Lying on the eastern side of the Western Ghats at about 40 km from Munnar is Marayoor, one of the most sought-after hill stations. Rich in scenic beauty and a number of attractions, this little hill station is less explored when compared with Munnar. Some of the major attractions at Marayoor are the sandalwood forests, Kanthalloor, Dolmens, Marayoor jaggery, etc. The place has excellent geographical topography that is best suitable for conducting activities like trekking. Thus, with unmatched pristine natural beauty Marayoor has won a place among the must-see places when planning for a holiday at Munnar.
One of the major fact for which Marayoor is famous for is the Sandalwood forests. Marayoor is the only place in Kerala that houses the natural sandalwood forests. These forests are maintained and conserved by the Kerala Forest Department and a refreshing stroll through these forests requires the permission from the Forest department. Scientifically known as Santalum album, the sandalwood tree is a parasitic tree with yellowish heartwood that has a rich fragrance. Sandalwood has been widely used for many spiritual and religious traditions in India since earlier times. It was also used in the traditional medicinal practices. The sandalwood oil which is extracted from the tree’s roots and wood is very costly and is also known as ‘liquid gold’.
Another major attraction at Marayoor is the Dolmens (or the Muniyara) which are believed to be stone coffins having underground tunnels. These Dolmens are built-up using rocks and they date back to the Neolithic period. Many of these Dolmens made from stone can be found near the old Siva Temple at Kovilkadavu and near the river Pambar. Out of the several Dolmens (or Muniyara) discovered some had fragments of burial urn near them; indicating that these were used as burial chambers. While the others having greater height are believed to have been used for the habitation of people.