Rajamala Munnar Entry Fee
- No entry fee
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Rajamala Munnar Address: 13 km from Munnar, Idukki, Kerala, 685612, India
Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, and quite close to the rather popular hill station of Munnar, Rajamala Hills is a wonderful escape from the humdrum city life. Without the typically crowded feeling of a hill town, this often overlooked piece of heaven is the perfect getaway you can wish for.
Wildlife enthusiasts can look forward to the rare Nilgiri Tahr which is a type of mountain goat. Also worth a visit is the Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary which is a portion of the much larger Eravikulam National Park which is 97 square kilometres in area.
Another charming fact about this little town of Rajamala is the Neelakurinji flowers which are blue coloured blossoms that bloom only once in 12 years. If you are here to see that magnificent blue carpet in this region, you will find a lot of other tourists also.
Rajamala Hills Timings & Entry Fee
While there is no fee to enter the Rajamala Hills, and one can drive in any time, there are some regulations around the wildlife sanctuary and the national park that Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary is under.
The Eravikulam National Park which contains Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary, is open only from April to January, being closed in the spring months of February and March. One can enter the gates between 7:30 AM and 4 PM, which is the exit time.
If you would like to reserve your tickets in advance, you can approach the Reservation Counter at the Information Centre in Munnar which is open from 9 AM until 3 PM on all days of the week. Note that you will have to pay an additional INR 50 per head as the reservation fee for all advance bookings.
The entry fee is INR 125 for Indian adults and INR 95 for children. For foreigners, this fee is INR 420 per head. You would obviously be carrying your cameras along. Don’t forget to buy your tickets for those. Ordinary camera pass comes for INR 45, whereas you pay INR 335 for a video camera ticket.
History Behind the Rajamala Hills
Before Rajamala Hills found its present day fame, it was a game preserve. Managed privately by the Kanan Devan Hills Produce Company, the area came under the control of the Government of Kerala in 1971 when the Resumption of Lands Act was passed in 1971.
A few years later, in 1975, the place was established as the Eravikulam-Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary. This was done primarily to preserve the Nilgiri tahr, a species that was endangered and whose habitat needed protection. Finally, in 1978, the status of this land was elevated to that of a national park.
Layout of Rajamala Hills
Rajamala is not your regular hill. It is actually a plateau which pans out in an undulation fashion, mimicking rolling hills. The minimum altitude of Rajamala Hills is 2,000 metres above the sea level. The highest altitude is 2,695 metres, belonging to the Anamudi peak. Known to be the tallest peak in the country if you discount the Himalayas, Anamudi is a trek most visitors love to embark upon.
Even at this altitude, one will find grasslands. You will also come across sections of tropical mountain forests with rather stunted trees. These trees grow primarily in the valleys of these rolling hills, and such patches are officially termed as sholas.
The relief features of Rajamala also count rivers that cross its landscape. These are mostly streams that never dry, draining generally into the tributaries that form the Cauvery River in the East and the Periyar River in the West.
Image Gallery of Rajamala Munnar
Interesting Facts About Rajamala Hills
Rajamala Hills, the wildlife sanctuary and the encompassing national park have a lot of fascinating details about them that will make most curious visitors want to know more. Here are just a few of such facts that will stir up your appetite for travel:
1. The Eravikulam National Park, which comprises the Rajamala Hills and the Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary, is the very first national park in Kerala.
2. A total of 48 species of mammals can be spotted here. Some of the most noticeable hooved animals are the sambar deer, lion-tailed macaques, the Indian muntjac (which is also known as barking deer), gaur (commonly called the Indian bison) and the very specie that the park aims to protect, the Nilgiri tahr.
3. Approximately 750 Nilgiri tahrs have been counted in the Eravikulam National Park.
4. If you wish to sight predatory animals, keep an eye out for tigers, golden jackals, leopards, jungle cats, dholes and wild dogs.
5. While elephants cannot be found here round the year, you will be able to spot them seasonally.
6. Some small-sized animals here which are not usually found in most other Indian national parks are the dusky palm squirrel (also called the Nilgiri striped squirrel), the Nilgiri langur, the ruddy mongoose, the stripe-necked mongoose, the small clawed otter (often prefixed by the terms ‘Asian’ or ‘oriental’), the Indian porcupine (also known as the Indian crested porcupine) and Nilgiri marten.
