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Central Kerala

Situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, this is the gateway to Kerala from the north. Palakkad derives its name from the Malayalam words Pala ( Alsteria scholaris) and Kadu (forest) which goes to prove that this place was once a beautiful stretch of forests covered with the sweet scented flowers of the Pala tree. Palghat or 'Palakkad' is the land of palm and paddy fields. The Sahya Ranges bordering the region and the 20-mile gap in the mountains exert a dominant influence on the climate of the region. Many rivers that flow into the Bharathapuzha originate from these mountains. Along with Idukki, it is the only district not to have a sea coast. Attapadi, an extensive

How to reach



The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 55km away. To the south, is Kochi Airport, 160 km away

Distances from Palakkad to :

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Distances from Palakkad to :
Alleppy 224km
Bangalore 356km
Coimbatore 54km
Guruvayur 95km
Kozhikode 137km
Silent Valley 79km
Thekkady 293km
Thiruvananthapuram 382km

Palakkad at a glance :

Palakkad at a glance :
Area 4480 sq. km
Population 2,382,235 (2001 census)
Altitude Above sea level
Temperature Max 34.68 degC
Min. 21.15 degC
Rainfall (Annual Average) 240cm
Best Season September to February
Climate Oppressive hot season (March to May), plenty of rains during monsoons (June-September and December-February)

Places of Interest

Picnic Spots

Malampuzha, Palakkad
Fantasy Park
Silent Valley National Park
Pothundy
Meenkara
Malampuzha Garden
Mayiladumpara

Hills
Nelliyampathy
Dhoni

Wild Life
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Dams
Siruvani
Mangalam Dam

Forts
The Fort of Tipu Sultan
Monuments
Kunchan Smarakam, Palakkad
Thrithala

Religious Places
Kollengode
Attappady
Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple
Thiruvalathoor
Ottappalam
Thenari
Jain Temple of Jainimedu
Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple
The Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple

Others
Kottayi
Lakkidi
The Gandhi Seva Sadan Kathakali and Classic Arts Academy
Chittur Garumadam

Picnic Spots

Malampuzha, Palakkad

Malampuzha, a little township on the foothills of the Western Ghats takes its name from the river Malampuzha. Nurtured by this tributary of Kerala's longest river, the Bharathappuzha, Malampuzha is a lush green town and has been a major tourist attraction for its trekking trails and the large irrigation dam. Around the reservoir of the dam are beautiful gardens and amusement parks. Boating facilities are available on the lake. Other attractions in the Malampuzha garden are the beautiful rock garden, the fish-shaped aquarium, the snake park, the ropeway which takes you on an aerial tour of the park, and the gigantic Yakshi (an enchantress) sculptured by Kanai Kunhiraman, the leading sculptor of Kerala. The most interesting feature of the rock garden is that the whole place is made of unwanted and broken pieces of bangles, tiles, used plastic cans, tins and other waste materials. The garden is a master work of sculptor Padmasree Neck Chand Saini. His rock garden in Chandigarh is world famous and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is located 10 km away from Palakkad town. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Fantasy Park

Fantasy Park is the only theme park of its kind in the State where the entire family can find some form of amusement. There is a hygienic restaurant and ice cream parlour within the park. The water merry-go-round, striking car, paratrooper, pirate boat, dragon coaster, tora tora, mini tele combat, jumping horse, scooter ride, caterpillar, etc are a few among the entertainment options at this fun world. The park is located in the enchanting backdrop of the mountain ranges of Malampuzha with the majestic mountain peaks of the Western Ghats overlooking it. The park is developed by Neo Tech Amusements and Resorts (P) Ltd bagged the award for "Best Innovative Tourism Product in the State - 1998" instituted by Kerala Tourism. The park is said to entertain an average of one thousand visitors a day. Fantasy Park is open from 11 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and between 2 pm and 9 pm on week days. It is located 10 km away from Palakkad town. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Contact
Neo Tech Amusements & Resorts (P) Ltd.
8/585, Malampuzha, Palakkad 678 651;
Ph. 0091-491-2815122, 2815123; Tel/Fax: 0091-491-2815124;
E-Mail: asokan@md2.vsnl.net,in

Silent Valley National Park

The Silent Valley National Park has an area of 90 sq km is located in the north eastern corner of the district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad in the south. The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Silent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills, an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, and traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through the deep forest. The river Kunthi never turns brown and is always crystal clear, perennial and wild. The evapo-transpiration from these forests is much higher than from any other surfaces. This cools the atmosphere, helps easy condensation of water vapour and thus causes the summer rains. It is located 80 km away from Palakkad town. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Pothundy

Situated on the way to Nelliampathy, the Pothundy Reservoir Complex is a charming location for picnics and half-day trips. It is situated 45 km from Palakkad.

Meenkara

This picnic spot is the site of a dam across the river Gayathri which flows into the Bharathapuzha. It is situated 32 km from Palakkad.

Malampuzha Garden

This famous picnic spot which comprises a dam and beautifully landscaped gardens, is situated on the lower hills of the Western Ghats. There are frequent buses to this place from Palakkad. It is situated 10 km from Palakkad.

Mayiladumpara This grove takes its name from the large number of peacocks found here.

Hills

Nelliyampathy

From the town of Nenmara in Palakkad district, the cloud-caressed peaks of the majestic Nelliyampathy hill ranges are a sight to behold. The height of the hills ranges from 467 m to 1572 m. To reach Nelliyampathy, one has to take the road starting from Nenmara that proceeds to the Pothundy Dam. There are about 10 hairpin bends that have to be negotiated on the way to Nelliyampathy, which itself has plenty of interesting sights to offer. The Pothundy Dam is a picturesque locale with facilities for boating and a nice option as a picnic place. As the Ghat road winds its way up to Nelliyampathy, at certain places there are viewpoints from where the vast stretches of Palakkad district are visible with its extensive paddy fields forming a verdant carpet. It also offers a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining State of Tamilnadu. On the way up, those interested in bio farming can take a close look at the privately managed farms and also vast expanses of tea estates managed by different plantation companies. The hills of Nelliyampathy are also well known for its orange cultivation. Not far away from Palagapandy is Seethakundu where one can have a fantastic valley view, and a 100 m high waterfall providing an added attraction. From Palagapandy, one can trek or go by jeep to reach Mampara; another breathtaking vantage point at Nelliyampathy. The area in and around Palagapandy estate has tea, cardamom and coffee plantations with adjoining hills allowing one to catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the form of Indian gaur, elephants, leopards, giant squirrel etc. and is also a paradise for birdwatchers. Nearest Railway Station is at Palakkad which is about 52 kms from Nelliyampathy. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Dhoni

It takes a three hour trek from the base of the Dhoni hills to reach this reserve forest area with its small, beautiful waterfall. It is situated 15 km from Palakkad.

Wild Life

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Parambikkulam is an oasis of tranquil greenery nestled in a valley between the Anamalai ranges of Tamilnadu and the Nelliyampathy ranges of Kerala. The Parambikkulam Wildlife Sanctuary here spreads over an area of 285 sq km on the Western Ghats. The sanctuary offers an exotic experience of the rare fauna of Kerala. Quite a few hill tribes, like the Malayars, the Kadas and the Muthuvans also live in the jungles of Parambikkulam. The fauna here include bonnet macaques, Nilgiri langurs, lion tailed macaques, tigers, spectacled cobras, kraits, vipers, turtles, darters, little cormorants and black eagles. The sanctuary also has a variety of trees mainly teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood. The oldest teak tree 'Kannimari' stands tall here. Boat cruises can be arranged in the Parambikkulam Reservoir. Trekking in the sanctuary is possible with the permission of forest officials. There is a tree-house in the Reserve Forest area in Thoonakkadavu, the headquarters of Parambikkulam, which has to be booked in advance. The Rest Houses of the State Forest Department at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Elathode offer comfortable lodging. Parambikkulam is accessible by a road from Pollachi in Tamilnadu. Palakkad-Pollachi is about 45 km by road and Pollachi-Parambikkulam is about 65 km by road. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Dams

Siruvani

Situated at 46 km north of Mannarkad and 48 km from Palakkad, the reservoir at Siruvani was built for Tamil Nadu by the Kerala Government to meet the drinking water requirements of Coimbatore. The gateways on either side of the road across the dam are typical of the Kerala and Tamil architectural styles. Siruvani is also home to certain tribals like the Mudugars and Irulars.

Mangalam Dam

Sitated 50 km away from Palakkad, this dam is built across the Cherukunnath River, a tributary of the Mangalam River. The damsite is a popular picnic spot.

Forts

The Fort of Tipu Sultan

The Tipu's Fort, also known as Palakkad Fort, stands in the heart of Palakkad town. Palakkad is a small town on the lower edges of the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats, with patches of dense forests and crisscrossed with rivers. One of the well preserved forts in south India, Tipu's Fort was constructed in 1766 AD and is today a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. The sober majesty of the laterite walls of the fort reminds one of the old tales of valour and courage. The fort was built by Hyder Ali (1717 - 1782), the emperor of Mysore province (now part of Karnataka State), supposedly to facilitate communication between both sides of the Western Ghats, (Coimbatore and the West Coast). He had captured the Malabar and Kochi regions which come under the West Coast area. His son Tipu Sultan (1750 - 1799) a warrior as well as a linguist was known as the 'Lion of Mysore'. Tipu waged a series of wars against the British colonial rule. In 1784, after an eleven-day seige, the fort was captured by the British under Colonel Fullerton. Though it later fell into the hands of the troops of the Kozhikode Zamorin, it was recaptured by the British in 1790. Tipu Sultan lost his life in 1799 in an encounter with the British and the fort later came to be known in his name. Coimbatore International Airport is about 55km away and Cochin International Airport is about 140 km towards south.

