Idukki, the spice garden of Kerala, has been on many travellers’ bucket list. Geographically, it’s one of the most stunning places to visit in Kerala. Did you know that the Hydroelectric Power Projects in the district provides 66% of the electricity in the region? Talk about efficiency! If you’re a seasoned traveller or a one-time visitor, here’s a couple of locally known places in Idukki you must visit.
The name Palkulamedu is inspired by the freshwater pool the mountain is known for. Pal-kula-medu translates to Milk-Pool-Hill, meaning the hill with a pool of pristine water. The scenic view of Palkulamedu is spectacular, but you’ll have to trek all the way up to experience it. Except during the monsoons, you can visit this place.
Located 18 km from Thodupuzha, the Thommankuthu Waterfalls has multiple, small cascades that act like mini nature pools. Travellers love taking a dip while basking amidst nature. Do note that you can only enter between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Another attraction that trekkers look forward to is the trek to Nakkayam. The trekking route has a couple of beautiful caves and waterfalls that are a treat to the eyes.
If you’re heading to Vagamon, you must stop by Uluppuni which is 10 km from the place. Acres and acres of luscious meadows at Uluppuni will literally transport you to another place. You will be shocked by its beauty. It’s also one of the best locations in Kerala for off-road riding. Head over to Uluppuni viewpoint early in the morning to experience a stunning view of the sunrise.
Sita Devi Lake
Also known as Devikulam, people believe that Goddess Sita Devi has taken a dip in these waters. Since the Tata Tea estate maintains the lake, you will have to get permission to enter. There’s a mini-trek that you will have to take to get to this lake. So if you’re in Munnar, don’t forget to head off to this small hill station located 5 km from the place. This peaceful, quiet place must make it to your wishlist.
Ramakkalmedu View Point
This is the highest point in Idukki noted for its crazy view of windmills and the historical statue of Kuravan and Kurathi. The statue depicts the Sangam period and the view from there, the Sangam landscape of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. According to the traditional belief, Lord Rama searched for Goddess Sita in Ramakkalmedu. The name came into being because people believe that Lord Rama’s feet touched the ground there.
Believe it or not, the Pandavas along with their companion, Panchali, stayed in Panchalimedu during their exile. There’s an ancient Bhuvaneshwari temple located there that attracts many pilgrims every year. The Pandavas gifted the Durga idol in the temple as an offering to the tribals for their amazing hospitality.
Kalvary Mount Idukki
Trust us; you cannot get over the Kalvary Mount view no matter how many times you visit this place. There’s one particular point in the area where you can witness a mind-blowing view of the dam and the reservoir meeting. Visitors are treated with a peacock blue expanse of beauty that’s totally worth experiencing.
Unlike the usual sceneries in Idukki, the Vellilamkandam Bridge is unique. The 50-metre-long earthen bridge is the first longest earthen bridge in Asia and is almost five decades old. It connects the Mattukatta Ayyappankovil Panchayat with Vellilamkandam Kaanchiyar Panchayat. Apart from the bridge, tourists also visit the Ayyappankovil Sree Dharma Sastha temple. It’s absolutely beautiful to watch the Vellilamkandam Bridge during the monsoons as it fills up with the water from the lake.
If you want to witness the beautiful spread of tea estates, Poopara is the right place to visit. It boasts of chilly temperatures, quaint valleys, and friendly locals. You’ll say that it almost looks like Switzerland.
Marayoor is a small town in Devikulam taluk of Idukki is known for its sandalwood trees and sugarcane farms. The place is also home to stone coffins or muniyaras that dates back to the Neolithic age. You will find ancient paintings within these caves that depict the visit of Rama, Sita, and the Pandavas. The Pambar River is also a beautiful location in Marayoor that starts from Anamudi hills.
Pallivasal Power House
Pallivasal is Kerala’s first Hydro-Electric Project. Wondering why people visit it? Well, look at the site and its surrounding greenery. It’s a one-of-a-kind structure with the perfect background for an Instagram picture.
A walk through this long dark tunnel is a different experience altogether. The water from the Erattayar Dam reaches the Idukki reservoir through the Anchuruli Tunnel. Depending on the season, the water level in the tunnel is either high or low. Remember the climax of Iyyobinde Pusthakam? Well, it was shot here. The best time to visit this tunnel is during the summers, but during the monsoons, it’s beautiful.
Idukki has some amazing hidden gems. The next time you visit this district, don’t forget to check these places out.