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 sandal wood forests.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. The forests in Marayur preserve a population of the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel.
Attractions: Sandal Wood Forest
Marayoor is the only place in Kerala with a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The sandalwood factory run by the Forest Department is of tourist interest. A reduced amount of rainfall is ideally suited for the abundant growth of the best sandalwood trees in the country. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the roots and wood of sandalwood (Santalum album)trees. The sandalwood oil otherwise called the “liquid gold” is a popular perfume, especially among the elite.
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