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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.


MUNNAR

Hill Stations of Kerala-MunnarMunnar, located at an altitude of 1,600 m, is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Kerala. Munnar has the highest peak in south India, Anamundi, which rises to a height of 2695 m. Munnar was the most favored summer destination of European settlers for centuries. Munnar actually means the 'Three Rivers' and derives its name from the three-mountain stream, Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. The confluence of these rivers is at the heart of the town and they fulfill all the water requirements of the town.

Munnar is an ideal destination for a peaceful vacation. It offers a variety to the visitors in terms of sight seeing as there are lots of tourist attractions including the lakes, dams, wild life sanctuaries and tea and spice plantations.

Devikulam, 7 km from Munnar, is another hill station known for its green meadows, exotic flora and fauna and the pristine mountains. The Sita Devi Lake is good option for picnic. The water of the lake has minerals, which contains curative properties. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.

Pallivasal, 8 km from Munnar, is the venue of the first Hydro Electric Project in Kerala. The place is also famous for its immense scenic beauty.

Chithirapuram, 10 km from Munnar, reflects the colonial charm with the presence of the cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts. One can see the Pallyvasal Hydel Power Project and the tea plantations.

Attukal, 9 km from Munnar, must be visited for its charming sceneries, waterfalls and rolling hills. Attukal is located between Munnar and Pallivasal and is also for long treks.

Nyayamakad, 10 km from Munnar, is placed between Munnar and Rajamala. The place is famous for several splendid waterfalls. The waters come down a hill from a height of almost 1600 m. The enchanting surroundings make an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.

Mattupetty, situated at a height of 1700 m, is at a distance of 13 km from Munnar. It is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm of the Indo-Swiss Live Stock Project. More than 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. The Mattupetty lake and dam are at a short distance from the farm is a popular picnic spot. The visitors should visit the Kundala Tea Plantations and the Kundala Lake while on a visit to Mattupetty.

While at Munnar, something that is not to be missed is the Eravikulam National Park. The park, at a distance of 15 km from Munnar, was originally established to protect the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex). The park covers an area of 97 sq km and is divided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. The tourists are allowed to visit only till the tourism area which is in the Rajamala region.


 


PALAKKAD


Hill Stations of Kerala-PalakkadPalakkad also known as Palghat lies on the foothills of the Western Ghats. On the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Palakkad is 80 km towards northeast of Trichur and 50 km towards southwest of Coimbatore. Palakkad district is called "the Granary of Kerala". Palakkad attracts a lots of tourists every year because richness of the natural beauty of the dense forests, fertile valleys, huge mountains, long rivers, several streams and diverse flora and fauna.

There are several tourist attractions at Palakkad to keep tourists busy during their stay at the hill station. The Palakkad Fort, situated in the heart of Palakkad town, is built of granite and one of the best-preserved forts in Kerala. Hyder Ali of Mysore in built the fort in 1766 AD. The British took over the fort and modified and renovated it in 1790 AD. The fort is now the property of the Archaeological Survey of India.

At a distance of 10 km from the town of Palakkad is Thiruvalathoor. The ancient temple is visited for fine wood craftsmanship and stone sculptures. Dhoni is 15 km from the town. It is a reserve forest area with small yet splendid waterfall and a must visit for nature lovers. The trek to the forest reserve takes 3 hours from the hill base of Dhoni. Situated 15 km from the town is Kottayi. It is a small village famous for being the native place of the master of Carnatic music, Late Chembai Vasidyanatha Bhagavathar.

Malampuzha Garden is at a convenient distance of 10 km from Palakkad on the lower hills of the Western Ghats. It is the most frequented picnic spot complete in beauty with a dam, manicured gardens, fountains, pools and pathways. Frequent bus services ply between Palakkad and Malampuzha Garden. The Rose Garden has more than a hundred varieties of roses making a very vibrant scenario. There is an aerial ropeway across the garden. The dams and gardens are illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. The reservoir features the facilities like boating and fishing. You can complete tour picnic outing with the ride in the pedal boats, rowboats, water scooters and motorboats or by taking a plunge into the well-kept swimming pool. A fresh water aquarium, a snake park and a children's park are the added feature of the Malampuzha Garden.


