There are several hotspots in Idukki, which give you mesmerising views and let you be one with with nature. But Panchalimedu, which is no less idyllic, is the least explored among them.
The hilly tract blanketed by the exuberant greenery is now under the watch of authorities, who have started various initiatives to attract more travellers to the spot and let them have a glimpse of nature's pristine magnificence. The new arch gate, cobbled pathways, rock shelters, marble benches, solar lights, toilets and so on make the spot all the more attractive and inviting at present.
The Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has envisaged various programmes worth over Rs 6 crore in the area. The authorities are also planning to renovate Panchalikkulam, the pool that has roots extended to epic Hindu texts.
Steeped in myths
Legend has it that the Pandavas of the Mahabharata epic had lived in the valley with their wife Panchali and thus the name Panchalimedu. A pool here is believed to have been used by Panchali. Presently, it is a marshy land. While Sreebhuvaneshwari temple is on a hilltop, a Christian shrine too can be seen on the top of another hill nearby. The famed Makarajyothi at Lord Ayyappa Temple can be viewed from here; hence the spot is popular among Sabarimala pilgrims.
The site also has significance archeologically as the flat rock slabs and and the stone structures found here seem to used for cremating the dead in the monolithic age
The sites around
The popular hill station Kuttikkanam and another pristine high-range Parunthumpara are located close by. Kumaly which is located in the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border is also another attraction. A range of accommodation facilities including homestays are available for tourists flocking to the area.
Anappara, is a spot which provides the most brilliant views from the site. The locals claim that two third of the state of Kerala can be viewed from the spot. One can easily catch a glimpse of Alappuzha beach and the lighthouse if it's a clear weather.
Nearest railway station: Kottayan
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery