Thodupuzha is also the name of the river that flows through the town. It is one of the largest town in the district and is a main commercial center. The town is being modernised with the help of a program sponsored by the World Bank, financing through the Government of Kerala. It was once part of the territory of the princely state, Travancore. It lies in central Kerala, southeast of Muvattupuzha. The Thodupuzha municipality area is characterized by a lot of green vegetation.
The name 'Thodupuzha' might have come from two words, 'thodu' (which means a rivulet) and 'puzha' (which means a river). It is believed that the stream developed into a river, and the town on the banks of the river came to be known as Thodupuzha.
There is another version which defines the word ‘thodu’ (Malayalam word) as ‘touch’ and ‘puzha’ as ‘river’. Thus the town touching the river became Thodupuzha. Mattathil Kovilakam was the protectors and rulers of the Desham (region) Thodupuzha that they were in and a reported relationship emerged to a "Naadu Vaazhi" (Ruler of the land)of Keezhmalainadu. Naadu, which is a group of Deshams, came to known as Thodupuzha. The last ruler of the desam was Elasamprathi(Ruler of a region appointed by Maharaja of Keezhmalainadu) Shri Narayana Menon originally from Trivandrum and he was the representative of Maharaja Raja. His official residence was Mattathil Kovilakam located in Chalamkode Village. Official Headquarters of Keezhmalainadu were Karikodu.
In records of Kerala state Archaeology Department Sarvadhikari Elasamprathi Shri Narayana Menon of Keezhmalainadu/Vadakku was the ruler and father of Thodupuzha. The Kings of Vadakkumkoor used to live at Karikode for several years. At the time of King Marthanda Varma, Vadakkumkoor became part of the state of Travancore. He appointed his representative 'sarvadhikari' Elasamprathi Narayanamenon of MATTATHIL from Neyyattinkara (Trivandrum) to flourish Thodupuzha. The period of his reign was the golden age of Keezhmalainadu. He erected many monuments, including the government offices, Pandika Shala and Temples. The Karikode Mosque and other buildings in Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha also date from his reign. He was also the founder of the new style tax collection in this region. He traveled every day from Chalamkode to Karikkodu in a Pallakku (palanquin). The relics of the fort is still there at Karikode.The Annamalai Temple, which carries the traits of Tamil Architecture is at Karikode. At this temple are statues and lamps made out of stone and metal, believed to have been made in the 14th century. Thodupuzha is an ancient town with a history dating back to many centuries. The Buddhist and Jain religions which made their first inroads into Kerala in 300 BC have left their impact at Thodupuzha and neighbouring areas. The Buddhist religious relics found at Karikode near Thodupuzha is proof of this. In AD 100, Kerala was divided for administrative reasons into several provinces such as Venadu, Otanadu, Navishainadu, Munjunadu, Vempolinadu, and Keezhmalainadu. Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha were in Keezhmalainadu which had its headquarters at Karikode. Keezhmalainadu was in existence till AD 1600. In that year it lost a battle with Vadakkumkoor and became a part of it. The church at Muthalakodam, a small town, 4 kilometers from Thodupuzha, is believed to have been constructed before the 13th century. The Ninnar Mosque near Karikode is said to have been constructed by Sarvadikari Elasmprathi Narayana Menon and instructions given by the Vadakumkoor Raja for his Muslim soldiers.
At the formation of Kerala state in 1956, Thodupuzha was part of the Ernakulam district. In the year 1972, Idukki district was formed by merging Thodupuzha taluk along with Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks, which were part of the erstwhile Kottayam district.
As of 2001 India census, the total population of 46,226. Males constitute 49%of the population and females 51%. Thodupuzha has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 81%. In Thodupuzha, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Thodupuzha has an excellent network of roads which connects it to the nearby towns and cities. The Main Eastern Highway (Muvattupuzha - Punalur / SH-08 / 154 km) passes through Thodupuzha and connects it to two of its neighboring towns, Muvattupuzha and Pala. Thodupuzha-Puliyanmala road (SH-33) connects Thodupuzha to Idukki District centre at Painavu as well as tourist destinations like Idukki Dam and Thekkadi. Alappuzha-Madurai road (SH-40) also passes through Thodupuzha town. SH-43 which connects Muvattupuzha with Theni passes through some parts of the Thodupuzha Taluk but doesn’t pass through Thodupuzha town.Other state highways, Tekkady - Ernakulam and Sabarimala - Neryamangalam also passes through Thodupuzha town. New 4 Lane Highway Proposed from Muvattupuzha to Kakkanad if materializes will connect Thodupuzha to Kochi in Less than 45 minutes to reach reducing the distance to 50 kilometres.
