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History | Culture | Festival

 History

The Idukki region was part of the ancient Chera country and Kongu History in Idukki Nadu. The Early history of Idukki is obscure and there is no clear evidence about the paleolithic age. During 800 –1102 A.D, the High Ranges, consisting of present Devikulam Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks, were part of the Kingdom of Vembolinad. During 16 th Century Major portions of Idukki district came under the rule of Poonjar Raja. The Modern history of the district starts with the advent of Europen planters to this region. In 1877 Kerala Varma , the Raja of Poonjar leased 227 square miles (590 km2) of Kannan Devan hills to John Danial Manroe, a British Planter. The tract was largely unexplored and covered with thick forest. He formed the North Travancore Land planting and Agriculture society. The members of the society developed their own estates in various parts of Hiranges . Roads were opened , Transport organised, Houses and factories built and productions rose rapidly in the succeeding years. The pallivasal Hydroelectric Project, the first hydroelectric project of the State was initially constructed by the tea companies for the industrial use. Planters were the first migrants to the high range region covered by dense forest. Deforestation process start in the high ranges with advent of the plantation industry by the end of the 19th century. Vast area of evergreen forest were destroyed in connection with the construction of several hydroelectrical projects, Roads, factories etc.

Idukki Dam on the Periyar River The High Range of Idukki attracted Scottish planters in the 19th century and they left behind some bungalows in an around Munnar, which are quite notable for their architectural beauty. Perhaps the most visible one to the tourists is Ladbroke House,which is named after the Ladbroke Square in London. The Trout, coniferous trees and dark green planter's cap are all contributions of those planters. Munnar had railway lines almost a century back. This started from the KDHP office at Munnar and extended up to Top Station near the Tamil Nadu border. The torrential rain and storm of 1924 destroyed the major part of the rail system and the Mattupetty dam still has the remains of the rail lines. Quite few of the rails are used as electric posts in Munnar. KDHP's tea factory has one of the wheels of the locomotives being kept there.

Idukki has the largest arch dam in India, the Idukki Dam, constructed for the Idukki Hydro Electric Power Project in 1969 with the cooperation of the Canadian Government. This single project powers almost half of the entire state and some parts of neighboring states. Mattupetty Dam is also here.


 Culture

Due to the large scale migration to the district from other parts of Kerala and from the Neighboring Tamilnadu, Idukki has a mixed Culture. In the District there are 245 tribal settlement, In which 74 are in Thodupuzha; 11 in Peermedu; 126 in Devikulam and 34 in Udumbanchola Taluks. Almost all the scheduled tribes are living in the extreme remote hilly banks and in the deep interiors of thickly growing forests of this district. According to the latest census around 11516 Scheduled tribal families are living in the district. The main inhabitants of the district are the scheduled tribes, which include Malayarayan, Mannan, Muthuvan, Oorali, Paliyan, Hilpulayan, Malapandaram, Ulladan and Malayan. Among the scheduled tribes Malayarayans out class all the other factions in socio-economical and educational aspects. Among the most celebrated festivals in Idukki, the Adimali Fest is the most prominent tourism and agricultural festival of the High ranges since 1991. Every year the festival is celebrated during the last week of December, at Adimali.

The agricultural fair and exhibition is a part and parcel of the Adimali Fest. Hundreds of farmers bring their super size products for display. Exhibition stalls of various Government Departments, Institutions and Agencies are of great attraction along with the exhibition-cum-sales stalls of the trade fair The agricultural fairl at Thodupuzha is also note worthy and is held every year under the aegis of the agricultural society.


 Festival

Onam: It is the most typical festival of Kerala, which Festivals in Idukki coincides with the month of harvest season is an occasion for spontaneous revelry. It celebrates the home coming of Mahabali, the legendary king who ruled over Kerala in an age of plenty and was pushed down to the infernal regions (Patala) by Vishnu in the form of Vamana.
As a National Festival under Government auspices Onam is being celebrated. It synchronises with the tourist week celebrations in the State. The Onam celebration starts formally on the day of Atham asterism. The image of Thrikkakara Appan (Vishnu in the form of Vamana) is installed in every Hindu home during the Onam season. Children go around collecting flowers for the decoration of the front portion of their house in different designs and forms which change from day to day. The most important days of the Onam festival are Uthradom and Thiruvonam days. On the latter, a grand feast is held in every home. Onam also provides an occasion for family get-togethers for the Keralites.

Christmas and Easter: It is the main festival of Christains. Christmas falls on December 25th and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. In all churches in the State holy mass is held. The Christmas Tree is decorated in chruches and homes. The appearance of Santa Claus and the distribution of presents are highlights of the celebration. There is a feast in every Christian Home with meat as a special item. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It falls in the month of April. The Maramon Convention held every year in March on the river bed at Maramon under the auspices of the Marthoma Church is the biggest gathering of the Christians in Asia and the second biggest in the World.

Bakrid and Ramzan: Bakrid and Ramzan are the major muslim festivals. They enjoy a hearty feast on Bakrid Day. After Idul Azha the famous Haj is performed. Id-ul-Fittr is celebrated after the conclusion of Ramzan fast when muslims give up all kinds of food and drink during day and spend major part of the night in prayer. Miladi Sherif (Nabi Dinam) in April commemorates the birth of the Prophet. Muharam is another festival celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Muharam-the forbidden month which marks the beginning of the Hijira Year.

Chandanakudam: In Kerala Chandanakudam at Beemapally near Trivandrum is one of the most colourful of muslim festivals. It is said to be the death anniversary of Beema Beevi, a devout pilgrim lady who came to Kerala from Mecca. The festival begins on the 1st of Jamadul Akhar of the Hijira Era (October) and lasts ten days. Carrying earthern pots smeared with sandal wood paste and the mouth of the pot lightly closed with a jasmine garland around the edges, thousands of pilgrims go around the mosque and the hallowed tomb of the devout lady in procession, the earthern pot with money is placed at the tomb as an offering.


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