Agastyarkoodam or Agastya Mala is the second highest peak in Kerala. This forested peak, an ideal trekking destination in the Western Ghats is 70km away from Trivandrum. It is accessed only on foot as tourists has to trek 24 km from Bonacaud, base camp of Agastya Mala. The 1868 m peak is the abode of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is one among the Saptarishis. Many Kerala as well as Tamilnadu rivers originate from the hill. Some of them are Kallada River, Achankoil River, Karamana River, Neyyar River, Thamirabarani River and Manimuthar River.
Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, covers 23 sq km, is an important tourist attraction here. It is repository of medicinal plants and rare herbs. A valuable and rare herb ‘Arogyapacha’ (plant of eternal health) is spotted here. Agastyarkoodam is being called as a bio diversity hotspot .The peak is home to many endangered mammals including the Lion-Tailed Macaques, Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Great Pied Hornbills, and Sloth Bear.
Do you want to enjoy the real beauty of Munnar? Munnar is a favorite hill station of many honeymoon couples and holidaymakers because of its matchless natural beauty and excellent tourist attractions. The cool climate and spice scented air certainly make your holidays in this hill station refreshing. Karadipara is a beautiful picnic spot in this hill station where travelers can enjoy the real beauty of Munnar valleys.
Enjoy The Scenic Nature
It must be a memorable experience for the travelers to watch the scenic nature from the view point of Karadipara. You can watch the extensive tea plantations and mist-clad mountains from this spot. These breathtaking views should fill your mind and make it refreshed. This beautiful picnic spot is on the way to Munnar and never forget to take a halt here during your trip to this hill station.
A Unique Picnic Spot
Karadipara View Point can be a good choice for travelers who love to enjoy the excellence of the hill station of Munnar. People mainly choose this route in order to watch the long views of the mountains and sprawling tea gardens. There are a few park seats in this picnic spot for visitors who love to enjoy the majestic landscape conveniently. Remember to carry a camera with you in order to capture beautiful photographs with amazing background. The pictures will remind your beautiful trip to Munnar and Karadipara.
Munnar is a favorite spot for both nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. It is certainly a beautiful experience to explore the panoramic nature and feel its fresh air. Many nature lovers and honeymoon couples choose this hill station in order to enjoy its beautiful tourist attractions. Munnar is blessed with rolling hills, gorgeous valleys, extensive tea plantations, majestic waterfalls and unique flora and fauna. It can be a perfect place to unwind and relax. Make some beautiful holidays in your life by planning a trip to Munnar.
Catch The Excellence
Karadipara is the right picnic spot for travelers who love to enjoy the real beauty of Munnar. Each visitor to this tourist spot admires the extensive tea gardens and long viewpoint of misty mountains. It must be a mesmerizing experience to watch the serenity and charm of mountains from this standpoint.
Remember to do a good shopping during your trip to Karadipara. Visitors prefer to buy fresh tea, coffee and spices from this area. You can buy spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and pepper from here. Travelers also love to buy homemade chocolates if they take a halt to enjoy the beauty of the place. So, log on www.ksu.in to get more details about Karadipara and plan your trip to Munnar.
Kalasamala is a virgin scenic hill station that lies to the north west of Thrissur district, which is renowned as the cultural capital of God`s Own Country Kerala. The view from the top is overwhelming. No wonder it is being promoted as a budding eco-tourist-cum-bio-deversity heritage spot in the district.
Kalasamala Grove in Akathiyoor near Kunnamkulam is the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of the State designated by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBDB). Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are the foremost deities of this sacred temple grove. Experts have identified the grove as home to critically endangered tree species known as Syzygium travancoricum inside the temple premises at Kalasamala. The sacred grove has 3.5 acres of land crammed with 110 Syzygium travancoricum ( locally known as Kulavetti or Vathamkolli) trees – a critically endangered plant species included in the IUCN Red List. According to the Red List less than 200 of the trees, usually seen in fresh water, are left.
The temple authorities of Kalasamala grove are the caretakers of this unique ecosystem, and play a fundamental role in the management of the bio diversity conservation system. The national Bio Diversity Authority (NRDA) and the KSBDB provide financial assistance to the temple authorities for the protection of this exceptional ecosystem. The local panchayat also allocates funds in its plan for conservation and fortification of the site. A total ban on cuttung trees in the sacred grove is in place.
Bio-Diversity heritage Sites (BHS)
The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 stipulates that the State governments notify areas of biodiversity value as BHS and that they should frame rules and regulations for the successful management and conservation of these sites. The State Biodiversity Board has already recognized five dissimilar ecosystems as BHS within the state, of which Syzygium travancoricum sighted in Kalasamala grove is one of the prominent ones. The Board has also identified the sacred groves at Iringole near Perumbavoor, the Paliyeri Mookambika temple in Karivallur near Kannur, the Connolly Teak Plantation in Nilambur and the Pathiramanal Island near Muhamma to be designated as biodiversity heritage sites.
