Idukki district has derived its name from the Malayalam word - 'Idukki' meaning a narrow gorge. Its main attraction includes Mountains, Valleys, dams, wildlife sanctuaries, Hill Stations and beautiful lakes. The population of this district consists of tribal people. Munnar hill station is one of the best attracted place in Idduki. It is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. There are nearly 14 peaks and Anamudi peakwhich towers over 2695 metres is the highest. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands in this region is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue every twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Thekkady in Idukki, is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. This district is often considered as a "Paradise" with all its natural Splendor.
Places to visit :
Eravikulam Nationla Park :
Opened in 1978 and situated in Idukki district, the park is spread over an area of 97sq.km. The nearest town is Munnar, 24km away from the park. Cochin is the nearest railhead as well as the airport.
The park has sub-tropical hill forests. The important fauna are elephant, leopard, tiger, Malabar civet, Nilgiri thar, Sambar, barking deer, Nilgai, langur, phyhon etc. The birds found are imperial pigeon and grey jungle fowl.
October to April are ideal months for visiting the park.
Periyar National Park :
Periyar National Park was established in the year 1950 and is named after the Periyar river. It is set on an attractive lake side. Situated in Idukki district, it spread over 250sq km. The nearest town from the park is Kumaly, 4km from the park. The nearest airport from here is Cochin. Kottayam is the nearest rail head 114km away.
Periyar national park is famous for its scenic beauty. It is covered with dense evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with grass lands on the upper slopes. These forests provide an ideal habitat to wild life. The Wildlife sanctuary, near the border of Tamil Nadu was designated a part of Project Tiger in 1973. It is very much known for the tusk less elephants.
The animals found in the park are elephants, gaur, sambar, bison, barking deer, Nilgiri languor, pig, tiger, panther, leopard, sloth bear, jungle cat, small Indian civet and Malabar squirrel, macaque. There is a variety of birds in the park including the Great Indian hornbill, Indian darter, king fisher, black necked storks, butterflies etc. The tiger and leopard are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the river.
The best months for visiting the park are from October to April. There is facility for boating. The ideal times for cruise e the dawn and dusk. Elephant rides are also available. The ride on an elephant is more to see than the boat trip. There is a special viewing platform inside the forest.