Marayoor, located 32 km from Munnar, is a town in the Idukki district of Kerala. Though not as popular as other destinations of Kerala, Marayoor has its own beauty. Right from elephant and crocodile sightings, natural sandalwood forests, waterfalls, forests of various kinds, fields and hills that rise you to walk amongst the clouds, you can find it all in this small town on the north-east border of Kerala.
So it can be rightfully said that you could be a solo backpacker exploring or a group of friends trying to escape the city vagaries for few days or a family looking to spend some time bonding together, Marayoor has it for all of you.
The History Of Marayoor
PC: Jaseem Hamza
In the 18th century, when Tipu Sultan defeated a Madurai king, it led to a lot of people migrating to the north-east area of Kerala, which led to the creation of five villages together known as Anju Nadu, of which Marayoor is one; the rest four are Karayur, Keezhanthoor, Kottakudi and Kanthalloor.
Marayoor is one of the rarest places in India that can boast of a history dating all the way back to the Stone Age circa 10000 BC. Now if that doesn't pique your interest, we don't know what will.
Many dolmens* from the Stone Age and the Iron Age can be found in and around the Marayoor town. The most famous amongst these dolmens that are sought by visitors are the ones at Thenkasinathan Temple and along the banks of river Pambar.
*Dolmens mean megalithic tombs made of flat stones, which are made to stand like walls of a chamber, which are capped with another flat capstone-like roof, so it resembles a modest small stone hut or more specifically a burial chamber.
Places To Visit In Marayoor
PC: Deepa Chandran
Rock Paintings At Attala, Ezhuthu Guha, Manala And Kovilkadavu
The most popular rock painting site is Ezhuthu Guha as it is firstly situated in the Koodakavu Sandalwood Forest and secondly, these are in numbers of slightly less than 100, which is the most in a single location.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
PC: N. A. Naseer
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most visited places by people travelling to Munnar (it is 50 km away). This sanctuary provides trekking facilities as many hills are located here. Also rich in flora and fauna, the sanctuary houses various animals like the Indian leopard, Indian elephant, white bison and tiger. Also unique to the place are Indian star tortoise, grizzly giant squirrel and mugger crocodiles.
PC: David Eickhoff
The only natural growth of sandalwood trees is found here. More than 65000 trees are seen and these are managed by the forest department of Kerala as a tourist and economic interest. Visit to enjoy the true unadulterated fragrance of sandalwood. You can even buy sandalwood paste, oils and sticks to take home as souvenirs.
PC: Ms Sarah Welch
Muniyara caves are a collection of various megalithic and neolithic dolmens, caves, wall paintings, underground tunnels. Wall paintings depicting wandering tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata can also be found here as it is believed the Pandavas as well Lord Rama and Sita had travelled to these parts during their exile.
There are more dolmens at Thenkasinathan Temple and Pambar river.
The best time to visit Marayoor is Sept-Oct as the winters temperature can drop up to 20 ℃ during the nights and during the day sun shines but it is most pleasant.
The Nitty Gritty Of How To Reach Marayoor
Marayoor is a major town in Idukki district of Kerala. Marayoor lies along the Munnar Udumalpet road. It is 40 km from Munnar. Marayoor is well connected by road and state buses are available from major cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The closest railway stations are Udumalpet (45 km) and Palani (70 km). Interestingly, both these towns are across the border in the state of Tamil Nadu. The closest airports are Kochi airport in Kerala, 150 km away, and Coimbatore airport in Tamil Nadu, 120 km away.
Other major attractions nearby are Munnar, Kodaikanal, Kanthalloor, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi hills and Lakkam Waterfalls.