Heritage attractions in Kalasamala
Apart from the grove, there is natural cave, on the hilltop in Kalasamala, locally known as Narimala, which dates back to the Stone Ae and it also has a dense shola forest having a beautiful temple in the middle. Stones such as Umbrella stone ( Kuda Kallu ) and cap stone ( Thoppi Kallu ) are seen here, which belongs to the megalithic age. The verdant hilltop with the temple lamps twinkling at twilight makes for a breathtaking sight.
Years ago, a Telugu film was shot here, for which the art director had created a miniature temple. When the film unit left, the temple remained abandoned there. One day, a Kalvilakku ( multilayer lamp made of stone ) appeared in front of the model temple, soon followed by religious rituals. The timely interference of the panchayat stopped the film`s miniature temple model from turing into a real temple. The scenic Kalasamala hill has been seen in many Malayalam movies, including Bhoothakanndi, directed by Lohithadas starring Mammootty. Evening are the perfect time to visiting this picturesque locale. For urban people, Kalasamala offers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and enchanting introduction to the beauty of nature.
Kalasamala, as a Kerala tourist destination offers nature at its best even to the most discerning traveller.
It is birds and butterflies all around at Anamudi Shola National Park, Kerala. Anyone entering the Shola should keep one’s eye’s wide open, for this is one belt that has tigers, gaurs, leopards, elephants, wild boars and sambhars. Gaint squirrels can be seen leaping among branches.
This is one of the largest shola forest ecosystem, which gives it a uniqueness both in climate and biodiversity. That explains why when even in the peak of summer, it is cool most of the time out atop the hill ranges which are around 7,500 feet above sea level. In April, the temperature is unlikely to go beyond 25 degrees.
Sitting outside the hut of the forest department or going up the watchtower nearby can be a different and colourful experience with all the bright coloured flowering trees, the lush green hillocks and the wavy tea gardens around.
Monsoon is another enchanting season as the park receives an annual average rainfall of about 4,500 mm. But one cannot venture out to the forests. Sitting in the hut, one can listen to the roaring music of the rains interspersed with howling winds.
It is this dense ecosystem that is source for the Pambar river and as locals, the Muthuvan tribe, say this shola provides water for the whole of Munnar. The dense forests have little rivulets that are perennial water sources flowing into the river.
With the assistance of the forest officials one can even under take a trek through the dense forest where you may come across a herd of bisons or wild boar. Most of the tree barks are covered mosses or lichens.
The massive ferns can leave you wounder struck. At a distance between the sholas are grasslands which make playgrounds for tigers and leopards.
According to Munnar Wildlife Warden P.U. Saju, there are more than 60 species of trees and around 175 shrubs and herbs and variety of lichens and climbers. It is a den for butterflies with more than a hundred species and roughly 230 moth species. The thick forest canopy also makes it a den for birds and surveys have pointed to around 75 species in this shola, he adds.
Alongside the Anamalai National Park, declared one in November 2003, are the Mannavan, Pullardi and Idivara sholas. The hut is run by the Eco development society of the forest department. Enquirers and reservation can be made at Forest information centre at Munnar.
Going to Nelliyampathy ? Take a skilled driver along!” is the oft heard advice to any travel enthusiast making a trip to the renowned hill station in Palakkad.
From Pothundi dam, nine kilometers from Nemmara in the district, a narrow road winds up 17 KM, around hairpin turns towards the renowned Nelliyampathy Hills. Savoring the sights of massive trees, monkeys, porcupines and numerous other interesting fauna, travelers can reach this paradise surrounded by tea and coffee plantations, some of which are the highest yielding estates in the country itself, from where you can also buy fresh tea. Theses estates have existed from the British times.
The monsoon traveler is welcomed by numerous newborn waterfalls on the way to Nelliyampathy. Umpteen species of butterfies and birds such as Great Pied Hornbill, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Pipit, Launghing Thrush, great Black Woodpecker and oriental Broad-billed Roller add colour to the verdant green locale. Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species found in Munnar, can be spotted here too, along with Nilgiri langur and lion-tailed macaue. Interested in feasting on fresh fruits and vegetables and products made from them? Farms run by Kerala government in Nelliampathi sell these like hot cakes.
Enjoy fresh squashes and jams, as you check out the numerous peaks here. Padgiri peak, standing tall on the Nellikotta mountain range, is the highest in Nelliyampathy. Vellachimudi, Mayanmudi, Valiyavana and Vela Vanchan are some of the other important ones. Seetharkundu, a small stream with a mythological connection, is a popular among religiously-inclined travelers. According to folklore, Lore Rama`s consort Sita used to worship with the water in Seetharkundu, which is how it acquired the name. The hill station, located about 60 Kilometers from Pallakad central, has numerous state and private run lodging facilities that are budget friendly.
