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Devikulam Munnar Address: 16 km from Munnar, Kerala, 685612, India
Located at an altitude of 5,900 feet or 1,800 metres above the sea level, the small hill town of Devikulam is home to undulating hills, tea gardens, spice plantations, waterfalls and a famous lake. Apart from its natural beauty, Devikulam has a reputation for being a religious tourism destination, especially among Hindus.
Mangalam Devi Temple, Mariamman Temple and Ayyanar Temple are some of the most prominent destinations for those who wish to learn more about Hindu mythology and mysticism. Even the Sita Devi Lake in this town has an interesting story behind it, taken from an epic written centuries ago.
This hamlet is a favourite with the young and the aged alike, thanks to the wide range of activities one can pursue here. Hiking, rafting, angling, picnicking, worshipping, off-roading, mountaineering, biking and swimming are just a few options.
History Behind Devikulam
The story behind the naming of Sita Devi Lake, and subsequently the very hill station of Devikulam, lies in the Ramayana, the Hindu epic which is often regarded as religious text. They say that Sita, who is oftentimes conferred the title of god, took a bath in this lake.
The lake is high in essential minerals, making it therapeutic. This is also, at times, attributed to the tale of Sita bathing in this lake. A dip in the Sita Devi Lake is said to cure many diseases, just as many other natural mineral pools in many parts of the world are through to do.
The Malayali translation of Devikulam is ‘lake of the goddess’ (as ‘devi’ means ‘goddess’ and ‘kulam’ means ‘pond’), giving proof that the place was named after the very lake that calls it home.
Interesting Facts About Devikulam
Mythical stories apart, Devikulam has several interesting things about it that will only make you want to visit this place even more. Take a look at some trivia:
1. The Sita Devi Lake in Devikulam, even though considered to be hallowed among the Hindus, allows trout fishing and angling in general, even for tourists. If you wish to indulge in some fishing in this lake, you need not worry about carrying your own equipment as fish hooks are available on rent. However, you will have to get your permission from Tata Tea before you indulge in angling or even just visit the lake.
2. Devikulam has risen to international fame over its unique art form of painting with sand, chalk powder and rice flour. Formally known as Kolam, the painting style involves the use of these powdered materials in various colours to create attractive images with hand. Similar to rangoli (famous in North India), Kolam prides itself in the usage of natural dyes only. These patterns also serve in feeding insects and birds, apart from their religious usage of paying obeisance to the Hindu deity of Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth).
3. Devikulam remains pleasant to visit throughout the year, with a summer temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and a drop of zero degrees in the winters.
4. Rare herbs, tall gum trees and wild flowers are plentiful in the forests of Devikulam. The woods will definitely be of interest to botanists and naturalists in general.
5. As part of the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, more than 100 varieties of cows are bred in the quaint hill station of Devikulam.
6. While one does not traditionally associate hill towns with boating, Devikulam, thanks to the lakes in its premises, offers boating options to visitors. You can look forward to pedal boating, motor boat rides or even try your hand at the oars.
7. As per the 2010 census, the little town of Devikulam had only 350 local residents! That would mean there are more tourists here than those who permanently call this place their home.
8. Devikulam has a total area of 215 square kilometres or 83 square miles.
Image Gallery of Devikulam Munnar
Places to Visit Near Devikulam
Devikulam, while an attraction in itself, is surrounded by a plethora of other sights which are worth a visit. While this hill town will keep you occupied for at least a couple of days, you will want to venture out and explore some of the other enchantments around Munnar:
1. Lockhart Tea Museum: If you take the Lockhart Tea Factory Road and drive for about 20 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 5 km, you will reach this lovely tea museum. While Lockhart Tea Museum was built way back in 1936, it officially opened only in 2014. The museum is a repository of ancient machines and other equipment which were used for processing tea in the yesteryears. There are plenty of photos which tell the story of tea from being a leaf to brew in your cup. Part of the much larger Lockhart Estate, the museum also allows one to tour the tea gardens.
2. Lockhart Gap View Point: At a distance of 11 km from the hill station, requiring a drive of half an hour, this view point is worth at least a few hours of your time. Located in Mattupatty, Lockhart Gap View Point offers panoramic sights of the Bison Valley which has a high concentration of bison. You can choose to hike up the dense woods that lead to this view point. Pack your picnic essentials so you can enjoy a therapeutic meal with your family once you have reached the top. Apart from the gorgeous views from up here, you can also look forward to exploring an old cave in the premises.
3. Swiftlet Cave: Open on all days of the week from 6 AM to 5:30 PM, the Swiftlet Cave is home to plenty of swiftlet birds. These birds are distinct for their choice of habitation, which is exclusively caves. You might need to trek for a while to reach this cave, and once you do, you can look at the numerous swiftlet nests, along with some freshly hatched swiftlet nests and hatchlings. The trip is quite an adventurous one as it involves climbing down into this cave through a rope. The way to Swiftlet Cave passes through the Lockhart Tea Plantation, so you might want to couple these two visits together to make the most of your limited vacation time.
