Rafting along the Periyar River would be a memorable experience for travellers. The Eco-tourism Committee offers rafting on a bamboo craft. The rafting is through one of the scenic courses of the river and spotting of wild animals on the banks makes the travel thrilling. A small trek is also part of the programme.
Border Hiking, envisaged as a conservation-oriented trek, covers undulating terrains and altitudes ranging from 900 m to 1300 m. The trek starts at 8 am and ends in the evening. The trekking route is through the habitats of elephants, sloth bears, gaurs, birds and butterflies. Guides and armed forest guards will accompany the group. There is restriction in the number of participants.
The park offers some special eco-tourism programmes to experience the wild. Nature trail, an exciting trekking option offered here takes travellers through the Munnar-Kodaikanal forest road to Vandaravu where there is a watch tower offers amazing sights. And if you want a stay in the wild for a day or two, do it at the log houses situated at Kuttikadu and Neduvarpu. The eco-tourism programmes are organised by the Forest Department, in association with Eco-development Committees (EDCs) comprising members of the local tribal communities. A know- the- terrain programme consists of a trek of about 5 km through dense woods. Bird-butterfly watching is an important part. There is restriction in the number of participants. Eco-lodging is offered at the sanctuary in a bamboo grove on islets. The bamboo cottages here (Pambadum Shola National Park) host nature sensitization camps and related programmes.
Green Mansions' in Gavi (Gavi is a village in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, located 28 km southwest of Vandiperiyar, a town in Idukki) is a retreat in the wild. The eco-tourism programmes at Gavi have earned worldwide reputation. 'Alistair International' had listed Gavi as one of the leading eco-tourism centres and a must-visit destination in the country. Green hills covered in tall trees, deep valleys, waterfalls are all part of the refreshing experience in Gavi. Besides the forests, travellers can also visit the large cardamom plantations nearby. Accommodation is offered in the Green Mansions, a well-equipped modern-day cottage, which offers a scenic view of the greenery. There are also tree-top huts and tented accommodation for avid nature-lovers.
The grasslands at Top Station and Eravikulam National Park offer a spectacular view of the Neelakurinji blooms during the flowering season. Vattavada, Kovilur, Kadavari and Rajamala are other must-see spots. Tour operators and adventure clubs in Munnar coordinate special trekking programmes during the flowering season. The District Tourism Promotion Council of Idukki also helps travellers to explore the hills.
Want to watch the jungle coming alive around you The forest cottage at Kokkara, which can accommodate two persons, is in the midst of woods where travellers can have a fascinating experience of the wild in the safety of a cottage. You can check into the cottage in the afternoon and leave at 9 a. m. next morning. Food is provided.
Want to do your bit to save the tiger kingdom Then, this programme is for you. The jungle patrol is a programme for travellers to join the night patrolling in the sanctuary. An armed forest guard and two protection watchers are part of a team and travellers in small groups are allowed to join them.
Cradled by the undulating plantation hills of Munnar, and not far from the Anamudi peak is Mattupetty. Mattupetty located 13 km from Munnar is situated at a height of 1700 m, and is a delight for nature lovers. Besides the lush green tea plantations, and the rolling grasslands, the Shola forests in and around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and are the habitat of a variety of birds. Rivulets and cascades crisscross the terrain here, adding to the attraction of the place. One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Dam, which are ideal picnic spots. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Idukki provides boating facilities in the Mattupetty Dam. Speed launch, slow speedboat and motorboats are available on hire. Other nearby places of interest include the picturesque Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake.
Munnar turns into a real fairytale land during the flowering season of Neelakurinji, when the sprawling hills drape themselves in a blue blanket of Neelakurinji blooms. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) flowers once in every twelve years and thousands of travellers visit Munnar during this time to watch the rolling hills and the seemingly endless valleys bathed in the purplish blue. The last time Neelakurinji bloomed in Munnar was in 2006. The flower is a shrub found in the Western Ghats of South India. The habitat of Neelakurinji is confined to the shola grasslands of Western Ghats - the Nilgiri hills, Palani hills and the Eravikulam hills of Munnar. Apart from the Western Ghats, Neelakurinji is also found on the Shevaroy hills in the Eastern Ghats.
Experience the roaring waters of gorgeous waterfalls! Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 metres. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point. Gravel Banks, a delightful trout fishing site, is tucked away in a remote corner of Nyayamakad Estate.
Power House waterfalls in Munnar in the Idukki District of Kerala, are situated on the way to Thekkady from Munnar. It cascades down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic western mountain ranges, and is an ideal place for a break on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady.
Walk around in the museum to get acquainted with the eventful story of Munnar. The Tata Tea Museum is located in the Nallathanni Estate of Munnar; its transformation from an uninhabited stretch of forest land to a plantation town. The highlights of the museum include old machineries used for tea processing, photographs and some other curious displays that throw light on the efforts of some adventurous planters who dared to conquer the wild with minimal equipment and little resource.
Tribal Heritage introduces to you an indigenous community which had been living in the inner forests of Periyar from time immemorial. The tribal community is called Mannan and it made its living from hunting, fishing and agriculture. Members of the community still live inside the sanctuary in a settlement and a heritage museum has been set up in the settlement. The museum has various artefacts related to the history and culture of the community. The weapons, vessels, medicinal plants, bamboo craft and dresses on display at the museum are interesting pointers to the rich past of the 'sons of the soil'. A trained member of the tribal community will be your guide.
Share Your Moments