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10 Top-Rated Attractions in Idukki

Idukki Travel Guide: 10 Top-Rated Attractions in Idukki (2024)

Known as the spice garden of Kerala, Idukki is a landlocked district in God’s Own Country, Kerala. Idukki is famous for being the most nature-rich district in Kerala, and more than half of the entire district is covered in forests. This beautiful and rugged hill resort town is known for its charming bungalows, wildlife sanctuaries, rubber plantations, tea factories, and dense forests.

The most famous attraction of Idukki is the 650 feet long and 550 feet high arch dam that lies across the Kuravan Kurathi Mountain, which is the biggest in the country. The Anamudi Peak, the highest peak of India, is also located in Idukki. The district of Idukki has a lot of potential for eco-tourism, but more promotional activities, as well as the proper development of infrastructure, are needed to boost eco-tourism in Idukki.

10 Top-Rated Attractions in Idukki

Here are the top places to visit in Idukki.

1. Idukki Arch Dam

The Idukki Arch Dam is one of the engineering marvels of India. This is an arch dam built on the Periyar River. It has a double curvature and is constructed in a gorge located between two hills, the Kuravan Hills and the Kuravathi Hills. The dam is situated at the height of around 550 feet, and you get a breathtaking view of the entire rugged terrain surrounding the dam. 

With its magnificent height, the Idukki Arch Dam is one of its kind in India, and it is also one of the highest arch dams in Asia. Owing to its massive size, this dam can be seen even from quite a distance, providing a stunning sight of the enormous structure rising from between the granite hills. The entire surrounding landscape is covered in lush greenery, and the reservoir attracts many locals as well as tourists. The state government, as part of its efforts to promote hydel tourism, has opened up boating in the reservoir for tourists.

Apart from taking a thrilling boat ride through the dam reservoir, you should also make it a point to visit the Cheruthoni Dam and the Kulamuva Dam. The Cheruthoni Dam is located just a stone’s throw from the Idukki Arch Dam. This is a concrete gravity dam that is also the biggest and highest dam in the state. Therefore, it is a good idea to catch the sunrise and sunset from this dam. Meanwhile, the Kulamuva Dam is located a bit further away from the Idukki Arch Dam (around 30 kilometers) but worth visiting. This is also a gravity dam, and there are many activities that take place here, including trekking, boating, and general sightseeing.

It is important to know that photography is not allowed at the Idukki Arch Dam. Also, no electronic items are allowed inside.

To reach the Idukki Arch Dam, you can easily take a cab or bus from anywhere within the Idukki District.

2. Hill View Park

Located just one kilometer from the Idukki city center, the Hill View Park has been set up just 350 feet from the Idukki Dam. The Hill View Park in Idukki is the perfect place to get some of the most spectacular views of the Idukki and Cheruthoni Dams.

Apart from being a renowned tourist attraction in Idukki, this park is an ideal place to catch sight of some of the diverse wildlife in this region. In addition, there are many adventure activities available in the park, including zip lining.

There is a sloping road that takes you up to the Hill View Park, where there are several restaurants and cafes. There is also a small children’s playing area with swings and slides inside the park. Don’t forget to buy the famous spiced chocolate here. This is also the best place to click pictures of the Idukki Dam since it is not allowed to click any photos at the dam.

3. Painavu

Painavu is the ideal shopping paradise. Located only 10 kilometers from the city center of Idukki, Painavu is a famous stopover to the Cheruthoni Dam. Painavu is renowned for its handicrafts and silk clothes. Located within the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, this is a nature-bracketed site that is an excellent trekking site. Surrounded by lush green plantations, Painavu is the best place to spot elephants during the monsoons and winters.

Nevertheless, the best time to visit Painavu is between September to May, once the rainy season has come to an end. Painavu is also one of the most sought-after weekend getaway spots from Munnar and Kochi.

4. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Udumpanchola and Thodupuzha taluks of Idukki. The sanctuary is situated at the height of 450 to 750 feet above sea level. Surrounded on three sides by the serene waters of the Idukki Lake, the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the heart of tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, deciduous trees, and lush green meadows. This is also one of the places to visit if you want to see wild elephants.

Some of the other animals you can spot here include sambar, bison, wild dogs, deer, Malabar Giant Squirrel, tigers, wild boars, and jungle cats. There are many reptiles as well, including viper, cobra, krait, and others. This is a perfect place for bird watchers as well, and you can spot many avian species here, like the Malabar grey hornbill, black bulbul, golden oriole, and purple sunbird.

