Agasthyakoodam

Part of the Sahyadri ranges (Western Ghats) of mountains, Agasthyakoodam, at a height of 1,890 m above sea level, is the second highest peak in Kerala. Teeming with wildlife, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal herbs and plants, and brilliantly hued orchids. A bird watcher’s paradise, this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor, near Neyyar Dam and also from Bonakkad. Trekking to Agasthyakoodam is believed to be healthy, the very air here is supposed to have healing properties. It is believed that sage Agasthya, the mythological character lived here.

Women are not allowed up the peak and permission is required to trek. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram.


Amrithamedu

Amrithamedu, popularly known as Kurisumala is a pilgrim centre as well as a trekker's delight. During Easter, pilgrims climb the 'Stations of the Cross', which would require a pilgrim to cover 14 points, with each point having a cross denoting various phases of Jesus Christ's last journey. During the course of the trek, when one reaches the third cross, a good stretch of Peerumedu becomes visible, which is indeed an enjoyable sight. One can also see tea estates in the distance and also the rolling Kokkad hills.

As one proceeds further up, the surrounding landscape soon becomes more and more breathtaking. Once the climb reaches the ninth cross, one would step on to a plateau and the mist that engulfs you at this place is quite an experience. This is Amrithamedu, the highest point in Kuttikkanam region in Idukki district.

For avid trekkers, the nearby Madamakulam, located towards the northern side of Amrithamedu is worth a visit. It is a natural pond, formed at the foot of a waterfall. The pond is encircled by big boulders and is surrounded by dense woods. Amirthamedu offers a bird's eye-view of the entire Peermedu region.


Chembra peak in Wayanad

Hike up the rugged terrains of the Chembra Peak located 2,100 metres above sea level on the southern part of Wayanad. Chembra is the tallest peak in Wayanad and is an ideal area for trekking. There is a heart shaped lake on the way to the top of the peak, which is believed to have never dried up, is a major tourist attraction here. With permission from the Forest Department, one-day treks and two-day wildlife treks are possible. You can have group treks of up to ten people or hike on your own, accompanied by a guide.


Devikulam Hills in Munnar

This idyllic hill station, situated about 8 km from Munnar, with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake, here, with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.


Dhoni in Palakkad

Dhoni hills in Palakkad is popular picnic spot with a small and beautiful waterfall. It takes a three hours trek from the base of the Dhoni hills to reach this reserve forest area.


Echo Point in Munnar

This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Echo Point, situated on the way to Top Station from Munnar is a stop over for tourists visiting Top Station - the highest point in Munnar and the rare Neelakurinji (Strobilanthus) blooms here.


Edakkal Caves

What kind of people were our ancestors? What kind of lives did they lead? Often, the paths leading to the answers to these questions are as fascinating as the answers themselves. If you would like to walk a little way along one such wonderful path of discovery, one good place to visit would be the Edakkal caves in the Ambukuthi Hills in North Kerala, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Inside the cave you will find ancient stone scripts, pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar headdresses, the swastik form, symbols and cave drawings of human figures, wheels, bows, knives, trees and so on.

Similar cave drawings, considered to be 7000 years old, are found only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few rocky places in Africa. The caves, which are found around 10 km from Sultan Bathery, are two natural rock formations believed to have been formed by a large split in a huge rock.


Gavi

Gavi Eco-Tourism a project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation has caught the attention of tourists, mostly from European countries. The project is exclusive in many respects and the majority who visited was nature lovers and adventure tourists. Over a short period of time visitors to Gavi gradually increased, especially after 'Alistair International' the world acclaimed tourism major listed it among the leading eco-tourism centres and one of the must-see places in India.

A highlight of the Gavi eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners and cooks. This will provide livelihood for the locals and also will help to create awareness on conservation of nature. Gavi, located in Pathanamthitta district offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris.

The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. En route to Gavi are places of interest like Mundakayyam, Kuttikanam, Peermedu and Vandiperiyar from where the road deviates to Gavi.

