Munnar is a dreamy hill station in Kerala, and many visits it to enjoy the rolling tea estates and the mist filled valley. But few know that beyond Munnar lies a magical landscape at Marayoor.
Marayoor can remind you of Norway for reasons more than one. There are mystical structures call dolmens, lush forest thriving with life, and a beautiful landscape unmatched anywhere else in the country.
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Dolmens are prehistoric structures believed to ancient burial chambers. Characterized by four stones and a fifth capstone on the top, these structures are found across the world. In Marayoor, believed to be as old as 10,000 B.C, these are locally known as Muniyaras and several dolmens can be seen on a stone hill to the left of the river Pambar.
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Visiting the site of these dolmens, perched on a hill, will make you feel as you have slipped through time. The experience is made more enchanting against the backdrop of sandalwood forests, surrounding the site.
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You can also visit the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sandalwood reserve forest. As you enter the forest, the first thing you might realise is the scent of sandalwood that naturally engulfs the air. Sandalwood is one of the rare and precious forests in India, and Marayoor is a good place to explore this.
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Even more dolmens and prehistoric cave paintings can be seen within the Chinnar sanctuary. Local tribal guides can be engaged for a reasonable fee to take you there from the Alampetty entrance deep into the forest. The Chinnar sanctuary is known for its Star Tortoises and Grizzled Giant Squirrels.
You can reach Marayoor from Coimbatore or Kochi. You can take a local bus or hire a cab to reach Marayoor via Munnar.
So, visit this enchanting landscape that will remind you of the moors and woods of Norway.