Marayur or Marayoor is a town in Idukki
district of Kerala, India
. It is located 42 kilometers north of Munnar
on SH 17 connecting Munnar with Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu. Marayur is the only place in Kerala that has natural sandalwood forests. Ancient dolmens and rock paintings in Marayur date back to the Stone Age.
Marayur claims to be a part of a Stone Age civilization that is as old as 10,000 B.C. It is also home to a later period of large-scale dolmen-building. The land and its unique dolmens, caves, rock edicts and engravings declare its rich heritage. People migrated from Tamil Nadu to this area when the Madurai king Thirumalainaicker was defeated by Tippu Sultan, in the eighteenth century CE.
Flora and fauna:
Marayur has more than 1000 species of flowering plants and is a well known repository of medicinal plants. There are 114 endemic species and the sighting of Aibizia lathamii, a critically endangered tree, was recently reported from the dry forests. Chinnar - the wildlife sanctuary in Marayur - has recorded the largest number of reptilian species, including the mugger crocodile, in Kerala. With 225 recorded species of birds, it is one of the richest areas of south India in avian diversity.
Places of Interest:
Rajiv Gandhi Children’s Park