2018 will witness the biggest Neelakurinji blooming in Munnar after a period of 12 years

In 2018, Munnar will experience the once in 12 years blooming of the Neelakurinji flower.  Kurinji or Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianus) is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms only once in 12 years. 

To get to Kurinjimala: 


History of Idukki Dam


In the heart of the District lies the 'IDUKKI DAM' - Asia's biggest Arch Dam of 555 feet height proudly standing between the two mountains - 'Kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). This prestigeous project of our nation is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is located at Moolamattom which is about 19 kms from Thodupuzha. Idukki Dam is 43 kms away from Moolamattom.


The possibility of Hydroelecric development at Idukki was first conceived in 1919. As per history Shri Kolumban, the head of 'Oorali' race during 1922 showed the way, to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, who were on hunting spree in the forest, the spot of present Arch Dam. He told them of the legend of Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. The mind of Thomas was stirred by the sight of water flow between the mountains and his idea made the dream true of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possiability of constructing a dam at Idukki for Power Generation.
In 1947 Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore made a preliminary investigation report. On the request made by the Government, the Central Water and Power Commission took up detailed investigation in 1956. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for implementing the scheme in 1963 and the preliminary works of the project were started.
The project was posed for Canadian aid and its scope was enlarged and a revised project report was drawn up in 1956-66. The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Hon. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 sq. kms. width and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the unique Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.
Foreign Aid
The Government of Canada aided the Project with long term loans and grants. M/s S.N.C.Inc., Canada, a well-known firm of Consulting Engineers were advising and assisting Project Engineers under the Canadian Aid.
Project in Brief

The Project harnesses a major portion of the power potential of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala State, by the creation of a reservoir of 2,000 M.cum (2 Billion Tonnes) capacity, diversion of waters thus impounded through a water conductor system consisting of a power tunnel and two underground pressure shafts to an underground power house situated in Muvattupuzha Valley.
The installed capacity of the Power House is 780MW consisting of 6 Units of 180 MW each.The regulated waters of Periyar falls through a drop of about 669.2 metres (2195 feet) while generating power in the underground power house. The tail waters flowing to Kudayathurpuzha through tunnel and open channel will later be diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha Valley.

History of Idukki

 IDUKKI District was formed on 26 January 1972 as per Government notification No 54131/C2/71/RD dated 24th January 1972. The district consists of Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermedu taluks of the erstwhile Kottayam district and Thodupuzha taluk (excluding two villages Manjallore and Kalloorkadu) of the erstwhile Ernakulam district. At the time of formation the district headquarters started functioning at Kottayam and from there it was shifted to Painavu in Thodupuzha taluk in June 1976, where it is proposed to build a new planned forest township.
The district's name, 'Idukki' is supposed to be derived from the Malayalam word 'Idukku' which means a narrow gorge. Periyar which is one of the largest rivers of Kerala, flowing through Idukki gorge formed between the two high massive rocks called "Kuravan" and "Kurathi", is the site of the gigantic Idukki arch dam.
            We have very little authentic knowledge which throws light into the ancient history of Idukki district. Eventhough there is no clear evidence whether men of the paleolithic age lived here, there is evidence of stone-age civilisation. Stone-age dolmens were discovered in the valleys of Anchanad in Devikulam taluk. Archaeological excavation conducted during 1947-48 at Kallar Pattom colony in Udumbanchola taluk and at Vandiperiyar in Peermedu taluk brought to light the remains of Old Stone-age Menhir and Tombs.

Karikode near Thodupuzha was the head quarters of Vadakkumkoor Raja. There is remains of a fort at Karikkode. Near this fort there is a Devi temple said to have constructed by the Vadakkumkoor Raja. There is also another temple by name Annamala Temple constructed in Chola style. The church at Muthalakodam, near Thodupuzha is believed to have constructed before 13th Century.
The Ninnar Mosque near Karikkode is said to have constructed by the Vadakkumkoor Raja for his Muslim soldiers. Thodupuzha was also a nerve business centre. There is historical evidence to prove that from ancient time onwards ivory, teak, rosewood, sandalwood, peacock etc., were exported to foreign countries.

