The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi

Tripoto
10th Nov 2017
Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi 1/2 by Sudhir

Ghats are for south what Mountains are for north. Undoubtedly Kerala is one of the most visited states due to its attraction ranging from the long beaches, backwaters to the western ghats and wildlife sanctuaries. One of such places is Thekkady and Gavi. Thekkady is also called Periyar and sometimes known as Kumily too.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi 2/2 by Sudhir

We took a road trip from Chennai to Thekkady and decided to travel at night so as to hit the Hills early morning. We covered distance of 570 Kms, making few stops on the way for dinner and couple of breaks for local tea. Most of the way is pretty much plains with approximate half an hour journey in the hills.

Day 1

It was early hours of the morning and it was time to roll down the window of the car and feel the fresh air. We reached Thekkady by 5 in the morning and checked into our stay. We took a quick nap and were ready to explore after breakfast.

Photo of Thekkady, Kerala, India by Sudhir

The first spot was Periyar Tiger Reserve, for which we had already booked the tickets at KTDC website. We were at the gate of wild life sanctuary and found ourselves unlucky as due to some political rally there, the entry to the sanctuary’s buses were blocked. The tickets are for fixed departures and due to the situation we were stuck in, we had missed our departure.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

Nevertheless, we somehow managed the entry into the main gate of the sanctuary. From there a small bus took us few kms inside the jungle to the Periyar Lake point. The sanctuary was so well maintained that it had almost the feel of a jungle. Beware of Langoors and Monkeys all around.

Photo of Periyar Lake, Kerala by Sudhir

Periyar Lake is so serene that one can sit somewhere and watch this beautiful landscape for hours. To our bad luck, we could not go boating in the lake but we spent some time by the lakeside and headed out of the sanctuary.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

Next we hired a jeep to explore a nearby place Sathram and for some off-roading. The ride to Sathram is not less than a dream world, and the landscape is a beautiful sight to behold with tea gardens spreading across and a tiny road running between them. We hit a small waterfall on the way and took a dip in it. At some points, it was top of the hill with grassland on both sides.

Photo of Sathram View Point 3, Manjumala, Kerala, India by Sudhir

The view from Sathram view point was worth every penny spent on the jeep ride. As far as we could see, there was a series of hills covered with fog and mist. We spent some time at the view point and again started for the sunset point. On the way we fetched some local beer bottles.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

The way to sunset point was a thrilling off-road experience with our jeep going into the dirt ways made between the tea plantations, at some points on the rocks and at times steep climbs on the hills. There was no roads clearly yet we reached a point where we were to experience an amazing sunset. We sat down with beer bottles and watched the sun going down behind a mountain turning the sky orange.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir
Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir
Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

We started back for the hotel, yet another thrill was pending. It was dark and our driver took us to a jungle route. The silence of the jungle with the only sound of Crickets and our jeep was amusing and exhilarating. We reached to our hotel had dinner and slept.

For next day we had booked one day Gavi tour and the same jeep came to pick us up very early in the morning. Gavi is in the heart of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and is spread across more than 300 sq.kms. with rich flora and fauna and raw natural beauty.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir
Day 2

For Gavi, I would say journey is the destination. The road was leading through some authentic Kerala villages and on the way we stopped at a small tea shop. The fog was playing hide and seek with us and soon we reached at the gate of Gavi Sanctuary where we had to get the passes.

Photo of Gavi, Kerala, India by Sudhir

We had entered into the jungle, the road was leading through the dense forest covered in fog with signage of elephants passing. Our driver cum guide was so adventurous, he was popping out of his driver seat whenever he spotted wildlife to show it to us. We were able to spot some wild buffalos, Samba dear, family of squirrels and some birds including kingfisher. Standing at the back side of the jeep and watching ourselves going into the dense forest was astonishing.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir
Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

Soon we reached a point where on both of the sides it was grassland and the forest had just vanished. It was a location straight out of some movie scene. We stayed there for a while, took some pictures and then moved ahead.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

Our jeep stopped at a dam built on Gavi Lake where we had a good breakfast and embarked on a small trek. Our guide gave us long shoes cover to wear as the area was full of leaches. This small trek gave us some beautiful views and lastly a very thick jungle from where we trekked back to the lake.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir
Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

It was time for boating in the lake and our guide took us to the waterfall forming the lake. On our request, our guide stopped at the waterfall for longer than usual giving us enough time to bathe. To my surprise, the water was chilled and crystal clear and it reminded me of the virgin waterfall we trekked to in Manali. We spent a good hour in the waterfall and came back. After having lunch, we started for our drive back to Thekkady.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

In the evening we went Kerala Martial Art show, it was authentic and thrilling. At night we celebrated birthday of Ankit, one of us, and spent the rest of the night listening to good music in our balcony.

Next day, we were ready to say goodbye to the place but before that we decided to take an elephant ride. It was a good ride, going into a big backyard covered with coconut and banana trees.

Photo of The wild and The calm Kerala - Thekkady, Gavi by Sudhir

But at the end you are back to where you were, dressed up for another day at work with the difference that now you have some good memories and pictures of mesmerising beauty of nature in your mind which are enough to soothe you until your next expedition.

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