Once you reach Gavi the serene eco-lodge 'Green Mansion' awaits you like a fairy to embrace you in its protective fold. From the 'Green Mansion', one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests. Besides the accommodation provided in 'Green Mansion' visitors can also try out the tree houses here and can even pitch tents amidst the wilderness. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are overseen by trained local people. Those who would love to be left alone can do so in the tranquil environs of Gavi or may even go canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually provided vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly ambiance of the place.

The place is rich in flora and fauna. There are hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, sholas, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations. Endangered species including the Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-tailed macaque are often sighted at the outskirts of Gavi. With more than 260 species of birds including the great pied hornbill, woodpecker, and kingfishers, Gavi is a heaven for birdwatchers.

Some of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi like the Valley View offer spectacular view of a deep ravine and the forest below. From Kochu Pampa, a point near Green Mansion eco-lodge one can track the grazing Nilgiri Tahrs.

The famous pilgrim destination, Sabarimala is a short trek from Gavi. For those interested in observing the nocturnal wildlife, night safaris to Kullur, Gavi Pullumedu, Kochu Pampa, Pachakanam provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Another unique feature of Gavi is camping in the forests. One can pitch a tent in the camping site, which is a rarity in many Indian forests. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere, an experience that cannot be explained in words. There are also tree top houses where one can enjoy the avian life to the fullest.

Active involvement of tribals in Gavi makes it a unique venture of its kind in the country. Traditional knowledge of the forest and its way of life helps Gavi to sustain its surroundings in its original state.

Gavi is bound to cast its magical spell on every visitor and is surely a place that should not be missed in one's lifetime. Gavi is pristine, and it belongs to the wild, which is a reminder that visitors are responsible for their intentions and actions, which will have a bearing on the upkeep of Gavi for a long time to come.


Grampi

Grampi, situated near Peerumedu, is also known as Parunthupara (eagle rock) because of the panoramic view from its high peaks. Rocky plains, lush hillsides, forests, trekking trails and picturesque views lend charm to this destination. The road to Grampi is flanked by unending stretches of cardamom, tea and coffee plantations.Grampi is located about 5 km from Peermedu; about 10 km from Vandiperiyar.


Hills of Munnar and the Neelakurinji

One could say this as a unique life cycle, and a phenomenon that makes the hills of Munnar a special place for biologists. The biological phenomenon of the mass blooming of the Neelakurinji (Strobilanthus) flower that takes place once in twelve years has once again arrived in the famed hill resort of Munnar. Neela means blue in Malayalam language and Kurinji the local name of the flower. For those in Munnar, the blooming of Kurinji flower is a reminder that their lives have gone past another twelve years, and for those from far off; may be it is reminder to witness a once in a life time rare sight of the Kurinji flowers covering the slopes and ravines of Munnar in a blanket of blue.

The Kurinji flower, which last bloomed en masse in the year 2006, has showed up at some places around Munnar like Mattupetty and Top Station. Shortly, the slopes of Munnar hills would be blanketed by the Kurinji flowers, which would add yet another alluring charm to the sights and sounds of Munnar. Visitors to Munnar in the coming months can enjoy this marvelous sight, which is bound to leave an everlasting memory about this fascinating hill resort.

Situated about 1600 mts above sea level, Munnar is well known for its vast expanse of tea plantations, cool weather, plantation bungalows and is blessed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. It is home to the majestic Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres), which is an endangered species. Over the year, good conservation methods helped it to thrive well in the Eravikulam National Park, located close to the town of Munnar. Close by is yet another attraction in the form of the Anamudi Peak, which is the tallest peak south of the Himalayas, and is an ideal spot for trekking. A visit to the Mattupetty reservoir and a boat ride in the adjoining lake is a delightful experience. Here, one may also visit the Indo-Swiss dairy farm, which houses some of the finest breeds of cows.

Some other attractions in and around Munnar include some vantage viewpoints like the Top Station, which is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal rout; Marayoor, famous for its naturally existing sandalwood trees, Kundala, a picturesque town with a golf course maintained by the Tata Tea Company and the Pallivasal Hydroelectric project, which is the first such project in Kerala. Other nearby places of interest includes Echo Point, Chithirapuram, Anayirankal, Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls.

If for the first time, let Kurinji be your reason to embrace the mist-clad hills of Munnar. It is a place, where you would be tempted to scale heights that you never dared to; wet your feet in gurgling streams and rivulets, and care for a tête-à-tête with some of its unique wildlife, and even take a stroll among the plantations and take in the refreshing cool, crisp air.


