LAND OF APPLE CULTIVATION
A veritable land of fruits and vegetables, Kanthalloor sports farms full of ripe apples, plums, pomegranates etc. not commonly seen in Kerala. There is no need for anyone to go to Ootty or Kashmir to see the cultivation of apples. At 5000 ft above sea level, Kanthalloor offers congenial atmosphere for the cultivation of apples. Although its skin is a bit thick, the Kanthalloor apples are rather sweet. The cultivation is done with minimum use of chemical fertilizers. Guava, gooseberry, orange, eggfruits, peach, passion fruit etc are grown a plenty here.
Non-Kerala vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, beans, potato, beetroot, garlic etc are also cultivated here. The produce is taken to wholesale centres in Tamil Nadu from where they are distributed to different markets in Kerala. Lying in a rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, Kanthalloor is a photographer's paradise. The climate, area, surroundings and many more factors make it the best place to relax and enjoy. This place is located at a distance of 14 kilometres from Marayoor.
Rajamala, is a part of the Eravikulam National Park. This area has a healthy population of the great Indian Nilgiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat. Once there you can spend hours watching these animals play around in their natural habitat. Once in every 12 years you can also watch the spectacular Neelakurinji (Blue Flower) bloom.
The Rajamalai Sanctuary is home to a large variety of flora and fauna. This place also has other animals like tigers, panthers, elephants, deers and gaurs. The area also has a rich vegetation of shrubs, herbs, climbers and trees. All this together make this place a paradise for the photographers as well as the adventure bugs.
It is the best place to soak in the scenic views in and around this hill. For those who love adventure, this place offers mountain trekking, rock climbing and rappelling on the outskirts of the sanctuary.It is at a distance of 36 kilometres from Marayoor and 15 kilometres from Munnar.
At an altitude of 6000 ft, Munnar is the only hill station in south India that lies snuggled in the high ranges of Western Ghats at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala. It is due to this reason that Munnar gets its name, which means 'three rivers'. Munnar is located at a distance of 40 kilometres from Marayoor.
The spectacular vista of cloud kissed rolling hills carpeted with tea plantations, rivulets dancing through green meadows and the colonial British settlements of the town make this place an ideal get away from the rigorous strain of daily life.
Munnar has a lot of places of interest like Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty Dam, Pallivasal, Chinnakannal and many more. When visiting Marayoor do make it a point to visit Munnar, to enjoy its serene beauty.
Time magazine referred it as one of the very best destinations in India. For more details log on to Munnar.com
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known reserve that extends over an area of 90 sq km. It was recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. It lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, as a result of which Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during the months of October and November when Northeast monsoons are at work. It is one of the twelve wildlife sanctuaries that lie in the protected areas of Kerala. This sanctuary is home to many exotic species of flora and fauna. Mammals like panthers, spotted deer, elephants, tigers, Nilgiri Thar, sambar deer etc; other species like giant squirrels; birds like yellow throated bulbuls; reptiles like Indian star tortoise, mugger crocodiles; 965 species of flowering plants and many more make it to the list of the flora and fauna of this place.
Chinnar is located at a distance of 18 kilometres North of Marayoor and about 60 kilometres from Munnar in the direction of Udumalpetta. From Marayoor jeeps, scooter rickshaws or buses can be boarded for the sanctuary visit. Once past Marayoor, the organised neat looking plantations give way to more wild and natural surroundings.
Located inside the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Thoovanam Waterfalls is just 10 kilometres away from Marayoor and is 50 kilometres from the hill station of Munnar. This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Kerala. It is one of the most popular trekking spots and is formed from the Pambar River.
Thoovanam Waterfalls is the best place to get close to nature. This place is completely surrounded with greenery and if lucky you may also come across some of the wildlife at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The dry and deciduous forest here consists of many rare and endemic species of flora.
Marayoor is the only place in Kerala where one can find the vast sandalwood forest. Along with this Marayoor also have sugarcane farms that produce large amounts of Jaggery (solid molasses). Sandalwood is famous for the aromatic scent that it gives. On entering the forest area one can get in the aromatic fragrance of the sandal.
This natural sandalwood forest is home to almost 65000 trees. The sandal from Marayoor is said to be of the best quality. To learn more about this tree, Marayoor has a Sandalwood Regeneration Experimental Plot, from where one can see and learn. This forest is located at a distance of 40 kilometres from Munnar.
Flowing between the villages of Marayoor and Kanthalloor is the scenic river of Pambar. This river originates from the Benmore Tea Estate of Devikulam which is at Anamudi Hills in Idukki. Pambar is one of the three rivers of Kerala that flows towards East. It is a tributary of the Cauvery River.
After flowing about 29 kilometres eastward through Kerala, the river enters Tamil Nadu. The river is also known as the Thalayar. Iravikulam, Mylady, Theerthamala, Chengalar and Thenar are some of the main tributaries of Pambar River. In the interiors of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary this river turns into a beautiful and spectacular waterfall of Thoovanam.