Kerala

Idukki turns 50, plans to play up its ‘treasures’

When the country celebrated its 73 Republic Day on Wednesday, Idukki too reached a milestone, completing 50 years as a district. The second largest district of Kerala boasts an illustrious past, dating to the pre-historic period, as is evident from the remains such as dolemen, burial, urns and herostones strewn across a wide area close to the Western Ghats.

From the ancient times itself, the spices produced in the district, including cardamom and pepper, were exported through an old trade route from the district to the Muzaris port, as excavations at Pattanam point out. The region’s hill produce was much in demand among early foreign traders.

Its present population mostly comprises settler farmers, along with tribespeople and people of Tamil origin. The district is topographically divided into high range and low range. It holds a prominent place on the State’s tourism map with the emergence of Munnar and Thekkady as top destinations for international and domestic tourists. Wagamon, Ramakkalmedu, Panchalimedu, Calvery Mount, and the waterfall at Aruvikuzhy too attract tourists by the droves.

Heritage buildings

At Devikulam and Peerumade taluks, a large number of heritage buildings connected to the British Raj era are kept intact. Udumbanchola has the large concentration of cardamom estates while Idukki taluk hosts one of the largest arch dams in Asia.

The two villages of Vattavada and Kanthallur meet a major portion of the State’s vegetable demand.Garlic from Kanthallur and Marayur jaggery, which has the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, are Idukki’s unique products. The sandalwood division at Marayur is the only reserved sandalwood forest in the State. At Edamalakkudy, inside the Munnar Forest Division, is situated the only tribal grama panchayat in the State. The tribal population in the district consists of Muthuvan, Mannan, Hill Pulaya, Urali and Ulladan communities.District panchayat president Jiji K. Philip said year-long programmes were being planned in connection with the golden jubilee. He said the administration intended to highlight the district’s unique features as part of the celebrations.Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine, who is in charge of the district, said the government had drawn up developmental projects in connection with the jubilee. The focus would be primarily on infrastructure building, he said.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 11:13:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/idukki-turns-50-plans-to-play-up-its-treasures/article38333948.ece