Thodupuzha - Pala, Thodupuzha - Muvattupuzha highways are one of the best roads in Kerala which were recently upgraded by KSTP.
The newly constructing KSRTC bus station will give depot status (now a Sub depot) to Thodupuzha KSRTC station. Many new inter state services expected to start from Thodupuzha after the commissioning of new KSRTC bus station. Bus services at frequent intervals are there to nearby places like Kottayam, Ernakulam, Vaikom, Kattappana, Thrissur, Trivandrum etc. from Thodupuzha. Recently this depot has added several high-tech low floor buses, which provides luxury transportation facilities, to their fleet.
At present Thodupuzha has no railway connectivity. The nearest major Railway Stations are Kuruppunthura which is 41 kilometres away from Thodupuzha, Kaduthuruthy is at 43 kilometres away from Thodupuzha. The proposed Angamaly-Erumely, Sabari Railway line to Sabarimala passes through Thodupuzha, and Thodupuzha railway station is planned to be constructed near Thodupuzha Co-operative hospital. Construction of Sabari Railway is completed up to Kalady railway station and Periyar bridge. Further there is opposition from farmers from Pampady, ponkunnam etc. citing it will lead to increase of anti-social elements and slums and so the project is almost abandoned.
Thodupuzha's economy is driven by agriculture, business and small industries. Farmers in Thodupuzha raise a number of crops, mostly rubber. Other crops such as pineapple, coconut, rice, pepper, cocoa, tapioca, banana, ginger, turmeric etc. are also being cultivated in plenty. In recent years Thodupuzha has showed more interest in promoting tourism. The face of Thodupuzha changed a lot in the last decade owing to the Developments after the changeover of the status from Taluk to Municipality. The new private bus stand, Temple Bypass road, Kanjiramattom Bypass road, Kothayikkunnu Bypass, Vengaloor Bypass, Mangattu Kavala 4 lane road, Mini Civil Station, New Bridge, Municipal Park, Shopping complex at bus stand, New Townhall complex etc. are noted landmarks which changed the look of Thodupuzha to a planned city. The footwear brand Lunar's has its operations base at Thodupuzha. Thodupzha is strategically located in route of Highranges to other Central Kerala towns like Ernakulam and Kottayam. However the lack of well developed roads from Highranges to reach Thodupuzha has led to the usage of Aluva - Munnar road and Kottayam - Kumaly road as the main transport route by the people of highranges. The proposed new state highways; Tekkady - Ernakulam and Muvattupuzha - Theni once fully operational will drastically change the mobility from highranges.
Thodupuzha was administered by a village panchayat and village union for several years, But on 1 September 1978, Thodupuzha was upgraded into a municipality. The Thodupuzha Municipality was formed by merging the Thodupuzha Panchayat and the neighbouring Panchayats of Kumaramangalam, Karicodu and Manacaud. The municipality was administered by a special officer for 10 long years. In 1988, elections were held and the first popularly elected municipal council came into existence with Advocate N. Chandran as the Chairman. Today the Municipality has 35 wards. There is a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and various Standing Committees to carry out the civic administration. Safiya Jabbar of the Indian Union Muslim League is the present Municipal Chairperson of Thodupuzha Municipality following the Kerala Local Self Government institutions election in 2015.
Thodupuzha is an assembly constituency and P J Joseph is the present MLA of Thodupuzha. He got elected 9th time from Thodupuzha marked with highest majority in the 2016 Kerala assembly of 45,587 votes . He is admired for the planned developments carried out during the tenure as MLA and Minister. Knowledge city, Malankara dam tourism project, Sports complex and Thodupuzha ring roads are his dream plans which we should see how it materialises. Thodupuzha assembly constituency is part of Idukki (Lok Sabha constituency) for which Joice George is the present MP.