Monuments

Kunchan Smarakam, Palakkad

Kunchan Smarakam, the memorial to poet Kunchan Nambiar, is not a conventional monument. In this house where the inventor of the satirical art form was born, young artists are trained in the various divisions of the art form - and Parayanthullal.

In addition to Thullal, the Smarakom celebrates the Navarathri festival in a grand way. The fifth day of May, the birthday of the poet is celebrated with much fanfare as Kunchandinam. Nearest railway stations are at Lakkidi, a few minutes drive from Killikurissimangalam is a minor station and Ottappalam which is about 12 km from Lakkidi. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Thrithala

Thrithala is noted for its monuments and historic ruins and hence, has great archaeological importance. The ruins of a large mud fort with a deep moat hewn from laterite and the Siva temple are notable cultural monuments. The Kattil Madom Temple, a domed structure made of granite slabs, on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor road is a Buddhist monument believed to date back to the 9th or 10th century. The temple probably marks the transition from the Chola to the Pandya style of architecture. The Paakkanaar memorial, a tribute to the Pariah saint, stands near the Thrithala-Koottanad road. This is also the native place of renowned writer and social worker V. T. Bhattathiripad. It is located about 75 km away from Palakkad on the banks of the River Bharathappuzha near Thrissur. Nearest railway station is at Pattambi which is about 19 km from Thrithala. Coimbatore in neighbouring State of Tamilnadu is the nearest airport which is about 55 km from Palakkad town.

Religious Places

Kollengode

Kollengode enshrines the pristine beauty of rural Palakkad. The village gets its name from the blacksmith ( Kollen) community who live here. The Kollengode Palace built in the traditional architectural style and a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu are the major attractions here. Seethakundu and Govindamalai near Kaachankurichi are ideal locales for adventure trekking. Kollengode is located 19 km away from Palakkad town. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Attappady

Situated on the north-eastern side of the district and spread over an area of 827 sq km. Attappady is one of the largest tribal settlements in the State. The grandiloquence of this great symphony of forests, rivers and mountains is awe inspiring. Many tribals like the Irulas and the Mudugas live here, though the density of their population is very low. The tribals worship the mountain peak "Malleeswaran' as a huge 'Siva-linga' (the Linga is the venerated image of Lord Siva) and Sivarathri at the Malleeswaran temple is the most important festival celebrated by the tribals. The Malleeswaran peak and the river Bhavani have a tremendous influence on the lives of the tribals. The highland terrains are mostly fed by the tributaries of the river Cauvery. A PWD Rest House, a VIP Guest House and a few private hotels offer accommodation at Agali, 38 km northeast of Mannarkkad. Mannarkkad is located 40 km away from Palakkad town. Nearest Airport is Coimbatore which is about 55 km away from Palakkad town.

Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple

This temple in Palakkad district dates back to the 14th century while its koothambalam (temple theatre) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.

Thiruvalathoor

The ancient temple here has some fine wood work and stone sculptures. It is situated 10 km from Palakkad.

Ottappalam

The town is known for its numerous places of worship and their colourful festivals. Durga Temple the Pooram at Chenakkathur the Nercha festival commemorating the Aulia. It is situated 35 km from Palakkad.

Thenari

It is believed that the waters of this natural spring, located in front of the old Sree Rama Temple here, is as sacred as the waters of the Ganges.

Jain Temple of Jainimedu

Situated on the western suburbs of Palakkad town, not far from the railway station, this historic 32 feet long, 20 feet wide granite temple displays images of the Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis. The region around the temple, known as Jainimedu, is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived. It is at a Jain house here that poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental poem Veenapoovu (The fallen flower).

Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple

This temple in Palakkad district dates back to the 14th century while its koothambalam (temple theatre) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.

The Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple

Situated near Pattambi, this temple has some of the most intricate laterite sculptures in Kerala

Others

Kottayi

This tiny village is the native place of the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavather. It is situated 15 km via Poodur from Palakkad.

Lakkidi

Killikkurissimangalam at Lakkidi is the birthplace of Kunchan Nambiar, the 18th century satirist and exponent of the Tullal (classical art form). The poet's house has been preserved as a monument by the State Government. It is situated 30 km from Palakkad.

Chittur Garumadam

Located on the banks of the river Sokanasini (the destroyer of sorrows) at Thekkegramam near Arikkode, this is a memorial to Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the author of Adhyatma Ramayana, who spent his last days here. A srichakra, some of the idols worshipped by him, a stylus, wooden slippers and a few old manuscripts are exhibited here.

The Gandhi Seva Sadan Kathakali and Classic Arts Academy

The Gandhi Seva Sadan Kathakali and Classic Arts Academy popularly known as "Kathakali Sadanam" is located in a panoramic, sprawling ten-acre campus of its own in Perur village in Ottapalam under the Palakkad district. This academy is dedicated exclusively to the training of the art of Kathakali, the renowned dance-drama which is so integral a part of Kerala's culture. It is the third of its kind in the state, the other two being the Kerala Kalamandalam and P.S.V. Natyasangham. The year 2003 will witness the golden jubilee of this august institution, started in 1953. Facilities include regular courses as well as short-term courses oriented towards foreign students. The Academy has produced a long line of illustrious performers of this esoteric artform, viz., Mattannur Sankarankutty, Sadanam Krishnankutty, Sadanam Ramankutty, Sadanam Balakrishnan, Sadanam Vasudevan, Cherpalachery Sivan etc. to name a few. Kathakali Sadanam has also conducted quite a number of tours abroad often representing India, particularly in the former Soviet Union and other European countries.

Centrally located in the State of Kerala this district is a rich reservoir in history, culture and archaeological remains. Raja Rama Varma popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran was the architect of the present Thrissur town. Today Thrissur is world famous for its Pooram festival. A cultural centre, the Kerala Kala Mandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located here. Thrissur an abbreviation of 'Thiru-Siva-Peruru' means name of Lord Shiva has always been referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala. Thrissur is the place for bell metal and there are a number of shops crammed with lamps, household appliances and images of deities.

Thrissur at a glance :
Area 3032 sq km
Population 2,733,311(2001 census)
Altitude Sea level
Best Season September to March
Distances from Thrissur to :
Coimbatore 114km
kalady 55km
Kanyakumari 376 km

How to reach

By Air
The nearest airport is 78 km away at Kochi.

By Train and Road
Trichur is an important railway station and is linked to all major towns.

Places of Interest

Picnic Spots

Chimmini
Athirappalli and Vazhachal
Silver Storm Amusement Parks
Dream World, Athirappilly

Wild Life
Peechi -Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

Museums

Archaeological Museum

Monuments
Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy
Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Thrissur

Religious Places
Arattupuzha
Vadakkumnathan Temple
Guruvayoor
Punnathoorkotta
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam temple
Ariyannoor temple, Kandanisserry
Kodungalloor

Picnic Spots

Chimmini

The dense tropical forests of Chimmini shelter diverse flora and fauna. The dam across the Chimmini river offers a breathtaking view. This picturesque picnic spot is a favourite haunt of the people of Kerala. The Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1984, lies contiguous with the Peechi - Vazhani sanctuary. The sanctuary is endowed with scenic beauty beyond compare. Living here in joyful abandon are Elephants, Sambars, Gaurs, Malabar Squirrels, Sloth Bears etc. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur about 30 km away and Cochin International Airport is about 58 km away from Thrissur town. Best time to visit the sanctuary is between November to April.

Athirappalli and Vazhachal

Athirappalli and Vazhachal, the two scenic and popular waterfalls on the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges are just 5 km apart. The Athirappalli Falls joins the Chalakkudy river after plummeting down a drop of 80 feet. Vazhachal is part of the Chalakkudy river. Both the waterfalls, their cool, misty waters cascading down in the backdrop of thick green forest and rocky terrain, are a scintillating experience to visitors. A good motorable road takes one to Vazhachal and Athirappalli from either Kochi or Thrissur town Which are 58 Km and 63 Km away resp. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur and Nearest airport is at Kochi.

Silver Storm Amusement Parks

This fun-filled; excitement bubbling Water Theme Park is located at Vettilapara near the famous Athirapally waterfalls in Thrissur District. Some of the attractions here have been introduced for the first time in the history of South India, like Go-Karting, enabling one to enjoy the thrills of adventurous driving through wild tracks, akin to the popular Himalayan Rallies. Flying Dutchman is a group of planes that takes one through an amazing 20ft. in what may be described as the most rhythmic and memorable ride ever! Bumping Boats provide a fabulous time for the young at heart. The Striking Cars at Silver Storm is innovative in its scientifically crafted spherical design. Silver Storm is the only park in Kerala with this unique designing. Moreover these striking cars have joystick controls instead of the steering wheel, which provides faster and effective movement. Other attractions include; Surf Hill, Kids Super slide, Kiddies Body, Kiddies Turbo, Kiddies Free Fall, Lazy Mountain River, Kiddies Dry Games, Master Blaster, Hara Kiri, Wild Raft Ride, Wild Body Ride, Super Slide, Turbo Twister, Wave Pool, Super Splash, Mamma Aqua Dance, Baby Train, Columbus, Flying Dutch Man, Bumbing Boats, Go-Karting, Jurassic Splash, Sky Jet, Striking Car, Swing Chair and Tea Cup are some of the lucrative Fantasies we have in store for you. The amusement park also provides an exquisite restaurant with both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian menu, Food Courts, Ice Cream Parlours and Gift Shops. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur about 63 km away and Cochin International Airport is about 58 km away from Thrissur town.

