This place is one of the most nature-rich areas of the State. A landlocked region, here, high ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers - Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries. Idukki is also famous for its gigantic arch dam. Predominantly populated by tribes, an astonishing 50 percent of its total area is covered by forests. As a tourist destination, the place offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. Idukki’s numerous trekking trails and spectacular landscape dotted with rich flora and fauna make it a dream destination for nature enthusiasts.
Idukki sightseeing places
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary, situated at an altitude of 450 to 748 meters above the sea level, has a tropical green cover sprawling over 77 sq. km covering Udumpanchola and Thodupuzha thaluks of Idukki district. Graced with tropical forests, dazzling blue lakes, and myriad wildlife this spectacular sanctuary lures visitors to explore and celebrate nature’s goodness in all its pristine glory. This sanctuary is a natural habitat for an amazing assortment of wildlife including elephants, bears, tigers, bison, snakes and birds. The beautiful lake surrounding the sanctuary adds to the scenic beauty of the region. The perfect way to enjoy the beauty and natural wealth of the sanctuary is by taking a boat cruise around this picturesque lake.
Idukki Arch Dam: This Arch Dam is constructed in the canyon between the Kuravan and Kurathi hills this dam towers to a height of 550 ft and spreads to a width of 650 ft. This magnificent dam is acclaimed to be one of the biggest arch dams in Asia. The tail water is diverted and used for irrigation purposes. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary lies at a short distance from the Dam. The construction of this engineering marvel was aided financially by the Government of Canada through long-term loans and grants.
Hill View Park: This beautiful park, perched on top of the verdant hills, sprawls over an area of 8 km dotted with emerald green lawns, exotic plants and views to thrill you beyond imagination. The park is situated very close to Idukki and Cheruthoni dams offer breathtaking panoramic views of the reservoir and the adjoining wilderness. The park is an ideal place to spot elephant herds roaming in the wilderness and for taking boat rides in the tranquil lake. The medicinal plant garden and children’s play area add further charm to this beautiful park.
Thommankuthu Waterfalls: This enchanting waterfall, located at a distance of about 20 km from Thodupuzha, is an ideal place to glimpse natures ravishing beauty. This beautiful petite waterfall cascades down in seven steps with a small pool at each level. This magnificent setting also offers a perfect stage to indulge in adventure sports including trekking and mountaineering. The place is also ideal for boating and a quite afternoon of fishing. This unspoiled land of scenic beauty attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Munnar: Munnar is breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility - the idyllic tourist destination in God's own country. It has the perfect blend of nature with sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns & winding lanes. Munnar was the favored summer destination of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Unending expanse of pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora & fauna including the famous endangered mountain goat -Nilgiri Tahr. Munnar has all these and much more. It's the place you would never like to leave.
Thekkady / Periyar: Thekkady is one of the most scenic areas of Kerala, Thekkady offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuary, hill station & spice plantation. Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wild life. Notable among the denizens of sanctuary are Tiger, Wild Elephant, Sambar Deer, Wild Bison, Wild Boar, Malabar Gaint Squirrel, Nilgiri Langur, Hornbill, Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Otter...etc.
Nadukani: The place offers an ideal spot to catch panoramic views of breathtaking proportions of the nearby low lying areas. The name when literally translated means “see the lands”. This idyllic site perched on top of a hill is surrounded by lush greenery and huge boulders. A two storied pavilion has been erected here to better view the low lying areas draped in velvet greenery. The place is a photographer’s paradise offering picture postcard visions of the valley below with white streaks of silver streams cutting through the lush greenery.
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam: This mountainous terrain located at a distance of 35 km from Thodupuzha is a beautiful spot unexplored by mainstream travelers. Perched on top of a mountain, this is an ideal spot to enjoy a beautiful sunset - a vision painted in hues of dazzling orange with silhouettes of majestic mountains draped in rich robes of green in the foreground. It is also an ideal place to “rediscover yourself” in quite meditation and just relax in the tranquil surroundings.
Kulamavu: The beautiful lake and adjoining wilderness adds to the beauty of the place making it an ideal picnic spot. Kulamavu dam lies in the vicinity of the Idukki dam. The area is also perfect for a trekking expedition or mountaineering. The location is also a vantage point offering panoramic views of the beautiful countryside.
