Kerala is God's Own Country because no one is discriminated in these lands as He has bestowed the place generously. One of the best places here to witness this is in Idukki Hill Station.
In God's Own Country - Kerala, everyone is welcomed. For those who expect to see beaches from where green salt water of see seem to make holidays tastier by manifolds but can also opt for hills that are famed for the tea plantations and chilly breeze introducing change of rejuvenation in the lives Idukki hill district is the place to be. And a culture so uniquely accommodating is bound to make tourists feel at home.
Experience the ecstasy going multitude, one can never miss the 97% of the forest cover and rocky terrains of hill in the district that lies at an altitudinal range of 750 m to 2000 m. Small water pools surrounded by the rich green of the fauna color of which is accented by the grey of sky make tourists think twice about their decision to return home after Idduki holidays get exhausted. After all, getting stuck in 'a narrow gorge' is exceptional when it refers to the meaning of Malayalam word 'Idukki'.
Memories of Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar rivers making ways through the hilly slopes of Idukki inspire to picnic, camp, trek and to relish the gifts Nature has so affectionately conferred upon this hill destination. Moreover, there are the manmade amazements like Idukki dam generating hydroelectric in addition to wildlife as exhibited in the wildlife sanctuary by the same name.
With that, it is time to get immersed in the scents and fragrances of the spices and allow them to leave lasting impression on the minds haunting and compelling to travel Idukki time and again.
The clanking and tinkling sounds coming from distant temples is one obvious sign being in God's residence; others are the rolling low slopes of Idukki hills, water sources at various locations and fauna visiting them, some high positioned view points for panoramic views of the area, picnic areas, and what not. A glance at the following marvels of Idukki tourism and that would be all.
Shri Krishna Temple - Situated in Thodupuzha, this temple has Lord Krishna as the presiding deity with idols of many other gods and goddesses enhancing the appeal of the place.
Mangaladevi Temple - This ancient temple of Kumily opens only for the celebration of the festival of Chithra Purnima in the month of April-May, as declared protected archeologically.
Annamala Nathar Temple - Built during 2nd century in Chola style of architecture dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is located in Thodupuzha.
Subramanya Temple - Munnar among its various sites of tourism importance also houses this temple of Lord Subramanya.
Bhagvathy Temple - The presiding deity of this Karikkode temple is Godess Bhagvathi, an incarnation of Bhadrakali.
Other important places of religious importance here are Annamalai, Urvarappa Temple and Kalvari Mount (also called as Calvary Mount).
Idukki Arch Dam - One of its own kind in Asia, this project is funded by Government of Canada and meets power requirements of the areas nearby as well as water needs of nearby flora and fauna by its reservoir.
Other dams/reservoirs and their viewing sites-
As Munnar happens to be the most well known places with the tourists and travelers and those who love to explore hill stations, one can guess such attractions like a Tea museum to be present here and the tea plantation exhibits only strengthen its stand for that.
Places around Idduki
Although the above attractions can take much time on their own in an Idukki tour package, following places could still be considered for an extension of laid-back holidays in hills-
Palkulamedu - At 12 Km distance from the Idukki district is this adventure destination situated at around 3125 m altitude. Various cities of Kerala could be viewed from the peaks of the place.
Vagamon - Located on the Kottayam Idukki border, this hill station is at a height of 1100 m above sea level, comprising three hills, viz. Thangal, Kurisumala and Murugan hills, each dedicated to Muslim, Christianity and Hinduism respectively.
Thekkady - This place is also located in Kerala at a distance of around 46 Km from Idukki but is a prime travel place with opportunities to view wildlife, lakes, etc and do trekking, hiking and rafting.
Kochi - Some 100 Km away from the hill district Idukki, this place is very well-known for its beaches and the active city life it represents.
Things to do
Thrill of being in the lap of time at disposal is the biggest respite once in places like these. Attempting to touch the mists and clouds, caressing the dew on the tea plantations, feeling strayed droplets flying in all directions while standing next to different waterfalls, making acquaintance with the other side of wilderness in protected areas this district flaunts, and many such urges blend with desires unconsciously. However, Idukki tour cannot be felt complete without trying some of the adventure sports that are popular in this location. The best one is trekking to actually feel the presence of Mother Nature touching all the sense deeply. Boating, bamboo rafting, mountaineering etc can also be taken up with prior preparation.
Then, there are always the option of taking plantation tour and knowing what actually makes for a cup of coffee or tea or different spices that make Indian food come alive and enticing.
Not one hill town could be named for the choice of accommodation when Idukki travel is planned, because of the many hill stations within a district and all being popular with varying degrees. So, according to the holiday plans in any particular village or town of the district, resorts, home stays or hotels in Idukki could be chosen.
The concern to find a good hotel is often not there because of the numerous places to have arrangements to make a tourist comfortable. Yet if it is some special requirement like honeymoon cottage, deluxe or luxury suite or anything like that, prior arrangements are always suggested for not getting into a compromising state and spoiling the fun of stay. Some of them are Taj Garden Retreat, Carmelia Haven, Michael's Inn.,
Pre-booking is always an act to free mind of undue worries that are not required on holidays but still may bug due to inadequate planning.
Going from one direction like East to the other like West might give you a feeling of being in a different place altogether than just being in one district of the same state. Summers can witness 25°C to 30°C in some places while others might remain a notch cooler during the same months, especially during March to May. In some places monsoon can be really beautiful and give a reason to become romantic while in others they can be very heavy becoming more of a nuisance than a holiday excuse. Winters can really cooler than other parts of the hills, temperature going down to 0°C even. Carrying a raincoat always is one of the most received tips before visiting Idukki.
Best time to visit
Depending upon what are the areas of the districts are to be toured, the time of the year could be chosen but the prime time remains the summer season before the onset of monsoon.
How to reach
Air - Madurai and Cochin are the nearest airports at 190 and 140 Km respectively, thereafter reaching Idukki by road.
Rail - Theni in Tamil Nadu is only 60 Km from Idukki and houses the nearest railway station to this hill district of Kerala. Others are Changanassery and Kottayam at 95 Km and 114 Km respectively.
Road - Roads are best way to reach Idukki to enjoy the vistas panoramically anytime one wishes. The other reason is its well connectivity to other hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, etc.
A new world of exciting joy waits in the place called Idukki. Come to be a part of it!.