Contact
Silver Storm Amusement Parks (P) Ltd.
Athirapally, Vettilapara P.O, Chalakudy, Thrissur District
Kerala, India 680 721
Tele/Fax 080-2769116,2769150,2769496,2769700
E-mail: silver@zyberway.com

Dream World, Athirappilly

Dream World, the state-of-the-art water theme park is situated close to the Athirappilly waterfalls and other nearby attractions of Vazhachal, Thumboormuzhy and Sholayar. The park is designed in such a way that tourists belonging to any age group can effortlessly reach all the amusement rides without much walking or climbing. Dream World is known for its exhilarating water amusement rides. It has a total of 42 rides, out of which 24 are water rides, each having its unique element of fun and adventure. The floats/rafts/boats/tubes etc used in each ride is of different types for example: single, double, triple, five-seated and the like. Some of the major attractions at Dream World include, an eight feet deep Wave Pool; raft ride called Stormy River, starts from a height of 30 ft, follows a smooth and beautiful zigzag route, and splashes into a wide pool linked with Lazy River, which is a single ring tube. Rain Dance is yet another fun filled event, where people dance with ecstasy in the rain showered from nozzles fitted on wooden platforms, and snow showers from the sidewalls along with the rhythm of music and rotating colourful lights. Rain Dance with snow effect was introduced for the first time in Kerala by Dream World.

Mermaid Pool is exclusively meant for ladies and children. They can enjoy themselves freely in the pool until the end of the day. The pool is divided into three segments for small kids up to three years with 1.5 ft depth, children up to 12 years with 3ft depth and ladies with 4ft depth. Other rides are the Dream Shower, Zoom Ride, Space Bowl, Crazy Cruise, Mat Racer, Amazon River, Dream Splash, etc. The Dry Amusement rides in the park include Striking Car, Go Kart, Sky Train, Flying Colombus, Baby Car, Caterpillar, Dragon Train, and Revolving Barrel.

Additional Facilities

Some of the additional facilities available in the park are a multi-game complex for children, video games, prayer hall for visitors, toilets and bath rooms in various locations of the park, spacious changing room block with lockers, cloak room, toilets and sale counter for garments. A telephone booth is open for 24 hrs with ISD, STD and local call facilities. The park also provides excellent restaurant service, clinic with qualified personnel, conference and meeting halls with modern sound system and buffet facilities, ice cream parlours, fast food centres etc. Vast area has been allotted for parking about 500 cars and 100 buses in front of Dream World.

Address
Dream World Water Park
Via Chalakudy
Kanjirapilly P.O.
Thrissur. Ph.0484-2746935, 2746955
www.dreamworldwaterpark.com

Wild Life

Peechi -Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in 1958, this 125 sq km sanctuary is about 20 km east of Thrissur, in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams. The sanctuary is part of the Palapilli - Nelliampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Sanctuary.

Having an abundance of enchanting flora and fauna and a lake where one can do boating, this place is a treat for the nature lover. There are more than 50 different kinds of orchids, innumerable rare medicinal plants, teak, rosewood, and so on. The wildlife population includes over 25 types of mammals including carnivores like the leopard, the tiger and the fox and herbivores like the elk, deer, barking deer, spotted deer, the bison and the elephant. More than 60 types of birds and 10 types of snakes are also found. The highest peak in the sanctuary which stands 45 to 900 m above sea level is the 923 m high Ponmudi. The average annual rainfall is about 3000 mm.

For visiting tourists, accommodation is available at the rest house and the information centre at Peechi. There are direct buses from Thrissur to Peechi. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur and Kochi International Airport is about 98 km away from Thrissur town.

Contact
The Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
Thiruvananthapuram 696 014
Telefax: 0471 2322217

The Wildlife Warden
Peechi Wildlife Sancutary, Peechi PO
Thrissur District
Phone: 0487 2282017

Museums

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum was until recently accommodated in the Thrissur Town Hall building. Now it has been shifted to the Kollengode Palace, an architectural delight. The majestic building houses a gallery of murals from all over Kerala and preserves a rare treasure of Veerakallu, temple models, olagrandhangal (manuscripts on dry palm leaves), megaliths etc. Veerakallu or herostones are stone engravings and sculptures of figures and weapons belonging to the heroes of days gone by. Most of these were recovered from the forests of Wayanad and Thrissur. The megalith collection includes earthen pots, urns etc. The temple models cast in plaster of Paris are excellent representations of the ancient temples in the State. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and national holidays. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur and Kochi International Airport is about 98 km

Monuments

Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy

Kerala Kalamandalam is located at Cheruthuruthy, 32 km north of Thrissur. One of the most revered places for the traditional art forms of Kerala, the Kalamandalam is the cradle of Kathakali training in India. This temple of arts has preserved and propagated Kathakali - the classical dance-drama of Kerala - for the past 78 years. Many of the internationally renowned artistes of Kerala and India have been trained here. The Kalamandalam and its surroundings reflect the simple, pure and ethnic atmosphere in which these arts have survived for centuries.

The Koothambalam - the traditional dance theatre - at Kalamandalam is the only one in the State which is built outside a temple complex. Constructed according to vikrushtra madhya, one of the three natya grihas (theatres) specified in sage Bharatha's Natyasasthra - a treatise on art compiled in the 2nd century B.C, the theatre is 14.62 m long and 7.31m wide and has four wooden pillars supporting it. It has three main parts - the aniyara (green room), the rangam (stage) - the space on front and side of it meant for the audience, and the mridanga-patha (where the drum is kept). The Kerala Kalamandalam was established by allathol Narayana Menon, the renowned Malayalam poet. Over the years this unique institution has imparted training for Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Kootiyattam, Panchavadyam, Thullal etc - following the ancient gurukula system of education. Nearest railway station is at Shornur about 10 Km away and Kochi International Airport is about 90 km away from Thrissur town.

Contact
Kerala Kalamandalam,
Vallathol Nagar, Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur,
Kerala - 679531, India. Ph. 91- 0488- 2462418.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Thrissur

The Palace of Shakthan Thampuran located in the district of Thrissur is a landmark in the annals of the Perumpadappu Swaroopam, the former ruling dynasty of Kochi. The palace located in the heart of Thrissur town is a major attraction, especially for those with a special interest on rulers and dynasties. At the Shakthan Thampuran Palace, one can come across and understand several interesting and remarkable aspects of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi. The palace also has a very ancient Sarpakaavu or Serpent Grove, which is a place for worshipping the serpents according to Hindu belief, and was once widely practiced in Kerala. Located on the southern side of the Shakthan Palace is the Heritage Garden prepared recently to exhibit and preserve some of the indigenous plants and trees of Kerala. There is also an archaeological garden situated in the north-eastern part of the palace, where one could find collections from the stone age found from the outskirts of Thrissur. The Shakthan Palace, which was recently renovated by the State Archaeology Department with financial assistance from Kerala Tourism, also houses an elaborate museum. The museum houses some interesting galleries like the Bronze gallery, where one can find bronze statues belonging to the period between the 12th and the 18th centuries; a Sculpture gallery displaying granite statues from the 9th century to the 17th century; and the Epigraphy gallery showcasing the genesis and evolution of ancient writings. Other galleries of interest include, a gallery for Household Utensils made of bronze and copper, used by the rulers of Kochi; the Numismatics gallery, which systematically displays ancient coins, which were in circulation in the erstwhile province of Kochi and neighbouring regions; and the History gallery depicting some of the milestones of the Kochi dynasty; and a Megalithic gallery exhibiting remains of the great stone age. Nearest railway station is at Thrissur about 2 kms away and Kochi International Airport is about 58 km away from Thrissur town.

Religious Places

Arattupuzha

This village is known for the annual Pooram festival at the temple in April/May. The uniqueness of this festival is the ceremonial processions carrying the images of the deities of 41 neighbouring temples to this village.

Vadakkumnathan Temple

One of the oldest temples in the State, the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non Hindus are not allowed entry into the temple. (Open: 04:00 - 10:30 am & 05:00 - 08:30 pm)

Guruvayoor

Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. Its main attraction is the Sree Krishna temple. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and Vayu, the God of winds. The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dwajasthambam (flag-post). There is also a 7 m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. It is situated 29 km west of Thrissur. Nearest railway station is at Guruvayoor and nearest Airport is at Nedumbassery about 87 km away.

Punnathoorkotta

Located around 2 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple. Over forty elephants are groomed at the Punnathur kotta ( kotta means 'fort'). Many elephants are brought as ritual offering to the temple. One can spend a whole day with these huge mammals here. Watching the naughty baby elephants' playful antics is an entertaining experience. The place provides you an opportunity to watch how the sick elephants are medically treated in the traditional manner. One can also watch the training given to the elephants for various ritualistic performances. Grooming elephants was considered a status symbol. With the decay of the joint family system, supporting elephants became a financial burden for many families. Gradually various temple managements took the charge of looking after these animals. Anyhow, even today elephants play a key role in Kerala's fairs and festivals. It is open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. Guruvayoor is about 32 km from Thrissur town. Guruvayoor station is at a walkable distance from the shrine and Kochi International Airport is about 58 km from Thrissur town.

Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam temple

Situated 10 km away from Irinjalakuda railway station, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Bharatha, the brother of Sri Rama. It is perhaps the only temple in India with Bharatha as the deity. The colourful eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants is held in April/May. The festival in this temple marks the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala. It is Open from 3.30 am to 11:30 am & 5 pm to 8.30 pm. It is situated 21 km from Thrissur.

