Karintharuvi – a new Munnar in Idukki

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Have you ever stargazed lying on a rock tucked away in a pristine lush green environment on a nippy night? What about some ghazal to give a soothing effect to the whole setting? People who have a penchant for travelling can definitely relate to these precious moments.

Imagine walking at the break of dawn with sun rays seeping through the mist with cool breeze caressing the hills and eventually rustling your hair. Not to speak of the panoramic view of the nature's green carpet that stretches to the horizon and a dip in the cold milky waters of the mountain brook. This can only be surreal for any backpacker.

You don't have to cross seven seas to experience all these and more, but just step into the mountainous district of Idukki, which shares its borders with Ernakulam district, in Kerala. When it comes to travelling to Idukki, tourists tend to confine their plans to the popular travel destination Munnar.

What's more in store in Idukki district? Those who are raising this question can visit Vagamon off the Adimali-Munnar route. And Vagamon always finds place on Kochiites one-day-trip list. But there are some backpackers who feel that their journey is incomplete without an overnight stay enjoying the enchanting beauty of hills, pine trees and lakes in the hill station.

For them, the ideal destination is Karintharuvi in Idukki district. Here the travellers can sink in the mesmerizing radiance of nature and stay for a night or two to explore the place better. Karintharuvi, which is surrounded by tea estates, is slowly becoming a popular travel destination. This quaint hamlet definitely has all the essential elements to develop into a tourist destination.

Tony Joseph, a former NRI who runs a homestay on one of the mountains in Karintharuvi, says that those who have been to Karintharuvi just want to revisit the place to enjoy the alluring charm of nature.

Ideal for a weekend trip

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Most of the Kochiites want to escape the searing heat of the plains. That’s why many backpackers during holidays hop on to the motorbikes and head to the hill stations of Idukki and they often go to Munnar in search of a pleasant, cool and refreshing climate. But now Karintharuvi is a good alternative option as it is a weekend travel destination with a nippy and invigorating clime, and adequate accommodation facilities for a night or two. If you start your drive or ride at daybreak, one can reach Karintharuvi after spending some meaningful time at Vagamon, Illikkal Kallu and Ulupunni.

With the number of tourists to this unique place picking up, many home stays and other facilities are in place to greet the travellers. If you are into off-road adventure, then Karintharuvi is the right place for an adrenaline-rush drive.

Watching sunrise at Karintharuvi bathed in mist can lift your spirits and a dip in Karintharuvi stream, which is a tributary of Periyar River, will make your journey worthwhile. The return journey from Karintharuvi can also be equally incredible as the highpoint is Ayyappan Kovil hanging bridge near Idukki dam reserve. A walk on the 200m-long hanging bridge and the view from it is breathtaking. Later you can also visit Anchuruli, a prominent shooting location for filmmakers, and the Idukki dam.

Mouthwatering local cuisine adds flavour

While travelling to different places, it is important to taste the local cuisine, and for that the grandeur of a hotel or restaurant should not be the yardstick. It is better to hop into any modest eating outlets to know the real taste of Idukki's spread. There are many traditional eating joints in Idukki that serve unadulterated local food. Dry tapioca and sauted raw jackfruit are favourites of many travellers. And what about some pork roast and beef curry as spicy toppings to your Karintharuvi trip? It can only be truly fabulous.

Routes

Ernakulam-Pala-Erattupetta-Vagamon-Elappara-Karintharuvi.

Ernakulam-Pala-Ponkunnam-Mundakkayam-Kuttikanam-Elappara-Karintharuvi.

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