There are at least 2150 hospital beds within the municipal area, serving a population less than 50,000 making a hospital beds per 1000 population of about 250 which is above UK average of 3.78 and USA average of 3.32. Besides, Thodupuzha is also an important hub of alternate medicine, with 3 major Ayurvedic groups having their headquarters in Thodupuzha. There are so many hospitals in Thodupuzha area. Some of the hospitals in the area include District Ayurveda Hospital, Taluk Hospital (Karikode), St. Mary's Hospital (Idukki Road), Holy Family Hospital(Muthalakodam), Chazhikattu Hospitals, Archana hospital (Muvattupuzha Road), Mount Sinai Hospital ( Mount Sinai Road ), St Josephs Hospital and Children's Clinic ( Mount Sinai Road ). Al Azhar medical college at Ezhallor is 7 km away from the town. Thodupuzha taluk hospital got upgraded to District hospital recently. Also a specialty hospital and cancer center is being constructed near Vengaloor junction.
The Ayurvedic Group Dhanwanthari Vaidyasala (Estd.1933) has a 60-bed Ayurvedic Hospital In Thodupuzha.
Smita Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (SMHRC) Thodupuzha, Kerala
The proposed Hospital at Thodupuzha is intended to be a multi-specialty Hospital, located between the Thodupuzha – Moovattupuzha High Road and the perennial Thodupuzhayayr. It is a 416 bed hospital with 334 single rooms, 6 operation theatres, 5 ICUs and other amenities. It is planned to be the first fully specialized cancer center in central Kerala.Aashirvad Cineplexx Aashish, 4K DOLBY ATMOS, 3D
Aashirvad Cineplexx Anisha, 4K DOLBY ATMOS, 3D
Aashirvad Cineplexx Pranav, 4K DOLBY ATMOS, 3D
Aashirvad Cineplexx Vismaya, 4K DOLBY ATMOS, 3D
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Although Thodupuzha itself is not a major tourist destination, it is the gateway to tourist destinations like Munnar, Thekkadi, Idukki Dam, and Peermade.
Thommankuthu is a famous tourism destination 20 km from Thodupuzha, has a series of waterfalls. In addition, there are several caves and viewpoints. The waterfall in Kaliyar river origins from the hills Palkulam medu, 4000 Feet above Sea level.
Uravapara is a hillock temple situated at Olamattom near Thodupuzha, at a height of 500 ft above sea level. Today, Uravapara is known for its religious activities. The annual festival of the temple is conducted in the Malayalam month ‘Makaram’ (January/February) each year.
Illikal Kallu (malayalam: ഇല്ലിക്കല് കല്ല്) is a major tourist attraction spot in Kottayam district of Kerala (India). Situated about 3400 feet above sea level, it is also one of the highest peak in the Western ghats. Illikal Kallu is a rock situated above Illikal Mala. The thing that makes this rock unique is that half of the rock has fallen off, and only the other half remains. This supplements the mountains which surrounds the rock. It is 30 km away from Thodupuzha.
Malankara, which is situated at a distance of 6 km from Thodupuzha is an upcoming tourist destination. Malankara is known for its irrigation project, the Malankara Dam, the Reservoir constructed across the tail waters of Moolamattom Power House. This artificial lake is located near to the Thodupuzha – Moolamattom Road (State Highway 33) covering an area of around 11 km. Malankara Dam is a gravity dam and is a project of Muvattupuzha Valley Irrigation Project and KSEB ( Kerala State Electricity Board ). Constructed across the Thodupuzha river for the purpose of irrigation, this reservoir is a picnic spot too. There is also a park nearby the reservoir, which is under construction. The Malankara Tourism Project has been launched by the Department of Tourism and the site will be soon turned into a tourist spot. As a part of the project, steps are being taken by the Government of Kerala for the protection of trees and developing the area to an entertainment park.
Ilaveezha Poonchira is one of the tourist destinations in Kerala. Spread over thousands of acres of the Kottayam district, the valleys of Ilaveezhapoonchira is a picnic spot. Situated at a distance of 24 km from Thodupuzha via Kanjar and 20 km via Kanjiramkavala, the spot located at the foot of the hillocks of Mankunnu, Kudayathur hill and Thonippara, each rising to about 3200 ft above sea level, makes it a place for trekking. At the top of these hills, one can view large parts of Idukki, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alapuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts.
