Idukki – Part I

Idukki, the God’s own land in God’s own country; it is the only district of tourism which cheers up and provides information to the eyes, ears and mind.  Idukki is one of the districts that, along with the heavenly place of Munnar, has 3 or 4 national parks, numerous waterfalls and has achieved great heights in ecotourism, and can be compared with Switzerland, the world famous tourist attraction.



Cheruthoni


This article is an account of the places that I saw in Idukki.  I have already written articles in details about many places in Idukki.  So, in this narration, I am putting together all the places I have visited at different times.  The number of places in Idukki that I have visited may be too less than the places that I have not visited.  So, I beg you to excuse me if some place is left out.


Neriamangalam Bridge

Idukki is in the western ghat which is 3600 feet above sea level and is one of the most attractive places in Kerala.  You can enjoy the splendid natural beauty wherever you go in Idukki.


Idukki Dam


The greenery of Idukki starts at the Lower Periyar Dam in Panamkutty forest area, which comes after Neriamangalam Bridge.  The area that lies to the right after Panamkutty checkpost is primarily rich with farmlands and forests.  Via Keerithodu, Chelachuvadu, Karimban, I reached Idukki.  Cheruthoni Dam is the largest and longest too.


Vagamon

The Idukki Dam opens to Cheruthoni Dam.  Idukki Arch Dam is a famous one.  The dam that connects the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills is built in such a way that its upper part is longer than the base.


Elappara

The view of the dam from the base is wonderful; it resembles a multistoried building that is going to tumble down on us.  The dam is open to visitors in the months of March, April and May.  The permission for visiting the dam can be obtained from Vazhathoppu KSEB Office.


Vandiperiyar


The spots to be seen are dam view, Vaishali Cave, the natural beauty of Idukki and 2 or 3 view points.  From here, it is possible to reach Thodupuzha via Moolamattom, Naadukaani.  Moolamattom has Asia’s biggest underground power house.  From here, there is a way leading to Vagamon via Elappilli.  This way is ideal for people who like driving.


Parunthumpara


Vagamon is a place that is included in National Geographic Travels.  Vagamon is a beautiful place with all its tea estates, hillocks, green meadows, hills, fogs and mists.  Kurisumala in Vagamon is a famous pilgrimage center.  One can reach Pambanar from Vagamon via Elappara.  The tea estates and the greenery give an angelic beauty to this place.


Gavi


There is a Sabarimala view point from Kallar in Pambanar.  From Kallar Junction, I went to Vandiperiyar, a place rich with tea, cardamom and black pepper estates.  From Kallar Junction in Vandiperiyar, it is only 4 km to Parunthumpara, a place that is beautiful with hillocks, deep chasms and natural beauty. 


Thekkady


After visiting Parunthumpara, Gavi can be visited by taking the road to the right from Kakki Junction on Kumily route.  The dense forests, hills, valleys, tropical rainforests, etc, make Gavi a heaven.  From there, the next trip is to Kumily, the trade center of spices. 


Chellarkovil


The famous Mangaladevi Temple lies at a distance of 12 km from Kumily.  From Kumily, I travelled to the famous Thekkady, which comprises Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and national park, and from there to Chellarkovil which can be reached by travelling from Thekkady, passing by Kumily, and then via Munnar Road, and then from Sixth Mile Junction, to the right.  The foremost scenery is view point.  Here, there is a beautiful estate of ayurvedic medicinal plants and the place is also famous for ecotourism.


Ramakkalmedu


From Chellarkovil, by travelling 5 km through Sixth Mile, Puttadi, Vandanmedu, Kutta and Santhipuram, wind farms, the land of windmills, can be reached.  From here, Ramakkalmedu, the hill station of Idukki, can be reached.  The scenery of vast areas of farm lands in Tamil Nadu is beautiful. The statue of Kuravan and Kurathi on top of the hill is something which one should not miss.  An account of other places in Idukki is given in the next part.


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Ashok S P Aug-19- 2016 334