The Upland of Sanctuaries and Spices
up in the mountains, Idukki extends an invitation
to identify oneself with Nature. Here, where
the mist plays hide and seek with the green
mountains, the melody is set to the whistle
of the crickets and the chirp of wild birds.
Dark and deep forests with springs trickling
down rocky crevices, falling steep into unfathomed
chasms and rivulets flowing past rare flora
and fauna, is indeed an idyllic setting to set
oneself free of all fetters, understand, feel
and perhaps realise, the beauty, power and glory
than places like Valara, Thommankuthu, Palkulamedu
and Munnar which are of indescribable natural
beauty, there are five wild life sanctuarties
in Idukki district which need special mention.
Wild Life Sanctuary
is a wild life sanctuary with an area of 90
sq.Km. The terrain here is undulating and rocky
through out at an elevation ranging from 500
to 2400 metres above sea level. The thorny scrub
jungle is the unique phenomenon of this sanctuary.
The flora in this region consists of thorny
scrub jungle, dry deciduous forests, sholas
and grass lands.
wide range of wild life is housed in its sanctuary.
Elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking
deer, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, tiger,
panther, wild dog etc. inhabit in this sanctuary.
The aviary includes jungle fowl, spotted dove,
pea fowl, jungle crow, Kerala laughing thrush,
red vented bulbul, Indian hornbill, small green
bee eater, blue throated barbet and a host of
other small birds.
sanctuary is situated on either side of the
Marayoor - Udumalpet road and is hence accessible
Wild Life Sanctuary
is another wild life sanctuary proclaimed as
a National Park since it supports the largest
population of Nilgiri Tahr existing in the world
now. Anamudi peak (2695 Metres), the highest
point south of the Himalays falls in the southern
part of this park. The park is 135 k.m. from
Kochi and is accessible by road.
of the park is either grassland or part of the
shola ecosystem and the average altitude is
2000 metres above m.s.l. The temperature varies
from (-)3 degrees celsius in winter to 29 degrees
celsius in summer. Severe frost occurs between
the months of December and January and the average
rain fall is 4800 m.m. During the monsoon, lashing
rains, high velocity winds and poor visibility
makes the area practically inaccessible.
wide variety of plant life is present here.
The famous Strobilanthus Kunthianus, popularly
known as Neelakurinji is one of the rare
and threatened species that grows here.
Nilgiri Tahr is seen in the highlands and rocky
regions of this national park. Sambar, barking
deer, gaur, giant Malabar squirrel, tiger, panther,
wild dogs, civet cat, jungle cat, Nilgiri langur,
giant squirrel, grass owl, black winged kite,
wood pigeon, black bird, Euraian kestrel, jungle
crow etc. are seen here.
bird sanctuary in Devicolam Taluk of Idukki
lies on the northern bank of the Periyar river.
The area of the sanctuary is 25 sq.Km. The presence
of more than 200 varieties of birds in this
area attracted the renowned ornithologist Dr.
Salim Ali and his efforts are also behind the
formation of this sanctuary. This sanctuary
is 80 Kms. from Cochin and 60 to 450 metres
above sea level.
birds found here include large falcon, gray
jungle fowl, white breasted water hen, hornbill,
jungle bush-quail, etc. A study conducted by
Bombay Natural History Society during 1985 indentifies
253 species here.
vegetation in this area consists of tropical
evergreen, semi evergreen, moist deciduous forests
and plantations of teak, rosewood, mahogony
etc. Further, more than 28 varieties of animals
and nine varieties of reptiles have accepted
this area as their natural habitat.
its matchless scenic beauty and the facilities
offered by the Periyar lake, Thekkady attracts
a large number of tourists. The sanctuary spreads
over an area of 673 sq.km and is situated at
a height of 900 to 1800 metres above mean sea
level. Facilities are available for cruising
in this lake.
animals seen here include elephants, bisons,
sambar, monkeys and wild bear. Fortunate visitors
can have a glimpse of the tigers foragaing in
this area. However on sunny summer days one
can see herds of wild elephants bathing in the
lake. Bisons are a wary and hardy lot and usually
never allow any intruder to approach them and
the sound of the motor boats scare them away.
But a keen animal lover can stay in one of the
few observation towers for a couple of days
and luck will surely come his way.
of the famous tea gardens are located around
this place. Further Peermede, 43 k.m. below
Thekkady, has a golf course and offers excellent
facilities for stay.
wild sanctuary is quite near the District Head
Quarters at Kuyilimala near Painavu. The great
reservior formed by the construction of the
Idukki Arch Dam and dams at Cheruthoni and Kulamavu
offers beautiful sight to the casual visitor.
Further the pristine forests and green hills
around the area provide ample scope for trekking.
In windy and rainy days elephants can be seen
even on the road from Thodupuzha to the District
Head Quarters. Unless offended these pachyderms
wait on the road for a few minutes and give
way to the vehicles. The Arch dam at Idukki,
the highest of its kind in Asia, attracts a
lot of tourists. Further, the area is easily
accessible by road, by being just about 100
k.m. from Eranakulam.
is another centre of attraction in Idukki, and
is just half an hour's drive from Thodupuzha,
the nearest town where accommodation is available.
Here the brook gushing out of a crevice in the
rocky cliff gives the illusion to the visitor
that it is not water but milk that is gushing
with natural beauty and salubrous climate Kulamavu
is a colony of the K.S.E. Board employees. Kulamavu
Dam is situated here.
underground powerhouse of the Idukki Hydroelectric
Project is located here. It is at the foot of
the Nadukani hills
was the summer resort of the British Government
in the south. The town is situated on the confluence
of three mountain streams, Muthirappuzha ( Kannimalayar),
Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar has some of
the biggest tea plantations in the world. This
hill station more than 5000 feet above sea level
with its mist and flowers, has very good potential
to be developed into a tourist spot.
remote village on the eastern slopes of the
Western Ghats is in the outskrits of Munnar.
The relics of new stone-age civilization has
been unearthed here. The stone cabins, called
'Muniyaras', attract a lot of research scholars.
It is the only place in Kerala having natural
growth of sandal wood trees.
another centre of tourist attraction has a history
of its own. The summer palace of the erstwhile
Rajas of Travancore is an important monument