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Kerala Tourist Places - IDUKKI
|Area||5019 sq. km|
|Population||1,079,369 (2001 census)|
|Altitude||2200 m above sea level|
A landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries. The River Pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. Idukki has a large population of tribals, the main tribes being Muthuvan, Malayarayan, Mannan, Paliyan, Urali, Ulladan, Malavedan and Malampandaram. The tribes of Kerala have unique customs and beliefs and maintain an ethos which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.
Air : Nearest Airport : Madurai (Tamil Nadu) : 140 km, Thiruvananthapuram : 265 km, Kochi : 190 km, Kozhikode : 315 km, Chennai (Tamil Nadu) : 570 km
Rail : Kottayam : 114 km (4 hrs), Madurai : 136 km (3½ hrs), Changanacherry : 93 km (4 hrs), Theni : 60 km (1½ hrs).Road : 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 (2½ hrs), Alleppey - Kumily 160 km (5½ hrs), Ooty - Kumily 390 km (11 hrs).
Idukki Arch DamThis is the world’s second and Asia’s first arch dam, constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills. 550 ft. high and 650 ft. wide, the dam lies close to the Cheruthoni barrage. To its west is the Kulamavu Dam. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located closeby.
The Idukki Wildlife SanctuaryThis sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district, spreading over 77 sq. km and is about 450 - 748 m above sea level. The Idukki Reservoir formed by three dams - Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu - extends to 33 sq. km.
Animals : Elephant, bison, sambar deer, wild dog, jungle cat, tiger, wild boar etc.
Snakes : Cobra, viper, krait and a number of non poisonous snakes.
Birds : Jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc.
NadukaniNadukani is an ideal place for one-day picnickers. True to its title it offers a panoramic view of a large area than one can experience from any high mountain park. A two-storyed pavilion makes an ideal place for enjoying the landscape and beauty of nature.
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam : (35 km from Thodupuzha)
This is a picnic spot also ideal for meditation, relaxation and watching sunset.
Kulamav : (20 km)Damsight-trekking trail-view point Painav: Scenic beauty-trekking point-evergreen forest Cheruthoni: Idukki Arch Dam sight-aerial view of the reservoir, panoramic view-hill view park.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Hill Palace Museum , Thripunithura
Places of Interest : Indian Wild Elephants, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Tigers, Panthers, Wild Dogs, Bison, Spotted deer, Leopard, Musk deer. Wildlife can be seen in its natural habitat by cruising on the lake in motorboats.
Laying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world.
The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.
PopulationFlora : Over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species, 143 species of orchids, the only South Indian conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus.
Mammals : Thirty five species including the wild elephant, gaur, sambar deer and wild boar which can be sighted from the boast, the Nilgiri Tahr in the higher rocky areas, the endangered lion-tailed macaque confined to the evergreen interiors, the bonnet macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear etc.
Birds : 265 species including migrants. The hornbill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter etc.
Reptiles : Cobra, viper, krait, a number of non poisonous snakes, and the monitor lizard.
Amphibians : Frogs, toads and limbless caecilians include the colourful Malabar gliding frog, common Indian toad, fungoid frog and bicoloured forg.
Pisces (fish) : The Periyar lake and streams have several species of fish including the masher, the famous and endangered game fish of India. The otter, the only mammal of the lake, can be frequently spotted from the boat.
Plantations : Tea, cardamom, pepper and coffee plantations surround the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The SanctuaryWatchTowers : There are two watch towers in the interiors of the Periyar forest. Reservations can be made at the Divisional Forest Office, Thekkady. Ph: 04869-222027.
Permitting authority : The Wildlife Preservation Officer, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady.
Peermede, the famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed, 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 Peermede an unforgettable experience. The most delightful trekking trails complement the panoramic landscape. Monuments like the summer palace and summer residence of the royal family add to the splendour of the land. The summer residence now converted into a government guest house under the Department of Tourism, offers comfortable accommodation.
KuttikanamA 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.
The Mattupetty lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake are other attractions in the vicinity. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam. Speed launch, slow speedboat and motorboats are available on hire.
Kalvari MountThis is a famous pilgrim centre on the way to Kattappana.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Animals : Most of the South Indian wild animals can be found in this forest. These include the grizzled giant squirrel, champal squirrel, elephant, sambar deer, gaur etc.
Birds : Jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl etc.