 

PONMUDI

Hill Stations of Kerala-PonmudiThe beautiful and peaceful hill station of Ponmudi is situated at a distance of 61 km from Thiruvananthapuram and at an altitude of 1000 m above the sea level. Come to Ponmudi to fall in love with the bountiful nature, serene surroundings and several tourist attractions. The hill station is a welcome break from the rush of the city where you can relax in the laps of nature without any hurries and worries.

If you have a passion for trekking and long leisurely walks, explore the hill station of Ponmudi. There is a lot to see and behold like hills, valleys tea-estates and cottages. Ponmudi is an ideal and a beautiful picnic spot, as it is at a convenient distance from Thiruvananthapuram and well endowed with natural springs. The Golden Valley is a small yet scenic viewpoint.

While at Ponmudi, you can enjoy the Aaranmula Boat Race. It is organized each year in the village of Aaranmula in the month of August and September and is part of the Aaranmula Temple Festival.

Varkala is also a getaway from Ponmudi, which is an important Hindu center of pilgrimage as well a famous beach. The beach is adorned with high cliffs and mineral-water springs all around the coastline. The prime attractions of the Varkala are the 2,000-year-old Janardanaswamy Temple and the Nature Center.


 

VAGAMON

Hill Stations of Kerala-VagamonVagamon, at an elevation of 1100 m above the sea level is at an accessible distance of 100 km from Cochin and 60 km from Kottayam. It is a paradise for the seekers of peace and tranquility and abundance of nature. The hill station is surrounded by tea estates and will soon become India's foremost Eco-Tourism Projects. The hill station is a amalgamation of natural beauty, religious mysticism and colonial legacies. Vagamon is surrounded by three chain of hills, namely, Thangal hill, Murugan hill and Kurisumala.

The hill station of Vagamon is an ideal destination for a break away from the fast lanes of city life and to live a laidback life. The important tourist attractions of Vagamon are the Kurisumala hill, which is ideal for trekking. A small church over the top of the hill and the nearby Kurisumala Ashramam are worthy of a visit. Kurisumala Ashramam is actually a monastery for Christian ascetics, who have belief in the Christianity along with the Indian spiritual beliefs and the Gandhian thought.

Vagamon is a popular spot for trekkers. The hill station offers all the tourists wit an opportunity for long treks, paragliding, mountaineering and rock climbing. Placid lakes are the location where you can sit idle for hours or can go for boating. You may spot wild animals like elephants and wild buffalos if you quest deep into the forests.

Vagamon is also a perfect base station for the tourists who wish to explore other nearby hill stations such as Thekkady, Kurisumala, Thangalpara, Muruganmala and Kulamavu.


 

IDUKKI

Hill Stations of Kerala-Idukki,kerala honeymoon packagesIdukki, the beautiful hill station of Kerala derives its name from a Malayalam word 'idukku', which means narrow gorge. Idukki is known as the land of massive mountains, variegated valleys and splendid streams. Located in the southern portion of Kerala, Idukki offers diverse tourist attractions like hill ranges, mountain treks, spice plantations, virgin beauty of nature and wild life sanctuaries.

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is the prime attraction of the hill town of Idukki. It is spread over an area of 70 sq km in the vicinity of the Arched Dam. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in green forest cover and vibrant flora and fauna. Tourist may easily spot animals like the elephant, bison, sambhar, deer etc. you may also find a wide variety of snakes and birds like the jungle foul, laughing thrush etc.

Very near to the hill station of Idukki, is another hill station called Peermade. Peermade was summer resort of the former Tranvancore rulers. Peermade is worthy of visit for its green grasslands, wonderful waterfalls and pleasant plantations of tea, coffee and rubber.

Thekkady is at a distance of almost 65 km from Idukki. The place is visited for unspoilt beauty of the nature and vast wildlife population. Thekkady is famous for the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary where you can find the artificial lakes, hills and plantations along with the fauna and avifauna. Trekking, elephant rides and boating can be indulged in while at Thekkady.

From Idukki, you may also visit the hill station of Munnar, which is at a distance of 70 km. The place has the beauty enhanced by the tea plantations, nice town planning, winding lanes and perfect climatic conditions.


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