Go off the beaten track! Pick a trip from the listings below and head off to little known places.

Neriamangalam

Inchathotty Suspension Bridge - Less Known Places Nearby

Being the area that receives the most rainfall in a year, Neriamangalam is also known as the Chirapunji of Kerala. The lesser known trekking route to “Avarkutty” village, the famous arch bridge on the Munnar highway built across the Periyar River and the Ichathotty village are the major attractions.

  • Avarkutty, a village which is setup temporarily inside the jungle is for nature lovers and trekkers.
  • While trekking towards Avarkutty one can peacefully enjoy the beauty of the jungle, listen to the calls of wildlife and finally you can relax near the river which is locally known as “Avarkuty Aar”.
  • Trekking further up the hill, through the jungle path one can reach Mankulam, near Munnar. This less travelled path is nearly 20 Kms long and elephants roam here freely.
  • The Inchathotty suspension Bridge is another attraction near Neriamangalam. The bridge at the Inchathotty village looks like the miniature of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Spend some time near the river bank, enjoy the view and get a free pedicure.

The Neriamangalam town situated at the bank of Periyar River is in the border of Ernakulam and Idukki districts. The old Munnar road is another attraction. The road which connects Munnar via Thattekad-Pooyamkutty and Mankulam was destroyed during the floods in 1924.

Avarkutty: The forests department permits the tribes to harvest bamboo from the jungle seasonally. This is when the Avarkutty village come to life. During off-seasons the village disappears and all that remains will be a watch tower.

How to Reach: Kochi – Kothamangalam – 20Kms (Via NH 85) – Neriamangalam

Aavarkutti: Move towards Adimali from Neriamangalam until 6th Mile. Ride to Elamblassery and then you can access Avarkutti by trekking.

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Anchuruli Tunnel and Waterfall

Anchuruli Tunnel and waterfall, Kattapana, Idukki

Spend an evening at the scenic catchment area of the Idukki dam reservoir. If you are riding to Kattapana, Idukki then the Anchuruli tunnel and waterfall are something that you should not miss. Just 12kms from the Kattapana town lies this less known scenic spot.

  • The view of the Idukki Dam Reservoir surrounded by the hills and the sloppy grasslands are quite a sight.
  • The water coming out of the tunnel takes a rocky path before it falls into the reservoir which is a superb view.
  • One can walk towards the tunnel, enter it and experience the chilled water coming out of it. But you are not allowed to walk further down as the unsteadily flow of water could be dangerous at times.
  • If lucky, you will get to see wild animals straying along the banks of the reservoir

Some Facts:

When the water level in the Dam Reservoir is low, you can see five little islands that resembles five vessels immersed upside down. Hence the place got its name Anchuruli (“anchu” means five and “uruli” means vessel). The tunnel is approximately 4 Kms long through the mountains carrying water from the Erattayar all the way to the Idukki Dam Reservoir.

How to Reach: Reach Kattapana – 12Kms – Anchuruli

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Pooyamkutty Forest

pooyamkutty river

A perfect location for one day trekking. Pooyamkutty is definitely the nearest trekking spot to the city of Cochin. The small town of Pooyamkutty is on the bank of Pooyamkutty River which is actually a tributary of the mighty Periyar. The trekking through the jungle takes you to picturesque waterfalls, tribal settlements and their huts.

  • Pooyamkutty is one of the major elephant migration route and home to several other wildlife forms. Elephant herds are common sighting at the Pooyamkutty river bank.
  • Another attraction is the world’s fastest growing tree..yes, The Bamboo! Pooyamkutty forest is a bamboo dominated forest which is something the elephants love to feed on.
  • The trek is more than 10 kms through the bamboo forests of Pooyamkutty and you will be crossing small streams on the way. You can take a dip in the water, relax for a while and then continue trekking.
  • Calls of Macaques and langurs can be heard as you move deeper into the jungle.
  • The waterfalls aren’t that big, but still they offer a visual treat to the eyes.
  • You could buy honey and different types tribal products from the tribal colony.