Ariyannoor temple, Kandanisserry

This temple has a carved entrance gable which has been compared to the wooden sculptures of American artist Louise Nevelson. The Siva temple at Thiruvanchikulam as well as the Sri Krishna temple at Thirukulashekharapuram are believed to be monuments from the 9th century.

Kodungalloor

The small country town of Kodungalloor is situated 35 kilometres south of Thrissur. Kodungallur situated on the west coast, was once a great port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu. It was known by the Greek as the Muziris and is a place immersed in rich history. Kodungalloor is surrounded by backwaters and the sea is also famous as Cranganore and has an illustrious past, to tell. It is said to be the place where St. Thomas first preached Christianity in India. Nearest railway station is at Irinjalakuda, about 20 km and nearest Airport is Nedumbaserry International Airport at Kochi, about 60 km.

Cheraman Juma Masjid

This mosque in Kodungalloor resembles a Hindu temple in appearance. It was earlier made of wood. Built in 629 A.D., this is the first mosque in India where Juma prayers were started. Recent changes have been made and it now has concrete minarets. The interiors remain wooden though with a Kerala oil lamp right in the centre. This lamp is of great significance to people of all religions. Some of them bring oil for the lamp on the auspicious occasion of major family events.

Kodungalloor Bhagawati Temple

The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur is of great renown throughout the state of Kerala. The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the grandest in Kerala. It is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. During this occasion, one can also witness the largest congregation of oracles, not seen anywhere in Kerala. The Bharani festival also witnesses the offering of worship to the deity in the innermost sanctum by those belonging to castes other than the priestly class. One day before the final Bharani, the Chandanapodi Chartal or the smearing of the image with sandal paste is carried out.

St. Thomas Memorial

Nineteen hundred years ago the first missionary of Christianity to India, St.Thomas, the Apostle set his foot at Kodungallur. The Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine a monument to him is situated here. It is a historic pilgrim centre of the Indian Christians. The main feast of the church is celebrated on November 21 every year.

Ernakulam

Ernakulam is located on the coast of the Arabian sea with Kottayam and Alappuzha districts on the south, Idukki on the east and Thrissur on the north. The commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi, in Ernakulam, is also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

Places of Interest

Cherai Beach
Bhoothathankettu
Maritime Museum
The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura
The Museum of Kerala History
Thani Illam
Mattancherry Palace
Madhavan Nayar Foundation
Chendamangalam
Synagogue at Chennamangalam
Vamanamoorthy Temple
Santhanagopala-Krishnaswamy Temple
Kodanad
Kaladi
Kumbalangi - Model Tourist Village
Kochi

Cherai Beach

The lovely beach bordering the Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. The sea on the western side and the backwaters on the east give this upcoming tourist destination, a uniqueness which can be found only in Kerala. Thick coconut groves and chinese fishing nets on the waterfront are added attractions. Ernakulam Junction is about one km from the main boat jetty and Kochi International Airport is about 20 km from Ernakulam town.

Bhoothathankettu

Bhoothathankettu, a scenic damsite with boating facilities is situated in a vast virgin forest. A myth connected with the origin of this place says that this natural fortification of forests and hills was built by Bhoothams (spirit/ghosts) overnight. Hence the name Bhoothathankettu (fort of the spirits). Later, this natural topography helped in building a dam here. Lying close to Bhoothathankettu is the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad.Trekking through the forests here is an exhiliarating experience. The two main irrigation projects of Ernakulam district - the Periyar Valley Irrigation Project and the Idamalayar Irrigation Project are also located nearby. Ernakulam junction is about 50 km away and Kochi international airport is about 26 km from Ernakulam town.

Maritime Museum

India reckoned as the top ten naval power in the world owes its credit to dedication and selfless services rendered by the brave men of India's formidable naval force. The Maritime Museum, located at INS Dronacharya in Kochi throws light on the genesis, history, evolution and landmarks of the Indian Navy. Step into the Maritime Museum to have a feel of the great maritime heritage of Indian Navy, which dates back to Indus Valley civilizations; Kerala's trade links with Arabs, its famous maritime hero Kunjali Marakkar; Influence of India's maritime power in South East Asia; Colonization of Indian sub-continent by European powers. At the museum, the visitors are enlightened on the evolution of the navy since 1612, when the Indian Marine was established in Surat. Another section of the museum presents interesting aspects of shipbuilding activities in India. It unravels India's prowess in shipbuilding, which took its culture to the shores of Java, Sumatra and Bali between 3rd century BC and 12th century AD. The museum also has a section, which highlights Indian Navy's share of glory, when it took on its aggressors and eventually emerged victorious in the end. These include details of Junaghad operation, the Goa liberation, Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan and the strategic maneuvers during Kargil. The Museum is located on the beach road about 1 km south of St.Francis Church in Fort Kochi. It is open from 9:30 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm. Nearest Railway Station is at Ernakulam, about 15km away and Cochin International Airport is about 20 km from Ernakulam City.

The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura

The Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land which houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding. Numerous species of flora including rare medicinal plants grow here. On display in the full-fledged Ethno-archaeological museum are oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne). Also exhibited are over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock cut weapons from the stone ages, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohanjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It is open from 9 am to 12.30 pm and 2 pm to 4.30 pm. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art. Ernakulam is the Nearest railway station about 10 km away. Cochin International Airport is about 30 km away.

The Museum of Kerala History

Once you are on the lush grounds of the museum, head straight to the MNF Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures and the Centre for Visual Arts. The unassuming gallery houses immortal creations that will give you glimpses of the glorious history and rich cultural legacy of this land. Some of the masters whose works are on display include mural maestro Mammiyoor Krishhan Kutty Nair, Raja Ravi Varma, M F Hussain, folk painter Jamini Roy, abstract painter Manu Parekh and so on. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and public holidays. It is located at Edapally, 10 km north of Ernakulam city.

Thani Illam

This heritage structure promoted by the Grahasthali Project and approved by the Department of Tourism has preserved and maintained its traditional architecture, and way of life. This 100-year-old structure was home to the famous Malayalam writer Malayattoor Ramakrishnan, which is now owned and maintained by a couple and are the hosts to visitors coming to the Illam. Thani Illam (short form of Thannikkatt Illam) means the original home of a Brahmin family. At the Illam visitors are served only vegetarian cuisine and no liquor is allowed inside the house. Highly flexible approach to a visitor's activity program, which depends entirely on the visitor's interests and needs, makes Thanni Illam a home away from home. The Illam currently offers two rooms viz. Thekkini and Kulappura. Thekkini is located on the South side and hence the name Thekkini (Thekk means South). The second room, Kulappura, is situated on top of the car porch. Originally, it was the room above an internal pond specifically for ladies of the house. Kulam means pond/pool and pura means room/ house. Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery, is about 12 km away. Aluva, about 26 km away, is the nearest railway station.

Services Offered

Kerala Vegetarian Cuisine (No eggs, no fish and no meat), Travel Assistance, Daily site seeing trips, Washing machine at disposal (for laundry services), Direct international dialing from rooms, Doctor on call.

Contact
Thani Illam, Thottuva, Koovappdy, Ernakulam- 683544, Kerala, India
Ph:+91?484?2649679.
Email:thaniillam@sify.com
website:www.thaniillam.org

Mattancherry Palace

Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace with a Bhagavathi temple in the central courtyard is built like the typical Kerala style mansion - the Nalukettu - the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard. The double storeyed palace building which stands by the panoramic Kochi back waters has an exquisite collection of murals collectively covering over 300 sq ft of its walls. The themes of these murals have been borrowed from the great Indian epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha, and mythology and legends about the Hindu gods especially Guruvayurappan. Some murals depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam and other works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. Also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family. There are frequent bus and boat services to Mattancherry. The boats start from Main Boat Jetty near Subash Park at Ernakulam town. Ernakulam is about 10 km and Cochin International Airport is about 20 km from Ernakulam town. It is open for visitors from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays.

Madhavan Nayar Foundation

Located a little distance from the crowded urban centre of Ernakulam is a quiet ethnic building hidden in the shades of huge trees. A statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to have created Kerala, greets the visitor. This is a monument to the history of Kerala and homage to its makers. The Madhavan Nayar Foundation also called the Museum of Kerala History and its makers showcases historic episodes from the neolithic to the modern era through life size figures. 'Light n Sound Shows' are regularly organised with commentaries in English and Malayalam. There is also a gallery for paintings and sculptures, displaying over 200 original works by contemporary Indian artists. The Centre for Visual Arts here has a collection of the authentic reproduction of select world masters and larger than life mural reproductions of Indian art. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art. Ernakulam is the Nearest railway station about 8 km away. Cochin International Airport is about 20 km away.

Chendamangalam

A church, a temple, a mosque and the remains of a Jewish synagogue - all lying in close proximity is an ideal example of the ancient Indian tradition of religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. At Chendamangalam, apart from these historic evidences, nature also unveils her rare combination. The place has a singular geography of three rivers, seven inlets, hillocks and vast expanses of green plains. This land was once the abode of the Paliath Achans, the prime ministers of the Maharajas of Kochi. Their residence, the Paliam Palace represents the architectural splendour of Kerala. The Palace houses a collection of historic documents and relics. The hillocks at Kottayi Kovilakom present an unusual view of the church, temple, mosque and the synagogue. Also interesting is a visit to the remains of the Vypeenkotta Seminary built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Ernakulam is the Nearest railway station about 42 km away. Cochin International Airport is about 20 km away towards the north.