7. Birdwatchers can look forward to sighting 133 species of birds that can be seen here. Some of these avifauna species which are endemic to this part of Kerala are the Kerala laughingthrush, the black-and-orange flycatcher (which is also known as the black-and-rufous flycatcher), the Nilgiri flycatcher (with a striking blue body), the Nilgiri pipit (which is endemic to the high altitude hills of India), the white bellied shortwing (known by several other names such as Nilgiri shortwing, rufous-bellied shortwing, Nilgiri blue robin and NIlgiri sholakili) and the Nilgiri wood pigeon.
8. The national park has 101 species of butterflies. You might be interested in the Palni fourring which a Satyrinae butterfly endemic to South India. Also worth sighting is the red disk bushbrown which is confined to this grassland ecosystem interspersed with patches of shola (stunted tropical tree forest).
9. When it comes to amphibians, you will find a maximum of 21 species. 17 of these are endemic to the Western Ghats of the national park such as the Common Indian Toad, the Southern Hill Toad, Leith’s Leaping Frog, Short Legged Frog, Thin Limbed Frog, Bicolored Frog, Wrinkled Frog, Torrent Frog, Beddome’s Leaping Frog, Tree Frog, Yellow Bellied Bush Frog, Rough Skinned Bush Frog or Yellow Lored Bush Frog, Point Nosed Bush Frog and Sharp Snout Pygmy Tree Frog.
10. Reptile fans need not be disappointed as there are 13 species here. A whopping 10 of these species are endemic to this region. Watch out for 8 species of snakes and 5 species of lizards.
Places to Visit near Rajamala Hills
While Rajamala Hills has enough to deserve a week’s worth of holiday, if you have even more days to spare, you can take a look at some of the attractions nearby which include natural sights, scenic lookouts and even religious spots to suit your taste:
1. Nayamakad Waterfall: Located at a distance of 4 km from the hills, the Nayamakad Waterfall takes just a little over 11 minutes to reach by car. Quite a favourite with the tourists, these waterfalls flow from an altitude of more than 1,600 metres above the sea level, generating a lot of mist and refreshing sound effects. The rocky surroundings add to the acoustics of this natural escape. Apart from other visitors, you will also find tea leaf pickers at work who do their job of handpicking on the tea gardens nearby. It is also possible to trek in this area to get a closer view of the falls.
2. Lakkom Water Falls: Also known as Lakkam Waterfalls, this attraction will take a 50-minute drive spanning 21 km. Located 7,300 feet above the sea level, Lakkom Waterfalls commence from a plateau (and not a hill as in most other cases) called the Eravikulam Plateau. The falls are quite enchanting due to the exotic setting in which they thrive. There are boulders, a pool in which the water collects, and dense Vaga trees which form an enclosure around the falls. Boulder hiking is an activity that adventure enthusiasts can look forward to in this hilly terrain. It is common to bathe at the bottom of the Lakkom Falls.
3. Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church: Half an hour’s drive from Rajamala Hills, this Catholic Church is almost 12 km away. They say that Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church is the very first of its kind in all of Munnar, setup in 1898 by a Spanish missionary named Father Alphonse. He was buried within the premises of this church after his demise. If you wish to participate in the Catholic rituals, you can attend their daily mass at 7:30 in the morning. On Saturdays, they also hold an evening mass at 4:30 PM. On Sundays, you will be able to watch the mass proceedings at the additional times of 9:30 AM and 4 PM.
4. Viripara Waterfalls: Often called by the name Kainagiri Waterfalls, Viripara Waterfalls is about 30 km away from Rajamala Hills and will take more than an hour to reach. Part of the Kallar River in Munnar, the falls come alive in the monsoon when they swell, with the rains adding to the natural water flow. If you only wish to visit VIripara Waterfalls, you will be charged INR 20, whereas if you also wish to bathe in the pool where the waters collect, your total entry fee will be INR 50 per head. It’s better to carry a change of clothes with you in your car and park it on the roadside.