Munnar Homestay – Home on the Range
Munnar, with its rolling countryside and spreading plantations, is best enjoyed by living in a Munnar Homestay.
When the British planters clambered up the hills to the confluence of three streams running out of the Kannan Devan range carrying the first of the tea saplings, and in time, carpeting the favourable slopes with lush tracts of tea plantations, heralding the mushrooming of estate bungalows, little did they know. That, by the turn of the century, Munnar (literally, ‘three rivers’) would be rated one of the most popular hill stations of the Indian south.
Apart from cups of tea—and showcasing the beverage’s fabled origin, recounted in a visit-worthy museum—this idyllic locale includes lush and rolling hillsides, langorous clouds, gurgling brooks and a nippy chill. But the Munnar experience is incomplete without reliving the days of its old world charm—stacked sacks reminiscent of the spice trade, the influence of its colonial past on the charming real estate of today, although little remains, and the warmth of the Malayalis—when you happen to stay in one of the laid-back homestays. But don’t expect services and, with frequent power outages, be prepared for at least one candle-light evening.
With impeccable hospitality. Royal Mist (Call 09495444123 email email@example.com) is a recommended option. The large terrace on the upper floor opens out into perhaps the best view, especially delightful for that morning cuppa. It is backed by three delightful rooms. A sumptuous breakfast comes with the room, but other meals are equally worth digging into. The host is always eager to lend his presence for a network of short walks around vanilla and pepper plants, imparting insights about the Munnar spice story. For women, there are always cooking lessons available from the hostess. And don’t call it a day without taking another short walk to see the mesmerising sunset over the tea plantations.
If poor roads do not deter you. Rose Gardens (Call 09447378524 email firstname.lastname@example.org), located about 14 km from Munnar proper, is another great stay option with large rooms amidst thick plantations and the aroma of spices. Opt for the rooms at the back on the upper floor and keep your budget a little flexible. This farmhouse-look homestay on the main Kochi- Munnar highway sits in an idyllic two acres of plantation and here too the hosts are eager to share knowledge about home-grown species. Expect to be away from the idiot box. Instead, you might be exchanging travel tips with other guests.
Greenspaces (Call 09747483119 email tdmunnar@gmail. com) prefers to call itself a homestead and it’s very high on character with wooden floors and ceilings and rustic in-betweens. The open deck outside the upper two rooms is a vantage point, where one can spend hours listening to the sorority of winged species. A pocket-friendly option, Greenspaces sits amid a swathe of lush natural cardamom deep in the woods. After sunset, the surroundings become pitch-dark and it is preferable to get in early from Munnar’s must-dos. You will be spoiled by the coal-fired barbeque under the stars.
A couple of minutes’ uphill walk from town, easy on the pocket and with wi-fi for those who dare not live without it, Rheinberg (Call 09497320970 email email@example.com) homestay is another good choice. It overlooks the bustle of Munnar, yet is private enough, with flowers blooming in the small garden. The place has three spacious rooms, each named after a decor theme— Woody, Sky Blue and Bamboo. The caretaker can offer no more than tea and coffee but is more than willing to get food from restaurants around. Sarvana Bhawan, a popular South Indian eatery, is a short walk away.
By Air Kochi (100 km) has the nearest airport. Taxis are available for Rs. 3,000
By Rail Angamaly (120 km) is the nearest railway station. Thrissur (132 km) has better connectivity with major metros across India. Taxis cost Rs. 3,000
By Road By road Munnar is approachable from Ernakulam (140 km). Kochi Munnar Taxis charge about Rs 3,000
Best Season All year round, except June to August
Located 38 km from Munnar Town, a trip to the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate & Factory is unforgettable. Touted as the world’s highest tea estate that grows organic orthodox tea, it offers plenty of thrills and chills, with spectacular scenery to boot. Thrills from the drive up the steep, one-laned mountain roads that makes your heart skip several beats, and chills because the estate, located between 6,500 ft and 8,500 ft above sea level, can turn your toes to ice. The estate has an unmatched 360° view of lush tea plantations and lofty mountain peaks, and also houses an 84-year-old tea factory that still operates British-era machinery. Stock up on some organic tea available at the factory shop.
What didn’t: The roads that lead to the estate are stones of all sizes held together by mud – be prepared for an extremely bumpy ride.
If travelling in an open jeep, hold on tight or you may find yourself at the bottom of a steep ravine.
Try making it to Kolukkumalai before sunrise to catch the magnificent views. It isn’t advisable to go in your own car – not even a 4WD. Hire a jeep from Munnar Town (round trip from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500, excluding entry onto the private road that leads to the estate). The factory tour costs Rs. 100/ person and includes a cup of tea.