Location: Idukki District is located around the south eastern part of Kerela. It shares boundary with Ernakulam and Kottayam district in the east, Thrissur district and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu in the north, Pathanamthitta district in the south and Theni, Dindigul and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu in the east.
District Headquarter: Painavu
Distance: 132 km from Cochin, 238 km from Kollam, 43 km from Munnar, 240 km from Palakkad, 293 km from Thiruvananthapuram, 205 km from Madurai, 570 km from Chennai, 547 km from Bangalore, 275 km from Mysore, 408 km from Mangalore.
Journey time: Around 9 hrs by road from Bangalore
How to reach there: By train, KSRTC, KSTC, private bus or hired vehicle. Also, one can fly to the nearest airport Nedumbasseri (160 km) or Madurai (204 km). The nearest rail station is Theni (60 km) in Tamil Nadu.
Route: Bangalore -Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharmapuri – Salem – Thiruppur – Coimbatore – Palakkad – Mannuthy – Chalakkudy – Angamaly – Muvattupuzha – Thodupuzha – Idukki
Where to stay:
1. Chandana Annexe
Marayoor P.O, Idukki
Kerala – 685620
2. Chandana Residency
Udumalpet Road, Marayoor P.O
Kerala – 685620
3. Edassery Resorts
Kumily Road, Kattappana
Idukki, Kerala – 685501
4. Madeira Residency
5. Green View Home Stay
Thekkady Bypass Road
Hotel Ambadi Junction
Thekkady P.O, Kumliy, Idukki Dist.
Kerala – 685536
1. Summer Sand Hill Resort & Ayurvedic Centre
Kolahalamedu P.O, Vagamon, Idukki
Kerala – 685501
2. Ananya Hill Resort
Kerala – 685531
3. Pepper County
P.O Kumily,Idukki, Kerala
Where to eat: Rapsy Restaurant, Hotel Saravan Bhavan (veg), Guru’s (south Indian), Royal Retreat.
Language spoken: Mainly Malayalam and English. Many people know Tamil and Hindi to an extent.
Recorded history of Idukki started with the Chera kingdom. It was under different rulers like Vembolinad kings, Poonjar Raja. Tea plantation etc started in the late 19th century with the British planters. Idukki is a hill district and has various kind of plantations. The altitude of the hills various from 2500 ft to 6000 ft. It is also a popular tourist destination with beautiful places like Munnar, Thekkady etc. Idukki district was formed on 26 January 1972.
What to See:
Destinations in Idukki can be seen from four destinations. So I will group them under four places as follows:
1. Munnar: Munnar is a beautiful hill station situated around 1600 meters above sea level. The forests here are famous for the Neelkunji flower which once in every 12 years. Now lets check the places we can see in Munnar:
Devikulam: Located around 7 km from Munnar town Devikulam is a nice picnic spot near Sita Devi Lake. The beautiful scenery along with pure water makes a treat here.
Pothamadu: At Pothaamedu you can see plantation of tea, coffee and beautiful hill side. It is located 6 km from Munnar town.
Pallivasal: Pallivasal located around 8 km from Munnar is the site of first hydro electric project in Kerela. At Chithirapuram (10 km from Munnar), you can see old cottages and bungalows.
Attukal: View point for beautiful waterfalls and scenery, located around 9 km from Munnar.
Nyayamakad: Located around 10 km from Munnar at Nyayamakad you can see a beautiful waterfalls descending from 1600 meters.
Floriculture Center: This is an awesome place to see various flowers. Its an awesome collection of colors.
Mattupetty: Here visit the Indo Swiss Livestock dairy farm.
Time: 0900-1100 hrs and 1400-1530 hrs.
Entry fee: Rs 5
Do go for Mattupetty lake and dam. Boating facility is available. It is around 13 km from Munnar.
Nearby around 20 km from Munnar is the Kundala tea plantations and Kundala lake. Also, you can watch Aruvikkad waterfalls located nearby.
Eravikulam National Park: Located around 15 km from Munnar this 97 square kilometer national park houses the Nilgiri Tahr. You can also see Nilgiri Tahr at Rajamala .
Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary: It is located around 60 km from Munnar on the Tamil Nadu border boast a variety of wildlife.
You may visit some other places like Power House waterfalls on the way to Thekkady, Echo point around 15 km from Munnar, Anayirankal Dam around 22 km from Munnar, Top station 32 km from Munnar, Cheeyappara water falls and Lock Heart Gap around 13 km from Munnar.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Periyar is one of the best forest reserves in India which boasts of various flora and fauna. The sanctuary was formed in 1978 and extends over 777 square km. The Mullaperiyar Dam and water reservoir is also a treat to watch.
Time: 6 am – 6 pm
Kumily: It is mainly associated with plantation and a trade center of spice. It is located around 4 km from Thekkady. Around 5 km from here, you can visit the beautiful picnic spot of Pandikuzhi. One can also do trekking here.
Mangala Devi Temple: The ancient temple of Mangala Devi is located around 15 km from Thekkedy on top of a hill inside dense forest. Public darshan is allowed on only one particular day in a year. To visit here one need to take permission from Wildlife Wadren, Thekkady (Ph.0486-322027).
Vandanmedu: Located around 25 km from Kumily, Vandanmedu has the largest auction center for candamom. One can also visit candamom plantations here.
You can also visit the hill towns of Pullumedu, Ramakalmedu, Murikkady, Chellarkovil and Vandiperiyar for beautiful scenery of hills, lush green forest and plantations.
3. Peermede: peermede is basically a plantation area of tea, coffee etc. It was also the summer retreat of the then local kings.
Grampi: Located around 5 km from Peermede Grampi overs excellent view.
Pattumala: Pattumala is typically popular for tea plantations. There a church called Velankanni church made entirely of granite stones. It is located around 17 km from Peermede, 28 km from Thekkady.
Vagamon: A beautiful holiday escape located around 25 km from Peermede offers green forest, pure oxygen and much more for peace of mind.
Sahyadri Ayurvedic Centre: This ayurvedic center offers curative and rejuvenate treatment packages. It has a medicinal plant garden and drug museum. To visit the garden one can take permission from the Director, Peermede Development Society, Peermede, Idukki. Phone: 332097, 332247.
Ilaveezhapoonchira: A nice picnic spot with beautiful surrounding scenery located around 55 km from Kottayam, 20 km from Thodupuzha.
Tribal settlements in Peermede: You can visit the tribes of Oorali, Malappandaram and Malayarayan who lives in the hills of Peermede. The main tribal settlement here is at Plakkathadam
You can also visit some other places like Kuttikkanam, Thrissanku Hills,
Peeru Hills which offers beautiful scenery and view points.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary: Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary located near Idukki dam extends over 77 square km. There are three dams namely – Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamanu which formed a 33 square km reservoir .
Idukki Arch Dam: Idukki Arch Dam is the first arch dam in Asia and the second one in the world.
Hill View Park: This enchanting park of 8 acres offers panoramic of the nearby Idukki dam and water bodies.
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam: A nice picnic spot located around 35 km from Thodupuzha. Good for sunset viewing.
Nadukani: It is a nice picnic spot.
Kalliyanathandu: View point along with Cheruthoni, Kalamavu.
Malankara Reservoir: Located around 6 km from Thodupuzha on the Thodupuzha-Moolamattom road is this artificial lake. One can go boating or do fishing there.
Thommankuthu: Beautiful 7 steps waterfalls located around 17 km from Thodupuzha.
Keezharkuthu: Here you can see another waterfalls called rainbow water falls located around 35 km from Thodupuzha.