Marayoor - A place rich in ancestry and natural beauty
When you become overwhelmed by the hectic city life, you naturally desire to move out of all the noise and retire to someplace quite. If you feel like relaxing in the abode of nature, Marayoor is the best place. The beautiful hilly landscape, spectacular waterfalls, and a wide variety of flora and fauna will give you the relaxation that you need. The ancient Stone Age monuments will fill you with awe. At Marayoor, you can be close to the bosom of Mother Nature with nothing to disturb your peace.
Located 42 kilometers north of Munnar in Munnar-Udumalpet road, Marayoor is the only place in Kerala with a natural sandalwood forest It is also replete with beautiful green landscapes, lofty hills, and beautiful rivers. There are a few spectacular waterfalls in the Marayoor that will take your breath away. One of the greatest attractions in Marayoor is the trekking trip through its unique landscape.
The tourist destination is also famous for the ancient monuments. Human settlements in Marayoor started back in the Stone Age. There are many pieces of evidence to prove that the history of the place dates back to 10,000 BC. The place has many remnants of the human inhabitation in the form of Muniyara (Dolmens), rock paintings in Attala, Kovilkadu, and Manala.
The following are the major tourist attractions in Marayoor:
Top attractions in Marayoor
One of the most exciting things about Marayoor is its natural sandalwood forest. A walk through the path lined with sandalwood trees on both sides provides a unique experience to you. The very air is filled with the refreshing smell of sandalwood which will stimulate your olfactory senses. There is no other place where you can trek through the sandalwood forest. Hence the chance should not be missed in your visit to the unique land.
There is a government-owned sandalwood factory where you can see how oil is extracted from the wood and roots of the tree. If you are in Marayoor, do not miss the opportunity to see the process.
Blanketed in lush greenery, a spectacular waterfall awaits tourists to Marayoor. Thoovanam waterfall may be the most visited destination near Marayoor. It is the perfect spot for trekking and sightseeing. You can also enjoy quality time by the banks or take a refreshing bath in the cool water. The waterfall is part of the Pambar river which originates in Anamudi hills.
Thoovanam waterfall is located at a distance of 10 kilometers from Marayoor inside Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Though the destination is at a slight distance from Marayoor, the journey is very enjoyable.
Believed to be the remnants of the Iron Age, Muniyaras are dolmens seen at Marayoor. They are made of four heavy stones placed on the edge and another placed above them as the capstone. They were used as burial sites by the ancients. The perfectly circular shape of some of them arouses curiosity. They are of different heights ranging from 70-90 cm. Another type has a height of 140-170cm.
Some pieces of urns used for burial has been retrieved from the location. Nevertheless, there is evidence to prove that people used dolmens as dwelling places. It is still a mystery why these burial sites were used as houses by some. The ancient monument is the unique tourist attraction in Marayoor.
Ancient rock paintings are a great attraction in Marayoor. There are numerous such motifs in the destinations in Marayoor like Kovilkadavu, Manala, Attala and Ezhuthu Guha. Most of the paintings are indiscernible, but through close inspection, you can make out the figures of humans and animals. Ezhuthu Guha rock paintings are the most famous of all. Located at a height of about 1000 meters above mean sea level, there are 90 or so artifacts in here.
You will be awestruck at the millennia-old monuments. If you are a history enthusiast, you will be extremely thrilled to be so close to these motifs which are milestones of human evolution.
Best Time To Visit Marayoor
As there is not much seasonal variation in temperature, Marayoor is a buzzing tourist location throughout the year. Nevertheless, the monsoon witnesses heavy downpour, and summers are humid. So if you have an idea of what to expect during different seasons, you can be prepared. Here are the peculiarities of each season:
- Winter (October to February): Winters are comfortably cool in Marayoor. The lowest temperature does not go below 16 degrees Celsius. The afternoons are comfortable without much heat. If you are not a fan of the humid climate and pouring rain, this is the best time to visit Marayoor tourist destinations. But the comfort comes at a cost as the rate of tourist packages to Marayoor are comparatively high during the winter season
- Summer (March to May): March marks the start of summer in Marayoor. April and May are hot and humid with the highest temperature touching almost 35 degrees Celsius. However, the tourist flow to Marayoor is not much affected by the hot season. If you can withstand the humid climate, you can choose the summer for your visit to Marayoor attractions. Don't forget to carry sunscreen in your carry bag.
- Monsoon (June to September): Monsoon is a very wet season in the tourist destination. Rains can be quite frequent and heavy. But it adds to the picturesque beauty of the landscape. Monsoon tourism is hence fast developing in Marayoor. If you love watching the rain in its varying tones and enjoy a rain-drenched landscape, this is the best time to visit the place.
How To Reach Marayoor
- By Road: Marayoor is at a distance of 55 kilometers from Idukki and 42 kilometers from Munnar. The place can also be accessed through Pollachi or Palani in Tamilnadu.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station is Aluva at a distance of 120 kilometers.
- By Air: Cochin international airport is the nearest airport at a distance of almost 150 kilometers from Marayoor