Kumily and Thekkady

Image of Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryThe first to promote environmental tourism in Kerala, Thekkady straddles both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Together with the nearby plantation town of Kumily, it forms a convenient base to explore the surround Cardamom Hills. With its crips, clean air, spice scented plantations and undulating hills, the region continues to beckon the adventurous traveler.

Kumily and Thekkady lie at the foothills of the Western Hgats.Kumily, a plantation town, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary and drops down steeply to the plains of Tamil Nadu.An important centre for the spice trade, Kumily is also a bustling tourist destination. As compared to the languorous Thekkady, Kumily buzzes with activity. Some of the plantation bungalows have opened up to tourists and the spice plantation tours have become a popular attraction.

For details of Idukki District , see the web page http://halokerala.com/picnic-spots/idukki/

Sights

Pandikuzhi

Nestled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border is Pandikuzhi,a 5 km drive from Kumily.The abundance of flowers and the nearby streams make it a trekker’s delight and the favorite of photographers.

The Heritage Museum

The earliest inhabitants of the present day Periyar Tiger Reserve were the indigenous Mannans.Until the 1940s this tribe eked out a living by fishing in the lake and cultivating a few basic crops. As part of an ecotourism programme, a heritage museum was later built inside the original tribal settlement.

The museum displays numerous artifacts relating to traditional Mannan agricultural practice, marriage ceremonies, cultural events, dress, rituals and death ceremonies. Other displays include fishing gear, hunting weaponry, indigenous medicine and vessels cereals, meadicinal herbs and bamboo furniture.

Gavi

This is picturesque place is ideal for trekking, watching birds, outdoor camping and boating. The road from Kumily is 40 km long and snakes past hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations,Chenthamara Kokka,s splendid vantage point, offers spectacular views of the deep ravine and the surrounding forests. Gavi is an Eco-Tourism a project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation located in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. Gavi, located in Pathanamthitta district offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris

Chellarkovil

Fifteen kilometers from Kumily is Chellarkovil, a sleepy little hamlet, which offers a breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kambam and the plains of Theni in neighboring Tamil Nadu.A detour from here leads to Ramakalmedu,and enchanting retreat, which offers a bird’s eye view of the picturesque villages of Bodi and Kambam on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.

Boating in Periyar

Travel by boat on the Periyar Lake to spot the elephants and avifauna for which this reserve is will known. Boat cruise at sunrise and sunset are particularly recommended. For more details of eco tourism activities in Periyar see the listing on Eco Tourism in Periyar .

Getting There

By Air : The nearest is Madurai Airport (Tamil Nadu)1140 km away.Cochin (Kochi) International Airport is 190km away,

By Rail : The nearest railhead is Theni,60 km.Kottayam is 114 Km away.

By Road: Kumily is well connected by road to different tourist centers and major towns of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. From Kumily’s KSRTC stand, buses ply regularly to Kottayam, Kochi and Thirruvananthapuram.

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