Synagogue at Chennamangalam

Jews all over the world are a proud lot when it comes to their culture and heritage. Resulting from their diaspora in the sixth century BC, they made their presence felt in different parts of the world. They made India too their home, till majority of them returned to Israel after 1948. Kerala is one place in India, where the Jewish community made its presence felt in a strong manner. Their presence can be still felt in the port city of Kochi, where they are still involved in a variety of business activities. Among the prominent landmarks of the Jewish community in the region is their place of worship called synagogue. There were quite a good number of them in Kochi as well as in Kodungallur, an ancient port city not far away from Kochi. Besides the popular synagogue at Mattanchery in Kochi, the one at the village of Chennamangalam in North Paravur is one of the biggest, which was built some 175 years back. The synagogue was recently restored to its original glory thanks to the hard work and effort of the Kerala State Archaeology Department with financial support from Kerala Tourism. It is a protected monument under the state department of archaeology. The synagogue at Chennamangalam reflects traditional Kerala architecture and has utilized western construction technology. Chennamangalam is also an example of religious tolerance and harmonious co-existence, which can be felt by the presence of temple, mosque and church located close to the synagogue. Visitors to the synagogue at Chennamangalam with a penchant for traditional architecture can also pay a visit to the Paliam Palace, which was once the abode of Paliath Achans, who were the Prime Ministers of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi. Historic documents and relics are on display at the palace. Another nearby place of interest is the Vypeenkotta Seminary built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Only the remains of the seminary are now visible. Alwaye is the nearest railway station about 26 km away. Cochin International Airport is about 23 km from Ernakulam.

Vamanamoorthy Temple
Inscriptions from the 10th to the 13th century are found in this temple in Thrikakkara, near Ernakulam.

Santhanagopala-Krishnaswamy Temple
The original foundation of this temple was laid in 947 AD according to the inscriptions found here.

Kodanad

Elephants are an integral part of Indian mythology and culture. In God's Own Country, elephants are often referred to as the sons of the 'Sahya' (the Western Ghats). Once a part of every day life in Kerala, elephants are the most ornamental and auspicious animals here. No festival or celebration is complete without an elephant procession. Rows of majestically caparisoned elephants, replete with colourful silken parasols form the most spectacular part of any event here. Kodanad, set on the southern banks of the Periyar river amid the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant training centres of Kerala. Earlier elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests in the east and north of Kodanad) were trained here. Since the introduction of a ban to elephant capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training centre. The famous Malayatoor Church is near Kodanad. Muthanga of Wayanad district and Konni of Pathanamthitta district are two other such centres. Another attraction for elephant lovers is Punnathur kotta, of the neighbouring Thrissur district, where some 40 elephants of the Guruvayoor temple are groomed. Kodanad is about 30 km from Ernakulam town the high ranges on the southern bank of the river Periyar. Cochin International Airport is about 65 km away.

Kumbalangi - Model Tourist Village

Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village project is a unique initiative to transform the tiny island as a model fishing village and tourism spot. Here at the Kumbalangi Tourism Village one can fully savour a variety of natural splendours, and paramount to a model tourist village the outstanding ecological balance of the location. The village, the first of its kind in the country is located near the port city of Kochi in Ernakulam District. The model village is a veritable treat to its visitors with the famous Chinese fishing nets and many other sights to savour. As art of the model village project at Kumbalangi, a nearby island near Palluruthy would also have plenty of interesting vistas and activities in the near future. This coastal hamlet without doubt provides a fascinating glimpse of the simple and prosperous livelihood of the villagers, and also unravels the age-old, magnificent culture and heritage of the place. Ernakulam Junction is about 25 km away and Cochin International Airport is about 40 km away.

Kaladi

The birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya, the great Advaita philosopher of the 8th century, Kaladi is 10 km from Aluva. Temples dedicated to Sri Sankara, Sarada Devi, Sri Krishna and Sri Ramakrishna add to the sanctity of the destination. A place called Crocodile Ghat is where Sri Sankara took his vows of renunciation. According to legends, a crocodile caught hold of him and refused to release him until Sankara's mother Aryamba permitted him to accept Sanyas (renunciation).

Kochi

An all time tourist favourite, Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala. It has to offer palaces, forts, beaches, backwaters, old churches, snakes boat races, Kathakali, museums and the convenience of the big city. Kochi is just about the center of Kerala. It is basically a collection of islands and narrow peninsulas. Ernakulam is the commercial center and forms the mainland. The two main railway stations and the bus stands are located here. Fort Kochi & Mattachery, form an elongated island west of Ernakulam. Willingdon island which houses the Airport, Port & Naval base lies between Ernakulam & Fort Kochi. Jos junction in Ernakulam is considered as the nerve center of the city.

How to reach

Kochi is linked by direct air services to all major locations. Periodical ship services plt to Lakshwadeep Islands. It is also well linked by rail and road.

Places of Interest

Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is the ideal way to discover a historic town brimming with tales of myriad seafaring visitors who came here to trade and then stayed on to cease their work on this impressionable land. The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Kochi thus became a heaven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European township in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century. The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities. Fort Kochi is accessible by bus or ferry. The bus ride from Ernakulam town, which is nearly 13 km away, takes about an hour and the ferry ride from Main boat jetty at Ernakulam about 20 minutes. Ernakulam is about 1 1/2 km from the Main boat jetty. Cochin International Airport is about 20 km away.

Chinese fishing nets

A legacy of one of the earliest visitor to the Malabar coast, these nets are unmistakable as one enters the harbour. Records show that they were first erected between A.D 1350 and 1450. Constructed out of Teak wood and Bamboo poles, they work on the principle of balance. The best place to watch is from Vasco Da Gama square, a narrow promenade that parallels the beach with little stalls that serve fresh seafood, tender coconuts and so on.

Old harbour house

Built in 1808 and once as a boat club, this elegant bungalow now belongs to Carrit Moran & Co., a vintage tea broking firm that initially had it's office on the ground floor, but now uses it entirely as a residence. The house was once a boat club.

Koder House

This imposing building with red colored brick-like facade, represents the transaction from the colonial to the Indo-European period. It was built in 1808 by Samuel S. Koder of the Cochin Electric Company Unique features include verandah seat at the entrance, interior floor tiles set in a chessboard pattern, a collection of wood carved furniture and a quaint wooden bridge running parallel over Rose lane on to a separate structure across the street. The house is at present occupied by the family of Mr. Satu Koder, regarded as the patriarch of Cochin's ancient Jewish Community.

Santa Cruz Basilica

Built by the Portuguese, the church was elevated to a Cathedral by the Pope Paul IV in 1558. Spared by the Dutch conqueror of Cochin who destroyed many Catholic buildings in 1663, it later fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. For almost a 100 years there was no church on the site, until the Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira commissioned a new building in 1887. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984

Parade Ground

The four acre Parade Ground was where once the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British colonists conducted their military parades and drills. The buildings around the ground housed their defence establishments. Today, the largest open ground in Fort Kochi, the Parade Ground is a sports arena.

Vasco House

Along Rose Street stands Vasco House, one of the oldest Portuguese houses in Fort Cochin built in the first half of the 16 th century. Though never fully authenticated, it is believed to have been the residence of Vasco Da Gama. The straight lines of the balcony-cum-verandah with a series of typical European glass-paned windows, are typical area's architecture.

VOC Gate

Past Vasco House and facing the Parade Ground is a large wooden gate with the initials VOC carved on to it representing the monogram of the once mighty Dutch East India company which had it's office here for almost 150 years. The inscription also indicates that it was built in the year 1740.

Bishop's House

Standing on gentle hillock near the Parade ground the bishop's house has a circular garden path running up to the main entrance whose front is characterized up to by large Gothic arches. Originally built in 1506 as the residence of the Portuguese Governor, the Dutch occupied it in 1663. At the conquest of Cochin by the British in 1795, it came into the possession of the Vernedes family, from whom it was acquired by Dom Jos Gomez Ferreira, the 27 th Bishop of the Diocese of Cochin, whose jurisdiction ran over Burma, Malaya and Ceylon, in addition to the whole of southern and eastern India. There is a small collection of antiques and the other historic materials preserved here.

The Dutch Cemetery

Consecrated in 1724 and now managed by the church of South India, the inscriptions found here are some of the most authentic reminders of the countless men and women who left their European houses behind to play their roles on the colonial canvas of 17th, 18th and 19th century. It is today managed by the Church of South India.

St. Francis Church

Considered India's oldest European church, St Francis was originally roman Catholic during the Portuguese period from 1503 to 1663, Dutch reform from 1644 to 1804, and Anglican from 1804 to 1947. Today it is governed by the Church of South India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century. Vasco Da Gama who died in Cochin in 1524 was buried here before his remains were returned to Fort Kochi Beach

Fort Kochi Carnival on the new years eve is a colourful festival, not to be missed.

Indo-Portuguese Museum

The Indo-Portuguese Museum situated in Fort Kochi throws light on the strong Portuguese influence in both the art and the architecture of the region. The museum today is an important center to understand the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which is still surviving. The museum is the outcome of the untiring efforts of the late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi. Driven by sheer commitment to protect the rich heritage of his Diocese, the bishop established the Indo-Portuguese Museum to preserve some of the invaluable collections for posterity. The museum is divided into five main sections, according to the nature of items displayed in each section. They are viz. Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral. The museum currently houses some outstanding collections, well known for its artistic and architectural marvel, which bear the mark of strong Portuguese influence. Some of these include a piece of the altar made in teak wood (16th century) from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble (19th century) from Bishop's House, Fort Kochi, Processional cross, which is a combination of silver and wood (17th century) from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance (18-19th century), from Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mentioning. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has also contributed to the rich collection at the Indo-Portuguese Museum and has to its credit sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments, among others from the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese. The Indo-Portuguese Museum in Kochi is indeed one of those symbols in the annals of Kochi, bearing the rich heritage of Indo-Portuguese culture and artistic influence. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm and Closed on Mondays and all Public Holidays.