Ilaveezhapoonchira

Skirting Kottayam district are the beautiful valleys of Ilaveezhapoonchira, spread over thousands of acres. This delightful picnic spot located in the midst of beautiful hillocks near Kanjar, is also ideal for trekking.

During the monsoons when the valley fills up to form a scenic lake, this place unveils yet another beautiful slice of nature. Ilaveezhapoonchira means ‘valley where leaves don’t fall’ and is named so because the place has no trees. This is also one of the best places in Kerala to enjoy both the sunrise and sunset. It is easily accessible from Thodupuzha in Kottayam.


Iringal, Kozhikode

Iringal is the birthplace of Kunhali Marakkar, who commanded the Zamorin’s fleet and held the Portuguese vessels at bay for a long period. The birthplace of this valiant admiral, on the southern banks of the Moorad River, is today preserved by the Department of Archaeology. The Iringal Craft Village, a new venture set up in 20 acres of land at Iringal is a production cum training cum marketing centre of the ethnic handicraft products of Kerala.


Jatayupara at Chadayamangalam

The huge rock at Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird Jatayu in the epic Ramayana, who is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in his attempts to thwart Ravana's kidnapping of Sita. This picnic spot is situated on MC Road.


Kannadipara in Kottayam

Kannadipara, as the name suggests is the valley of rocky mountain that reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. Located in Kottayam district, this is also the highest point in Ilaveezhapoonchira. Ilaveezhepoonchira, a hill station in Kottayam, comprises of the gigantic peaks of Mankunnu, Kudayathoor Vindhyan, and Thonippara hills. Kannadipara, situated in Kudayathoor Vindhyan, also offers panoramic view of Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts.

3 km from here is the Pazhakakanam Plateau nourished by the Kadapuzha River. Bamboo groves, meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic.

An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash. On the eastern side of Kannadipara is a natural fort set amidst steep rocks.


Kottathavalam, Wagamon

Kottathavalam, an ideal picnic spot near Wagaman, is situated near Murugan hills at Kurisumala in Kottayam. A flight of steps cut in the rocks takes one to this magnificent cave, Kottathavalam. Legends say that the royal family from Madurai rested here on their way to Poonjar. The rocks within the cave, carved like chairs and couches and the figures of Madurai Meenakshi, Ayyappa, Murugan, Kannaki and weapons sculpted on them, are all worth exploring.


Kundala - a picturesque town in Munnar

Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station in Munnar. The sprawling Kundala Tea Plantations and the Kundala Lake are the main attractions here. A golf course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd is located here. The Kundala Artificial Dam is another attraction and is also known as Sethuparvathipuram Dam. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala.


Kuttikanam - an adventure tourism spot

Kuttikanam near Peermedu in Idukki is a place for adventure tourism and trekking, or even a languorous, tranquil break. This picturesque plantation town washed in the fragrance of cardamom is surrounded by lush, green hills.


Madayipara in Kannur

Madayipara,a laterite hill, located at Pazhayangadi in Kannur District, which would soon get its due share of attention as a center of tourist attraction. Madayipara or Madayi para is a place worth visiting, especially for those who would like to walk and explore things own their own.

Madayipara is a significant spot owing to its bio-diversity as well as history. In the past, Madayipara was the administrative center of the Ezhimala kings. In and around Madayipara, one can find remnants from the past. At the southern side of the hill, stand the remains of a fort called Pazhi Kotta (kotta means fort in Malayalam). Here one can also find watchtowers at the four corners of the fort. Madayipara was used to be the site for the coronation ceremony of the rulers of the princely state of the erstwhile Kolathunadu.

The hillock of Madayipara, which carries several signs of historic relevance, is also a place important from a religious point of view. Here, a pond in the shape of a hand held mirror, connected to ancient jewish setllers is another historic attraction. Similarly, a temple at this site, called Vadukunda Siva Temple and the adjoining lake, about an acre in extension form yet another attraction at Madayipara. The lake near the temple will not go dry even in hot summer months and remains a source of nourishment to life forms at Madayipara. The pooram festival of Madayi Kavu (kavu - family temples and those in the midst of thick vegetation) held at Madayipara has been responsible for much of its fame.

