The sight of wild animals is among the major attractions of a trip to Gavi, a picturesque forest area in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. Herds of elephants and Indian bison are common in the region and, normally, visitors would be able to spot at the most 5-10 animals.
However, during a recent visit, an amazing spectacle presented itself before travellers. Dozens of bison trooped down the hillside, leaving the tourists astonished.
The place where the unique event occurred was the sloped grassland near Kochu Pamba, a little further from Kakki Dam. In the first herd of bison noticed by the travellers, there were 12 heads. Immediately behind was another herd, comprising around the same number of animals. Soon, yet another group appeared. In fact, the wonderstruck tourists stopped counting after 35.
Regular travellers on the Pathanamthitta-Gavi route usually see not more than five-six bison. There would be one or two pairs and the others would be solitary animals.
Things to note
Even though travellers from far-off places arrive in Gavi hoping to see wildlife at close quarters, they are often disappointed. This is because many visitors either lack the skills required to drive in the forest or are unable to judge the presence of wild animals. So, it is better to seek the services of a person familiar with the forest during a trip to Gavi. This helps travellers watch wildlife without disturbing the animals.
Another point to remember while travelling to Gavi is the lack of mobile phone coverage for around 100 km.
There are regular vehicle services from Pathanamthitta to Gavi. In the forest, homestay options with the permission of the Forest Department are available. Contact number is 9400314141.