Illikkal near Erattupetta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kottayam. It is located at an elevation of 4000 ft above sea level. The place is always breezy and is famous for its beautiful scenery. There are many streams here. Together, they flow as the Meenachil river.
The Illikkal stone is made up of three rocks. The tallest rock in the area is called Koodakallu. The serpent-shaped rock next to it is called the Coonan Stone. The crucifix is another. There is a large gap between them at a depth of 20 feet. This stone has a section called 'Hell's Bridge' which is only half a foot wide. It is very difficult to walk through it and can be dangerous during rainy and foggy seasons.
Where is the Neelakoduveli?
There is a local belief that the Neelakoduveli, a wonderful medicinal plant, is located on this peak. There is also a story related to the exile of the Pandavas. It is believed that the Pandavas and Panchali lived here during their exile. One day when Panchali was a little late to feed Bheema, he angrily grabbed a machete and threw it away. Legend has it that there was a stream between the cobblestone and the Kudakkallu at the place where the machete fell. It is said that this is how the 'Olakappara Thod' came into being.
From the top of the peak, you can see the Arabian Sea and sunrise. Illikkal Kallu is located somewhere between Vagamon and Kottayam. In fact, it’s an ideal destination for a one-day tour from Kochi and nearby areas.
Elaveezhapoonchira, a tourist destination, is also close to Illikkal. Illikkal can be reached via Erattupetta-Thikkoy-Adukkam, Erattupetta-Kalathukkadavu-Mankomp and Thodupuzha-Mechal.
The best time to visit this place is after the monsoons. It is best to avoid visiting during monsoons as the roads can be slippery. The journey is a bit risky even during the summers.
Apart from Elaveezhapoonchira, within a radius of 30 km from Illukkal Kall, there are other tourist attractions such as Vagamon, Kikayam Falls, Muniyara Cave, Marmala Falls, Vellappara Falls and Thangalpara.