- Benjamin John
There is a lot more interesting things do to in Thekkady
Nestled in the Western Ghats of Central Kerala, Thekkady is known for two incredible things, the cardamom hills of Kerala and the Periyar National Park which is also a National Tiger Reserve. From a holiday or a tour operator perspective Thekkady has been a traditional stopover for travelers on the South India Temple circuit starting from Chennai and ending in Kochi. Over the years the perspective of travelers have changed and the way people see things are also different. Here in this blog post, we plan to share our perspectives about the top five interesting things you could do in Thekkady. As a Kerala tour operator based in Kochi handling quality Kerala tours for travelers bound to Kerala and South India, our aim is to ensure the best quality holidays experiences rather than showcasing just hotels and a cab for transfers.
Where is Thekkady located?
This wooded hill station is located 160 kilometers from Koch, however, the nearest airport is in Madurai - 150 kilometers since the road from Kochi is through the mountainous track it would take more traveling hours than Madurai. Madurai to Thekkady is mostly through the plains and are long straight roads, you can consider 3.5 hours to reach from Madurai to Thekkady by car if you are driving at a stretch. Thekkady is just 100 kilometers from Munnar (the prominent tea county in Kerala) and this road maintains an average height of 3500 meters which is one of the longest roads that maintains the same elevation, which means you do have winding roads, but not roads that go up and down.
Here is the top list of things you should be doing in Thekkady. Most programs are designed and developed by us at Green Earth Trails, however, Kalaripayattu and the programs are common programs available in Thekkady.
Cardamom Tours Even though Thekkady is known as the cardamom hills, not many give you a complete orientation of cardamom, which is the Queen is Spices. the fact is that even though there are other spices found in these hills, they could be grown elsewhere. However, Cardamom is native to these hills and is not widely grown elsewhere in India, apart from here, it is grown extensively in Guatemala, still, the quality is superior for the Cardamom from these hills. The cardamom tour in the cardamom hills is going to unveil a lot of interesting information about these hills and cardamom
In Chellarkovil - Vandanmedu, we have an entrepreneur giving you an extensive tour about cardamom, from the plant to the crop, from the harvest to the processing, from the auction to the market. Everything is covered in this tour and finally end up in the hills with a cup of cardamom tea right on top of a wonderful viewpoint. This tour also covers Pepper, known as the King of spice.
Cardamom and pepper were some very important spices that attracted Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Arabs to the Malabar coast of Kerala. Great Maritime trade had occurred over the Indian ocean for spices from Kerala. Cardamom was just a wild plant in the forest where tribal men used to harvest it and trade it to merchants for cloth and salt. Later the Travancore took it over as a monopoly and taxed it heavy which made it very pricy, there are a lot more stories that will make the tour very interesting.
Jeep Safari to Satram The Periyar National Park is spread across a vast expanse of 777 sq kilometers. However, the forest ranges exceed the demarcated area of the national park. The Jeep ride to Satram is essentially an off-road safari through the outskirts of the National Park which is through a scenic route at the same time you have a good sighting of Elephants, Indian Guars and Sambar Deer. Many people go for this safari to enjoy the ride, however, we stress on the historic stories connected to this route. Further, from Satram, there is a forest track that leads to Sabarimala which is a renown pilgrim center for Hindus. During the temple opening session, devotees take this forest route by foot. The routes we have developed for this program has been developed over time and is unique to ourselves.
While returning from Satram we encourage you to stop by a honeybee farm run by Jyothi, he would explain about different varieties of honeybees, natural and manufactured honey and finally take a tasting session of honey tasting which is infused with natural spices and herbs.
Kalaripayattu Kalaripayattu has nothing to do with Thekkady, but there are multiple theatres offering Kalaripayattu show where you get to see and understand about the adventurous nature of Kalaripayattu the traditional martial art form of Kerala. This happens during the evening, where the master will direct his students to show different stunts and moves that enable a Kalari student to achieve great flexibility. It is not just a martial art form but a stream of medicine as well carried over through generations.
Hikes at Periyar National Park There are multiple hikes offered from the Periyar National Park, some of the trails would be the Green Trail, Tiger Trail, Bamboo rafting and so on. Each of the trails is prepared with different intentions. For example, While Green Trail is intended to explore the flora, fauna and the birds of the national park, Bamboo rafting is a combination of hike and rafting bamboo with the intention of sighting elephants and other wild beings at distance. Tiger trail is an overnight camping program in the forest in dome tents where you will be accompanied along with four well-trained guides. So programs would be interesting if you have a love for active holidays.
Meet the Mahout There are multiple elephant camps operational in Thekkady, the most common programs that are offered are an elephant ride or an elephant interaction program.
At Green Earth Trails we do not approve of any harm to animals or the tourism process should not harm any living being for that matter. We do not offer any elephant programs considering the circumstances the tamed being might have to encounter day to day. Instead, we have organized this program called as meet the Mahout, a mahout is a person who takes care of an elephant, in fact, he speaks for the elephant in this case. This graceful big occupant of the forest has a lot to tell about himself.
The elephant's trunk has over 40,000 muscles, divided into as many as 150,000 individual units! Compare that to the human body, which contains a paltry 639 muscles. It is these muscles that give him the flexibility and strength to his trunk. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and the rest is for you to meet the Mahout in Thekkady.
Green Earth Trails is a boutique tour operator organizing unique tours for the discerning traveler. Travel with us to explore the beautiful bounties of nature and marvels by men. You can be in touch with us by filling up an inquiry form or be in touch with us on Whatsapp 00919746201730