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Hill Stations in Kerala

Kerala has been famous for its natural riches at least since the time of King Solomon. Driving from the ocean to the hills the moist jade of coastal rice and paddy fields and coconut groves give way to bananas, black pepper, Ginger and tapioca. Moving higher the road begins to wind through
tea estates and plantations of coffee, rubber and spices. Kumily, the town is rich in spices particularly cardamom and along with cinnamon, ginger, nut Meg, cloves and of course Kerala’s famous “black gold”- pepper. The small towns and villages dotted through the inland hills are friendly and relaxed places. 


A landlocked district,
Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. Three main rivers- Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar- and their tributaries gird the high ranges and wooded valleys. The river Pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. Idukki has a large population of tribals who have unique customs and beliefs and maintain an ethos, which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.

 Another place Munnar, situated at an altitude of 1525 meters, 135 km from Cochin and 55 km from Idukki town, is a   confluence of three mountain streams. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was the summer resort of the British government in south India. It has a cool bracing climate exuding the old- world charm. The atmosphere is fragrant with extensive tea and cardamom plantations. There are enchanting high ranges lakes and streams and lovely views of low-flying clouds and mist-filled valleys. The highest peak of South India Anamudi (2695 metres) is only a short distance from the place.
Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking. Sprawling tea plantations, picture - book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station Neelakurinji is the flower which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 A.D. Much of Kerala's exotic appeal is centred in the highland area of the Western Ghats. Rising to an average height of 1520 m, the tropical forests of the Ghats house rich flora and fauna.

The toy like resort of Ponmudi can be reached in an easy, two-hour drive from Trivandrum. The winding road passes farms, small villages the enchanting “Golden Valley” passed and those still to come. The rolling vistas of mountains, tea plantations and mist-covered valleys unfold in all directions.

Peermade is a small hill Station on the way to Thekkady. It is a fertile land at an altitude of 914 meters. Formerly the summer palaces of Travancore Raja’s, this tiny and cool hill station are full of rubber, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations, intersquessed with waterfalls and open grasslands.

At an elevation of 110 meters above sea level is Vagamon, is the ultimate trekkers’ paradise. Stop by to see the unique rock formations at Thangalpara, the lush green meadows and the hidden valleys, all compelling works of nature. Wagamon is also known for its tea gardens and the Kurisumala Ashram.

Situated at a height of 1700 m, Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm - the indo Swiss live stock project. Over a 100 varieties of high yielding cattles are reared here. The Mattupetty Lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.


Devikulam
is a small hill station situated 16 km south west of Munnar. Devikulam, literally means that the ‘Pond of Goddess’. According to legend Sita the consort of Lord Rama, once had a bath in this lake. It is a beautiful place with a lot of tea plantations.

Kerala’s hill stations are built on a small scale; but what they lack in size is amply compensated by charm, mesmerizing beauty and a sense that one is stepping back into a former more gentle time.

 

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