Idukki district in Kerala is famed for its hill stations where clouds and mist greets visitors. However, apart from the well-known destinations, there are several unexplored spots of unmatched natural beauty and Urumbikkara is notable among them.
The easiest way to reach the place is starting from Kottayam and taking the Koottikkal, Enthayar and Vadakkemala route. Urumbikkara is 18 km from Koottikkal and along the path are located three charming waterfalls named Vembily, Pappani and Vellappara.
Nestled in a picturesque corner of the Western Ghats, the hills of Urumbikkara are immersed in mist all the time. Moreover, the thick forests, pretty brooks and verdant valleys offer a feast for the eyes.
Travellers heading to Urumbikkara can also choose another route. Head to Elappara in Idukki district, take the Uppukulam - Typhoid Estate road and pass Madammakkulam to reach Urubikkara, which involves a travel of 11 km.
A jeep is the ideal vehicle for a trip to the hills of Urumbikkara, while two-wheelers built for off-road rides can also be preferred. Jeeps can be hired from Enthayar for Urubikkara and the current fare is Rs 2,500. Tourists can also stay at two resorts, named Sangamam and Geyra, functioning at the base of the hill.
Along the off-road track uphill, several interesting sights await travellers. They include ruins of an old tea factory built using rocks and wood during the British rule, small streams and a small but ancient temple. As you climb the hill, the change in weather can be felt. In fact, even in the afternoon, darkness begins to spread in the area along with a fall in mercury level.
Another attraction of Urumbikkara is that it is an ideal spot to camp for the night. Moreover, the topography of the area offers great potential for adventure activities such as paragliding, mountain climbing, tree-halves stay, camping and nature walking. However, even though people rush to Vagamon and Munnar for paragliding and paramotoring, Urumbikkara is ignored as the authorities have arranged no facilities. Similarly, Munnar, Wayanad, Thenmala and Thekkady are considered the top trekking spots in Kerala. But, though Urumbikkara has rocks, streams, dirt tracks, mist and other features that can offer a better trekking experience, official attention is needed to turn it into a major travel destination.