With regard to the bio-diversity of Madayipara, it has been found that the region contains about 300 flowering plants, about 30 varieties of grass, and several insect-eating plant species. Madayipara is also home to several rare medicinal herbs, which are sought by people from near and far off places. Coming to avian life, Madayipara sustains about 100 species of butterflies and about 150 species of birds. Among the biggest butterflies in the world, the Atlas butterfly is a visitor to Madayipara.

The upcoming cultural village project of the state government is aimed to sustain and keep intact the physical as well as historic importance of Madayipara, and at the same time encourage visitors to savour the unparalleled attractions of this beautiful terrain.


Mattupetty in Munnar

Cradled by the undulating plantation hills of Munnar, and not far away from the Anamudi peak is Mattupetty. Situated in the famous hill town of Munnar, Mattupetty located 13 km from Munnar is situated at a height of 1700 m, and is a delight for nature lovers.

Mattupetty offers many fascinating sights to relish. Besides the lush green tea plantations, and the rolling grasslands, the Shola forests in and around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and are habitat to a variety of birds. Rivulets and cascades crisscross the terrain here, which again adds more attraction to the place.

One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Mattupetty Dam, which are ideal picnic spots. Speed launch, slow speedboat and motorboats are available on hire. Other nearby places of interest includes the picturesque Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake.

Of all the main attractions at Mattupetty is the dairy farm, run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. The dairy farm is a unique one of its kind with several varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared.


Munnar

Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.

Let us now explore some of the options in and around Munnar that would provide travellers ample opportunities to enjoy the captivating hill station of Munnar.


Nadukani

Nadukani in Kottayam is a picturesque location at the top of a hill with endless stretches of meadows girded by huge rocks. A bird's eye view of the low lying places can be enjoyed from here.


Neelimala Viewpoint

It is just not water, but a milky way, tearing apart the dense greenery of Wayanad forests. The Meenmutti waterfalls, gushing down and then flowing in cascades further down its course is an awesome sight to watch from the Neelimala viewpoint near Vaduvanchal in Wayanad.

Reach Chundale before Kalpetta in Wayanad District and take the Ootty road to the right that goes via Meppadi and on reaching Vaduvanchal turn right. It is best to hire a four wheeler form here to reach Neelimala view point. After three kilomteres drive from Vaduvanchal, the road turns to the right and climbs up a rugged road to reach the base of a tribal settlement, surrounded by coffee plantation and pepper vines. Get down, pick your backpack, put on your trekking shoes and of course keep a good camera.

On the way up to the Neelimala viewpoint, one would have the company of the coffee plantations on either side and further up, small holdings of ginger and areca nut. The sides of the path leading to the view point is also dotted with small bushes of purple flower plants and also chirping sun birds and other varieties of small birds darting in and out of the bushes.

Completing the first part of the ascend, which is about half a kilometer, the trekking path gets narrower and goes down before it climbs up again. Now the vegetation on the sides changes to tall, wild grass, including the lemon grass variety. The narrow path goes further up and suddenly opens up into a panoramic view, with the mountain folds of the Western Ghats on your left and a hill slope replete with grass and studded with boulders on the right. You have reached the Neelimala view point.

Have a brief stop. Catch your breath. Feel the cool breeze in your hair, as it dries out the sweat. Take a look around to spot some butterflies with rare colour and size, gliding down the slopes and sometimes going behind the mist. As you remain there, your ears slowly get receptive to a rumble down the valley. If you hear it, take the narrow path going down to the left. Make your way through tall grasses leaning on to you. Move gently and watch out for slippery rocks and pits. Meandering to the left, the path would lead you to a spot, where you would find yourself standing behind a rocky spur with the rumbling noise becoming intense manifold.

Carefully make your descend down and move towards the middle of the rocky spur. It would take some time for you to believe the mesmerizing sight that is right before you. Down flows a track of white water, flanked by evergreen forests. A sight you would never forget. Get your best shots and take in its pristine beauty as much as you can. As you watch the unforgettable sight of Meenmutti waterfall, an occasional blanket of thick mist could block your sight. But, do not get upset. Wait for some time and as the mist clears out, and on occasions the sheet of mist would split open to reveal the waterfall, which is yet another delightful thing to watch.


