Kerala's Spice Garden 

Idukki forms the second-largest district in terms of area in Kerala. But ironically, the district's high proportion of forested land also makes it the district with the lowest population density. Referred to as ‘Kerala's Spice Garden’, Idukki is a tourist haven today, known for its forests, mountains, tea plantations, hill stations, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. The biggest attraction here is the Neelakurinji which paints the hillocks a blanket of purple-blue every 12 years. Tourists come from the farthest lands to catch sight of the plant, scientifically called Strobilanthus kunthianus, in full bloom. 

The Idukki arch dam, the biggest in the nation, spans Kuravan Kurathi hills and is exclusive to the district. Idukki is home to Anamudi and Meesapulimala, the two highest peaks in India, south of the Himalayas. Many other peaks in the area are higher than 2,000 metres. 

Idukki is also home to some of India's best wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves. Project Tiger, an initiative to safeguard tigers in the wild, has had great success at Thekkady's Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Eravikulam National Park was created specifically to advance the cause of the critically endangered Nilgiri Tahr, a species of the mountain goat. 

Over the years, the district has also become a hub for adventure tourism. Gifted in natural resources, there are many ways to experience Idukki, be it hiking, boating, mountain climbing, paragliding or a jungle safari. Three rivers — Thodupuzhayar, Periyar and Thalayar, as well as their tributaries, protect Idukki's evergreen vegetation. Idukki’s population of mostly farm owners and plantation workers also comprise second or third-generation migrants from other districts as the region always posed immense opportunities in agriculture. 

Its people, wildlife and natural forests are a reminder of the life that runs at a less hectic pace. Idukki is the place to be for anyone who comes alive in the mountains.  

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