Story Dated: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 22:3 hrs IST
Anamudi: Anamudi, rising 2695 mts above sea level, is the highest peak in the Western Ghats and in entire South India. It forms an ideal setting for trekking.Eravikulam National park: This national park lies at the crest of Anamalai ranges near Munnar, spreading over 97 sq kms of evergreen tropical forests. The Nilagiri tahr in this park is a rare breed of mountain goat. Herds of tahrs grazing the hillside is a common scene here. Inside the park and the estates around in Anamalai, elephants roam freely. Nilagiri languor, lion tailed macaques, monkeys and samburs are often seen. Wild dogs and even leopards and tigers can be spotted in this park.
Eravikulam is accessible only by foot from Rajamalai (18 kms), which is 17 kms away from Munnar. Chinar wildlife sanctuary:Chinar wildlife sanctuary is situated 60 kms away from Munnar. It spreads over an area of 92 sq kms inhabited by wild animals like elephants, leopards, bears, gaurs, sambars, spotted deers, boars and several other species. This is the only sanctuary protected with semi arid and dry, deciduous shrub forest in Kerala.Diabolic Point – is really a frightening mountainscape.where the high peaks of Rajamali steeps down to the deep valley.
Marayur :Marayur is the nearest town to Chinar wildlife sanctuary. It is the only place in Kerala where sandalwood trees grow naturally. The children’s park covering about a hectare of land under the canopy of a single banyan tree is a fascinating spectacle. The sandal wood factory run by the forest department is also worth seeing.
Mattupetty: Mattupetty is situated at a height of 1700 metres above sea level. It is the seat of the IndoSwiss Dairy Farm Project. About 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. The green meadows, the exotic cattle and the rose garden attract a lot of tourists to Matupetty. A few yards away from the dairy farm is the beautiful Mattupetty lake and dam. Mattupetty is situated at a distance of 13 kms from Munnar. The rare and attractive Neelakurinji (strobilatanthes) flowers are found in this region. There are about 46 varieties of this plant in Kerala and strobilatanthes is widely seen in Munnar. It takes 8 to 12 years for the strobilatanthes to flower. The whole valley is bathed in the violet of kurunji flowers during the flowering season.
Devikulam: Devikulam is a dainty town lying 16 kms away from Munnar. Its velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna and cool mountain air make Devikulam a nature lover’s retreat. The picturesque surroundings of the placid Sitadvei lake with its mineral water is an ideal picnic spot.