nice packs at Thekkady and Kumily.
Eravikulam National Park
The park is at its best in wildlife conservation. Once it was British planters hunting preserve. One of the world's rarest mountain goats, the Nilgiri tahr is the main attraction here. They very much love human and will pose with the visitors. The tahr is addicted to salt and it explains why so many hang around the park gates at Vaguvari to slip them salty snacks- despite the advice from rangers. For a wide and clear view of the Park, go to the Directors Leap. The view from here is fantastic and enchanting. Encompassing 100 square kilometers of moist evergreen forests and grassy hilltops in the western ghats, the park ( daily 7am -6pm)is 13km northeast of Munnar.
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.
An ideal Hill station with exotic flora and fauna bathed in cool air, Devikulam is located 16 km away from Munnar. Sitadevi 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 artifacts 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.
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.
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.
This Falls, right next to the highway, plunge to 500 ft. A favourable site of tourists to deload the sweat and dust of the plains on the body.
Near to Cheeyapara Falls. Valara Falls nose-dive into forested ravine below the road. Very impressive sight.
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.
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.
A 70 ft high Arch Dam. Picturesque and serene ambiance.. Sky-blue reservoir. The eucalyptus plantations in the backdrops make the scene highly attractive.
A fin spot for a bird’s view of Bison Valley and the surrounding hills. The hills extend upto Thekkady. A fit location for picnic.
For breathtaking view of Tayaler Valley on one side and Munnar Valley on the other. The ubiquitous greenery soothes the eyes and nerves.
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. Each is dignified to a different religion. This three mountains offer breathtaking view around. Vehicles will each upto a certain point up. From there walk is the only solution to reach atop the hills.[Top]