The first thing the place Marayoor brings to the mind of a traveler is its air redolent with the smell of sandalwood and the relish of jaggery – Marayoor sharkara - uniquely made from the sugarcane farms of the place.

Add to that the scattered presence of muniyaras, or dolmens where prehistoric men are believed to be buried, as part of some ritual we could not decipher. A forest that teems with wildlife, glistening streams that often leap out of mountain tops, as gorgeous cascades are all features unique to Marayoor.

A small taluk, about 40m from Munnar town on the Udumalpettu road, the rain shadow village of Marayoor near Tamil Nadu has the largest grove of sandalwood trees. Fenced by the forest department to protect it from smugglers, the vast tracts of land earmarked for growing the precious trees is a sight to behold even from the road that hugs along the place.

Flora and Fauna

At Marayoor, you can stroll along the sugarcane plantations or visit a spot where they make the famed jaggery, and taste it, while it is still on the boil. Or if you are more of the adventurous type, you can try the many trek routes to deep woods to see what life is like in the high altitude montane evergreen - the shola forests and grasslands up the hills. With ferns, lichens and orchids, the pristine shola woods is a hark back to those times when all nature was pure, serene, free of any pollutants. Up the branches, you can see Nilgiri Langurs and Giant Malabar squirrels all along on your trek. You’d be amazed at the variety of butterflies and birds that find in this place their dearest abode.

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