Idukki is the most densely forested, mountainous region in Kerala and home to spectacular natural wonders. What makes a trip to this nature rich area exciting is the fact that it largely remains untouched by tourism. The district is known for its dams and hydroelectric power plants and national parks that foster indigenous flora and fauna. Unlike popular hill stations like Munnar in Kerala, Idukki is relatively unknown to a lot of people, which is why it’s imperative to have a trip here.
Speaking of dams in Idukki, the most famous one is the Idukki Arch Dam – one of its kind in Asia and the world’s second largest arch dam spreading over a height of 550ft. The dam is built over the Periyar river and between two mountains; generating electricity of the entire state.
Among the numerous cascading waterfalls here such as the Thenmaarikutth Falls and Vaalakutth Falls, pick Thoommankuthu Falls if you have to pick just one. It is called a seven-step waterfall because it has seven water cascades and pools amidst a forested area. The whole area has a number of caves and rocks where you can indulge in adventure activities like rock climbing and camping.
For wildlife enthusiasts, there’s Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – home to a variety of endangered flora and fauna including the famous elephants of Kerala. Also, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is a great park for birders – there are 500 different species of rare and endangered birds one can spot here. The tributaries of the Periyar river flows through the park providing water for animals and birds. It is a great place to visit if you wish to see animals like leopards, bears and porcupines.
For picnics, two hilltop points are a must visit – Nandukani and Kalvari Mount. They offer breath-taking scenic views of the area down below, the Idukki reservoir, the nearby villages and tea gardens on the periphery.