Nelliyampathy Hills, Palakkad

From the town of Nenmara in Palakkad district, the cloud-caressed peaks of the majestic Nelliyampathy hill ranges are a sight to behold. The height of the hills ranges from 467 m to 1572 m. To reach Nelliyampathy, one has to take the road starting from Nenmara that proceeds to the Pothundy Dam. There are about 10 hairpin bends that have to be negotiated on the way to Nelliyampathy.

The Pothundy Dam is a picturesque locale with facilities for boating and is a nice option as a picnic place. As the Ghat road winds its way up to Nelliyampathy, at certain places there are viewpoints from where the vast stretches of Palakkad district are visible with its extensive paddy fields forming a verdant carpet. It also offers a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining State of Tamilnadu.

On the way up, those interested in bio farming can take a close look at the privately managed farms and also vast expanses of tea estates managed by different plantation companies. The hills of Nelliyampathy are also well known for its orange cultivation.

Privately owned hotels and resorts are located at various points, as one goes up the hills of Nelliyampathy. The bio-farms located here are a major landmark as one proceeds up before reaching the topmost point at Palagapandi estate. The estate has a quaint bungalow, built during the period of the British rule in India, and has now been converted into a private owned resort. At Kaikatty, a community hall is available, which is usually used as a base by those interested in trekking.

Not far away from Palagapandy is Seetharkundu where one can have a fantastic valley view, and a 100 m high waterfall providing an added attraction. From Palagapandy, one can trek or go by jeep to reach Mampara; another breathtaking vantage point at Nelliyampathy. The area in and around Palagapandy estate has tea, cardamom and coffee plantations with adjoining hills allowing one to catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the form of Indian gaur, elephants, leopards, giant squirrel etc. and is also a paradise for birdwatchers.


Pattumala in Idukki

Pattumala or Hill draped in silk, thats what they call the fascinating place. This silken hill, in Peermede in exhilarating Idukki, has charms like no other. The lofty peaks, the little streams and the green expanse of the tea plantations give the hills an ethereal beauty. An early morning walk through all this breathtaking loveliness might make you want to repeat the immortal lines, Bliss was it that dawn to be alive! At the top of a hill is the Velankanni Matha Church, a famous pilgrim center, which is built entirely of granite. Don't miss the delightful flower garden nearby. Pattumala is also home to two of the biggest names in the tea production sector - Harrisons Malayalam and A V Thomas & Co.


Peermedu, Idukki

Peermedu is a lovely hill station located about 40 km from Kumily, Idukki district in Central Kerala, at an altitude of 915 m above sea level. It is an ideal retreat in the Western Ghats and a choice break for tourists en route to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. This famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed, a Sufi saint and close associate of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.

Wide vistas of tea, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed with silver cascades, sculptural rocks, meadows and mist-cloaked hilltops make Peermedu an unforgettable experience. The summer palace of Rajas of erstwhile Travancore is today an important monument here.The summer residence, now converted into a government guest house under the Department of Tourism, offers comfortable accommodation.

Peermede and its surroundings are suitable for trekking, cycling and horse riding. Kuttikanam a place for adventure tourism and trekking is just 3 km from Peermede.

Another attraction here is Thrissanku Hills, about 4 km away. The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this a choice spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset.


Pattumala in Idukki

Pattumala or Hill draped in silk, thats what they call the fascinating place. This silken hill, in Peermede in exhilarating Idukki, has charms like no other. The lofty peaks, the little streams and the green expanse of the tea plantations give the hills an ethereal beauty. An early morning walk through all this breathtaking loveliness might make you want to repeat the immortal lines, Bliss was it that dawn to be alive! At the top of a hill is the Velankanni Matha Church, a famous pilgrim center, which is built entirely of granite. Don't miss the delightful flower garden nearby. Pattumala is also home to two of the biggest names in the tea production sector - Harrisons Malayalam and A V Thomas & Co.


