Everyone loves to spend holidays in peace after shutting out the hustle and bustle of a hectic city life. Some prefer to curl up in bed and sleep in the serenity of their homes. But others pack their bags and embark on a journey if there is a break from work for two to three days.
Majority of travellers harbour a burning desire to have a night out in the wilderness of the forests. Kerala has many forest areas where families could stay a few days to unwind and be on the lap of nature. And these wild spots are becoming favourite travel destinations of tourists, both domestic and foreign. Let’s take a ringside view of the places that give an insight into forest life.
Have you ever had a royal outing in the middle of a jungle? If not, Thekkady is the perfect spot for that. You can stay at the erstwhile tourist bungalow of the Travancore royal family and get enraptured by the enthralling charm of the pristine forests. The Lake Palace, which was frequented by the royal family members, and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) hotels such as Aranya Nivas and Periyar House are ready to welcome the travellers.
The Lake Palace falls in the unique category of India’s forest lodges, and this graceful hotel can be reached after a 30-minute boat ride. As many wild animals come to areas surrounding the Lake Palace to quench their thirst, the hotel is a vantage point to spot animals too.
The Aranya Nivas, a heritage hotel, of KTDC is near the Thekkady boat landing area and houses 30 rooms. The third hotel is Periyar House, which is also located near boat landing area, and has 44 rooms. Thekkady in Idukki district is an ideal place to enjoy the forest greenery and the invigorating coolness of the trees. The babbling of birds, the chirping of crickets and the howling of jackals can only give an out-of-the-world experience for the travellers.
Who doesn’t love to be alone tucked away deep in the forest far from the madding crowd? If life is becoming mundane, Pakuthipalam in Nelliyampathy is the apt destination to get recharged and refreshed.
The Pakuthipalam forest lodge is equipped to make your stay comfortable. This lush green abode is replete with coffee estates and forest, and has a pleasant climate. The lodge is being run as part of Kerala Forest Development Corporation’s (KFDC) eco-tourism project. Pakuthipalam is 14km away from Nelliyampathy in Palakkad district.
Rooms can be reserved through the website https://nelliyampathy.kfdcecotourism.com , and the lodge provides food too to the visitors. As Pakuthipalam is part of the forest reserve, it is better to reserve a room before heading to this hill station.
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The Thenmala eco-tourism project is adjacent to the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary; Kollam district’s only such sanctuary. Moreover, Thenmala is the first eco-tourism project in Asia. This scenic spot offers children’s park, adventure park, musical fountain, deer park and also facilities for trekking. A bath in the Palaruvi waterfalls can rejuvenate you to face life with new vigour. Both nature lovers and those in search of some adrenaline-rush activities can have a great time at this eco-tourism center. Trekkers will have a new experience as Thenmala is 500m above sea level. Rock climbing and river crossing can also literally take your breath away.
The Thenmala eco-tourism provides opportunities for travellers to stay deep in the jungles with tour packages that include food. The dormitory accommodation facilities go by the names of ‘Cocoon’, ‘Honeycomb’, ‘The Nest’, and ‘Beehive’. The check-in time is 12 noon and check-out is at 11am.
For details: 0475-2344800, Mob. +91 9496344800, 9495344800. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A 45-minute drive (35 kms) from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram will take you to the picturesque Kottur. This wonderful green patch has much in store to soothe the minds of tourists. One can go deep into forest by rowing a raft through the Neyyar river. Pedal boats and coracles are also available. The visitors also have an opportunity to know about jumbos at the Kottur elephant rehabilitation centre. The Kerala eco-tourism project has put in place cottages for the travellers to stay and get a feel of the forest. These cottages are known as ‘Barbler’, ‘Peacock’, ‘Barbet’, ‘Robin’, ‘Koel’ and ‘Hornbill’. The stay package doesn’t include food, though a canteen is available for the tourists. The check-in time at the cottages is 2pm.
Phone number: 07025006757.
Honeymooners just head to Parambikulam in Palakkad district; you people are going to love this romantic destination. Parambikulam, which nestles near the Anamalai wildlife sanctuary, boasts of the famous topslip, a vantage point in the Western Ghats. Other attractions are the Thunnakadavu dam and ‘Kannimara’, Asia’s largest teak tree. Kerala’s second tiger reserve, the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, can also be found here.
Accommodation facilities at Parambikulam include ‘Peruvari Island Nest’, ‘Thunnakadavu Tree Top Hut’, ‘Veetikunnu Island Nest’ and ‘Honeycomb Complex’. This alluring place is a good bet for the newlyweds.
Gavi in Pathanamthitta district needs no introduction as this hill station has been well documented in a Malayalam flick. After the release of the film, the footfalls in Gavi have increased manifold and this amazing place has become one the most important tourist centers in Kerala.
One can reach Gavi, which is part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, only by the state-run KSRTC bus. Close to 250 families are living in three villages in this quaint tourist destination. The travellers can indulge in boating and trekking, and also go on a safari ride. The tourists can stay at ‘Green Mansion Jungle Lodge’, ‘Swiss Cottage Tents or can put up in tents inside the forest.
For more details: https://gavi.kfdcecotourism.com/
Ph: +91 4869 223270, 2582640.