The Idukki Hydroelectric Project is the biggest hydrolectric Project in Kerala (India). It comprises three dams at Idukki, Cheruthony and Kulamavu and related systems. The power house at Moolamattom is the longest underground power station in India and the pressure shaft is the largest in the country. The Idukki Dam is one of the highest dams in the world and the first arch dam in India. Cheruthony is the largest and highest gravity dam in Kerala. The Project harnesses a major portion of the power potential of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala, by the creation of a reservoir of 2,000 M.cum (2 Billion Tonnes) capacity, diversion of waters thus impounded through a water conductor system consisting of a power tunnel and two underground pressure shafts to an underground power house situated in Moolamattom. The installed capacity of the Power House is 780MW consisting of 6 Units of Pelton-type turbines with a power generation capacity of 130 MW each. The regulated waters of Periyar falls through a drop of about 669.2 metres (2195 feet) while generating power in the underground power house. Irrigation The tail waters flowing to Kudayathurpuzha through tunnel and open channel is diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha Valley. Visitors are only allowed to visit the area under special permissions due to security reasons.
This is a Christian Pilgrim Centre and the pilgrims climb up the hill during Lent and Good Friday. The way to the Mountain is graced by the 14 crosses placed at regular intervals.
Elappally is 26 km from Thodupuzha town, 106 km from Kochi city. The Elappally Falls are situated on the Moolamattom - Wagamon road, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. This fall will be active only in monsoon season and will be dry during the summer season.
Vagamon is a hill station situated 1200 meters above sea level, 42 km from Thodupuzha.
The hill station also provides option of trekking, paragliding or rock climbing for adventurous seekers. The place has many varieties of flora and fauna located in various parts of hilly region. Evergreen tress, tall grasses and shrubs are present in the lower regions of Vagomon. Many rare species of birds, insects, wild buffaloes and elephants can be easily located in the forests. The main attractions are here mist-covered mountains and lakes, Pilgrim centers – Kurishumala, Murugan temple, Burial chamber of Sufi saint and Pine forests
Thodupuzha has attracted many Malayalam movie makers. Of late Thodupuzha has become a hot spot for Malayalam movies especially with scenic background. Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum, Vargam, Nasrani, Manassinakkare, Kunjikoonan, Rasathanthram, Palunku, Detective, Veruthe Oru Bharya, Film Star, Swantham Lekhakan, Kadha Parayumbol, Samastha Keralam PO, Pappy Appacha, Vairam: Fight For Justice, Janapriyan, Arya, Swapnam Kondu Thulabharam, Elsamma Enna Aankutty, Marykkundoru Kunjaadu, Oridathoru Postman, Detective, Vismayathumbathu, SringaravelanSwapna Sanchari, 101 Weddings, Evidam Swargamanu, Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus, Drishyam(Tamil and malayalam), Om Shanti Oshana, Vajram, Rebecca Uthup Kizhakkemala, Vellimoonga, Thoppil Joppan, Oppam, Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan, Swarna Kaduva, Aadupuliyattam, Janapriyan etc. are some of the movies shot at and around Thodupuzha.
Kaypa Kavala is a sleepy little place and it was here that the climax for the movie ′Drishyam′ was shot in both Tamil and Malayalam was shot. The place also has a shop where the hero had his mobile TV shop.
Situated 25 km from Thodupuzha, Kaatadikkadavu is hidden away and quite hard to find.There's a bit of a climb on foot though the view from the top is very rewarding.The first center of higher learning which started functioning in Thodupuzha Taluk was Newman College, Thodupuzha. It was established in 1964 by the Syrian Catholic Diocese of Kothamangalam, and named after Cardinal Newman.
The second college of Thodupuzha was established in 1982: St.Joseph's College at Arakkulam.
The University College of Engineering, Thodupuzha managed and run by the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, is located in Thodupuzha which is the first of its kind in the state of Kerala. The college started functioning in 1996. The college campus is located over 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land at Muttom, 7 km from Thodupuzha, by the side of State Highway No 33.
College of Applied Science, Thodupuzha operates in the field of IT and Electronics education in Idukki district affiliated to MG University. Established in 2000, the college is managed by Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD) Thiruvananthapuram, a Government of Kerala undertaking established in 1987. The college is situated at a distance of 2 km from Thodupuzha town by the side of Thodupuzha-Idukki road.
Other colleges in Thodupuzha includeSanthigiri College at Vazhithala
Al Azhar Medical College & Super Speciality Hospital
Viswajyothi College of Engineering, vazhakkulam
Al-Azhar College of Arts and Science
Al-Azhar Dental College
Al-Azhar college of Engineering & Technology
Al-Azhar Training college, Thodupuzha East Perumpillichira
College of Applied Science, Olamattom
St. Thomas College of Teacher Education.
