Painavu is an enchanting destination that can’t boast of a prominent spot on the tourism map of Kerala. Painavu, which is the administrative headquarters of Idukki district and a hill station with breathtaking views, is a perfect tourist hot spot for a one or two-day jaunt. Another advantage of a vacay in Painavu is that most of the famous tourist destinations in Idukki are near this beautiful place.
Painavu is located amidst the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary and is 3,900ft above sea level. Many government institutions such as the Civil Station and the Government Engineering Colleges are situated in this enthralling tourist center. Interestingly, there are only two district headquarters in Kerala that are not known by their district names – one is Painavu and the other is Kalpetta, which is the district nerve center of Wayanad.
Tourists from Munnar and Kochi can easily pick Painavu as a weekend vacation spot as it is just 53km away from Munnar and 107km away from Kochi.
The thick morning mist and the Western Ghats with its unique assemblage of flora and fauna make this hill station a favourite among travellers. As this tourist spot is endowed with verdant forest and rolling lush green hills, it is the perfect destination for those who are into trekking. Painavu trekking provides a memorable experience to tourists as the hikers can tread through paths crisscrossing the forest, plantations and town. While trekking, one could also get a glimpse of herds of elephants moving around.
Tourists travelling to Idukki Arch Dam, Cheruthoni dam and Kulamavu dam can visit Painavu without much detour. There are boats from Painavu that would take you between Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. The places of interest that are easily accessible from Painavu are Vaishali view point, Micro view point, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary and Idukki dam. As Painavu is just 5km away from the main bus stand, the hill station can be reached by road without any hassles. Moreover, one can arrive at this popular tourist center by travelling on a boat from Cheruthoni to Kulamavu junction. The nearest railway stations are Ernakulam (114km) and Kottayam (98km).
The best time to visit Painavu is from September to May.