Peeru Hills, Idukki

Peeru Hills in Idukki, an idyllic hill station is a favourite haunt of trekkers and picnickers. The hill is named after Peer Mohammed, the Sufi saint, who spent his last days here. The mausoleum of the saint, the summer palace of the royal family and the residence of the Diwan situated nearby are all worth a visit.

Peeru Hills is located 4 km from Peermedu and 1 km from Kuttikanam in Idukki district of Kerala.


Ponmudi Hill Station, Thiruvananthapuram

Located within a short driving distance of Thiruvananthapuram, Ponmudi is an enchanting hill resort with narrow winding pathways and cool, green environs. Along with a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, Ponmudi offers excellent opportunities for trekking. With its tea estates and mist covered valleys Ponmudi is a fast developing hill resort with cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities.


Pothamedu, Idukki

Pothamedu is located 6 km from Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala. It offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.


Pullumedu, Idukki

The winding journey to this hill along the Periyar River, offers a stunning view of hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns and rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu. The famous Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Pullumedu can be accessed only by jeep.


Rajamala, Idukki

About 15 km from Munnar, the famous hill station of Kerala, is the beautiful Rajamala. The natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres), the Eravikulam - Rajamala region is now home to half the world Tahr population estimated at around 1300. But the Tahr is only one of the reasons to make a visit to Rajamala. The picturesque beauty of this mountain will make you want to tent here forever!


Ramakalmedu, Idukki

Located in Idukki district of Kerala, Ramakalmedu is about 40 km from Thekkady, which is one of the popular wildlife destinations in Kerala. Traveling on the Thekkady-Munnar road, one can reach the captivating hills of Ramakalmedu in the Western Ghats, which is about 16 km from Nedumkandam.

The place gets its name from the impressions of the feet found on the rock surface here, which is believed to be of Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as told in the Indian epic Ramayana.

Ramakalmedu is noted for its verdant, cool hills and also for the panoramic and picturesque views of villages in the neighbouring state of Tamilnadu, which is towards the eastern side of the Western Ghats. A noticeably tall, pillar-like rocky structure, about 300 m high and facing east is another attraction here.

It is one of the windiest places in Asia and being so, one can also find here a wind farm generating electricity, which is an undertaking of the Government of Kerala.

Other attractions in-and-around Ramakalmedu include places like frog rock, turtle rock and the highest twin-statue in Kerala; called kuravan and kurathi.

On the way to Ramakalmedu, travellers can enjoy the vast stretches of plantations that include rubber, tea, cardamom, coffee, pepper and the beautiful hills of Kuttikkaanam.


Pothamedu, Idukki

Pothamedu is located 6 km from Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala. It offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.


Pullumedu, Idukki

The winding journey to this hill along the Periyar River, offers a stunning view of hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns and rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu. The famous Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Pullumedu can be accessed only by jeep.


Rajamala, Idukki

About 15 km from Munnar, the famous hill station of Kerala, is the beautiful Rajamala. The natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres), the Eravikulam - Rajamala region is now home to half the world Tahr population estimated at around 1300. But the Tahr is only one of the reasons to make a visit to Rajamala. The picturesque beauty of this mountain will make you want to tent here forever!


Ranipuram hills, Kasaragod

Situated 750 m above sea level, Ranipuram is famous for its trekking trails and varied vegetation - evergreen shola woods, monsoon forests and grasslands. This area was formerly known as Madathumala. The extensive forests of Madathumala merge with the forests of Karnataka. Ranipuram in its natural beauty is comparable to Ooty. Wild elephants can be seen wandering on the top of the mountains. Jeep services to Ranipuram are readily available from Panathady, which is linked to Kanhangad by frequent bus services.


Thrissanku Hills, Idukki

Thrissanku Hills in Peermedu is a lovely landscape. The gentle breeze at this rolling hills make this an ideal spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset.


Top Station

Located 32 km from Munnar, Top Station is situated about 1,700 m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal Road. The rare Neelakurinji (Strobilanthus) belongs to this region. This plant blooms once in every twelve years, bathing the hillsides in bright blue. Top Station also offers a panoramic view of the surroundings.


