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Sunrise View From Panchalimedu, Idukki.jpg
Sunrise view from Panchalimedu
Etymology: Derived from Panchali (Draupadi) and Medu (hill), literally means the 'Hill of Panchali'.
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Location in Kerala, India
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Panchalimedu (India)
Coordinates: 9°34′15″N77°00′52″E / 9.57083°N 77.01444°E / 9.57083; 77.01444 Coordinates: 9°34′15″N77°00′52″E / 9.57083°N 77.01444°E / 9.57083; 77.01444
CountryFlag of India.svg  India
State Kerala
District Idukki
  Type Panchayath
  Body Peruvanthanam panchayath
940 m (3,080 ft)
  Official Malayalam, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Area code(s) 04869
Vehicle registration KL-37
Nearest cities Peermade, Mundakkayam

Panchalimedu is a hill station and view point near Kuttikkanam in Peerumedu tehsil of Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala. [1] On the Makar Sankranti day, many Ayyappa devotees camps there to witness the sacred Makaravilakku (holy flame) that appears in the Ponnambalamedu near Sabarimala temple. [2]


Presently there is a Hindu temple and a Christian shrine at the two extreme hills. [3]


Distant hills as seen from Panchalimedu view point View from Panchalimedu 01.JPG
Distant hills as seen from Panchalimedu view point

Predominantly it is a high altitude region situated at a height of 2,500 ft (760 m) above the mean sea level. The place is surrounded by deep valleys and hills, accompanied by meadows, grasslands and cool refreshing climate. [4] From there, the Koruthodu valley near Mundakkayam with widespread rubber plantations can be seen. Parunthumpara hills and Periyar tiger reserve lies to the east of Panchalimedu. [5] Many tourists arrives there during the summer season for trekking and to get refreshed. [6] [7] When monsoon arrives, the place will be covered by charming mist and thick fog. [8] Although, a pleasant climate is experienced here throughout the year. [9] Apart from Pullumedu, Panchalimedu is another spot in the district where many pilgrims gather to witness the Makaravilakku, a holy flame that is believed to a supernatural phenomenon by the devotees, which appears annually on 14 January in the Ponnambalamedu summit. [10]


The road leading to Kanayankavayal via Panchalimedu Panchalimedu - Kanayankavayal road.JPG
The road leading to Kanayankavayal via Panchalimedu

Panchalimedu is located on the route to Kanayankavayal in the Azhutha block of Peerumedu tehsil. Geographic coordinates of Panchalimedu is 9°34′15″N 77°00′52″E. The place can be accessed from Murinjapuzha (5 km) and Amalagiri (6 km) on the Kottayam - Kumily state highway (K.K road). People from west and south can reach there through Mundakkayam - Thekkemala route. Jeep and auto services are available from Murinjapuzha at fair rates. [11] There are two hills at Panchalimedu, one has the temple dedicated to Bhuvaneswari Devi. [12]

Nearby attractions

Panchalimedu Temple Panchalimedu Temple.jpg
Panchalimedu Temple


Shivalinga with the shrine of Bhuvaneswari Devi at Panchalimedu Sivalingam at panchalimedu.jpg
Shivalinga with the shrine of Bhuvaneswari Devi at Panchalimedu

According to the myths, Pandavas along with their spouse Panchali had a sojourn there at time of one-year exile. [14] Hence the place got its name Panchalimedu which derived from the words "Panchali" (Draupadi) and "medu" (hill). The local tribes there offered selfless helps to the Kuru princes. Pandavas left the region before the beginning of one year incognito. They rewarded an idol of Goddess Durga to the tribal chief for their helps and instructed them to worship Devi. But, unexpected incidents occurred when the tribes worshipped Devi by following their own uncivilized puja methods. Hence the place became uninhabitable for them. Later, Devi herself moved to the present Valliyamkavu region and presided there. In light of this myth, people still believe that Panchalimedu is the moola sthana or sanctum sanctorum of Devi. [15]

Panchalikulam (the pond of Panchali), believed to be constructed by the Pandavas Panchalimedu check-dam.JPG
Panchalikulam (the pond of Panchali), believed to be constructed by the Pandavas

At present, there is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Bhuvaneswari, which can be approached by a walkway from the main road. The temple which hadn't daily poojas in the past is currently under the administration of Travancore Devaswom Board. The granite edicts found there depicts the linkage of the place to ancient history. [16] Several Shiva lingas, Trishulas (trident) and Nāga idols are also placed near the shrine. [17] A small circular pond known as Panchalikulam is situated there, in which Pandavas and Panchali took their daily bath. [18] It is about 5 dm (20 in) in diameter. Even during hot summers, it will be filled by plenty of water. [19] One cave also exist there named Pandavaguha (cave of Pandavas), in which the footprints of Bhima can be witnessed. [20] Local folks still believe that it is the footprints of the mighty Bhima himself. [21]

2019 controversy

In 2019, the Church authorities installed two crosses on the hill. Meanwhile, a Hindu group installed a Trishula near the cross as a way of protesting the Church's alleged attempt to encroach upon revenue land. This caused controversy. The District Collector sent a notice to church authorities to remove the crosses and soon it was removed. [22]

Related Research Articles

Thodupuzha Municipal town in Kerala, India

Thodupuzha (തൊടുപുഴ) is a municipality located in Idukki, Kerala, India, that covers an area of 35.43 km2 (13.68 sq mi). It lies on the banks of Thodupuzha river, which merges with the Kaliyar and Kothamangalam rivers at Muvattupuzha to form the Muvattupuzha river. Thodupuzha is 53 km (33 mi) from Kottayam and 60 km (37 mi) south east of Kochi. Thodupuzha is 197 km (122 mi) from the state capital, Trivandrum. The geographical classification of the Thodupuzha Region is Malanad or Keezhmalanad.

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Idukki (ഇടുക്കി), IPA: [iɖukːi], is a district in the Indian state of Kerala. It was constituted on 26 January 1972, by splitting the district of Kottayam into two parts. Its division was previously headquartered at Kottayam city, but moved to Kuyilimala near Painavu and Cheruthoni in June 1976. Idukki district lies amid the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats in Kerala.

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