Some of the schools in Thodupuzha includeDe Paul Public School
Jai Rani Public School
The Village International School, MKNMHSS Kumaramangalam
Co-operative Public School
NSS Higher Secondary School Manakkad
St sebastians HS Thodupuzha
Vimala Public School
The engineering colleges around Thodupuzha areAl-Azhar college of Engineering &Technology
The University College of Engineering - run by Mahatma Gandhi University.
Janaranjini Vayanasala, Kolani, Thodupuzha, is one of the biggest libraries in Kerala and has around 30000 books including novels, children's books, stories, poems, Vedas, Upanishads etc. It is accommodated in its own two-storied building with separate TV room, reading room, book room, computer centre with high speed internet facility, and mini conference room.
Besides these, a number of parallel colleges are also active in the field of higher education in Thodupuzha.Thodupuzha SreeKrishna Swami Temple
Kanjiramttom Shiva Temple
Uravappara Subramanya Swami Temple
Manakkad Narasimha Swami Temple
Muthaliyarmadom Mahadeva Temple
Karikode Bhagavathy Temple
Sreekrisna temple Edavetty
Ayyappa temple Thekkumbhagom
St. Sebastian's Forane Church, Thodupuzha
Karikode Nainar Juma Masjid
Thodupuzha Town Juma Masjid
Annapurneswari Temple, Thodupuzha
St George Forance Church, Muthalakodam
St Marys Forane Church, Chunkom
St Mary's church nakapuzha
St Mary's church Nediyasala
Newman College Church, Thodupuzha
Thodupuzha, although situated on the easternmost portion of the midlands starting just east of Kochi, is accessible from every part of the state due to good road connectivity. Although, eastern and southern parts connectivity is affected by the hilly geography owing to being closer to Western Ghats (High Ranges), the connectivity to Muvattupuzha in the western side gives Thodupuzha region easy access to most of the destinations. The important highway passing through the town is Punaloor-Muvattupuzha Main Eastern Highway. This hill highway connects a string of towns lying on the border of Western ghats including Punaloor, Pathanapuram, Konni, Ranni, Ponkunnam, Pala and Thodupuzha to the major intersection at Muvattupuzha, where Main Central Road and NH 49 meets. Other major roads are Thodupuzha-Puliyanmala highway connecting to Idukki, Kattappana and other parts of high ranges. Thodupuzha-Muttom-Erattupetta, Thodupuzha-Muthalakodam-Vannappuram, Thodupuzha-Vaikom roads also are strategic roads to Thodupuzha.Kochi- Thrippunithura-Kolenchery-Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha (63 km)
Trivandrum- Kottarakkara-Changanassery-Kottayam-Pala-Thodupuzha (208 km)
Kottayam- Ettumanoor-Pala-Thodupuzha (56 km)
Thrissur- Chalakudy-Angamaly-Perumbavoor-Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha (100 km)
Alappuzha- Muhamma-Thanneermukkom-Vechoor-Manjoor-Kuravilangadu-Koothattukulam-Marika-Vazhithala-Thodupuzha (83 km)
Munnar- Pallivasal-Adimaly-Oonnukal-Paingottur-Vengallur-Thodupuzha (93 km)
Theni- Cumbum-Kumily-Kattappana-Idukki-Thodupuzha (158 km)
P J Joseph, Politician and former Minister.
Ajithkumar Nair IB Official and Former Diplomat-R&AW
Nishanth Sagar (Film Actor)
Rajesh Touchriver (Film Director)
V. Krishnan Nair (Kris Nair),(President and CEO, Ascendum Solutions, USA)
Dr P. K. Abdul Aziz vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
Shiny Wilson olympian and Asian Games Medal Winner
Preeja Sreedaharan olympian and Asian Games Medal Winner
Naduparampil Pappachen Pradeep Defender for the Indian National Football Team, former captain of the U23 team.
Sri Krishna temple, Thodupuzha
St.Mary's Forane Church, Chunkom
Karikode Nainar Juma Masjid
St. Sebastian's Forane Church, Thodupuzha
Karikode Devi Temple
Manakkad Narasimha Swami Temple
Kanjiramattom Siva Temple
St.Mary's Church Nediyasala