Historians believe that Kuzhumoor, the capital of Chera Kings of the Sangam Age, is the Kumily in Peermade taluk. It is assumed that portions of Meenachil taluk and the whole of High Range were included in the Thanthuzhynad under the Kulasekhara Empire (A.D.800-1102). For some time these regions were under the region of the Thekkumkoor Kingdom. It was proved that Vennimala, one of the capitals of the Thekkumkoor Rajas, was in Idukki district. Poonjar Kingdom was established by Manavikrama Kulasekhara Perumal. Manavikraman brought Meenachil taluk and the High Range under his rule from the Thekkumkoor Raja. Thus major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of the Poonjar Raja.

History of Guruvayoor

History of Guruvayoor Temple is said to be dates back to Dwaparayuga when krishna is supposed to have told his foremost disciple Udhava to reinstall the idol of Lord Vishnu which he had installed at Dwaraka. The place was to be chosen by Guru Brihaspathi. Krishna promised Udhava that a true devotee can feel his presence in the idol. Collecting the idol from the submerged Dwaraka Brahaspathi and Vayu travelled all over India and with the help of Parasuram located a lake full of lotus flowers in Kerala. The lake was the abode of Lord Siva and Parvathi who moved to Mammiyoor for making place for Vishnu. As Guru and Vayu together installed and founded the temple, the place came to be known as Guruvayupuram. The lord is supposed to have chosen the image of little Krishna (Unnikrishna) at the temple of Guruvayoor. The sub deities worshiped are Ganapathi, Sastha and Bhagavathi. The four armed idol carrying Conch (Sanka), Discuss (Chakra), Mace (Gadha), Lotus niched out of a stone called "Pathala Anjanam" stand gracefully at the Sanctum Sanctorum as a manifestation of Almighty himself ever so merciful to ignorant multitudes.
The history of the idol is said to be as follows. At the beginning of the first Kalpam named Brahmakalpam, Mahavishnu gave Brahma an idol and the first book of Bhagavatham. Brahma, later gave this idol to the Prajapathi Suthapassu and his wife Prishni and Lord Maha Vishnu took incarnation as their son. This couple in their next birth were known as Kashyapa and Aditi. They got possession of this idol in that birth also, and Lord Maha Vishnu was again born as their child, the Vamana. The next birth of this couple was as Vasudeva-Devaki and the story repeats. This time the incarnation of Lord Maha Vishu was as Lord Krishna, the most complete man. Lord Krishna, when he built the city of Dwaraka, built a temple for this idol. Before his death, Lord Krishna entrusted Udhava with this idol and asked him to meet Brihaspathy, the Guru of gods.
The Guru along with his desciple Vayudeva (god of air), found a place which was recommended by Lord Paramashiva. Thus the Guru and Vayu installed this deity and Paramashiva named the place as Guruvayoor. And the deity is now known as Guruvayoorappan. The idol is carved out a stone called 'Pathala Anjana Sila' and is utmost sacred. The place selected for the installation was suitably sacred by the presence of Lord Shiva. The place was already sacred owing to the presence of Lord Paramashiva. He was worshiping Lord Maha Vishnu under the waters of the 'Rudratheertham' (the sacred pond near the temple). Later, Lord Shiva emerged out of the waters when the Prachethas, son of King Pracheenabarhis came in search of a place to worship Lord Maha Vishnu. He then revealed the hymn 'Rudra Geetha' to Prachethas And then the Prachethas worshiped Lord Maha Vishnu for another ten thousand years staying in the 'Rudratheertham' After the installation of the idol of Mahavishnu by Guru and Vayu, Lord Shiva moved to the nearby Mammiyoor temple.
According to the stories, Shri Aadi Shankara who is believed to have extra ordinary powers was once travelling by air from Kalady to Shringeri. Even he, who never believed in the worshiping of idols, was forced to come down while crossing Guruvayoor. To appease Guruvayoorappan he worshiped the deity by eight 'Shloka' (four lines of poetry). This is now known as the 'Govindashtakam'. He then spent 41 days worshiping Guruvayoorappan. The daily rituals of worship during the Mandalam period were conceived by Shri AdiSankara at that time.
Near past history is as follows. The temple was renovated by a Pandya king somewhere around 500 years ago. In 1970, in a fire accident, almost all the temple except the Shreekovil was destroyed and the temple was reinstated in its shape in 1971. The temple is not very big compared to some other well known temples. The Gopuram on the eastern side is 33 feet and that on the western side is 27 feet tall.