Some Facts:

More than a 100 families lives inside the Pooyamkutty forest. The jungle route is the only way to reach the town and they have to walk nearly 20 kms to buy provisions. The tribes who live inside these jungles are now used to jungle route. The Pooyamkutty River during monsoon can dangerous and the bridge that connects Pooyamkutty with the nearest town will be flooded and can hardly be seen.

How to Reach: Ernakulam – Kothamangalam – Thattekad – 20kms – Pooyamkutty

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Off-road to Rosemala

off-road to Rosemala, Thenmala and Ganapathikunnu view point

Rosemala is a small village amidst the Shenduruney forest and one of the least explored places in Kerala. Reaching here is quite adventurous. Atleast 10Kms though the jungle is off-road. The rough and rugged track towards Rosemala is steep and slippery. You will come across small streams frequently.

  • Not being accessible so easily, Rosemala is not a well-known tourist destination and that makes this place so pristine.
  • The main attraction at Rosemala is the Ganapathikunnu view point. You will get a spectacular view of the Thenmala dam reservoir.
  • At tea stalls you will be served with tea and hot stories of their daily encounter with wildlife.
  • Speaking of wildlife, elephants roam freely through these jungle. Chances of spotting wild elephants is high.
  • Being a part of the Shenduruney Wildlife reserve almost every kind of species that are found in the jungles of Western Ghats are found here.

Some Facts:

It is believed that a British man bought an estate here and the name came from his wife Roslyn. Nearly 250 families live inside this forest. The little village of Rosemala in the middle of the jungle rely fully on solar power as there is no electricity. Every single electrical equipment that you find here is powered by solar energy.

If you are planning for a one day off-road trip to Rosemala, it is better to come early, spend your day at places nearby Rosemala and leave before it is dawn. Keep this number just in case if you want to go deep into the jungle: +91 9447979081 (Wildlife warden)

How to Reach: Kollam-76Kms-Aryankavu-15Kms-Rosemala.

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Brahmagiri Trek

brahmagiri-tiger-pug-mark

If you are a nature lover and a passionate trekker, this place is for you. Brahmagiri peak trekking is a one day trek through the thick jungle to the Brahmagiri hill top. The peak lies in the border of Wayanad district in Kerala and Coorg district in Karnataka.

  • Being adjacent to the Nagarhole National park, Brahmagiri hills have a good wildlife density. You could easily spot pugmarks of predators and elephants foot marks. Forest officials have reported frequent tiger sightings here.
  • Chances of spotting wildlife here is very high.
  • Other wildlife here includes tigers, leopards, deer, civets, macaques, bison etc.
  • You can pluck wild gooseberries on the go.
  • You will come across small streams so that you can freshen up.
  • 4 Kms into the trek you will reach a watch tower and you will get a breathtaking view of the forest reserve.
  • From here there are two trails, one towards Brahmagiri hills and the other towards Pakshipathalam also known as “Abode of birds” and famous for its rocky caves. But unfortunately the Paskhipathalam trek is now restricted because of Maoist activities.

Some Facts:

Even though the trek is just 12 kms up and down, the trek takes at least 5-6 hours to complete. At dawn the visibility inside the jungle is very poor and way back you might get into the way of a bull or any predator. This is one reason why the entry time is restricted till 10:00 AM in the morning. Leeches are the show runners during Monsoon and you will be bothered all the way. The best time to trek Brahmagiri is during summer. The entry Fee is 1900 INR for a group of 5 members and 150 extra for camera and you don’t need to take prior permission for the trek.

How to reach: Nearest town is Mananthavady which is 32 Kms from the Thirunelly Forest division office.

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Panamaram

Panamaram-Jain-Temples-Wayanad

Within 5 kms radius of the Panamaram town, lies the historical monuments of Thalakkal Chandu, the right hand of freedom fighter Pazhassi Raja, and remnants of one of the oldest Jain temples in India. What makes this temple different from others are the carvings on the stones that depicts the “Vaishnava” and Jain beliefs, where you can see the carvings from both Vaishnava(Early form of Hindu religion) and Jains.