5. Echo Point: A 30 km drive towards Munnar and to Munnar Top will bring you to the famed Echo Point. Over an hour’s road journey away, the speciality of this sightseeing point is not just the panoramic views but also the phenomenon of creating an echo from this particular location. When you shout from the specific point, you will hear your voice being echoed back to you from the mountains which stand across the tranquil river. Roadside stalls sell snacks, pineapple, passion fruit and carrots which you can munch on while feasting on the views before you. You will also be able to go boating in the river.
6. Kundala Lake: Known alternatively as Kundale, the Kundala Lake takes a drive of about an hour and a half to reach this beauty which is almost 40 km away from Rajamala Hills. Situated at an altitude of 1,700 metres above the sea level, this lake is surrounded by charming cherry gardens and the famous Neela Kurunji flowers which bloom only once in 12 years and turn the valley blue. On this lake, the Kundala Dam, which was constructed in 1946, stands as the first arch dam of the continent. You will be able to get a feel of Kashmir when you take a boat ride in one of the shikaras here.
7. Carmelagiri Elephant Park: Much loved by children, Carmelagiri Elephant Park offers rides on the backs of trained and tamed elephants. A minimum of two people are seated on these giant mammals that go on a kilometre-long ride through the forests near Mattupetty Dam in Munnar. To reach this elephant park, you will need to drive for about 45 minutes to cover a total distance of 18 km from Rajamala Hills. You can also watch these delightful animals being given a bath, fed their daily meals and taught how to carry logs and do other forest-related works if you have more time to spare at this park.
8. Wonder Valley Adventure and Amusement Park: Over 25 km from Rajamala, this amusement park is worth the hour-long drive you will have to undertake. With 45 adventure rides set in an eco-friendly space, the park welcomes guests on all the days of the week from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM. The regular entry fee is INR 1,000 per head. This lets you enjoy zip lining, rappelling, jumaring, archery, vortex tunnel, paintball shooting, rope cycling, balloon shooting, bull riding, bungee jumping, human slingshot, river crossing, water zorbing, Burma bridge, horizontal ladder, trampoline, human gyro, boating and lots more!
How to Reach Rajamala Hills
At a distance of 15 km from the famous hill station of Munnar, Rajamala Hills can be reached via multiple modes of transportation. While making a choice, remember that different ways take different durations which might sometimes eat into your vacation time. The fare also varies from mode to mode.
By Air: About 115 km from Rajamala Hills, the Cochin International Airport happens to be the nearest one. If you hire a cab from there, it will take you roughly three and a half hours to arrive at your destination. While flying remains the smoothest and shortest way to reach here, especially if you are coming down from a different state or country, it is also the most expensive. Book your flights in advance when there’s a date with deep discounts on the offer to make the most of your air journey.
By Train: The journey by railroad is perhaps the longest one that you can opt for. If you are arriving from the northern part of India, it may take several days to chug into Kerala. Kottayam is the nearest railway station to Rajamala Hills, and it is easy to find many train routes that service this station. However, it is still 145 km away from the hill station, and the onward car ride takes more than 4 hours.
By Bus: Buses are quite convenient and easy on the pocket, taking much less time than trains. If you catch your bus from Old Munnar, you will reach the gate at the base of Rajamala in just about 15 minutes. KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) offers rides which are very reasonably priced. If you don’t find a direct bus to Rajamala Hills, you can easily hop into one that goes to Munnar’s main bus stop and take a cab from there.
By Car: For those who don’t worry about budget or time, but are big on comfort, a car is the best mode of transportation to reach Rajamala Hills. Make sure you choose a vehicle with good ground clearance and a powerful engine because you will have to drive uphill to reach this hill station. While self driving is preferred by some, it is recommended to let a professional driver take control of the wheel so you can relax in the backseat. Hire a cab from top car rental companies in Kerala for a comfortable ride to the hills.
The enchanting beauty of Kerala makes every holidaymaker visit this place again and again. If you wish to explore all the popular sightseeing places of Kerala, spare at least a week to make the best of your holiday. We at Kerala Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA have designed Kerala Tour packages keeping in mind the budget and other needs of our customers. Please fill the Contact Us form to know more about our offerings and have a great time exploring this beautiful destination.