Kerala Hill Stations is all exotic seashores and lush green hill stations that are a delight to the visitors. Much of the highland area of the Western Ghats is enviable for its serene and tranquil surroundings, wonderful treks, aromatic plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and fragrant cardamom, tropical forests and rich flora and fauna rising to an average height of 1520 m. Here, we have attempted to cover the major hill stations.
About Kerala :
Kerala is more popular the world over for its beautiful beaches, bewitching backwaters, silky sand, sensuous sea and wilderness of the wildlife. But there is more to Kerala than this. Far off in the heights of the Western Ghats, Kerala has number of hill stations less ventured and explored. The hill stations of Kerala are the most perfect choice if you want to getaway from the city noises, deadlines, stress, tension and crowd. Decorated with meandering roads, ravishing rivulets, splendid springs and wondrous waterfalls, these hill stations are really different from other popular hill stations of India.The hill stations of Kerala are dense in vegetation and provide natural habitat to exotic wildlife. These beautiful hill stations of Kerala are also the source of the famous spices of Kerala. Spices such as pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and the cashew nut are grown in the plantations on the hill stations in Kerala. The Dutch and English colonial rulers of Kerala introduced cash crops plantations such as rubber and tea in the 18th and 19th centuries, which has continued till today.
Tourist Attractions in Kerala :
- Ponmudi : Situated at a height of 915 m above sea level, it is an Idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways surrounded by cool, green, thickly wooded forests. Adorned with pretty mountain flowers, colorful butterflies, small rivulets and springs, these hill station boasts of a deer park and excellent trekking trails.
- Idukki : Idukki means narrow gorge. It 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. It is a small hill town surrounded by a spread of beautiful, wooden valleys, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides and meandering streams. Three rivers and their tributaries surround the region, namely, Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar while River Pamba originate from the place.
- Munnar : Known for its cool climate and tea plantation, this serene and tranquil hill town houses many colonial bungalows, tea factories, wildlife sanctuaries and many lakes. Situated at the confluence of three mountain streams namely Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Situated at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level, it was the erstwhile summer resort of the British government in South India. These hills are famous for the blue flowers of ‘Neelakurinji’, that blossom once in every twelve years to bathe the hills in blue. Next time they will bloom in 2006. Munnar also has the highest peak in south India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m and is an ideal spot for trekking.
- Mattupetty : Located at a height of 1,700m, Mattupetti is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm that owes itself to the Indo-Swiss live stock project. It is home to over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. One may visit the three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm. However, Mattupetti Lake with a Dam and boating facilities is the favorite picnic spot of the region along with Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake nearby.
- Devikulam : An irresistible display of natural greenery, the slopes of Devikulam ascend to as high as 1000 metres adorned with the silent clusters of slender red and blue gum trees. 16 km southwest of Munnar, Devikulam (the lake of the goddess) sports a lovely little lake hidden amidst the rolling hills. According to a legend, Sita Devi, the consort of Lord Rama, came down to frolic in the lake and the place came to be known by the present name ever since.
- Wagamon : 65 km from Idukki town, 110 m above sea level, this hill station is mainly for trekkers with its beautiful trails and is surrounded by beautiful meadows, valleys and tea gardens.
- Peruvannamuzhi : 60 km from Kozhikode, the Peruvannamuzhi dam site set amidst hills is a beautiful picnic spot. The reservoir here provides speedboat and rowboat cruise facilities and uninhabited island, a bird sanctuary and a crocodile farm makes it much more inviting to the tourists.
- Vythiri : A scenic place located in the sylvan Northern High Ranges in Wayanad District, it is exclusive, comfortable, refreshing, pollution free and inspiring with vast stretches of lush green land interspersed with perennial streams and rolling hills. Situated near the Pookot Lake, this little city breathes history and legend. A natural choice because of its accessibility, beauty and pleasant climate, it rises 2600 ft. above sea level and was once a favorite retreat for English planters during colonial times.
