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Idukki is a beautiful hill station and district in Kerala state (Painavu as headquarters). Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation centers and mountain treks. It is also home to South India's highest peak, Anamudi (2695 meters), along with 13 other peaks with a height of over 2000 meters, and some important rivers like Periyar, Thodupuzhayar and Thalayar. At a distance of 100 Kms from Kochi, 232 Kms from Trivandrum, Idukki is home for Asia's biggest arch dam. Another major tourist attraction is the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary spread across 70 Sq. Kms. The sanctuary is the natural habitat for several animals. The famous tiger reserve of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady and Munnar, the most of famous hill station of Kerala are very close to Idukki.The district was formed on January 26, 1972 carving out Devikulam, Peerumedu and Udumbanchola taluks from Kottayam district and Thodupuzha taluk from Ernakulam district. The name Idukki has been derived from the Malayalam word 'Idukku', which means narrow gorge. 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.
At a distance of around 2 Kms from Idukki Bus Station, Idukki Arch Dam is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam, constructed on Periyar river across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills.The 550 feet high and 650 feet wide dam lies close to the Cheruthoni Barrage. According to the legend, two natives were cursed by Lord Rama when he caught them staring at bathing Sita. The two natives, Koravan and Kurathi who were converted into stones (on opposite banks of Periyar river) begged Lord Rama for mercy since they had never stayed separate. Lord Rama blessed them that they will stay together for years to come. And, today, the Idukki Arch Dam links the two hillocks, Koravan Mala and Kurathi Mala. The Underground Power House is located at Moolamattom, 43 Kms from Idukki Dam.The Reservoir is formed by three dams, namely, Idukki, Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. Boating facility is available in the reservoir. Idukki is connected by frequent bus service from Munnar.
At a distance of around 2 Kms from Idukki Bus Station, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is situated around Idukki Arch Dam. The Idukki Reservoir is part of the Sanctuary.The Sanctuary is spread over an area of 77 sq kms in Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks. Established in 1976, the sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 450-748 meters above sea level occupying the forest land between the Cheruthoni River and the Periyar River. The terrain of the sanctuary is characterized by steep mountains, valleys and hills. The artificial Idukki Reservoir (Kizhakkilachimala Lake) adds to the scenic beauty of this lovely wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is home for Elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, krait, etc. Birds include jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc. December to April is the best season to visit the sanctuary.
At a distance of around 2 Kms from Idukki Bus Station and less than half Km from Idukki Dam, Hill View Park is a nice tourist place in Idukki that offers a panoramic view of the Dam and surrounding places.Views of herds of wild elephants thrill any visitor. Spread over an area of 8 acres of land this aesthetically conceived park has a natural water body at the hill top, and boating facility is available here. The herbal garden and children's play area are added attractions.
At a distance of 5 Kms from Idukki & 50 Kms from Munnar, Kalvari Mount is an important tourist place in Idukki District.The mount offers a charming view of Idukki Reservoir from Idukki to Ayyappancovil on one side and panoramic view of Kamakshy and Mariyapuram villages on the other side.
At a distance of around 5 Kms from Idukki Bus Station, Painavu is a cute hill resort and also the headquarters of Idukki district.At an altitude of 3,900 feet, Painavu situated inside the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. Surrounded by pristine forests and green hills, Painavu is also a good trekking destination. It is located in a close proximity to Idukki Dam and the dams at Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. Boats are available from here for cruises between Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. In winter and rainy seasons elephants can be spotted moving on the roads.
At a distance of 25 Kms from Idukki, 48 Kms from Munnar & 20 Kms from Thodupuzha, Thommankuthu Waterfalls is a marvelous seven step cascading waterfall dropping from a height of over 300 feet with pool at each level.It is a best place to spend a day watching the nature and drown in the waters of the falls. Trekking into the surrounding picturesque hills is another popular activity at this place.This place is connected by bus from Munnar and Thodupuzha. There are no accommodation facilities available near the falls.
At a distance of 23 Kms from Kumily & 28 Kms from Idukki, Vandanmedu is a wonderful hill resort located on Thekkady - Munnar route at an altitude of 4000 feet. It is one of the world's largest auction centers for Cardamom.Taking cardamom plantation tours in one of the interesting activities in Vandanmedu. This is also good place for trekking. This place is connected by frequent buses running between Kumily and Munnar.
At a distance of 30 Kms from Idukki, 63 Kms from Munnar and 20 Kms from Thodupuzha, Keezharkuthu Waterfalls (also known as Rainbow Waterfalls) is a popular tourist sport near Idukki.It is a cascading waterfalls falling through several steps from a height of over 1500 meters. It is also an ideal place for rock climbing & mountaineering. This place is good to visit throughout the year.The falls are located in deep forest and can be reached by trekking through the forests for over 2 Kms. Nearest town to the falls is Udambannoor, which is connected by Bus with Idukku, Munnar and Thodupuzha. From Udambannoor, the falls are about 6 Kms and there is approach road for about 4 Kms which can be reached by Jeep / Auto. The remaining 2 Kms is trek path.
At a distance of 36 Kms from Idukki, 72 kms from Kumarakom, 20 Kms from Thodupuzha, Ilaveezha Poonchira is a beautiful valley spread across thousands of acres at the foot of three hillocks - Mankunnu, Kudayathur Hill and Thonippara near Kanjar. Ilaveezha Poonchira (meaning - the valley where leaves don't fall) has no trees, and is literally a place where leaves do not fall.Surrounded by hillocks raised above 3000 feet from sea level, Ilaveezha Poonchira is an ideal place for trekking. This is one of the best places to watch Sunrise and Sunset. The wonderful views of Malankara Dam can be viewed from this place. Malankara Dam (7 Kms), Thommankuthu Waterfalls (30 Kms) & Vagamon (35 Kms) are near by places of interest.Buses are available from Palai (25 Kms) and Erattupetta (30 Kms).
At a distance of 24 Kms from Munnar and 36 Kms from Idukki, Kuthumkal Waterfalls is charming waterfall located in Kuthumkal near Rajakkad (4 Kms) in Idukki District.This cascading waterfall is a good picnic spot to enjoy the nature and play with the waters of the falls. The falls are very close to the main road and accessible by easy trek. It is possible to get into the waters at bottom of these falls.Rajakkad is connected by bus with Munnar & Adimali (24 Kms). The falls are 4 Kms from Rajakkad and can be reached by Auto/Bus.Kuthumkal water falls is located 21 kms from Munnar. The picturesque Ponmudi Dam (7 Kms from Kuthumkal Falls and 17 Kms from Adimali) built across Panniar River is another popular attraction near the Waterfalls. It is connected by bus with Adimali-Rajakkad service.
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