Pullumedu Hill in Idukki
Pullumedu stands as another hidden treasure within Idukki’s remarkable collection. As you ascend its verdant-clad hills, you’ll be greeted by the lush greenery, while the majestic Periyar River remains your constant companion throughout the journey. Beyond the breathtaking natural scenery, you’ll also catch glimpses of the Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the illuminating Makara Jyothi ceremonies at the shrine. Pullumedu offers a plethora of campsites and trekking trails for picnickers and outdoor enthusiasts, and with each visit, you’ll discover newer, unexplored areas. Accessible only by jeep, the drive itself serves as a prelude to this enchanting adventure.
Pullumedu is a beautiful hill station in Kerala filled with green meadows that looks like a green carpet located nearly 46 kilometers away from Thekkady. Pullumedu means the green meadows and as the name suggests, this destination is a beautiful green carpet over the earth. It is a must-visit destination on the travel itinerary of people to Thekkady. This destination is not only famous for its panoramic nature but it also associated with some spiritual elements. The famous ‘Makarajyothi celebrations’ are also connected with this place.
The Pullumedu Forest Path Offers A Natural Welcome To Sabarimala Pilgrims
Trekking along the Pullumedu forest path provides Sabarimala devotees with an unforgettable spiritual journey, where the serene beauty of untouched nature purifies their minds. The verdant hills, covered in lush green grass, the enchanting woods, the crystal-clear waters of a babbling brook, and the sweet scent of wildflowers all create a profound pantheistic charm in this place. However, during this pilgrimage season, the number of devotees choosing this forest path has significantly dwindled, with less than 500 people reaching Sabarimala through this route this year.
When Pamba was completely submerged in recent floods, the tantri and other devaswom officials embarked on a trek through Pullumedu to the sacred shrine, carrying bundles of paddy for the niraputhari ceremony. Devotees can only traverse this area by strictly adhering to the instructions of the forest officials, as it falls within the Periyar tiger reserve.
To access the ‘sathram,’ one can travel by jeep from Vandiperiyar, but reaching sannidhanam requires a barefoot trek through the forest path. The sathram is situated in the Seethakulam valley, 14 km away from Vandiperiyar and falling under the Azhutha forest division. Devotees can spend the night at the Subramania temple, gaining access to Pullumedu only after 6 in the morning. Similarly, entry to sannidhanam from Pullumedu is restricted after 1.30 pm.
The distance between sathram and sannidhanam is approximately 12 km, with the Uppupara forest office located just 6 km away. The trek through Pullumedu offers lush green meadows and steep hilly terrains, and along the forest paths, devotees might catch glimpses of wild elephants, bison, barking deer, Indian giant squirrels, and langurs.
Notably, the tragic Pullumedu stampede in 2011, which claimed the lives of 102 devotees, occurred near the Uppupara forest office. However, the place has since become much calmer and peaceful. At Uppupara, the forest path diverges into two directions. The path leading to sannidhanam passes through the Thannithatti check dam, where a massive rock provides a breathtaking view of the holy shrine of Sabarimala in all its glory. When the mist clears, the temple complex, other structures in sannidhanam, and the walkway from Saramkuthi become clearly visible. Devotees joyfully chant the name of Lord Ayyappa as they traverse Podamplavu, Urakuzhi, and Pandithavalam, ultimately reaching the sanctum sanctorum.
A Must-Visit Destination
Located near the Periyar River, Pullumedu is a never-miss a destination during your trip to Thekkady. The astonishing green meadows and the scenic beauty of nature at this region truly attract travelers from across the globe. Apart from its matchless natural charm, this holiday spot also fascinates people with its spiritual elements. This destination is associated with the celebrations of Makarajyoti.
A Hidden Gem
Pullumedu is a relatively an unexplored tourist destination in Kerala. It is certainly another hidden gem that adds the alluring repertoire of Idukki. The hills draped in green and the beauty of the Periyar River gives unforgettable travel experience to each visitor. Another highlight of this tourist spot is that visitors can get glimpses of the renowned Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa temple from this spot. Many people gather at this place to watch the sacredness of Makara Jyothi illuminations at this shrine during the celebration time.
Suitable For Trekking
Pullumedu Hills is one of the best spots in Kerala to enjoy trekking. Trekking enthusiasts can find many trails and good campsites that they can imagine at this destination. They can find several new areas on their each visit to this hilly region. Pullumedu Hills can be accessed only by jeep and a drive towards this beautiful destination offers you magical experience. However, it is a restricted forest zone and travelers need to take special permission from the Range Officer, Vallakkadavu or the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady to enjoy trekking or camping.
A Point Of Attraction For Academicians
Pullumedu is not only a popular tourist destination for nature lovers but many academicians also find it as a great point of attractions. They get attracted to this region because of its varieties of flora and fauna. Many rare plants are there in this destination but this region is relatively inaccessible. Since it is an unexplored area, the eco-system maintains its balance in this place.
Best Time To Visit
From September to December just after the monsoon season is the best time to visit Pullumedu Hills. The climate is extremely pleasant and cool during this time. Besides, the valleys and hills of this region get draped in rich and fresh layers of green give breathtaking views to visitors. If you visit this region during monsoon, you can watch the enchanting natural beauty of this tourist spot.
How To Reach
Pullumedu is nearly 43 kilometers from Thekkady and travelers can access this picnic spot by bus through the Ernakulam-Thekkady Road or the Anavilasam-Marykulam Road. Since it is located in a forest area with restricted entry, it is wise to use a jeep or SUVs to reach this spot. The nearest railway station to Pullumedu is Kottayam which is at a distance of about 58 kilometers. Cochin/Kochi International Airport is approximately 225 kilometers from this astounding hill station.