- Lakkidi : One of the highest locations in Wayanad, it registers the second highest degree of Rainfall in the world. Killikkurissimangalam in Lakkidi is the birthplace of Kunjan Nambiar, Kerala’s famous satirist poet, who is regarded as the progenitor of Ottanthullal, the traditional solo dance narration. His songs combine satirical barbs with rib tickling laughter. Some of the famous lines are still quoted to lampoon contemporary social injustices. The Government of Kerala preserves the poet’s house as a monument.
- Chembra Peak : The highest peak in Wayanad, at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level, it is located 14 km west of Kalpetta. Trekking to the Chembra peak is strictly for the adventurous types as it is risky. There are temporary camps on the top of this peak and one can hire guides, sleeping bags, canvass huts and trekking implements. The peak provides some breathtaking views of the scenic beauty of Wayanad district while the lake at the top of the hill never dries up. A spring murmurs along all the way and sprouts from the top of the hill.
- Malampuzha : A large irrigation dam built across the longest river in Kerala, the Bharathapuzha, it is situated at the base of the hills of the Western Ghats. The highlights of the place are its beautiful gardens, amusement parks, boating cruises, rock garden, fish-shaped aquarium, Snake Park, the ropeway, which takes the tourist on an aerial tour of the park, and the famous work Yakshi (an enchantress) sculpted by Kanai Kunjiraman. It is amazing to see the rock garden, which is built entirely of unwanted and broken pieces of bangles, tiles, used plastic cans, tins and other waste materials. The garden is a masterwork of sculptor Padmasree Nek Chand Saini. His rock garden in Chandigarh is world famous and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
- Thiruvananthapuram : The capital of Kerala, was earlier called Trivandrum and is known for its mild climate. The Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple, the Sri Chitra Art gallery, palaces of the family of the Maharajas of Travancore, museums and the beautiful Kovalam beach not far away, make Trivandrum a pleasant Indian holiday destination.
- Kochi : Known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” Kochi (Cochin) is a busy port city, which is known for the Chinese fishing nets in its harbor, the Jewish synagogue, St Francis Church, the Dutch Palace at Matancherry, Fort Cochin and the Santa Cruz Basilica.
- Kovalam Beach : Rated among the best beaches in the world, Kovalam beach is situated 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram. You can enjoy sunbathing on the sandy beach, or swimming in the Arabian Sea. There are also facilities for water sports such as surfing, jet skiing, water skiing and catamaran rides.
- Backwaters : The backwaters of Kerala, are calm palm-fringed waterways that connect villages along the coast, particularly around Allapuzha. You can enjoy a cruise on a traditional houseboat or Kettuvallom into a serene world of quiet water and greenery interrupted only by the sound of rippling water and birdcalls.
- Alappuzha : Some of the most scenic backwaters of Kerala are to be seen near this town of the coast of Kerala, India. Allapuzha is the venue for the annual snake boat races held during the Onam festival, where teams compete for the Nehru Gold Cup.
- Kumarakom : This group of islands in Vembanad Lake is an out of this world destination. The beauty of the swaying palm trees, green paddy fields, waterways and the sound of birdsong from the nearby bird sanctuary makes an Indian Holiday at Kumarakom, truly unforgettable.
- Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resorts : Ayurveda, which has been practiced in India for centuries, as a traditional system of healing and rejuvenation, is now known worldwide. Tourists come to Kerala from across the world to experience the benefits of ayurvedic massage therapy, which involves treating the body with oils made from medicinal herbs.
The climate is equable and varies little from season to season. The temperature normally ranges from 80 to 90 F in the plains but drops to about 70 F in the highlands. The state gets its due share of both the southwest as well as the northeast monsoons, and the rainfull is heavy, averaging around 118 inches annually.
Travel Information :
By Air :Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, is connected to most of the major airports in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore, Kochi and Calicut are other two airports connected from air to other cities in India.
By Rail : There are around 200 railway stations in Kerala connecting most of the places in the state to places in the other parts of India and inside the state. Long-distance express trains connect important places in the state to places outside Kerala like Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
By Road :An extensive network of metalled roads connects most of the places in the state. National highways 47, 17, and 49 connect Kerala with other parts of India.