Day1 and Day2 in Kanyakumari
Day3 in Kovalam
Day4 in Ashtamudi
Day 5 – Day 6 (Thekkady)
We checked out at 9.30 from Ashtamudi, the next destination was Club Mahindra’s Tusker Trails in Thekkady. A total of 160 Km from Ashtamudi and the route from inside the cities and not a highway route.Once we entered the high range area, again the beauty of nature could be seen. Rubber farms, tea plantation and also spice plantations are now the only scenes could be seen till thekkady. A wonderful journey to the thekkady which was even blessed by some heavy showers halted at 4.15 pm at the hotel. Just after check-in heavy shower started in thekkady. The rooms were too good. They had given a forest look to the entire property.After 6 Pm we went for some spice shopping as thekkady is famous for Spice Plantation. Then enter a “Hill Top – Spice marketing center” purchased some spices. The owner of the shop Mr. Shajoowas very funny and straight forward guy. The first person in kerala i liked was shajoo. The spices were of good quality and were also reasonable in cost. He even helped me out regarding my few queries about the site seeing.(Also warned me that most people give commission to the drive so asked me to bargain wherever possible). We decided to go for a early morning boat ride in Periyar river, because early morning wild animals come to drink water.
Next morning we woke at 5 am (even during my normal routine i never wake up so early). When i reached near my car , my driver was missing, his phone was not reachable, after 15 min he came. At 6.30 the main entrance opens. Its a area under forest department. The entry ticket in the forest area is 15 Rs per person + 30 Rs (some tax) + 50 Rs vehicle entry charge. A walk from car parking to the boat ticket counter is very nice. The entire road is covered with huge tress and birds singing make it more pleasant. KTDC ticket charge is 40 Rs per person, 25 Rs camera charges, 200 Rs Video camera charges. Even there is a private boat whose ticket charges are very higher, 150 Rs per person and camera ticket has to be taken from the KTDC counter. First boat ride starts at 7.30 am. First and the last ride is of 2 hrs and all other are of 1 hrs only. All were very excited as everyone were expecting that they would see some wildlife but in 2 hrs we just saw pigs, deer , owl, Kingfisher and few other birds. A group sitting behind us were the best entertainment as they were cracking very funny jokes. The boat ride was fun, only a little disappointment of not seeing the wildlife but the experience was awesome. from there i went to “Hill top” shop where he told me to visit Aroma Spice Garden. When i entered the gate a tall, dark, slim man with beard greeted me with smile. I told him that Shajoo had send me to see the garden (My driver had chat with him in Malayalam, i was sure it was for the commission but the owner directly denied ).
The garden was very small as compared to other garden, but the owner (Sebastian) explained it so well that it reminded me of my school days. Jaifal (Nutmeg), coffee (coffee robesta & coffee arebica), spear mint, lemon mint, pepper mint, large Tulsi (have large leaf) ram fal, devil mirchi, oregano, amla (throny), thyme, elichi, fig, mountain ginger, rutha, steviya (used for sugarfree products) were some plantation he had in his garden. He explained how to plant them, which parts are useful & for what purpose. He also showed me a visitors book in which the visitors from all over the would had written about their experience after visiting the garden. Sebastian was 2nd person who made aplace in my heart.
Was Very happy with the visit but my driver was always there to spoil my mood. He told me to complete the dinner & shopping by 6 pm because after 6 he is off duty. I was like WTF , why i hired this travel guys ? .So had an argument with him and as well as the travel agent (Livya travels). Then had my lunch & took rest till 6 in hotel. Then again went for shopping. I met shajoo and explained my experience at Aroma Spice Garden. In the shop i met some people from Nasik, i suggested them to visit Aroma Spice Garden.
Next day again was going to be a very long drive day as we were going to leave for Munnar my next and last destination in Kerala.
For more photos of the tour click Flickr (Pics with starting name d5 indicates Day 5 pics)
Must See In Thekkady
Boat Safari (try the early morning safari)
Spice Plantation (Aroma Spice garden i would recommend)
Hilly range area (Jeep safari)
To know more about the site seeing in Thekkady download Thekkady