Top Tourist Attractions in Idukki
In the south Indian state of Kerala, the Idukki district is a thickly wooded, hilly area. The unique blue Neelakurinji flower blooms every 12 years in Eravikulam National Park, which is towered over by Anamudi mountain in the north. Munnar, a nearby hill station with extensive tea plantations and a Tea Museum, is nearby. The huge, curving Idukki Dam and Periyar National Park, a tiger and elephant refuge, are further south.
The district of Idukki is known for its diverse flora and wildlife. The renowned Eravikulam National Park is located here, and the Anamudi peak dominates the landscape. Idukki is one of Kerala’s greenest districts.
Best Places to Visit in Idukki
- Idukki Arch Dam
- Eravikulam National Park
- Anamudi Peak
- Chinnakanal & Anayirangal
- Top Station
- Tea Museum
- Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady
- Wealth of Periyar Forests
Idukki Arch Dam
The Idukki Dam is a 168.91 m (554 ft) tall arch dam in Kerala, India. The dam is located between two mountains, Kuravanmala (839m) and Kurathimala (925m). The Kerala State Electricity Board built it and now owns it. It is home to a 780 MW hydroelectric power plant.
It is located in Kerala, India, on the Periyar River, in the valley between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. At 167.68 metres, it is one of Asia’s tallest arch dams and the third tallest arch dam in the world. On October 4, 1975, it began generating electricity. The dam is technically a concrete double curvature parabolic thin arc dam.
This dam was built with two additional dams in Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. The three dams have combined to form a 60-square-kilometer artificial lake. The stored water is utilised to generate energy at the Moolamattom Power House, which is housed within neighbouring limestone caverns. Long-term financing and grants from the Canadian government contributed in the dam’s construction.
The concept of building a dam for electricity generating was initially proposed in 1919. According to legend, Shri Kolumban, the leader of the ‘Araya’ race in 1922, showed the route to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his buddy Thomas, who were hunting in the forest near the current Arch Dam. He told them about the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills legends. Mr. Thomas was moved by the sight of water flowing between the mountains, and it was his vision that gave rise to the Idukki Arch Dam. In 1932, Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate presented a report to the Government of Travancore on the feasibility of building a dam at Idukki for power generation.
Visits to the Dam are only permitted on public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Munnar is formed by the confluence of three mountain streams: Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala. This hill camp, 1,600 metres above sea level, was once the summer retreat of the British Government in South India. This renowned vacation town is known for its sprawling tea plantations, gorgeous towns, winding pathways, and holiday facilities. The Neelakurinji is an exotic vegetation found in the forests and meadows here. This flower, which blooms every twelve years and bathes the hills in blue, will blossom again in 2018. Munnar is also home to Anamudi, South India’s tallest peak, which stands at 2,695 metres. Anamudi is an excellent trekking location. Let us now look at some of the alternatives in and around Munnar that will provide visitors plenty of chances to appreciate the enchanting hill station of Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is a popular tourist destination near Munnar. This park is well-known for its endangered resident, the NilgiriTahr. This park, which covers an area of 97 square kilometres, is also home to a number of rare butterflies, animals, and birds. The park, which is ideal for walking, provides a breathtaking vista of tea plantations caressed by misty blankets. When the hill slopes here are covered in a carpet of blue from the flowering of Neelakurinji, the park becomes a popular attraction. It is a plant native to this region of the Western Ghats that blooms only once every twelve years.
Anamudi Peak is located within Eravikulam National Park. With a height of almost 2700 m, this is South India’s highest peak. Treks to the peak are permitted with permission from Eravikulam’s Forest and Wildlife officials.
Mattupetty, around 13 kilometres from Munnar Town, is another popular tourist destination. Mattupetty is notable for its huge masonry dam and the lovely lake, which offers delightful boat trips that let one to explore the surrounding hills and surroundings. It is located at a height of 1700 m above sea level. Mattupetty’s fame is also ascribed to the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project’s dairy farm, where one can see many high-yielding varieties of cows.
Pallivasal, about 3 kilometres from Chithirapuram in Munnar, is the site of Kerala’s first hydroelectric project. It is a gorgeous wonderland that is popular with travellers as a picnic site.
Chinnakanal & Anayirangal
Chinnakanal and its waterfalls, widely known as the Power House Waterfalls, are located near Munnar Town and drop down a rocky rock 2000 metres above sea level. The location is enhanced by a gorgeous view of the Western Ghat hills. Anayirangal is located approximately seven kilometres from Chinnakanal. Anayirangal is a lovely green carpet of tea trees located 22 kilometres from Munnar. A journey on the magnificent reservoir is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Tea plantations and evergreen trees surround the Anayirangal dam.
