Idukki

A landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of kerala . The high ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers- periyar, thalayar and thodupuzhayar- and their tributaries. The river pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. Idukki has a large population of tribals who have unique customs and beliefs and maintain an ethos which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.

The Early history of Idukki is obscure and there is no clear evidence about the paleolithic age. The Idukki region was part of the ancient Chera country and Kongu Nadu. During 800 –1102 A.D, the High Ranges, consisting of present Devikulam Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks, were part of the Kingdom of Vembolinad. During 16th century major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of Poonjar Raja. The Modern history of the district starts with the advent of Europen planters to this region. In 1877 Kerala Varma, the Raja of Poonjar leased 227 square miles (590 km2) of Kannan Devan hills to John Danial Manroe, a British Planter. The tract was largely unexplored and covered with thick forest. He formed the North Travancore Land planting and Agriculture society.

The High Range of Idukki attracted Scottish planters in the 19th century and they left behind some bungalows in and around Munnar, which are notable for their architectural beauty. Perhaps the most visible one to the tourists is Ladbroke House, which is named after the Ladbroke Square in London. The trout, coniferous trees and dark green planter’s cap are all contributions of those planters.

There are six state highways passing through the district.The National Highway – 49 connecting Cochin – Madura – Rameswaram passes through the district. The railway does not pass through the district, and the nearest railway stations are Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alwaye. The nearest ports are Cochin Port and Nedumbassery.The International Airport is near to the northern boundary of the district. A survey for a mini airport is in progress at Anakkara, near Kumaly.
Transport and communications, medical and educational facilities are poor compared to other districts.

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