Painavu: This forest township is an ideal location to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This picturesque town is the headquarters of Idukki district. Painavu is a place of amazing scenic beauty surrounded by evergreen forests and verdant mountains. It is also a preferred spot for trekking.
Kalliyanathandu: This vantage view of breathtaking splendor makes it a popular spot among tourists. It is located on top of a hill; this is an ideal place to enjoy a panoramic view of the Idukki reservoir, the adjoining forests and mountains. The place is also favored by adventure tourists for trekking and mountaineering.
Malankara Reservoir: Malankara Reservoir is located at a distance of about 6Km from Thodupuzha, this splendid artificial reservoir is a popular attraction among tourists. The reservoir is an ideal setting to enjoy a boating trip or to just laze around and do some fishing. This lake could be accessed by road. The shimmering golden water of the reservoir is sharply contrasted by the surrounding emerald greenery.
Keezharkuthu: The surrounding forests offer a picture perfect setting for this amazing waterfall. The place is famous for its splendid Rainbow waterfalls cascading down from a height of about 1500 meters. The forest is acclaimed to have an exotic variety of flora including those of medicinal value. The area is ideal for trekking, mountaineering and camp sites.
Vagamon: Vagamon is a hill station noted for its misty meadows, splashing waterfalls, and exciting trekking paths. Nestled in the lap of the Western Ghats and surrounded by Shola forests, Wagamon is simply enchanting with the three hills - Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill and Kurishumala, which reflect the Christian-Hindu-Muslim unity. What registers deep in the memories of a visitor to Wagamon is its unique aroma, thanks to the wild orchids, medicinal plants and the dense pine forests here. The vast undulating landscapes, narrow valleys, and waterfalls in rocky terrain everything adds to the adventure factor of Wagamon.
Palkulamedu: The panoramic views here are simply breathtaking. This popular adventure travel destination, located at a distance of about 12 km from Idukki, is set at an altitude of 3125 meters above the sea level. Views of the city of Cochin, Alappuzha and other towns could be seen from this peak on a bright sunny day.
Things to Do
Idukki is a wonderland for adventure tourists and nature lovers. Some of the popular things to do are :- Boating and Fishing: Most of the dams and lakes offer facilities for boating. Boating is an ideal way to explore the scenic beauty of the place and to catch glimpses of wildlife. Fishing is a peaceful way to laze around and enjoy the day in the emerald green lakes of Idukki.
Rafting: Some of the lakes offer facilities for rafting. Check out the places where they have bamboo rafting, a perfectly exciting experience sure to leave you with thrilling memories.
Bicycle rides: This is one of the best ways to enjoy the quaint towns and the countryside. You can explore the place at your own sweet pace and enjoy the charms of nature. This is a rather tranquil affair here with many isolated hamlets scattered around connected by small roads sans traffic.
Trekking and Mountaineering: You can enjoy a quite trekking expedition or mountaineering here without much hassle. This is the true trump card of all. The opportunities are numerous and you are certain to enjoy a trekking in the exotic wilderness of Western Ghats.
Location: The landlocked district shares borders with the districts of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Thrissur and the Western Ghats mountain range. Idukki is the largest district in Kerala covering an area of 4476 sq. km or 13% of the total area, is located in central Kerala.
Climate: Idukki enjoys a temperate climate in the midlands (21-27 degree Celsius) with the High Ranges having a colder climate (5-17 degree Celsius in summer and minus 1-14 degree Celsius in winter).
Best Time to Visit: Summer is also an ideal time to spot wildlife as animals flock to the few remaining waterholes. Since the climate is temperate throughout the year, you can plan your visit any time of the year.
Shopping: The best buys here are handicrafts and tribal artifacts. If you are traveling to any of the tea growing areas, you may pick up tea leaves. If you are going to any of the plantations, you can buy fresh exotic spices and herbs. Wooden artifacts could be bought from many of the shops here.
How to Reach Idukki?
By Air: The Nearest Airport is Cochin International Airport and is located at a distance of 104 km is the nearest airport.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Ernakulam and is located at a distance of 113 km. Kottayam railway station is at a distance of 130 km from Idukki.
By Road: Idukki is well connected by road to Ernakulam and Kottayam.