Contact
Bishop's House
Fort Kochi
Kerala- 682001
Ph. 91-484-215400 / 215401

Synagogue

The Synagogue at Fort Kochi,constructed in 1568, is the oldest in the Commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Mid-18th century hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, a clock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament, ancient scripts on copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the erstwhile Cochin rulers were recorded etc., are articles of interest here. The area around the Synagogue is a centre of spice trade and curio shops. It is situated at Fort Kochi, about 10 km from Ernakulam town. Cochin International Airport is about 30 km from the Synagogue. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm and closed on Fridays.

Bolghatty Island

In the historic town of Fort Kochi in Ernakulam district, the commercial capital of Kerala, is the Bolghatty Island. This lush, lovely island is famous for its palace of the same name. The Bolghatty Palace, built in 1744 by the Dutch and later taken over by the British, is today a popular hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. There are regular ferry services from Kochi. Ernakulam is about 2km away and Cochin International Airport is about 20 km away.

Pierce Leslie Bungalow

This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee merchants, founded in 1862. A representative of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow, this building reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influences. Characteristic features are wood panels that form the roof of the ground floor, arched doorways, carved doors and sprawling rooms. Waterfront verandahs are an added attraction.

Loafer's Corner/Princess Street

One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi, Princess Street with its European style residences still retains its old world charm. The best view of this quaint street can be had from Loafer's Corner, the traditional meeting place and hangout of the jovial fun loving people of the area.

The United Club

Once upon a time one of the four elite clubs of the British in Kochi, the United Club today serves two roles - as class room for the nearby St. Francis Primary School by day and as card room for the current members by evening. Until 1907, the building housed the offices of the Fort Kochi Municipality.

Thakur House

This graceful building holds within itself a reflection of the colonial era. The Bungalow was built on the site of the Gelderland Bastion, one of the seven bastions of the old Dutch fort. Earlier known as Kunal or Hill Bungalow, it was home to the managers of the National Bank of India during the British reign. Today, the Bungalow belongs to Ram Bahadur Thakur and Company, the renowned tea trading firm.

David Hall

Though built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company, David Hall gets its name from one of its later occupants, David Koder, a Jewish businessman. The Hall was originally associated with Hendrik Adriaan van Reed tot Drakestein, renowned Dutch commander better known for his Hortus Malabaricus, a pioneering compilation of the flora of the Malabar Coast.

The Cochin Club

The club, with its impressive library and collection of sporting trophies, is housed in a beautifully landscaped park. In the early 1900s, when the club had just become operational, admission was restricted to the British and to men only. Today, though the club retains its traditional English ambience, its rules are more liberal and the membership of 250 includes women as well.

Bastion Bungalow

Built in the Indo-European style way back in 1667, the Bungalow gets its name from its location on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the old Dutch fort. The building blends beautifully into the circular structure of the bastion, has a tiled roof and a typical first floor verandah in wood along its front portion. Though it has been said that a network of secret tunnels runs beneath the bungalow, none have been found. Today, the Bungalow is the official residence of the Sub Collector.

Willingdon Island

Named after Lord Willingdon, a former British Viceroy of India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels and trading centres, the Port Trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.

Fort Immanuel

This bastion of the Portuguese in Kochi was a symbol of the strategic alliance between the Maharajah of Kochi and the Monarch of Portugal, after whom it was named. Built in 1503, the fort was reinforced in 1538. By 1806 the Dutch, and later the British, had destroyed most of the fort walls and its bastions. Today, remains of this once imposing structure can be seen along the beach.

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep, a Union Territory of India, is a group of 36 islands, located in the Arabian Sea, about 300 km off Kochi. Of these islands, Androt, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadamat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti and Minicoy are inhabited. The main occupation of the islanders is fishing. The languages spoken are Malayalam and Mahl. Tourists are permitted to enter through package tours offered by SPORTS.

For reservation and details contact the Assistant Manager, SPORTS, Lakshadweep Administrative Office, Willingdon Island Kochi Ph: 2668387 2668647.

Malayatoor

Malayatoor is famous for the catholic church on the 609 m high Malayatoor hill (dedicated to St. Thomas).Thousands of devotees undertake the pilgrimage to the shrine to participate in the annual festival - Malayatoor Perunnal (March/April). St.Thomas is believed to have prayed at this shrine. It is 47 Km away from Kochi.

Malayattoor Church

Situated about 47 km from Kochi, Malayattoor is famous for the Catholic Church, located on top of the Malayattoor hill, at a height of 609 mts. Dedicated to St. Thomas the apostle of Jesus Christ, thousands of pilgrims gather here for the annual festival of 'Malayatoor Perunnal',held during the months of March /April. Sailing in an Arab merchant vessel, St. Thomas is believed to have landed at Kodungalloor port in Kerala, in AD 52. It is believed that St. Thomas took the initiative for establishing a Christian community at Malayattoor. In his journey through the length and breadth of the land, St. Thomas founded churches in Kodungalloor, Quilon, Niranam, Nilakkal, Kokkamangalam, Kottakavu and Paalayoor. From the hill side, one can watch the soothing sight of the smooth flowing Periyar river, which itself would make the minds of pilgrims calm and serene. The church provides facilities for bathing in the river. According to a custom observed here, pilgrims shave their hair and beard before bathing in the river. Devotees arriving at the shrine make several types of offerings. Some climb the hill carrying cross in their shoulders; women folk would carry long brooms with them with prayers for prosperity. Some pilgrims carry stones on their heads, an offering that is meant to remove burdens from their lives. There are various religious rituals in the parish church and at the top of the mount. Some of the services include high mass, ordinary mass, Novena, Adima, Vedi Litany etc.

Places to visit at St. Thomas Mount

Visitors to Malayattoor can also find interesting sites in and around the hill top.

Marthoma Mandapam

A very elegant and attractive building with a blend of Greco-Indian architecture, it is here that the precious relics of St. Thomas are preserved. Located at the peak of the mount, the building is erected in such a way that the relic is placed twenty steps above the ground, symbolically representing the twenty years of St Thomas's missionary works in south India.

Sannidhi

Among the structures on top of Malayattoor hill, this one has modern architectural touch, and is situated at the northern most part of the mount. Here, the main attraction is the Piyatha sculpture moulded at the top of the chapel. The Sannidhi is the most spacious place for worship on the mount.

Golden Cross

Kurishumudi is where one can find the Golden Cross believed to have formed when St. Thomas knelt on a rock and signed a cross with his finger. He remained there praying for a long time, and ultimately a golden cross appeared on the spot.

Footprints of St Thomas
One of the most curious sights at the mountain is the permanent footprint and the marks of knees of St. Thomas imprinted on the rock.

The ancient chapel struck by the elephants

An ancient chapel at Kurishumudi, it was attacked by tuskers in the past when it used to be surrounded by thick jungle. Deep tusk marks can still be found on the back wall of the chapel.

The miraculous water spring

A well situated near the ancient chapel at the top of the mount is believed to be the spot from where St. Thomas quenched his thirst during his time of prayer. Feeling thirsty, he struck the rock from which fresh water started flowing. Pilgrims consider the water in the well to possess divine power to heal ailments.

With its recent recognition by Vatican as an international pilgrim centre, this famous shrine at Malayattoor dedicated to St. Thomas would be extending its healing touch and spiritual bliss to more visitors and for those who come to enjoy its serenity. Angamaly, about 17 km from Malayattoor, is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, at Nedumbassery, about 15 km from Malayattoor.

Contact
Administrative Office
Malayattoor Kurusumudy Adivaram, Malayattoor- 683 587
Ph: 91-484-2469008,
E-mail: mkurusumudy@vsnl.net

Idukki

Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. High ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers - Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar - and their tributaries. The river Pamba also has its origin here. The district's name is suposed to have been derived from the malayalam word ' Idukku' meaning a narrow gorge. About 1500 sq ft of it's area is reserved forest, much of which is home to a variety of flora and fauna. For the people of Kerala, Idukki is always associated with power generation, since 60% of the state's power needs come from the hydroelectric power station at Moolamattom. Idukki has wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice fields, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. and a lot more for a visitor to offer. Other than places like Valara, Thommankuthu, Palkulamedu and Munnar which are of indescribable natural beauty, there are five wild life sanctuaries in Idukki district which need special mention.

How to reach

By Air
The nearest airport is at Kochi, 132 km away.

By Train
The nearest railway station is at Kottayam.

By Road
Motorable roads link it to most towns in Kerala.