The best time to visit the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is between December to April.

5. Ilaveezha Poonchira

Commonly referred to as the Shangri-La of Kerala, Ilaveezha Poonchira is located in the Melukavu Village in the Kottayam District, very close to Idukki. You must visit Ilaveezha Poonchira when you are in Idukki. Ilaveezha Poonchira is located at the foothills of three beautiful floral hillocks, the Mankunnu, Thonippara, and Kudayathur Hills. In fact, the word Ilaveezha Poonchira itself means ‘the pond of flowers where the leaves do not fall.

It is best to visit this enchanting place in the monsoon season when the valley is transformed, and there is a riot of colors across the valley. This is also a perfect destination for trekking.

Ilaveezha Poonchira is located 36 kilometers from Idukki.

6. Mangala Devi Temple

Located at an awe-inspiring altitude of 1337 meters above sea level, the Mangala Devi Temple is a famous pilgrimage center of Idukki. This temple is dedicated to the local deity known as Mangala Devi, who is greatly revered across Kerala.

7. Thommankuthu Falls

Located 17 kilometers from the Thodupuzha taluk, the breathtaking Thommankuthu Falls is a must-visit. This is a stunning seven-step waterfall that comes cascading down to collect into a pool. This location is ideal for rock climbing and trekking. You can also take part in activities like horse riding, fishing, and boating while visiting the Thommankuthu Falls.

8. Nadukani

Nadukani, nestled in the heart of wilderness and nature, offers the most beautiful trail for trekking in Idukki. Located at the height of 3000 feet above sea level on a densely wooded hill, this place gives you some of the most stunning views of the River Muvattupuzha and the mountains on the northern side.

9. Keezharkuthu Falls

Located 30 kilometers from Idukki, the cascading waters of the Keezharkuthu Falls come crashing down from a whopping height of 1500 meters. Surrounded by hills and lush greenery, the sight is enough to take your breath away. This is a preferred place for many photographers. This waterfall is also known as the Rainbow Falls since you often get to see rainbows adorning the sky here.

The surrounding forests are full of many medicinal plants and herbs, which are used by the local inhabitants of this region for centuries. The place is also home to rich and unique fauna.

The rocky terrain of Keezharkuthu is also famous for adventure tourism with activities like mountaineering, trekking, camping, and rock climbing.

10. Ayyapancoil Hanging Bridge

Located 14 kilometers from the Idukki city center, the Ayyapancoil Hanging Bridge is one of its kind of attractions that many tourists come to visit on a daily basis. This is one of the longest hanging bridges in Kerala. The entire area surrounding the Ayyapancoil Hanging Bridge is rich in greenery, and it is a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or an unplanned holiday.

A bridge is an engineering wonder, and it is also one of the least explored areas of Idukki, so you must make it a point to visit this place. The nearby Periyar River also leaves you awestruck with its beauty and serenity.

How to Reach Idukki?

Perched on top of a majestic mountain and amidst the great heights of the Western Ghats, Idukki is a treasure trove of nature. With quaint colonial cottages, narrow cobblestone sloping streets, and the heady fragrance of tea and coffee plantations add to its beauty and charm.

Since Idukki is densely covered with mountains and forests, the best way to reach Idukki is to make use of the excellent road network the State Board has in place. Privately run buses and Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses both operate various buses on the routes of this district.

The nearest railway station is Kottayam, which is 114 kilometers away from Idukki. The nearest airport is the Kochi International Airport, located 98 kilometers away from Idukki. From Kochi, there are many buses and taxis that ply to and fro to Idukki daily.

You can also easily drive to Idukki from nearby cities like Kochi, Kottayam. Kattappana, Kumily, Thodupuzha, Munnar, and Kollam. The drive down to Idukki is a wonderful experience as the road network is well maintained, and you pass through some of the greenest landscapes around on your drive.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Idukki?

The best time to visit Idukki is during the winter months of November to February. While you can visit Idukki during the entire year owing to the pleasant round-the-year climate of this place, it is best to plan your trip during the winter season. In fact, the district of Idukki has a variable climate, and when you travel to the wester to the eastern part of the district, you will find moderate weather on the west end of Idukki and a colder environment in the east part.

The hill town receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, especially in the northwestern and southwestern parts. The summer months of March to May are moderately warm, and you can also plan your trip during these months. It is best to avoid the monsoon months of June to September to visit Idukki as the district receives heavy rainfall at this time.

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