Apart from Munnar, Marayoor which is 40 km further and closer to the Tamil Nadu border, is also a favourite destination of tourists and trekkers. There is more to Marayoor than the greenery of tea plantations, the thick canopy of forests and the beauty of the gurgling Pamba River which rises in Anamudi Hills.
Marayoor is the only place in Kerala which has a natural sandalwood forest. Marayoor has approximately 65,000 sandalwood trees. The trees are under the care of the forest department. A permission from the forest department is required to visit the sandalwood forest. There is a sandalwood factory here which is also managed by the forest department.
Marayoor also has sugarcane plantations spread over an area of 1500 acres. Being a rainshadow area, the climate is ideal for sugarcane. With 97% sugar content, Marayoor produces one of the best quality jaggery.
Marayoor is rich in history and mythology, too. The 2000-years-old megalithic tombs and dolmens here attract a large number of tourists and researchers. The presence of ancient rock and cave paintings here, using natural dyes and depicting scenes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana fascinate visitors.
A trip to Munnar will be incomplete without a visit of Marayoor.