Kerala Hill Stations
Kerala Hill Stations : Kerala, is rightly named as God’s Own Country with the lovely beaches and dense green forests that offer you a retrieve from the din of the city life. Most of the notable hill stations of Kerala are nestled amongst the Western Ghats, which offer peaceful panoramic surroundings, delightful treks, aromatic plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and cardamom, thick, deep and dense tropical forests at an altitude of 1520 m above sea level. Ponmudi is an idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways, a deer park and excellent trekking trails. Idukki, literally meaning ‘narrow gorge’ houses a number of tribals with their unique customs and beliefs. The valleys, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantations, mountain treks, elephant rides and meandering streams of Idukki are memerizing. Munnar is known for its salubrious climate, tea plantations and colonial bungalows. It also has the highest peak in south India, Anamudi, which is an ideal spot for trekking. The highly specialized dairy farm at Mattupetti is the result of the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Devikulam meaning ‘Lake of the Goddess’ is known for its lovely lake.
Situated in the Western Ghats, Munnar was once a favorite summer resort of the British government. It stands at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. There are immense opportunities for adventure sports and leisure activities at Munnar. While the more active ones can opt for trekking, boating, riding and angling, the lazier ones would love to do a little sightseeing said to be the Kashmir of South India, a part of Kerala. One of the most popular hill stations in India, it features a number of tea estates, misty mountains, waterfalls and forest sanctuaries. Situated at 1600 m above sea level, the winding lane of Munnar and its special Neelakkurinji flowers, which bathe the hills in blue blooms once every twelve years are very famous.
Situated at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level, Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm, which is a result of the Indo-Swiss live stock project. It is amazing to see over 100 improved varieties of cattle that are high yielding being reared here. One can visit the three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm and see the process in its true nature. The Mattupetty Lake and Dam near the farm is one of the most delightful picnic spots of this small hill resort. The other highlights of this hill station are the Kundala tea plantations and the charming and shimmering Kundala Lake situated in the vicinity. There are boating facilities available at the Mattupetty Dam and one can hire Speed Launch and slow speed motorboats from here.
A picturesque hill station of Kerala, Ponmudi Hills literally means ‘Golden Crown’ in Malayalam. As we move higher and higher towards Ponmudi, the thick tropical forests forming a canopy of thickly matted foliage recede gradually to neatly clipped tea bushes. The aromatic plantations of rubber, pepper, cardamom and tea form the major part of the region’s identity. It is amazing to see tappers that are skileed in clibing up and down the trees and collecting milky fluid from rubber trees in coconut shells in graceful, easy and quick movements. One can see coconut thatch mats protruding on the roads on which black pepper can be seen drying. The tamed elephants strolling across the roads with their ‘mahaouts’ (trainers) mounted on their necks are a common sight here.