The largest district in Kerala, Idukki covers nearly 13 per cent of the State’s total area, 97 per cent ofwhich is covered in rugged mountains and dense forests. Three large rivers, numerous trekking trails, stunning views and a diverse wildlife make it an outdoor enthusiast’s delight. This pristine hideaway has successfully retained its charm sans tourist hysteria. Idukki has a predominantly tribal population with 200 tribal settlements scattered all over the district in remote hilly areas and dense forests. Base yourself at Cheruthoni or Kulamavu to explore the three great dams on the Periyar and other tourist attractions such as Nadukani Viewpoint, the Idukki Hildlife Sanctuary and the mesmerising Thommankuthu waterfalls.
Idukki Arch Dam:
The Periyar River flows through a gorge formed by two huge rocks called kuravan and kurathi. The magnificent parabolic structure of Asia’s first arch dam spans the gorge. On one side stretches the placid reservoir, whereas on the other, the dam plunges deep into a forested valley.
Located 35 km from Thodupuzha, Kalvary Mount offers a stunning view of its scenic surroundings the vast Idukki reservoir and the forested valleys. A wonderful place for trekking, visitors may, if they are fortunate, spot a herd of elephants. During Lent, pilgrims climb up the hillock in a procession, and on Good Friday, they carry crosses up the hill to the top.
Thommankuthu is famous for its waterfall. These falls have been named after Thomban, a tribal leader who was washed away near a waterfall called `Thombankuthu’. Later, the name changed to `Thommankuthu’. The seven-step fall drops down a rock from a height of 1,500 m and is a popular picnic spot. At each step, there is a cascade with a pool below it. The 12-km trek to the top of the hill is a memorable experience. The less adventurous have the option of enjoying the shallow pools below.
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