ponmudiAn idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded  environs, Ponmudi is located 915 m above sea level. This hill station, a mere 61 km  from Trivandrum, is a tourist’s paradise. Be enchanted by the sheer abundance of  nature: the shimmering green waters of the winding streams and verdant woods  do not spare anybody. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station, a two  and a half hour drive from Trivandrum, has excellent trekking trails.

A landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. The high ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers – Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar – and their tributaries. The river Pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, Idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides, etc.

hillsMunnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking. Tea factory visits: Permission to visit any of the 26 factories of Tata Tea Ltd can be had from the Regional Office at Munnar.

In and around Munnar
Top Station: 1700 m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar – Kodaikanal road. The rare Neelakurunji belongs to this region. Top Station also offers a panoramic view of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

mattupettySituated at a height of 1700 m, Mattupetti is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm: the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle-sheds at the farm. Visit time: 0900 – 1100 hrs and 1400 – 1530 hrs. The Mattupetti lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity.

rajamalaThe natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr, Rajamala is 2695 m above sea level. Half the world population of the rare mountain goat which is fast becoming extinct is now found here. The Nilgiri Tahrs are today reduced to small herds which are found in the Eravikulam- Rajamala region.

marayoorThis is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The sandalwood factory of the Kerala state Forest Department, the caves with murals and relics from the New Stone Age and the children’s park spread across a hectare of land under the canopy of a single banyan tree are of great interest to tourists.

devikulamThis idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and cool mountain air offers a rare experience to visitors. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral water springs and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.

wagamomSituated at an elevation of 1100 m above sea level, this hill station is a trekker’s delight. Vagamon is surrounded by beautiful meadows, valleys and tea gardens.

nelliyampathyThis fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1572 m above sea level. At least 10 hairpin bends have to be negotiated on the ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethakundu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one third the area of Palakkad district.

attapadyA beautiful synthesis of mountains, rivers and forests, Attappady is of great interest to anthropologists. This is the habitat of many tribals like the Irulars and Munugas. The Malkleeswaram peak is worshipped as a gigantic Siva linga by the Adivasis, who also celebrate the Sivarathri festival with great fervour.

It takes a three hour trek from the base of the Dhoni hills, to reach this reserve forest area with its small, beautiful waterfall. This hill country is the delight of trekkers.

tusharagiriFamous for its trekking tracks, Tusharagiri is located near Vythiti in Wayanad. Trekkers start early in the morning from the second waterfall at Tushagiri and climb uphill through the pristine, evergreen dense forests populated with exotic birds and wild animals to reach Vythiri by evening.