|It’s not just sights that make Marayoor, a scenic locale situated around 40 km away from Munnar, special. Besides two pre-historic sites, a sandalwood forest and vast sugarcane farms known for a tasty variety of solid molasses (sarkara in Malayalam) are among the attractions of Marayoor.
An impressive pre-historic site at Marayoor is a must-see recommendation for those with an interest in history, archaeology or anthropology. The 2000-year-old megalithic monuments and the scenic location of the site would win the hearts of ordinary travellers too.
Travellers can see here ‘Muniyara’ or dolmenoid cists which are burial chambers belonging to the megalithic age. The chamber is a simple one made of four granites slabs on edges and capped by another slab. Some dolmenoids consist of more than one burial chamber.
Ezhuthupara, located inside the Marayoor Forest Range is a prehistoric site where cave paintings can be seen. Such cave paintings have not yet been discovered in any other part of the state and the site has been declared as a protected monument by the State Archaeological Department.
The paintings here are of two types – those drawn with reddish brown soil having iron minerals in different colours and those drawn with white clay soil.
Marayoor has a natural sandalwood forest with around 65,000 trees. The sandalwood of Marayoor is said to be of high quality.
There is a ‘Sandalwood Regeneration Experimental Plot’ here from where one can learn more on the fragrant tree. The State Forest Department runs a sandalwood depot here where travellers can see the processing of sandalwood. Those who still haven’t got enough to satisfy their curiosity can take a refreshing stroll in the forest, but only after taking permission from the Forest Department.
Marayoor and the nearby Kanthalloor are famous for a special variety of solid molasses produced here. The ‘Marayoor sarkara’, as it is known in the market, is of high quality with 97 percent sugar content. Marayoor falls in the rain shadow region and the quality of the molasses is attributed to the specialty in temperature and the ph value of the earth.
Though earlier sugarcane was cultivated in around 2,500 acres, today it has shrunk to around 1,500 acres. Molasses production is a cottage industry here. Don’t forget to taste it travellers, if you have planned a visit to Marayoor. And also, if you are lucky enough to reach Marayoor in the sugarcane harvest season, you can watch how the sarkara balls are made. If you want to take home some sweet balls, there are several local outlets here.
Another interesting sight in Marayoor would be a scenic river called Pambar which flows between the villages of Marayoor and Kanthalloor. Kerala has 44 rivers and the Pambar is one of the three rivers which flow towards the east. Pambar originates in the Anamudi hills.
Watch Moods of Marayoor