4. Chokramudi Peak: This peak is almost 20 km away from Devikulam and takes a drive of a little more than an hour to reach. At an altitude of 7,200 feet above the sea level, Chokramudi Peak makes for rather easy hiking. The area comes under the dense Shola forest and is highly recommended to winter vacationers. For those who wish to trek the entire way, it will take a whole day, so plan your itinerary accordingly. Pothamedu is the base where you can start your trek of almost 10 km towards the peak. The uphill climb will take almost 5 hours, but the descent will be more comfortable. Apart from the breathtaking views and the crisp mountain air, you can also look forward to sighting herds of Nilgiri tahr.
5. Power House Waterfalls: Accessible via NH 85, Power House Waterfalls are approximately 14 km away from the hill town, requiring a 35 minute drive. Also known as Chinnakanal Waterfalls due to its proximity to the Chinnakanal village, this is a beautiful cascading waterfall that gathers into a pool. If you wish to get real close to the Power House Waterfalls, you can hike to the base and jump into the natural pool which makes for a refreshing swimming spot. The waterfalls flow down from an altitude of about 2,000 metres above the sea level.
6. Kalladanthy Natural Cave: Over an hour’s drive away, Kalladanthy Natural Cave is more than 22 km from Devikulam. Known to be the largest underground cave network in Central Kerala, Kalladanthy offers you a cave tour and options for trekking and camping here. Explore nocturnal creatures and endangered arachnids as you walk through this long cavern. There are plenty of adventurous fun activities too, such as zip lining, sky-cycling and walking on a hanging bridge that leads to a hut. Off road jeep safaris and boulder hiking is also offered here.
7. Chithirapuram View Point: 18 km from Devikulam, Chithirapuram View Point is a 40 minute drive away. Ideal for catching the sunset, this view point is through the chocolate hills which are also tea gardens. You can visit between 6 AM and 8 PM to explore the colonial architecture of old palaces here and also the famous hydroelectric power project. Because there’s a lake on the premise, one can also enjoy boating, rafting and canoeing. For the more adventurous tourists, Chithirapuram provides a nice space for rock climbing, paragliding and parasailing.
8. Ripple Waterfalls: Almost 30 km from the hilly hamlet, Ripple Waterfalls will take almost an hour and a half to reach. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours here in Sreenarayanapuram as you watch these waterfalls contribute to the Muthirappuzhayar River. You can safely walk along the fenced walkways and staircases as you watch the Ripple Waterfalls gurgle down. The falls are open for viewing on all days of the week from 7 AM to 5 PM and the entry fee is only INR 10 per head. There are plenty of options for snacks and full meals near the waterfalls.
9. Rhodo Valley: Less than an hour away, Rhodo Valley is a part of the Kannan Devan Hills. Named after the Nilhiri rhododendron flowers which are endemic to the Western Ghats, the Rhodo Valley is also home to barking deer, wild cats, Indian gaurs and langurs. This valley is a point you will pass if you venture on some multi day treks in this region such as Meesapulimala, which is the second highest peak in Idukki’s Western Ghats, and even the Varkala beach. Rhodo Valley offers a scenic base for camping and stargazing, especially in the winters when temperatures sometimes dip below zero.
How to Reach Devikulam
Nestled somewhere in the Idukki district of Kerala, the small hill town of Devikulam is fortunate to be only 3 miles from the popular sightseeing destination of Munnar. Thanks to this proximity, it is fairly easy to arrive in this otherwise lesser known place. Here are some of the most widely used modes of transportation to get here:
By Air: The nearest airport to Devikulam is in Kochi. The Cochin International Airport (COK) is more than 112 km from this hill station and a cab ride would take about 3 hours and a half to get you to your final destination. Since COK is an International Airport, you could be flying down from any foreign country that operates direct flights to Kerala.
By Train: There aren’t any direct trains to Devikulam but the nearest ones are in Kochi and Kottayam. Cochin Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island is 135 km away and the road journey would take about 4 hours, whereas Kottayam Railway Station is 144 km away, and takes roughly the same amount of time to reach. Luckily, both of these stations have bus services that ply visitors to Devikulam, which is a more economical way to travel as compared to taking a taxi.
By Bus: Devikulam is very well connected by bus and this is one of the best modes of transportation on a budget. You can easily catch buses from different parts of Kerala to Devikulam Bus Stop, which is right in the destination. Even if you have taken a train to arrive into this state, you will find frequent buses from Cochin and Kottayam to get you here.
By Car: The road to Devikulam hill station is quite steep and one needs an expert driver who knows how to safely drive on such hilly roads. It is advisable to opt for self driving only if you are familiar with this part of Kerala. It is far more convenient to hire a cab from top car rental companies in Kerala with experienced drivers who will not only give you a smooth ride but also halt at scenic points along the way for you to take pictures.
The mesmerising beauty of Kerala enchants every holiday seeker and one needs to spend at least a week to explore all the popular sightseeing places of Kerala. We at Kerala Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA have designed Kerala Tour packages keeping in mind the budget and needs of our customers to help you plan your holiday just the way you want. Please fill the Contact Us form to know more about our offerings and have a great time in God's own Country!