Sandalwood oil, otherwise called the ‘liquid gold’ is a popular perfume of the land over the years. Extracted from the roots and wood of sandalwood (Santalum album), the oil is a costly item marketed at a few choosy outlets all over the state.
Compared to the neighbouring states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka (especially the forests of Mysore), Kerala has less acres of sandalwood forests. Kerala has sandalwood forests at Marayoor near Devikulam – a popular hill station, about 149 km from Kottayam town and a few forest areas in Wayanad hills.
Marayoor is the only place in Kerala with natural sandalwood forests. The sandalwood factory run by the Forest Department is visited by tourists. Less rainfall is suitable for the growth of best sandalwood trees from which good quality oil can be extracted.