Peermedu, the famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed, a Sufi saint and close associate of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore. Wide vistas of tea, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed with silver cascades, sculptural rocks, meadows and mist-cloaked hilltops make Peermedu an unforgettable experience. The most delightful trekking trails complement the panoramic landscape. Monuments like the summer palace and summer residence of the royal family add to the splendour of the land. The summer residence now converted into a government guest house under the Department ofTourism, offers comfortable accommodation.
Sprawling estates of tea, coffee, cardamom rubber and eucalyptus surround this charming hill station, once famous as the summer retreat of the Travancore kings. Peermeds's history is also closely linked to that of the Sufi saint, Peer Mohammad, believed to be the first trader of spice in the region.
Natural grasslands, pine forests and a salubrious climate make Peermede an enchanting and picturesque destination. The legacy of the raj can still be seen in colonial buildings such as Ashley, Henwoods, Greenwooods,etc.
Frequent bus services are available from Kottayam and other destinations in the State to Peermedu. Jeeps are the best mode of transport.
Kuttikanam: A place for adventure tourism and trekking, or even a languorous, tranquil break. This picturesque plantation town washed in the fragrance of cardamom is surrounded by lush, green hills.
Thrissanku Hills: The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this an ideal spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset. Summer Palace: The huge palace where the Maharajas of Travancore used to spend their summers is set amidst lush greenery.
Panchalimedu: This largely unexplored area is said to have been the camping site of the Pandavas. The pond, Panchalikulam is said to have been used by Panchali, the wife of the Pandavas.
Peeru Hills: This idyllic hill station is a favourite haunt of trekkers and picnickers. The hill is named after Peer Mohammed, the Sufi saint, who spent his last days here. The mausoleum of the saint, the summer palace of the royal family and the residence of the Diwan situated nearby are all worth a visit.
Grampi: Grampi is also known as Parunthupara (eagle rock) because of the panoramic view from its high peaks. Rocky plains, lush hillsides, forests, trekking trails and picturesque views lend charm to this destination. The road to Grampi is flanked by unending stretches of cardamom, tea and coffee plantations.
Amritha Medu: The second highest peak in South India after Anamudi, Amritha Medu offers a birds-eye view of the entire Peermedu region. An ideal trekking spot, on Good Friday large numbers of people throng here in memory of Christ's crucifixion.
Madammakkulam: A natural pond under a gushing waterfall encircled by deep woods, this was a favourite spot of British planters in the colonial times. The pond has been named Madam's pond or Madammakkulam after a British lady who used to frequent this spot.
Pattumala: Lofty peaks, little streams and ever expanding tea plantations are the attractions of this place. Pattumala (which literally means hill draped in silk) is home to two famous tea plantations - Harrisons Malayalam and AVThomas & Co. The Velankanni Matha Church, built entirely of granite, at the top of the hill is a famous pilgrim centre. The nearby flower garden with roses, orchids and anthuria is a fascinating riot of colors.
Koottickal-Mundakayam: Excellent stopovers, these adjacent places are blessed with the bounty of nature. But Mundakayam's claim to fame is that the first commercial production of rubber was started here in 1904.
Sahyadri Ayurvedic Centre: A well-established Ayurvedic Hospital, Sahyadri, managed by the Peermedu Development Society in Pallikunnu, is known for its curative and rejuvenating treatment packages. The centre has well-appointed treatment and accommodation facilities, a unit for manufacturing Ayurvedic medicines as well as a well-maintained raw drugs museum where more than 200 varieties of rare and endangered herbs are preserved. More than 400 herbs used for medicines are grown in the hospital's own garden spread over 35 acres. For permission to visit the herb garden, contact the Director- Peermedu Development Society, Peermedu, Idukki.
Vagamon: A curious blend of religious mysticism and European legacies, this hillside village is a haven of tranquility. The chain of three hills - Thangal Hill, Murugan Hill and Kurisumala is a mark of religious harmony. The dairy farm managed by the Kurisumala monks is worth a visit. The breeding centre of the Kerala Livestock Board is located here.