Kannur (earlier Canannore), has carved a niche in the socio-political history of the state. The capital of erstwhile Kolathiri Rajas, the ancient town had fallen to European forces in several occasions. In 15th century, the Portuguese were the first to establish a settlement here. St. Angelo’s Fort in the city was built by the first Portuguese Viceroy in 1505. The Portuguese factory built by Cabral in 1501 was captured by the Dutch in 1663. In 1708 the British built a fort at Thalassery ( earlier Tellichery), another coastal town in Kannur. The nearby Mahe became a French colony in the 18th century. In 1940's, Kannur became an effervescent political cauldron. Communism was the provocation. The district hamlets witnesses bouts of violence which left indelible impressions on the political landscape of the district.
Many folk art and dance forms have roots in the socio-religious culture of the district. Theyyam and Kavadiyattam were nurtured and nourished by artistes from Kannur. Another stronghold of the district is weaving. As many as hundred weaving units are ticking over here.
Kannur is boarded by Karnataka's Kodagu district.
Tourist Spots
Naval academy is coming up here. 55 km from Kannur.
THALASSERY : A trading centre of ancient times. Dr. German Gundert, a German Missionary, brought out the first Malayalam newspaper from Illikkunnu near Thalassery in 1856. He developed the first Malayalam dictionary. The historical city is also known as the cradle of Indian circus. Many a star circus artiste hailed from Thalassery. Leading circus troupes are still owned by people from this region. India's first gymnastic training centre functions here.
Air :
The nearest airport at Karipur, Kozhikode 120 km away., Mangalore airport 170 km away.
Rail: Kannur railway station on Mangalore- Shornore Sector. A major station in north Kerala.
Road : N H 17 goes via Kannur, Thalassery- Virajpetta route is another Kerala-Karnataka route from Kannur. Private passenger buses for intra-district services. KSRTC operates buses to all parts of the state and to Mangalore and Bangalore in Karnataka

Vishu Festival and its significance

It is important to note that vishu is considered as the astrological New Year festival of Kerala state. This is celebrated during the month of April. In general we can say that it is observed during first day of medam( which is the Malayalam month). It usually falls on April 14th. 

The traditional people of Kerala practice a lot of colorful rituals and customs on Vishu. Most of these traditions are based on a belief that Vishu must be celebrated well as the good things of the first day of the New Year will continue for the rest of the year too. 

Most important ritual of the day is called 'Kani Kanal', the literal translation of this is 'first sight'. In Kani Kanal there is a prescribed list of items, which a person must see first thing on a Vishu morning to bring good luck.  It is interesting to note that the arrangements for vishukkani will be completed in the previous night & this consists of a nilavilakku(which is a lighted traditional lamp), an idol of lord Krishna, & some other items like arecanut(adakka) , betel leaves(vettila), raw rice(unakkalari), kanikonna( konna flowers), cucumber(vellari), vaal kannadi, coins & holy text which are kept in a uruli(shallow circular vessel with an open mouth). Uruli is most commonly seen in all houses of kerala. Remember that these arrangements are made in the puja room of the house. 

Vishukkani is prepared in such a way so as to bring prosperity to the house in the New Year. This is mostly celebrated by the Hindus. Another fact to remember is that on the vishu day it is important to wake up at dawn & with the eyes closed you must go to the puja room for observing vishukkani. Remember that by seeing vishukkani you are able to see the first sight of the New Year.Vishu Kani is later distributed amongst the poor and needy people. Reason behind this ritual is the strong belief of the people that the fortune of the rest of the year depends on the first object they see on the Vishu day. 

There is also a tradition to give small amounts of cash to children of the family. This tradition is called Vishu Kaineetam. People believe that this custom will ensure prosperity for their children in future.

A group of young men and women dress up as 'chozhi' , wearing a skirt of dried banana leaves and masks on their faces and go from house to house in the village dancing and collecting small amounts of money. On Vishu, these entertainers get good rewards for their performances. The money is spent on the Vishuwela (the New Year Fair). 

Vazhachal Water Falls

The beautiful, rushing, eye charming Vazhachal water falls is located on the way from Valparai to Chalakkudi road, in the Thrissur District, Kerala in India. It is located approximately 3 km from Athirappilly and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India. For tourists coming to this spot its always a beautiful memory to keep in mind... even after returning home.