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Tourist Places Idukki

Tourist places Idukki

Idukki Arch Dam|Plantations|Kalvarimount|Idukki WildLife Sanctuary|Hill View Park Idukki|Nadukani |Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam

Idukki Arch Dam:

Idukki Arch Dam

Among Idukki tourist atractions, in the heart of the District lies the 'IDUKKI DAM' - Asia's biggest Arch Dam of 555 feet height proudly standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). This prestigeous project of our nation is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is located at Moolamattom which is about 19 kms from Thodupuzha. Idukki Dam is 43 kms away from Moolamattom.

History: The possibility of Hydroelecric development at Idukki was first conceived in 1919. As per history Shri Kolumban, the head of 'Araya' race during 1922 showed the way, to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, who were on hunting spree in the forest, the spot of present Arch Dam. He told them of the legend of Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. The mind of Thomas was stirred by the sight of water flow between the mountains and his idea made the dream true of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possiability of constructing a dam at Idukki for Power Generation.

In 1947 Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore made a preliminary investigation report. On the request made by the Government, the Central Water and Power Commission took up detailed investigation in 1956. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for implementing the scheme in 1963 and the preliminary works of the project were started. The project was posed for Canadian aid and its scope was enlarged and a revised project report was drawn up in 1956-66.

The gorge between two granite hills across which the Idukki arch dam is constructed - A view prior to the dam construction The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Hon. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 sq. kms. width and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the unique Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.

Plantations:

The modern history of the district starts with the advent of European planters to this region. In 1877 Kerala Varma, the Raja of Poonjar, sold 227 sq. miles of Kannan Devan Hills to John Daniel Munroe, a British planter. This has led to the birth of Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company. Kannan Thevan is an Adivasi who showed the hills to the Planters and today Kannan Devan Hills is internationally known. The tract was largely unexplored and covered with thick forests. There were no means of communications. In 1878 the Maharaja of Travancore confirmed the sale. J.D Munroe formed the North Travancore Land Planting and Agricultural Society. The members of the society developed their own estates in various parts of the High Ranges. The first cultivation was undertaken by A.W Turnor at Devikulam area in 1877.

The pioneers tried many cropes such as Coffee, Chinchona, Sisal and Cardamom, before discovering tea as the crop best suited for this area. Tea was first planted by A.H Sharp at Parvathi, now in Seven Mallay Estate by clearing 50 acres on a dense forest. In 1895 that area was purchased by Finlay Muir & Company now known as James Finlay and Company Limited. The Kannan Devan Hills Produce Company Limited and the Anglo-American Direct Tea Trading Company Ltd., owned 28 estates in these areas. The remaining 7 estates were owned by other British and Indian Companies not belonging to this g With the entry of large business houses possessing capital and technical skill, the pace of development was accelerated. Experienced tea planters were brought from Ceylon and large areas were planted with tea. Roads were opened, transport organised, houses and factories built and production rose rapidly in the succeeding years. Later M/s Tata Finlay Ltd., a company incorporated in India, purchased the Tea Estates from them and are running them now, under the name M/s Tata Finlay Ltd. Their operation are mainly confined to Munnar - Devikulam area.

After the implementation of the Land Reforms Act, about 70,000 acres of Kannan Devan Hills Village were resumed from the Company as excess land with out any compensation. It is also a bare fact which should not be forgotten that the deforestation process started in the High Ranges with the advent of Plantation industry by the end of 19th century, the ever green forests existed were totally destroyed in the area and substituted with the present greenish carpet of tea leaves.

Kalvarimount:

(8 km from Idukki) This is famous Pilgrims center on the way to Kattappana in idukki tourist spots.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary:

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district spreading over 105 Sq. Km. at 450 - 748m above sea level. The Idukki reservoir formed by three dams-Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu-extends to 33 sq km.

ANIMALS Elephants, Poorcu Pine, Sambar Deer, Wild dogs,Jungle cats, Malabar Gaint Squirrel, Wild boar etc.

SNAKES Cobra, Viper, Krait and a large number of non- poisonous snakes

BIRDS Jungle fowl, Myna, Laughing thrush, Black bulbul, Peafowl, Wood pecker, King fisher etc.

Hill View Park Idukki:

Hill View Park

True to its title it offers a panoramic view of a large area than one can experience from any high mountain park. Scene of Wild elephants in their natural habital enthrills the visitor. This park is situated adjacent to both Idukki Arch Dam and Cheruthony Dam. Spread over an area of 8 acres of land this aesthetically designed park has a natural water body at the hill top and pedal boating facility is available here. The herbal garden and children's play area are added attractions. A visit to this park makes visit to tourist spots in Idukki a memorable one.

Nadukani:

Nadukani

Nadukani is an ideal place among places to visit in Idukki, for one-day picnickers. As the name indicates, this park offers panoramic view of the a large area of the same and nearby districts. A two-storyed pavilion makes an ideal place for enjoying the landscape and beauty of nature.

Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam:

This is a picnic spot also ideal for mediation, relaxation and watching sunset and is located 35 km away from Thodupuzha.