Explore the green & magnificent hill stations in Kerala
1. Nelliyampathy Hills
From Palakkad, it takes roughly 45 minutes to reach Nenmara village from where the expedition to Nelliyampathy Hills begins. The drive up to Nelliyampathy is flanked by expanses of green-carpeted earth and floating clouds above. This vivid topography changes at every hair-pin junction, on the way fields of orange trees, which the place is known for, tea and coffee plantations and ancient trees among others. Pothundy Dam, one of the oldest in India is a sight to set against a teak wood forest. Sitarkundu, an enchanting viewpoint, gives a photo-finish view of the valley studded with a waterfall. There’s also a forest lodge nearby where a night’s rest can be pre-booked. You can either take a few hours of guided tour to find the Great hornbill, macaque or even a leopard perched up a tree, or wake up to their voices in the deep woods.
Wayanad district, in the north-east of Kerala, showcases the finest of the countryside. The Chembra peak, 2100metres above sea level, is a trekker’s delight leading up to the famous heart-shaped pond. Grab an umbrella and walk through the endless stretches of plantations. Soak up the beauty of the Chethalayam Waterfalls, 12 km from Sulthan Bathery. Gaze at the ruins of a stone structure that was once an ancient Jain Temple, said to have been used by Tipu Sultan to store his ammunition. Edakkal caves on Ambukuthi Hills date back to Neolithic times, and have carvings on them that mark a bygone era. For a cultural escapade, visit the Heritage Museum and get to know the history of Wayanad and its Tribal population. Row a bamboo raft to Kuruva Island, an uninhabited river delta. One can walk around, seek a guided tour or look for photo-worthy spots here. For the adventure-seekers, there’s zip-lining across the lake, kayaking, rock-climbing, or wildlife trekking.
3.Soochippara and Meenmutty Waterfalls
In the quiet backdrop of the rocky mountains of Wayanad, you will find the duo ”Soochipara”, or Sentinel Rock Waterfalls and “Meenmutty” Waterfalls, a few kilometers away from each other. A monsoon-aligned vacay is recommended to witness them in their full glory. Soochipara Waterfalls, surrounded by a dense cover of forest, is a 20-minute drive from Meppadi in Wayanad. It takes a 2-minutewalk downward to reach the summit of the three-tiered falls, from where you can watch it cascade down. The pool beneath the falls is said to be safe for swimming or taking a quick dip. Meenmutty Waterfalls, close to 30 km from Kalpetta, is a bewitching beauty surging from a height of 300 metre. It’s close to the Neyyar Reservoir amid swathes of deciduous trees, and a 2 km trek will get you to it. A tryst with the waterfalls works wonders during your time away from the daily humdrum.
The hill station of Munnar is 108 km from the Kochi International Airport. Rolling mountains of tea and cardamom plantations, quiet streams and misty roads lead to a pleasingly chilly holiday spot. To spot the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, get to Rajamala, a hill inside the Eravikulam National Park. The place is renowned for acres of blue florets or Nilakurinji that bloom once every 12 years, next up in 2030. For those that want to conquer the hills, there is Anamudi, the highest peak in south India. Find a great picnic opportunity near Mattupetty with boat rides on the lake and a visit to the famous Indo-Swiss dairy farm. Get ready to be awed by Chinnakanal and its many waterfalls, sheer forces of nature that descend down a rock 2000 metres above sea level. Take time out to walk around and spot colonial buildings from the British era. Pick up some fragrant tea dust and homemade chocolates from the market.
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