Vagamon, Idukki

Have you visited beautiful, green Vagamon Are you thinking, "In a green country, what's the attraction of yet another verdant spot" Well, the point is Vagamon is not just any other verdant spot. Of course, you can get grassy hills, velvet lawns and cool mountain air in many other places but not the Vagamon kind; not just this exciting blend of religious mysticism and European legacy.

Like a lot of other beautiful things in life, Vagamon too has to be experienced, not read about or its stories merely listened to. What you've got to do is get yourself some means of transport, head straight for Idukki district and then on to Vagamon. Once there, try taking off your shoes, closing your eyes and just listening to Vagamon.

And when you're through with the mystic getting to know session, you could take a trek across the chain of three hills - the Thangal hill, the Murugan hill and the Kurisumala, important for Muslims, Hindus and Christians respectively.

And don't miss the nice, little dairy farm of the Kurisumala monks.


Vandanmedu, Idukki

Vandanmedu is one of the world's largest auction centres for cardamom located in Idukki. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a heady experience.


Vattavada in Idukki

Located about 45 km east of Munnar is the serene village of Vattavada. At Vattavada, in comparison to other regions in Munnar, instead of tea plantations, it is the predominance of vegetables that occupy the terraced slopes and valleys of Vattavada.

The scenic hilly tract of Vattavada is at an altitude of 6500 feet above sea level, and is a refreshing experience, which is yet to come under the constant gaze and the footprints of visitors. The place receives plenty of sunshine and the winter temperatures never dip below unbearable levels. Besides the slopes of vegetable fields, one could also find forest patches, interspersed with eucalyptus and conifers. The area also teems with bird life and also other winged beauties like butterflies in various colour, size and shape.

Vattavada could be taken for a place significant for trekking. Here, an avid trekker would get options to explore many adjoining locations. Some of the trekking routes starting from Vattavada include the ones going to Kodaikanal, Top Station, Mattupetty, Kanthaloor and Meesapulimala. Most of these treks offer enough excitement in terms of negotiating the terrain as well as enjoying the floral and faunal wealth on its course. Visitors could also engage in activities like mountain jeep safari, mountain biking, jungle camping etc. offered by private operators in the region.

The local populace of Vattavada has a significant number of tribals. Their way of life, art forms, language, natural remedies are some of the other interesting aspects that could be of interest to visitors coming to Vattavada.


Vazhikkadavu, Kottayam

On the outskirts of the district is this hill station of rocky terrains sought after for its pristine nature. On one side of the main rock are extremely tall and steep rocks and on the other is a valley of fearful depth. Bordering this crude landscape like a silver lace is the Meenachil River. During the months of December/January the landscape comes alive in a riot of colours with orchids and wild flowers.


Vellari Mala waterfalls, Kozhikode

Verdant, rolling landscape, with numerous brooks, cascades and breathtaking waterfalls, Vellari Mala offers is a true abode for you to unwind and to immerse in the whiff of its limitless fresh air. River Kanjirapuzha, a tributary of the River Chaliyar, meanders through the rocky terrain, creating cascades and breathtaking waterfalls at many points. The land's beauty and topography is truly a trekker's paradise and is also an ideal picnic spot for people of all age group to have a good time. Vellari Mala is situated near Thusharagiri is in Kozhikode district. Scintillating waterfalls and velvet green landscapes make this an ideal spot for trekking.


Vythiri Hill Station, Wayanad

Vythiri, located in the hill district of Wayanad, is a popular hill station in Kerala. The destination has earned the reputation of having vast areas of spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions, especially that of the tribal communities. Vythiri, which still retains its immaculate natural wealth, makes it an excellent picnic spot for both locals and tourists. Major attractions in Vythiri are:-

Karalad Lake: About 8 km from Vythiri - An unusually quiet retreat, the lake offers facilities for angling and boating as well as a recreational park. The trek to this lake is also quite exciting.

Lakkidi: About 55 km east of Kozhikode & 5 km south of Vythiri - The gateway to Wayanad, Lakkidi is situated 700 m above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamarasseri Ghat Pass. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads to this hill station.

Pookot Lake: About 3 km from Vythiri - This perennial freshwater lake near Lakkidi is surrounded by lush evergreen forest. Kayaking, pedal and row boating, a freshwater aquarium, children’s park, a handicrafts and spices emporium are among the tourist facilities available here.

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