Anchuruli in Idukki is yet to catch the attention of travellers. The main attraction here is a man-made tunnel built to drain the water overflowing from the Idukki reservoir. It is one among the most unique sights in Kerala.
The tunnel has been a location for many Malayalam movies, but its striking beauty was shown best by Amal Neerad in 'Iyobinte Pusthakam.' The film took viewers on an eye-popping tour of the tunnel. Any traveller to Anchuruli tunnel would immediately recall scenes from Neerad's film. This is where his brother attacks Aloshy. After 'Iyobinte Pusthakam' was released, the tunnel earned fame and started attracting some visitors.
The catch dam of Idukki reservoir is located between five hills which look like upturned 'urulis' (a kitchen utensil). When the tunnel of the Irattayar reservoir is opened, water flows into the catch dam.
Visitors cannot enter Anchuruli tunnel during the rainy season, but they can enjoy the sight of the steady stream of water released from the dam. During the tourism week fete, a boat was brought here for taking tourists around. It is now lying disused.
Knee-deep water remains in the tunnel always and there is a steady flow near the entrance. From here, the other end of the tunnel can be seen as a speck of light in the distance. A truck can easily enter the tunnel, but lighting has been provided only till 500 metres. Anyone venturing further will invite danger. Moreover, the other end opens to the Irattayar reservoir.
During the recent monsoon, two young tourists from Tamil Nadu had attempted a trek through the tunnel but paid with their lives.
How to reach
Take the Kottyam-Kattappana route via Kuttikkanam. Take a left turn from Kanchiyar Junction. The road ends near the tunnel after a distance of 2.5 km.
Visitors planning to see Anchuruli can plan a two-day Idukki trip.
Ramakkalmedu, Kuravan-Kurathi hills: These spots are 23 km from Kattappana town. From Ramakkalmedu, the Kuravan-Kurathi hills can be sighted about 2 km away.
Kattadipadam: Travel 4 km from Ramakkalmedu via Balan Pillai city and you can reach Kuruvikanam, where a Kattadipadam (windmill farm) can be seen.
Ayyappankovil hanging bridge: From the Kattappana-Kuttikkanam road, take right turn at Mattukkada junction. Travel for 6 km and visitors can reach near Ayyappankovil hanging bridge.
Pine forest: The pine forest can be reached from Kuttikkanam-Kumali road by travelling about 3 km.
Parunthumpara: The entrance of Parunthumpara will come into view 12 km from Kuttikkanam on the road to Kumali. The scenic spot is about 5 km from there.
Ammachikkottaram: This attraction can be reached by travelling 1.50 from Kuttikkanam junction.