There is no organised tourism in this region, which lies in the giant shadow of Thekkady and Munnar. It is as off the beaten track as it can get. Yet, Idukki indulges with its stunning mornings; its myriad fables that make you wonder if you aren't a bit gullible. But before you can dwell on it, the nearby scent of species will float your way, or a waterfall will tease you from a hill side. And Idukki's allure will draw you in.
Let the riverside town of Thodupuzha be your reference point, though most of the accommodation options are spread over a wide area around Thodupuzha. It is a trading town, where produce of the plantations in the hill ranges is sold. It is hence at the confluence of many important routes.
Thodupuzha is the entry point to the Idukki region, while coming in from Kochi via Muvattupuzha, 18km away. It is the west of the district capital Painavu, 40km away down on State Highway. Painavu is the access point for the three great dams on the Periyar River that are the highlights of this region.
Another State Highway comes north to Thodupuzha from Pala in Kottayam District. You can travel around by bus, auto, jeep and taxi, all easily available in Thodupuzha town.
Things to See and Do
The Malankara Dam Reservoir is an artificial lake, 6km from Thodupuzha on the Moolamattom-Idukki route. Spread over 11km, the reservoir is a popular picnic spot. Visitors may stroll along the pathway atop the dam, which has commanding view of the catchment area and green surrounds.
About 17 km, or a 40min drive, from Thodupzuha is the hillock of Kurishu Para. A steep climb up the 2,685 foot high hill offers a breathtaking view of the Malankara Reservoir and the plantations around. You have to trek uphill on the path used by local families whose homesteads reach almost up to the peak of the Kurisuhu Para hillock.
Favoured as a picnic spot, the Thommankuttu is a series of cascading waterfalls, above 20k, form Thodupuzha. The seven-step falls are surrounded by a number of caves. At each step, there is a cascade and a pool beneath. The pristine location and amazing natural beauty attracts large crowds.
Situated atop Kudyathoor Mala is Ilaveezha Poonchira, a hamlet near Kanjar, about 20km from Thodupuzha. The Kudayathoor Mala rises 3600 ft high.
Surrounded by three enchanting hillocks-Mankunnu, Kudayathoor and Thonippara- this location is ideal for day picnics and treks.
India's only arch dam lies at the heart of Idukki district, 62km from Thodupuzha. The word Idukki literally means narrow gorge, and it is the gorge on the Periyar River that this dam straddles that lends its name to the district. The dam is India's second highest at 555ft. Together with Cheruthoni and Kulamavu dams; it forms the largest reservoir in Kerala.
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