Best Places To Visit In Idukki
Idukki, comprising of a vast forest reserve area, lies in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Also known as the Spice Garden of Kerala, Idukki with a very low population density of which the majority is tribal, is mostly made up of rugged mountains and dense forest cover. Home to southern India’s highest peak Anamudi, this very popular tourist destination also has several other very attractive places of interest like wildlife sanctuaries, spice plantations and hill stations to excite both domestic as well as international tourists.
Given here are just a few of the most attractive places to visit in Idukki.
Idukki Arch Dam :
The Idukki Arch Dam was constructed by the Kerala State Electricity Board as a project to generate hydro-electric power for the nearby regions. This engineering wonder is an arch dam, with double curvature and is built over the Periyar River. Built in a gorge at the height of 550 feet, between the two hills of Kuravathi and Kuravan, this dam creates a spectacular sight amidst the hilly region and is classified as one of the highest arch dams in Asia and second in the world. The surrounding is lush green and the forest area encircling the dam and the reservoir is a haven for many local species. The natural beauty in this area with a view of the spectacular dam, make it a very popular tourist attraction.
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary :
Situated at an altitude of 450 – 748 metres above sea level in the forest land between the Cheruthoni River and the Periyar River, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary extends over 77 sq kms in Thodupuzha and Udampanchola taluks around the Idukki Arch Dam. The sanctuary stretches across hills, valleys and steep mountains, including the artificial Idukki Reservoir where one can find Elephants, bison, tigers, wild boars, jungle cats, wild dogs, sambar deers, various species of snakes and several varieties of birds. The best time to visit this sanctuary and admire nature and wildlife at its best is from the month of December to April.
Timings: 9 am to 6 pm
Calvary Mount :
Located at a distance of about 10 kms from Idukki and in the vicinity of Thekkady on the way to Kattappana, Calvary Mount is one of the most beautiful and scenic attractions of Idukki. The mountain provides spectacular views of the Idukki Reservoir in Idukki till Ayyappancovil on one side as well as the famous tribal villages of Kamakshy and Mariyapuram on the other side. Tourists can enjoy a pleasurable view of elephants roaming in the forests at the foothills. This wide expanse also includes the Malankara Dam, the Idukki Hydroelectric Project, Nadukani and several tea gardens making it one of the must-visit attractions when in Idukki.
Thommankuthu Falls :
The Thommankuthu Waterfall is located at a distance of about 25 kms from Idukki and about 17 km from Thodupuzha town. This breathtaking waterfall cascades down seven levels from a height of 300 feet, creating a pool at every level, thus giving it its popular name of Seven Steps Waterfall. This picturesque location with thick forests has many caves and is very popular for camping, trekking and rock climbing in the surrounding hills. Besides relaxing under the refreshing waterfall and lazing around in the pool, taking in the beauty of the natural surroundings, tourists also enjoy horse-riding, boating and fishing here.
Situated at a distance of about 40 km from Idukki, Ramakkalmedu is a very scenic tourist place with lush green hills and vibrant, energizing mountain air. A very popular hill station, the top of the mountain offers spectacular views of the rising sun in the eastern hills and the setting sun in the western mountains. Tourists can also admire splendid views of the picturesque villages of Kambam and other surrounding areas on the western ghats from here. The statues of Kuravan and Kurathi (local tribes) constructed on this hill by the Kerala Tourism Department, along with several resting points adds to the charm of this destination. This hill station is very famous for several attractions like the Periyar Tiger Forest, Kuttikanam, Munnar, Parunthumpara and several spice farms. The adjacent mountains are covered with dense forests which provide a natural habitat to several species of birds and animals. As the hill station is situated at an altitude of about 3560 ft above sea level and is known for the high speed and high pressure of wind at the top of the hill, this place is very famous for paragliding, camping, trekking and hiking.
Painavu is a lovely hill resort, located just 5 kms away from the Idukki Bus Station. Situated at a height of 3900 feet, Painavu lies within the Idduki Wildlife Sanctuary and is a popular tourist location as well as an important commercial centre. Much loved for its scenic location and pleasant ambience with great shopping opportunities for the local art and handicrafts, this place is a great stopover for tourists on the way to Idukki Arch Dam, Cheruthoni Dam and Kulamavu. During winters and the monsoons, elephants are often seen roaming around on the roads and this is particularly delightful for visitors. Bordered by thick, dense forests and lush green hills, Painavu is an exciting place for trekking and has many routes leading to various plantations and other small towns. Several State Government Institutions like the Civil Station and Government Engineering College, Idukki are located here.
Picture Credits : Idukki Arch Dam – Youtube, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – Kerala Tourism, Mount Calvary – Travel Bag Tales, Thommankuthu Falls – Tripadvisor.in, Ramakkalmedu – Footsigns.com, Painavu – Fameofcity