Top Station, about 32 kilometres from Munnar, is located at a height of 1700 metres above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal highway. Visitors to Munnar make a point of visiting Top Station to take in the panoramic views of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the best places in Munnar to see the Neelakurinji flowers blossoming over a large region.
When it comes to the beginnings and evolution of tea plantations, Munnar has its unique legacy. In recognition of this tradition, Tata Tea created a tea museum in Munnar a few years ago to conserve and highlight some of the exquisite and unique features of the creation and evolution of tea plantations in Kerala’s high ranges. This Tea Museum exhibits antiques, pictures, and machinery, all of which convey a tale about the origins and evolution of Munnar’s tea plantations. The museum is located at Tata Tea’s Nallathanni Estate in Munnar and is well worth a visit.
Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady
The phrase Thekkady conjures up visions of elephants, endless chains of hills, and spice-scented plantations. Thekkady’s Periyar forests are one of India’s best wildlife sanctuaries. The gorgeous plantations and hill communities that nestle wonderful paths for hikes and mountain walks are spread over the entire district.
Wealth of Periyar Forests
There are around 1965 blooming plants here, including 171 grass species and 143 orchid species. Podocarpus Wallichianus, the unique south Indian conifer, grows in the jungles of the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
More than 60 species of mammals may be found here, including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Indian Bison, Sambar Deer, Indian Wild Dog, Leopard, Barking Deer, and the Smooth-Coated Otter, which can be seen when taking a boat ride on Periyar Lake. The NilgiriTahr is restricted to higher rocky places, whereas the endangered Lion Tailed Macaque lives in the inner evergreen forests. The Bonnet Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs can both be spotted foraging in the woods close where the boat lands.
irds: There are 265 species of birds here, including migratory. Near where the boat lands, you can view the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill, Whitebellied Treepie, various kinds of Drongos, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Babblers, and the beautiful Malabar Trogon.
Reptiles include the Cobra, Viper, Krait, other non-poisonous snakes, and the Indian Monitor Lizard.
Frogs such as the multicoloured Malabar Gliding Frog, Fungoid Frog, Bicolored Frog, various kinds of toads, and limbless Caecilians are examples of Amphibians.
Fish: The Periyar Lake and streams are home to a variety of fish species, including the Mahseer, India’s most famous and endangered game fish. The Smooth-Coated Otter can often be seen from the boat.
Estates abound in the districts surrounding the Tiger Reserve, including tea, cardamom, pepper, and coffee plantations.
Best Time to Visit Idukki
The winter season is the finest time to visit Idukki (November-February). Because of its excellent weather and scenic splendour, it may be visited all year.
How to Reach Idukki
Madurai (Tamil Nadu) International Airport is 140 kilometres away. Thiruvananthapuram is 265 kilometres away. Kochi is 190 kilometres away. Kozhikode is 315 kilometres away. Chennai (Tamil Nadu) is 570 kilometres away.
114 kilometres from Kottayam (4 hrs) 136 kilometres (3 1/2 hours) from Madurai Changanacherry is 93 kilometres (4 hours) away, whereas Theni is 60 kilometres (11/2 hours) away.
Kottayam – Kumily 110 km (4 hrs) Munnar – Kumily 110 km (4 hrs) Madurai – Kumily 136 km (3 hrs) Thiruvananthapuram – Kumily 265 km (8 hrs) Thekkady – Kumily 4 km (10 min) Kodaikanal – Kumily 149 km (5 hrs) Idukki – Kumily 65 km (21/2 hrs) Alleppey – Kumily 160 km (51/2 hrs) Ooty – Kumily 390 km (11 hrs)
Elephants, endless chains of hills, and spice-scented crops all come to mind when the name Thekkady is mentioned. One of India’s best wildlife sanctuaries is found in Thekkady’s Periyar forest, and scenic plantations and hill towns dot the region, providing excellent possibilities for hikes and mountain walks.
Accessing Thekkady – Road
There are frequent buses from Kumily (4 km away) to various tourist centres.
Nearest Port : Willingdon Island, Kochi
Road : Kochi is easily accessible since the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) connects it to all of Kerala’s main cities as well as several cities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Deluxe Volvo buses, air-conditioned sleeper buses, and air-conditioned regular buses are also offered from major cities to key destinations. These buses will take you to Thrissur (72 kilometres), Thiruvananthapuram (196 kilometres), and Madurai (231 kilometres) from Kochi.
Bus Station(s): Eranakulam, Vyttila