We chose the route via Idukki when we travelled from Munnar to Thekkady so that we could visit the famous Idukki arch dam. There is also a smaller dam along the way in Vellathuval – Kallarkutty Dam. The route is scenic. Roads have been cut on the sides of mountains. Houses are built on the slopes, with steps going down to access the trail. There was not much traffic on the winding route.The slightly shorter path to Thekkady is via Mailadumpara and Nedumkandam. Travellers may alternatively take the track through Theni in Tamil Nadu to see the vineyards there. Your car must have the necessary permits to enter Tamil Nadu.
Kallarkutty Dam is built across the Mudira River. The dam is right by the roadside. Flow of water in the river had dwindled as we were at the end of a torrid summer. Incidentally there are a number of dams in Idukki district of Kerala. Some of them are used to generate hydro-electric power.
Autorickshaws were seen often even in thinly populated areas. Abundant greenery was everywhere. Cars and other four wheelers were apparently not the favoured mode of transport.
Somewhere along the way we found this Anjili Tree. It is also called Wild Jack. It is a tropical evergreen tree which grows up to a height of 35 metres and a.girth of 5 metres.. The wood is used in making of snake boats, doors, ceilings and furniture.
Idukki Arch Dam, at 550 feet, is the tallest in Asia.. There are two other dams in the area: Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. The 3 dams together have created a big lake. Water from the lake is carried by underground pipes to Moolamattam Power Station for generation of power.
The lake is surrounded by dense forests. Wild animals can sometimes be seen near the water’s edge. Entry to Idukki Dam is permitted only on weekends and public holidays.
Hill View Park in Idukki, at height of 350 feet, provides panoramic views of Cheruthoni and Idukki dams. The park is open on all days, from 9:00 am to 5:00 PM. There is a small entrance fee. Facilities include washrooms and a snack bar.
Idukki district gets good rainfall during monsoons. The hilly terrain makes it suitable for the cultivation of tea, coffee, rubber, pepper, cardamom, vanilla, cocoa and other spices.