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With its sprawling tea estates, rolling hills, waterfalls, picture - postcard hamlets, Kanthalloor has the makings of an idyllic holiday destination. Nestled in the eastern side of the charming Western Ghats, in Idukki district of Kerala State, it is 180 kms from Ernakulam, 60 kms from Udumalpettai, 14 km from Marayoor and 57 kms from Munnar( the major hillstation in Kerala). It is on the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu placed between Udamalpet and Munnar.
Kanthalloor is known for its wide variety of crops which is not seen on the other parts of kerala, which includes varieties of tropical crops. Situated at a height of 5000 ft above sea level, it provides the cool climate for the natural farming of fruits like Apple, Orange, Strawberry, Blackberry, Plums, Gooseberry, Egg fruits, peach, Sugarcane, passion fruits. etc.Vegetables and spices like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, beans, potato, and garlic grow here a plenty. It is also known for terrace farming. Hill sides are carved out into a series of wide steps, enough to cultivate crop.
Unlike Munnar, Kanthaloor is untouched by commercial tourism and still not explored by many travelers. Due to this reason, visitors can enjoy its real natural beauty.
It is a virtually a rain shadow village. A paradise for photographers and nature lovers, Kanthalloor and its surrounding environs are especially spectacular just after the rains. One can enjoy the beauty of dense fog (Koda Manju) in early morning and evening, sublime mist and clouds during this season.
The Anaimudi Sholai National Park (Formerly known as the Mannavan Chola) is the evergreen forest surrounding Kanthalloor. Muiyaras, View point, Watch towers, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Anaimudi Sholai National park , Pattisseri Dam, Kulachivayal rocks, Keezhanthoor waterfalls and the cave temple of Sri Rama are the main places of attraction. The cave temple of Lord Rama is also a historical landmark.
Only road transportation available. Nearest highway is NH-49 which passes through Munnar and can be accessed from Kanthalloor-Marayoor-Munnar.
At Kanthalloor, one can get an opportunity to live in cottages which are built near orange and apple farms and most of these cottages are big enough for families. They have full facilities like hot water, TV, Phone etc. One will get a chance to either cook your own food or there will be staff available to cook food of your preference.
Eventhough, Kanthallor is best any time of the year but August to March and will be the best. Those who want to see the nearly ripe oranges, passion fruits, gauva visit between the months of October and December and to see the apples visit the month of August.
The only drawback of this village is, it has a few restaurants, a few lodgings and half-a-dozen shops.
It is a fenced patch of dense greenery amid hilly terrain which hold the only place in Kerala with natural growth of sandalwoods trees. It is also a famous achaeological site. Marayoor has dolmens and caves with murals and relics. These caves are considered holy as sages are said to be meditated here in the past. Hence, the name, 'Muniyaras'. Marayoor is also famous for its renowned 'Marayur Sharkara'. The drive to Kanthalloor from Marayoor along a narrow winding road past sprawling tea plantations is an enjoyable one.
Kundala Dam (14km)
It is a picturesque place situated 14 kms away from Kanthaloor through the forest route of Mannavan shola. Here boating facilities are available. This route can also be taken to Munnar which is 20 kms away.
Mannavan Chola (38km)
Situated near Kanthalloor, it is the largest shola forest in Kerala. The Evergreen Rain forest is the haven of many rare and common species of animals, birds and plants. This 14 km² of unique ecosystem was notified as a reserved forest through an order of the Government of the erstwhile Travancore State on October 22, 1901.
Thoovanam Water Falls
This beautiful water fall is inside the chinnar sanctuary. It's enchanting surroundings make this an excellent picnic spot and trekking point. It is reachable by a jeep or a trek through the forest. One can even get a chance to sight a few animals during the waterfall trek. The trek starts from the Alampatty forest check post. From here, it takes about an hour to reach the waterfall. Waterfall trek tickets can be purchased at the check post. A guide is a must for this trek. The water flow that creates the cascade is River Pambar.
Chinnar Wild life Sanctaury (17 kms)
One of the famous sanctuary in Kerala, it shares boundary with Indira Gandhi wild life sanctuary in Tamilnadu. Established in 1984, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the protected areas in the whole of the western ghats due to its ecological, floral, geomorphological and cultural significance. It is located in the eastern part of the highranges of southern Western Ghats of Kerala at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district. Covering an area of 90sq.km, the sanctuary is home to a large number of mammals, reptiles and avi fauna. The sanctuary is the second habitat of the giant grizzled squirrel, a Western Ghats endemic. For more details Click here...
The famous Pambar River originates in the Anaimudi Hills and flows between Kanthalloor and Marayoor Villages. It becomes the Amaravathi River in Tamil Nadu, reaches the Amaravathi Reservoir and eventually joins the Kaveri River near Karur.