Places of Interest

Water Falls
Keezharkuth
Attukal
Cheeyappara
Thommankuthu
Power House Waterfalls

Hills
Lock Heart Gap
Echo Point
Ramakalmedu
Peermede
Palkulamedu
Ramakalmedu
Thrissanku Hills
Munnar

Wild Life
Marayoor
The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Eravikulam National Park
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Thekkady
Meenuli

Religious Places
Kalvari Mount
Mangala Devi Temple
Picnic Spots
Malankara reservoir
Nadukani
Idukki Arch Dam
Ilaveezhapoonchira
Kuttikanam
Kalliyanathandu
Murikkady
Pandikuzhi
Thommankuth
Grampi
Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam

Others
Kumily
Tribal settlements in Peermede
Palkulamedu
Sahyadri Ayurvedic Centre
Gavi

Water Falls

Keezharkuth

The Rainbow waterfalls, which cascade down a rock from a height of about 1500 mt is a wonderful attraction of this spot. It can be seen throughout the year in full swing. The forest around this spot is home to various medicinal plants. It is an ideal place for rock climbing, mountaineering and camp trekking. It is 25 km away from Thodupuzha in Idukki. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, is the nearest railway station. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Attukal

A panorama of waterfalls and rolling hills, Attukal, located between Munnar and Pallivasal, is a feast for the eyes. The place is also ideal for long treks. It is 9 km away from Munnar in Idukki. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, is the nearest railway station. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Cheeyappara

The Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls are located between Neriamangalam and Adimali on the Kochi - Madurai highway. The Cheeyappara Waterfalls cascade down in seven steps. It is a real feast for the eyes. This is also a great place for trekking.

Thommankuthu

The seven step waterfall here is a much loved picnic spot. At each step there is a cascade and a pool beneath. Thommankuthu is an ideal place for adventure tourism. It is 17 km from Thodupuzha.

Power House Waterfalls

This waterfall on the way to Thekkady from Munnar 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. It is 18 km from Munnar.

Lock Heart Gap

This is an ideal place for adventure tourism and trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills and panoramic view make it worthy of a visit. It is 13 km from Munnar

Echo Point

This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. Echo Point is on the way to Top Station from Munnar. It is 15 km from Munnar. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, and Theni in Tamilnadu about 60 Km away, are the nearest railway stations. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Ramakalmedu

Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu and enchanting retreat. The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of the picturesque villages of Bodi and Cumbum on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats. Distance 45 km from Idukki, 40 km from Thekkady and 75 km from Munnar. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, is the nearest railway station. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Peermede

Peeremede is a lovely hill station, an ideal retreat in the Western Ghats, lies 915 m above sea level. Sprawling gardens of tea, coffee, cardamom, rubber and eucalyptus lying side by side with natural grasslands, pine forests and waterfalls make this an ideal summer resort. The summer palace of Rajas of erstwhile Travancore is today an important monument here. Peeremede and its surroundings are suitable for trekking, cycling and horse riding. Kuttikanam a place for adventure tourism and trekking is just 3 km from Peeremede. Another attraction here is Thrissanku Hills four km away. The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this a choice spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset. It is situated about 40 Km from Kumily.

Palkulamedu

Kochi, Alappuzha and other nearby towns can be seen from this peak which is located 3125 m above sea level. It is 12 km from Idukki.

Ramakalmedu

Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu an enchanting retreat. The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of the picturesque villages of Bodi and Kambam. It is 16 km from Nedumkandam.

Thrissanku Hills

The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this an ideal spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset. It is 4 km from Peermede, 1/2 km from Kuttikanam.

Munnar

Munnar, one of the most popular hill stations in India is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 m above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, and Theni in Tamilnadu about 60 Km away, are the nearest railway stations. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Places of Interest around Munnar

Anayirangal

It's a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by Tata Tea plantations and evergreen forests. It is an ideal picnic spot 22 km from Munnar.

Top Station

1700m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The rare Neelakurunji (Strobilanthus) belongs to this region. Top Station also offers a panoramic view of neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is 32 Km away from Munnar.

Thrissanku and Peeru hills

Located 4 km from Peermede and half a km from Kuttikanam, Thrissanku has breathtaking landscape with rolling hills and a gentle breeze caressing. A perfect spot to unwind and to go for long walks. The spectacular view of the sunset and sunrise from these hills is simply awesome. Peeru Hills are a true heaven for trekkers and picnickers, Peeru Hills gets its name after the Sufi saint, Peer Mohammed who spent his last days here. Some of the spots worth visiting include the mausoleum of the Sufi saint, the summer palace of the royal family and the residence of the Diwan, all located nearby. Kottayam about 75 km away is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery about 180 km away is the nearest airport.

Rajamala

Fifteen km from Munnar, the famous hill station of Kerala, is the beautiful Rajamala. The natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres), the Eravikulam - Rajamala region is now home to half the world population estimated at around 1300 - of this endangered mountain goat.

Mattupetty

Cradled by the undulating plantation hills of Munnar, and not far away from the Anamudi peak is Mattupetty. Situated in the famous hill town of Munnar, 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 habitat to a variety of birds. Rivulets and cascades crisscross the terrain here, which again adds more attraction to the place. One of the main attractions in Mattupetty is the beautiful lake, and the Mattupetty 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 includes the picturesque Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake. Of all the main attractions at Mattupetty is the dairy farm, run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. The dairy farm is a unique one of its kind with several varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared. Mattupetty is just a 13 kms drive from Munnar. Ernakulam, about 130 km from Munnar, is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, about 110 km from Munnar, is the nearest airport.

Devikulam and Thommankuth

This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing. It is 7 Km from Munnar.

Tea Museum- Munnar

Munnar is perhaps the choicest of places to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges. With special emphasis to Munnar, and to the delight of tea lovers and tourists, Tata Tea recently opened a Tea Museum which houses curious, photographs and machineries, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region. The museum set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar is a fitting tribute to the toils and rigours of its pioneers, who showed utmost determination and were resolute in their efforts to transform Munnar into a major plantation centre of Kerala. Some of the attention grabbing items on display at the museum include the original tea roller, the 'Rotorvane,' dating back to 1905, used for CTC type tea processing; the 'Pelton Wheel' used in the power generation plant that existed in the Kanniamallay estate in the 1920s; a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway that shuttled men and material between Munnar and Top Station during the first half of the last century. A section of the museum also houses classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, manual calculators and EPABX of the1909 telephone system. A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction where one would come across different varieties of tea. Those eager to understand the nuances of tea processing can do so at the CTC and orthodox tea-manufacturing unit at the museum. The museum authorities are also contemplating on the idea of allowing tourists to pluck tea leaves themselves and have them processed in their presence. The Tea Museum by Tata Tea would soon turn out yet another reason for travelers to visit the enchanting plantation hills of Munnar, which have already become one of the prime tourist destinations in Kerala. It is opened on all days of week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tata Tea Museum
Nalluthanni Estate
Munnar, Idukki district.
Pothamedu

Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks. It is 6 Km from Munnar.

Pallivasal

This is the venue of the first Hydro Electric Project in Kerala and a place of immense scenic beauty. It is 8 km from Munnar.

Anayirankal

It's a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirankal Dam is surrounded by the Tata Tea Plantation and evergreen forests. It is an ideal picnic spot. It is 22 km from Munnar.

Chithirapuram

With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram still exudes an old world charm. Home of the Pallyvasal Hydel Power Project, this hill town is also famous for its picturesque tea plantations. It is 10 km from Munnar.

Nyayamakad

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 makes an excellent picnic spot and trekking point. It is 10 km from Munnar.

Kundala

Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala artificial dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also near Kundala. It is 20 km from Munnar.

Pandikuzhi

This picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. A popular picnic spot, Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight. It is 5 km from Thekkady. Changanacherry, about 93 km from Idukki, and Theni in Tamilnadu about 60 Km away, are the nearest railway stations. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) about 140 km away from Idukki is the nearest airport and Cochin International Airport is about 190 km from Idukki.

Wild Life

Marayoor

Located 40 km from Munnar, this is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The sandalwood factory of the Forest Department, the caves (muniyaras) with murals and relics from the New Stone Age civilization and the children's park spread across a hectare of land under the canopy of a single Banyan tree are of great interest to tourists. Thoovanam Waterfall and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are also nearby. Marayoor occupies a vast area on the slopes of the Western Ghats in Idukki district and is an important pre-historic site in Kerala. Apart from the Dolmenoid cists (Dolmenoids were burial chambers made of four stones placed on edges and covered by a fifth one called the cap stone) in Muniyara, Marayoor is famous for its natural sandalwood forests and pre-historic rock paintings. Ernakulam, about 130 km away, is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, about 110 km away, is the nearest airport.

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

A land-locked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary here spreads over an area of 77 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of the district. Situated at an altitude of 450-748 m above sea level, this sanctuary occupies the forest land between the Cheruthoni river and the Periyar river. There is a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical ever-green and deciduous trees, and offers boat rides.

Elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc are seen here apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones. Birds include jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc. The wildlife here is similar to that of Thekkady. This sanctuary lies adjacent to the world renowned Idukki Arch Dam. It is located 40 Km from Thodupuzha and distance from Thodupuzha to Kochi is about 58 km. Kottayam and Changanassery about 114 km away are the nearest railway stations. Madurai in neighbouring Tamilnadu, about 140 km away and Kochi international airport, about 190 km away, are the nearest airports.

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar lake - an artificial lake, at Thekkady which is 4 Km from Kumili. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. In addition to elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangaladevi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest, this sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters. Lake Palace and Aranya Nivas are two idyllic accommodation options set in the sylvan lake side background. The romantic Lake Palace, formerly a summer retreat of the Maharaja of Travancore, is built on a small island accessible only by boat. Aranya Nivas(Jungle Retreat) a stone lodge with rubble masonry and colonial style of architecture at the head of the lake is a premium property of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. Kottayam, about 114 km away is the nearest railway stations. Madurai in neighbouring Tamilnadu, about 140 km away and Kochi international airport, about 190 km away, are the nearest airports.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Located 60 km from Munnar, Chinnar is a wild life sanctuary with an area of 90 sq.Km. The terrain here is undulating and rocky through out at an elevation ranging from 500 to 2400 metres above sea level. The thorny scrub jungle is the unique phenomenon of this sanctuary. The flora in this region consists of thorny scrub jungle, dry deciduous forests, sholas and grass lands. A wide range of wild life is housed in its sanctuary. Elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, tiger, panther, wild dog etc. inhabit in this sanctuary. The aviary includes jungle fowl, spotted dove, pea fowl, jungle crow, Kerala laughing thrush, red vented bulbul, Indian hornbill, small green bee eater, blue throated barbet and a host of other small birds. Ernakulam, about 130 km from Munnar, is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, about 150 km from Munnar, is the nearest airport.

