High above civilization rests the mountains and a little down are the hills. The hill stations of Kerala could be described as that those places where the heaven meets the earth. To trek, to hike, to bird watch and to rest, there is an opportunity for everything in a hill station. Never reign in your spirits as they rise above new heights.
Girded on the three sided by three main rivers – Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzha, Munnar is the eco spot where one’s soul could be at peace. Set at a height of 6,000 ft in Idukki district used to be the most favoured summer vacationing spot during the erstwhile British rule. The presence of towering high ranges and pristine valleys which one would find in this place could just take anyone’s breath away. The lucky ones would also get to see the blue sea of Neelakuriji, a wild flower which blooms only once in 12 years in the area.
Marked with unending expanse of tea plantations and exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests, Munnar is the place where one could sense the aroma of spice scented cool air. A peek into the lives of tribal population of the area with their unique customs and beliefs makes the place more exotic and authentically wild. While the place can be reached on road from any part of the state, from the metro Kochi it is 130 km away.
Travelling along the winding roads of Thamarassery Ghat pass the wander lust traveller could make his first pit stop at Lakkidi, a hill station which is 700 meters above the sea level. The tourist spot which is located at the gateway to the scenic Wayanad district is a place to relax while enjoying the misty climate and the sight of luxuriant woods on all sides. Located 55 km east of Kozhikode district, the place is rich with lofty peaks and gurgling streams.
The hill station is dotted with resorts and shot stay homes which are less expensive and also comfortable. Guided tours of the hill station with its sprawling vegetation and wildlife sanctuaries are available.
A visit to Ponmudi (rightly named golden hair) would make one fall for eternal serenity. Situated at a distance of 61 km from the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram and lying at an altitude of 1000 meters above the sea level, the place is famous for its tea estates and natural springs. The winding streams and verdant woods provide the quite surroundings one needs for a peace day out.
The place is an abode of rare varieties of orchids and could be the right place for those fond of flowers. Other attractions in Ponmudi are Peppara wildlife sanctuary, Golden Valley and deer park. The hill station is also close to Aranmula famous for its lively boat race and artistic mirrors. Varkala which is known as a religious pilgrimage location also falls close to the place.
The hill station located 16 km from Munnar in Idukki district has a mythical charm. For those intrigued by the Indian epic Ramayana, the place could be of interest as it is believed that Goddess Sita came down to a lake situated here spend time with her beloved Lord Rama. The place is known for its serene Sita Devi lake which is believed to be the one in which the God and the Goddess spent time shared some lighter moments with each other. The waters of the lake are believed to be medicinal, soothing the body and also the soul. For the regular tourist it will be interesting to know that the lake is also a spot for trout fishing.
The place has its share of tea plantations and also has a spice garden which is run by the district tourism promotion council. The place is accessible on road and is an ideal place to be even at the height of summer.
Another hill station which has a distinctively enchanting history is Peerumedu, named after the Sufi saint Peer Mohammed. Located around 85 km from Kottayam, the place is known for its cool and moist climate. As it is an abode of spices, a traveler visiting Peerumedu is enveloped by a fragrance that is delightfully intoxicating. While visiting the place one should not give its cardamom and eucalyptus plantations a miss.
Interestingly, the place is also a hot spot for honeymooning couples and has luxurious and romantic cottages which open their windows to rich scenic beauty. While the nearest airport to the place will be Nedumbassery, it is easily accessible by road for an in-house visitor.
If wildlife in its natural surroundings is what one is looking for, then Vagamon or Wagamon is the best place to visit. Set at an altitude of 1100 m from the sea level and 65 km from Idukki district, one would find elephants which strolling through the Vagamon woods. The place which has many natural streams attracts different species of animals from the forest that come to frolic in these waters.
The hill station is supported by three hills including Kurisumala, Thangal hills and Murugan hills. The green tea plantations of the area which sprawl along the hilly yet green regions of the place attract visitors. The place can be reached by road and is 60 km from Kottayam district.
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