  • A must visit place if you are a history buff and loves ancient architecture.
  • A brief introduction about archer Thalakkal Chandu: When Pazhassi Raja started war against the British Army, Thalakkal Chnadu was the commanding chief of Kurichya soldiers (Pazhassi’s Force in Panamaram). In a well-planned attack launched by the British army, Thalakkal Chandu was trapped and hanged under a Koly tree in Panamaram.
  • Here you can see the Koly tree where Chandu was hanged and the museum that displays the collection of weapons used during 19th

How to reach: 16 Kms From Kalpetta, Wayanad.

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Manjoor – Mulli – Agali Stretch

Manjoor-mulli-agali

Starting from Manjoor in Ooty district in Tamil Nadu the narrow hilly roads stretches till Agali in Palakkad, Kerala. Mulli is a check post in the Palakkad district other than Walayar.Mulli check post is in Kerala Tamil Nadu border which connects Palakkad and the Ooty town. A scenic hilly terrain perfect for bike rides, but highly risky during Monsoon.

  • Manjoor, is a misty hill station. Where the town is always covered in Mist.
  • The stretch between Mulli and Manjoor has got 43 hair pin bends. The narrow hair pin bends are really challenging and bikers would love this route generic viagra india.
  • 15 minutes ride from Manjoor your next stop would be a shrine atop the hill and an amazing view point. The plains of Coimbatore district is easily visible from here.
  • At Mulli, you can see a stone structure marked as Madras State boundary. The structure stands as a historical sign which was actually built at the time of Kerala State formation.
  • The next half an hour ride through the jungle will take you to a banks of Bhavani River.

Some Facts:

Even though Manjoor-Mulli-Agali shortens the distance between Ooty and Palakkad, most people rarely takes this route. This is a route frequented by elephants and the roads being rugged, check your tyres before you go.

How to reach: Palakkad – Agali – Mulli – Annamalai – Manjoor – Ooty

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Vattavada

Vattavada-Munnar-Terraced-Farming

About 40 kms from Munnar lies the hill station and the scenic village of Vattavada. The place is known for terraced farming. Blessed with cold climate throughout the year makes Vattavada ideal for growing a wide varieties of vegetables and fruits.

  • Fruits that are grown here includes Apple, Orange, Grapes, Strawberry, Peach, Passion fruits and vegetables include beans, onion, potato, carrot, cabbage and many more
  • The village is about 6000ft above the sea level. The best time to visit here is during October to March.
  • Trekking the hills of Vattavada will be a breath taking experience. One can go on trekking from Vattavada to other locations near Munnar like Meesapulimala, Mattupetti and Kodaikanal.
  • Jungle camping and jeep safari options are also available here.
  • The streets inside the villages are so narrow that the villager’s here employee mules to transport their goods.
  • Multi coloured butterflies are another attraction here.

The human settlements in this area is spreading their plantations. But the worst part is more and more forest is being cleared.

How to reach:

Munnar – Pampadum Shola National Park – Vattavada

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Variyam Kuthu

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Variyam Kuthu near Thattekad in Ernakulam district is a less explored destination in Kerala. There is no proper roads and the only way to get to the falls is through the jungle. You could either walk 8 kms through the jungle or hire a jeep to the falls. Unlike other jungles in Kerala you don’t need permission from the forest department to get to the falls.

• Walking through the thick Bamboo forests is an unforgettable experience, trust us.
• Along the way you will come across a river, which is shallow and has got Rocky River bed. You will definitely love spending time in the water.
• This bamboo jungle is a favorite destination for elephants. But the chances of seeing one is very rare. But it won’t be a good idea to go there at dusk.
• Before you reach Variyam Kuthu falls, you will come across a small water fall where you can relax for a while and then continue your walk.
• 6kms into the jungle, you will reach a tribal village. You could buy honey and they have a collection of medicinal plants.

How to reach: Ernakulam -40kms – Muvatupuzha- 20 kms-Thattekad -15kms-Mlavana-Hire a Jeep(Forget this option if you’re serious about trekking) – 8 kms to the waterfalls.

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