Eravikulam National Park

A sanctuary for the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr ( Hemitragus hylocrious), the Eravikulam National Park stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Rajamalai hills. Anamudi, the highest peak (2695 m) south of the Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The slopes of the hills abound in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a unique inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of fauna found here are the Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, etc. An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi. A protected area, the sanctuary is divided into three regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area - Rajamalai - the region lying beyond the road entry into Eravikulam. Here one can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters. During monsoon season, visitors are not allowed here. Eravikulam is 15 kms from Munnar. Kottayam and Ernakulam are about 142 km and about 130 km resp. from Munnar, are the nearest railway stations. Madurai (Tamilnadu) about 142 km and Cochin International Airport is about 150 km. It is open from 7 am to 6 pm.

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Located at 58 km from Kochi city and 13 km northeast of Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, Thattekkad is made up of dense tropical evergreen and deciduous forest and grassland patches, housing a population of over 500 species of exotic birds. This globally acclaimed bird sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the internationally renowned ornithologist. It is the exotic microcosm of India's bird population that brought Dr. Salim Ali to this place. His efforts were instrumental in the formation of this sanctuary to a large extent. Spread across 25 sq. km. the sanctuary lies between the tributaries of the river Periyar like a peninsula. Rare birds like the Crimson-throated Barbet, Bee eater, Sunbird, Shrike, Black Winged Kite, Night Heron, Falcon, Grey Jungle Fowl, White-Breasted Water Hen, Hornbill, Ceylon Frogmoth, Rose-billed Roller and Blue-winged Parakeet live here. Thattekkad also has extensive plantations of teak, rosewood, mahagony, etc. The dense forest is also the home of nearly 28 varieties of animals and nine varieties of reptiles. Aluva, about 48 km away, is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport, about 44 km, is the nearest airport.

Thekkady

The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. In the Periyar forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. Thekkady lies at an altitude of 900-1800 m above sea level. It has 2500 mm of average rainfall. Flora includes Over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species 143 species of orchids the only South Indian conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus. Fauna includes Mammals of Thirty five species including the wild elephant, gaur, sambar deer and wild boar which can be sighted from the boats the Nilgiri Tahr in the higher rocky areas the endangered lion tailed macaque confined to the evergreen interiors the bonnet macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear etc. Birds of 265 species including migrants. The hornbill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter etc. Reptiles like Cobra, viper, krait, a number of non poisonous snakes, and the monitor lizard. Amphibians like Frogs, toads and limbless caecilians include the colourful Malabar gliding frog, common Indian toad, fungoid frog and bicoloured frog. The Periyar lake and streams have several species of fish including the masheer, the famous and endangered game fish of India. The otter, the only mammal of the lake, can be frequently spotted from the boat. Tea, cardamom, pepper and coffee plantations surround the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. There are two watch towers in the interior of the Periyar forest. Reservations can be made at the Forest Information Centre, Thekkady. Ph: 322028.

Contact
The Wildlife Preservation Officer, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady.

Meenuli

It is noted for two acres of evergreen forests upon a huge rock. The rock is more than 500 acres in area and an ideal spot for mountaineering.

Religious Places

Kalvari Mount
This is a famous pilgrim centre on the way to Kattappana.

Mangala Devi Temple

The ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Thekkady. Ph: 322027. It is 15 km from Thekkady.

Picnic Spots

Malankara reservoir

Located on the Thodupuzha - Moolamattam road, this artificial lake is accessible by road. The reservoir is ideal for boating and fishing. It is 6 km from Thodupuzha.

Nadukani

Moolamattam town, Malankara lake etc. can be viewed from the high pavilion situated here. It is 25 km from Idukki.

Idukki Arch Dam

This is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam, constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills. 550 ft. high and 650 ft. wide, the dam lies close to the Cheruthoni barrage. To its west is the Kulamavu Dam. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located closeby.

Ilaveezhapoonchira

55 km from Kottayam, 20 km from Thodupuzha, this is another picnic spot located in the midst of the beautiful hillocks near Kanjar. It is easily accessible from Palai in Kottayam district. Surrounded by three enchanting hillocks - Mankunnu, Kodayathoormal and Thonippara - makes this place ideal for trekking.

Kuttikanam

A place for adventure tourism and trekking, or even a langourous, tranquil break. This picturesque plantation town washed in the fragrance of cardamom is surrounded by lush, green hills.

Kalliyanathandu

The aerial view of the Idukki reservoir, panoramic view of peaks and forests make this a splendid tourist spot. It is also an ideal place for mountain climbers and trekkers. It is 10 km from Idukki.

Murikkady

Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. It is 5 km from Thekkady.

Thommankuth

The seven step waterfall here is a much loved picnic spot. At each step there is a cascade and a pool beneath. Thommankuthu is an ideal place for adventure tourism. It is 17 km from Thodupuzha.

Grampi

Grampi is also known as Parunthupara (eagle rock) because of the panoramic view from its high peaks. Rocky plains, lush hillsides, forests, trekking trails and picturesque views lend charm to this destination. The road to Grampi is flanked by unending stretches of cardamom, tea and coffee plantations. It is 5 km from Peermede and 10 km from Vandiperiyar.

Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam

This is a picnic spot, 35 km from Thodupuzha, also ideal for meditation, relaxation and watching sunset.

Others

Kumily

This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. An important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region are in Kumily. It is 4 km from Thekkady.

Tribal settlements in Peermede

The Orali, Malapandaram and Malayarayan tribes live in the hills of Peermede. The main tribal settlement here is Plakkathadam which is also known for its trekking trails.

Palkulamedu

Kochi, Alappuzha and other nearby towns can be seen from this peak which is located 3125 m above sea level. It is 12 km from Idukki.

Sahyadri Ayurvedic Centre

A well-established Ayurvedic Hospital, Sahyadri, managed by the Peermede Development Society in Pallikunnu, is well known for its curative and rejuvenating treatment packages. The centre has well-appointed treatment accommodation facilities, a unit for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines and a well-maintained raw drugs museum where more than 200 varieties of rare and endangered herbs are preserved. More than 400 herbs used for medicines are grown in the hospital's own garden spread over 35 acres. For permission to visit the herb garden, contact the Director - Peermede Development Society, Peermede, Idukki. Phone: 332097 332247 Fax: 332096.

Gavi

Gavi Eco-Tourism a project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation has caught the attention of tourists, mostly from European countries. The project is exclusive in many respects and the majority who visited were nature lovers and adventure tourists. Over a short period of time visitors to Gavi gradually increased, especially after 'Alistair International' the world acclaimed tourism major recently listed it among the leading eco-tourism centres and one of the must see places in India. A highlight of the Gavi eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners and cooks. This will provide livelihood for the locals and also will help to create awareness on conservation of nature. Gavi offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris. The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. En route to Gavi are places of interest like Mundakayyam, Kuttikanam, Peermedu and Vandiperiyar from where the road deviates to Gavi. Once you reach Gavi the serene eco-lodge 'Green Mansion' awaits you like a fairy to embrace you in its protective fold. From 'Green Mansion', one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests. Besides the accommodation provided in 'Green Mansion' visitors can also try out the tree houses and also even pitch tents amidst the wilderness. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are overseen by trained local people. Those who would love to be left alone can do so in the tranquil environs of Gavi or may even go canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually provided vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly ambiance of the place. The place is rich in flora and fauna. There are hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, sholas, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations. Endangered species including the Nilgiri Thar, Lion-tailed macaque is often sighted at the outskirts of Gavi. With more than 260 species of birds including the great pied hornbill, woodpecker, and kingfishers, Gavi is a heaven for birdwatchers. Active involvement of tribals in Gavi makes it a unique venture of its kind in the country. Traditional knowledge of the forest and its way of life helps Gavi to sustain its surroundings in its original state. Some of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi like the Valley View offer spectacular view of the deep ravine and the forest below. From Kochu Pampa, a point near Green Mansion eco-lodge one can track the grazing Nilgiri Tahrs. The famous pilgrim destination, Sabarimala is a short trek from Gavi. For those interested in observing the nocturnal wildlife, night safaris to Kullur, Gavi Pullumedu, Kochu Pampa, Pachakanam provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing. Another unique feature of Gavi is, camping in the forests. One can pitch a tent in the camping site, which is a rarity in many Indian forests. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere, an experience that cannot be explained in words. There are also tree top houses where one can enjoy the avian life to the fullest. Gavi is bound to cast its magical spell on every visitor and is surely a place that should not be missed in one's lifetime. Gavi is pristine, and it belongs to the wild, which is a reminder that visitors are responsible for their intentions and actions, which will have a bearing on the upkeep of Gavi for a long time to come. Gavi is located above 28 km from Vandiperiyar, which is 18 km from Thekkady. Kottayam, about 114 km away, is the nearest railway station. Madurai Airport (Tamil Nadu), about 140 km away and Kochi International Airport, about 190 km away are the nearest airports.

Contact
Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Eco-Tourism Project,
Periyar. Tel: 91-4869-224577