Panchalimedu Idukki -It can be a wonderful experience to watch the serene beauty of this marvelous hill station.
Panchalimedu Idukki is a hill station and view point near Kuttikkanam in Peerumedu hill station of Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala. With the mercury rising, travellers opt for scenic places on the hills for a weekend trip. And Panchalimedu near Murinjapuzha in Kuttikkanam offers tourists a panoramic view of an unending stretch of valleys and hills.
Though there are no official figures for the number of tourists visiting Panchalimedu, local traders attribute a rise in the number of tourists especially during the summer season to the cool climate and refreshing breeze which is a speciality here. The place is surrounded by deep valleys and hills, accompanied by meadows, grasslands and cool refreshing climate. Distant hills as seen from Panchalimedu view point
It is 7 k.m. away from Murinjapuzha on the Kottayam-Kumily route and lies 2,500 ft above sea level. On the Makar Sankranti day, lots of Ayyappa devotees camps there to witness the sacred Makaravilakku (holy flame) that appears in the Ponnambalamedu near Sabarimala temple.
Legend has it that the Pandavas and Panchali took a break in the area while on exile and hence the name Panchalimedu. The Panchalikulam, where Panchali is believed to have taken a bath, still attracts visitors. The pond has water even during the dry summer months. From there, the Koruthodu valley near Mundakkayam with widespread rubber plantations can be seen. Parunthumpara hills and Periyar tiger reserve lies to the east of Panchalimedu. Many tourists arrives there during the summer season for trekking and to get refreshed.
Panchalimedu Idukki has an enchanting set of hills which refreshes the body and mind, says Suresh Kumar, a student from Kanjirappally who reached Panchalimedu with his friends for enjoying the surroundings. He said that during the monsoon season, the hills are a virtual canopy of green. According to shoppers in Murinjapuzha, Panchalimedu is less known among tourists and it should be promoted extensively.
Shivalinga with the shrine of Bhuvaneswari Devi at Panchalimedu
According to the myths, Pandavas along with their spouse Panchali had a sojourn there at time of one-year exile.Hence the place got its name Panchalimedu which derived from the words “Panchali” (Draupadi) and “medu” (hill). The local tribes there offered selfless helps to the Kuru princes. Pandavas left the region before the beginning of one year incognito. They rewarded an idol of Goddess Durga to the tribal chief for their helps and instructed them to worship Devi. But, unexpected incidents occurred when the tribes worshipped Devi by following their own uncivilized puja methods. Hence the place became uninhabitable for them. Later, Devi herself moved to the present Valliyamkavu region and presided there. In light of this myth, people still believe that Panchalimedu is the moola sthana or sanctum sanctorum of Devi.
Sources in the District Tourism Promotion Council said that there are nearly 50 unknown tourism destinations in the district and a plan will be drawn up to select the most beautiful and accessible destinations. Some places are prone to accidents and protection walls should be constructed before they are opened to the public, they said.
Panchalimedu Idukki is a wide area available for trekking. Moreover, there are no accident-prone areas, unlike in other hill destinations.
It can be a halting point on the route to Thekkady from Kottayam. It is only by word of mouth that it is known and it has not been included in any tourist brochures so foreign tourists are not aware about it, sources said.
Parunthumpara: It is about 22 km (14 miles) from here, situated at a height of 3,600 ft (1,100 m) from sea level and also a popular tourist destination in Idukki district.
Peeru hills: It is a panoramic hill station named after ‘Peer Mohammed’, who was a Sufi saint.
Valanjanganam falls: It is only 6 km (3.7 miles) from here, a scenic waterfall locally known as Ninnumullippara located on the route to Kuttikkanam from Mundakkayam.
Valliyamkavu Devi Temple: This historic temple lies 10 km (6.2 mi) southeast to Panchalimedu and it is dedicated to Goddess Durga.