Kuttikkanam, situated about 3500 feet above sea level, is covered in tea plantations. Be prepared to get blown by alluring charm of the hill resort’s green tea plantations, pine forests, streams, cardamom plantations and hills. Flowers of Kuttikkanam are a sheer delight to watch. You can see many rare varieties of wild flowers growing in around the region. Kuttikkanam might not be as famous as some other more glamorous hill resorts in Kerala. But ask the experienced, those who have once been to Kuttikkanam cannot help but travel here again and again. Such is the sheer pull of its serene environments. Not being a crowded tourist destination also adds to its attraction.
History of Kuttikkanam
History of Kuttikkanam is closely linked with its tea plantations. In fact the place even saw human settlements after the tea plantations came up. It goes like this. During the rule of Changanacherry kings in the 16th century, the region was unpopulated. Changancherry was conquered by Travancore rulers in 1756. When it came under their power, Henry Baker, a Christian missionary started coffee plantations in the region. Later tea was introduced to Kuttikkanam.
Kuttikkanam developed into an up-market resort during The British rule in India. Inadequate routes for transportation were the major issue here. Thus saw the beginning of Aerial ropeway ltd, a public limited company, the first of its kind in Travancore. Travancore’s enchanting natural beauty was recognized by the Travancore rulers too. Their summer palace was located here.
Introduction of tea to the landscape required manpower to work on its plantations. That is how people from Kerala and Tamil Nadu were brought to the place. Yes, you guessed it right. Most of the current inhabitants of the region are their descendants.
Tourist attractions in and around Kuttikkanam:
- Valanjanganam waterfalls or Ninnumullippara falls from over a height of 75 feet. This misty waterfalls is as beautiful as a dream.
- An artificial pine forest over 100 acres that houses more than 30 bird species is the major attraction of Kuttikkanam. The forest comes under the buffer zone by state forestry department.
- The viewpoint at Panchalimedu not only offers captivating view but is also of mythical significance. Legend says that Panchalimedu served as a hiding spot of Pandavas and their wife Panchali of the great epic Mahabharat. A pond named after Panchali called Panchalikkulam is one of the places from where “Makarajyoti” of Sabarimala can be viewed.
- Other captivating tourist attractions include the giant rock sculpture at Grampi known as Parunthupara situated 1200 m above the sea level, Thrisangu hills or Baker hills, the hills at Peeru which is about 1 km away, the viewpoint at Nallathani on kottayam-kumily highway and the magnificent Azhuta diversion project in azhuta river. Do not miss the tomb of the famous Muslim saint Peer Muhammad too.
When to visit:
Kuttikkanam is blessed with pleasant climate throughout the year. But it is during the months from august to January the place sees more tourists. And if you plan to make Kuttikkanam your honeymoon destination, make it a point to visit the place during November-January.
How to reach
The nearest International airport is at Cochin which is about 90 km away. Kottayam railway station is at a distance of 77 km. The bus station at Kuttikkanam is a mere 3 km away.