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Last Updated Sunday October 22 2017 04:47 AM IST

Are you ready for the cloud nine tour?

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Are you ready for the cloud nine tour? A drive through the hills. Photo: Jimmy Kamballur

If you fancy touching the clouds and being amidst them rather than watching them drift above you, a visit to the mountaintops of Ilaveezhapoonchira must be in your next tour itinerary. As you stand there, atop Illikkal rock or Thangal Para or Murukan mountain, clouds would softly move around you, a dream-come-true for all those who have fantasised touching the soft unhurried clouds, as if drifting along with their weightless, carefree abandon.

The tourism department is now considering a plan to merge a hiker's paradise with spirituality, perhaps because both urges one to seek perfect freedom. The department is now planning to merge main spiritual and tourist centres in Kottayam and Idukki under one 'green' network.

Ilaveezhapoonchira

Are you ready for the cloud nine tour? A view from Ilaveezhapoonchira. Photo: Onmanorama

The place is located at the Meenachil Taluk in Melukkavu panchayat. The roaring winds here would not allow leaves that fall from the surrounding mountains, which are 3200 metres above sea level, to touch the ground and thus the name. However, the passing time saw the water body dying off due to sedimentation and the tourism department is now trying to restore it.

Read about Ilaveezhapoonchira

Illikkal Kallu

Are you ready for the cloud nine tour? A view from Illikkal Kallu. Photo: Onmanorama

The place is a ring of mountains made of black rock. Standing atop it, one can feel clouds and mist surrounding onself. There are two places of interest here, Kudakkallu and Kunnukallu. One would need to climb about 4000m to reach the top and those who do not endure adventure well can better wait at the bottom and marvel the clouds floating above. Read about Illikkal Kallu

Thangal Para, Murugan Mala and Kurishu Mala

The three are the main destinations on a trip to Vagamon. A trip to Vagamon is in itself an experience. Lying close to 1100 metres above sea level, the place has been identified as one of the 50 best places to visit in India by National Geographic Traveller.

Ayyanpara, Kadanad and Marumala rivulet

Ayyanpara resembles a structure of rocks placed one above the other. Lying about 2000m above sea level, it expands to about a 100 acres. One can see Erattupetta, Pala, Kottayam and Vagamon from this place.

Kadanad is a place filled with mist and valleys. Located at Lallam taluk, it is about 34 kilometres from Kottayam. Marumala rivulet is about 14 kilometres from Erattupetta. A waterfall falls from a height of 60 metres and there is also a beautiful lake here. One needs to travel seven kilometres by Jeep and trek two kilometres to reach the place.

The grand plan of the tourist department would also include spiritual centres in the area. Ramapuram temple, Edappadi Subramanian temple, Kadapattur Mahadeva temple, Ezhachery Shiva Parvathy temple, Bharanganam Shree Krishna temple, the tomb of St Alphonsa, Valavur mount of the cross of St Thomas, Kuravilangad Church etc would be included in the package.

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