If you are ready for a stroll through trees rich in oranges and orchards heavily laden with juicy apples, drive up the Western Ghats to the little village of Kanthalloor in Idukki district. Visually breathtaking, the little nook nestles within the Western Ghats at a height of 5000 ft above sea level, not far from Munnar. Welcome to Kerala’s Little Europe and enjoy your stay at the Cheeni Hills Home Stay.
Cheeni Hills is a nine-acre beautiful arbour of delight abounding in fruits and vegetables. Kanthalloor is the only place in Kerala where apples grow naturally and are farmed in plenty. The heaviest crop of the fruit comes from Cheeni Hills.
Apart from apple, Kanthalloor grows orange, sweet lemon (mausambi), strawberry, blue passion fruit, tree tomato, guava and lemon. Tourists and visitors can buy fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables when they are harvested. They are also welcome to pluck the fruits and purchase them.
The picturesque village is turning out to be a tourist hotspot because of its cool, and balmy weather all through the year. The number of visitors keeps swelling with each year. It’s the perfect getaway from the city’s frenzied life. As the resorts here offer all comfort, folks keep coming back to the place.
The highlight of the hill paradise is the number of vantage points from where sunrise and sunset can be viewed. The travel up throws up a lot of hitherto unseen sights. The life of the forest dwellers, their huts made of bamboo and grass are sure to delight people. You can collect wild honey, Java plum (njaval) tree tomato and guava as you drive along.
One can also cover other lesser-known tourist spots like Keezhanthoor and Ottamala on this trip. But you will need sturdy jeeps to carry you up these places. Hence, travel schedules have to be informed in advance. The spot, “Vettakkaran Kovil” lies on the way to Ottamala. Interestingly, the wild and barren mountain, “Bhramaram Point”, where the Mohanlal movie “Bhramaram” was shot can also be seen here.
Cheeni Hills brightens up the nights by providing campfire and barbecue dinner. Kanthallor as a tourist destination is a winner.