Chennai heat is tiring! It’s hot and humid. While the city is all shades of love, I guess, the humidity is taking every shade for a ride. 😀
And in order to skip the heat, we decided to take short vacay to the misty hills of Kerala.
A little while back only, I took a family vacation to Kumarakom backwaters and then to Kottayam. Prior to that, a romantic stay at After The Rains resort, Wayanad. I remember how pleasant and soul-stirring the experience was. And how mesmerising the memories are from the beautiful land of canals, lagoons and the rainforest.
Kerala is blessed.
The southwestern Malabar coast is truly blessed with a variety of terrains, giving you a taste of everything. From the Arabian Seashore line to the national parks and the renowned tea and coffee plantations.
Ticking off all the destinations from Kerala one by one, and after our very warm experience at the other destinations, we thought to explore the exotic side of South India; Thekkady.
Nestled amidst a fragrant stretch of spice plantations and an exotic wildlife sanctuary, Thekkady is one of Kerala’s most famous hill stations. The environment of Thekkady is magical, giving you a wide range of activities to plan while romancing the weather and sipping tea right from the luscious tea gardens. The list of activities to do here are endless, but here are the ones that we (Me and Mr) planned.
Plantations Visit in Thekkady
When in Thekkady a spice plantation is a must to do activity. Being a major trader of spices in the country, Thekkady is blessed with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, turmeric, cacao and more spices plantations. In fact, the hill station will welcome you with a strong fragrance of whole spices, making you feel like you want to dig your face in a big pot of biryani. 😀
We visited a spice plantation that was at a walking distance from where we were staying. You can go there, enjoy a nature walk, while a guide briefs you in detail what each spice mean and how they can be used.
Elephant Camp in Thekkady
Your date with the very chubbiest animals on this planet cannot be more pleasing than this. The elephant camps in Thekkady give you a chance to get close to them Jumbos, watch them play in the water, feed them bananas and just watch them be their happy self. These elephants are domesticated and disciplined.
However, we did not take a ride, because we somehow think of it as cruelty for the animal.
Boating in the Periyar National Park
After all the Jumbo madness and a good spice lesson, you can head for boating in the Periyar National Park. One thing that I would like to add here is the timings. Please make sure, you are on time and have bought tickets already. We committed a mistake of not purchasing the tickets online and had to wait for hours in the longest queue ever.
The boat ride takes you through the National park, giving you an exquisite opportunity to spot animals (boars, bison, tigers and elephants,) while you enjoy a calm ride. Don’t forget to carry your cameras with you.
Trust me, it’s worth getting up early in the morning and rushing.
Cultural Activities in Thekkady
How can Kerala be Kerala without spot- on Kathakali performances and strongmen performing Kalari, right?
So, when in Thekkady, don’t miss these two activities.
We visited the Kalari Centre, that is right in the middle of the hill station. They had an amazing display of dance and drama packed with hands-on theatrical music (live classical singers.) Apart from the Kathakali performance, don’t miss on the hair raising, action-packed experience with Kalaripayattu. It is Kerala’s very own martial art form.
You will be amazed by the dedication of the artists and the exceptional fascination they tend to pose over your mind.
Where To Stay in Thekkady
While we shortlisted a lot of options for our stay in Thekkady, we settled down with Bamboo Creak. Lissy, the owner of the place along with her husband, were excellent hosts who made us feel like home. They welcomed us with a broad smile and made sure; we felt warm at their abode. Not just this, but the food they prepared felt like it was right out of Amma’s kitchen.
In case you are not looking for a homestay and for a fancy resort to spend your time in Thekkady, Kofiland shall be your best fit. We loved it too.
Where To Eat in Thekkady
While we preferred eating at Bambino Cafe (Bamboo Creak), as they prepared authentic Kerala cuisine, we thought of experimenting with the flavours from other places shortlisted on the Internet too. We went to Ebony’s Cafe, which to our luck wasn’t open at 7 in the night. Sadly, we had to head to the Hotel Sandra Palace for dinner. We also tried Bar- B- Que which is right next to the bus station (It was average, try their family room, it’s a separate seating area that’s more comfortable.)
Apart from this, we also tried the food at a local shop (like a roadside dhaba.) The food consisted of Kerala Parotta, fish fry and chicken curry. Trust me when I say this, It was the best meal in Thekkady after Bambino Cafe.
- You will be disappointed with the food in Thekkady (In case you are looking for anything apart from traditional South Indian Cuisine.)
- Don’t forget to book your tickets for the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary boat ride before your visit. Do it online, or else try to get up as early as 6 in the morning and head towards the ticket counter in the city.
- Also, there have been a lot of problems regarding cab drivers and auto drivers charging huge amounts for a mere 2 km. We suffered a similar problem for a rental service charged us Rs. 500 for a 3 km ride from Bamboo Creak to the Spice Plantation. We did not get into the trap; we request you also to stay careful.
Thekkady is beautiful and we are still dreaming about it. We know you will too.
So, when are you planning to head over to the tranquil land of elephants and spices?
Keep exploring and devouring great food!