Jan 082011
 

A bio-diverse region spread across 2,132 square kilometers on the lofty Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilization. And the very first prehistoric engravings in Kerala discovered in the foothills of Edakkal and around Ambukuthimala bear testimony to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age. Strikingly scenic, it is known for its sub-tropical savannahs, picturesque hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. A holistic confluence of wilderness, history and culture, Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the magnificent Deccan plateau.

  • Chembra Peak

    Chembra Peak

  • Elusive Tiger - Wayanad

    Elusive Tiger - Wayanad

  • Refreshing Dip in Rock Pool

    Refreshing Dip in Rock Pool

  • View Point

    View Point

  • Waterfall

    Waterfall

  • Wayanad Wildlife

    Wayanad Wildlife

  • Spotted Deer at Muthanga Wildlife Park

    Spotted Deer at Muthanga Wildlife Park

  • Mountain Stream

    Mountain Stream

  • Muthanga

    Muthanga

  • Jack Fruit

    Jack Fruit

  • Spotted Deer at Muthanga Wildlife Park

    Spotted Deer at Muthanga Wildlife Park

  • Ladies Visiting Waterfall

    Ladies Visiting Waterfall

  • Local Farming

    Local Farming

  • Jack Fruit & Coffee

    Jack Fruit & Coffee

  • Coffee Drying

    Coffee Drying

  • Ladies Leaving Waterfall

    Ladies Leaving Waterfall

  • View Across the Valley

    View Across the Valley

  • View Across the Hills

    View Across the Hills

  • Tea Plantation

    Tea Plantation

  • Elephants in the Road

    Elephants in the Road

Landscapes as diverse as savannahs, wooded hills and evergreen forests, all rolled into one place – Wayanad, make it a truly special destination. The district also has a history as interesting as its landscape. It is believed that human life existed here from as early as 4000 BC. The rock carvings and caves of Ambukuthimala substantiate this belief. Large plantations of tea, coffee and spices can be seen here. Lush green paddy fields, from which Wayanad has derived its name (Vayal meaning paddy fields and Naad meaning village) add to its magnificence.

Things to see

Muthanga Wildlife Park Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Wayanad Sanctuary, is situated on the way from Mysore to Sulthan Bathery. The Sanctuary is spread over an area of around 344 sq. km and one can find animals like sloth bears, sambhar, elephants, monkeys, tigers, reptiles, deer, panthers etc. There are many species of rare birds in this sanctuary as well. The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is most famous for its ‘project elephant’ site, where herds of elephants are seen roaming freely, frolicking in the mud and the water near the water holes.

Edakkal Caves Edakkal Caves are located at about a 25 km drive from Kalpetta and at a distance of 3 km from Ambalavayal. The Caves are famous for their exceptional rock art depicting human and animal figure carvings by Neolithic and later civilizations. Edakkal Caves were created by a fissure due to changing climatic conditions and the split in the rock is about 22 ft. in width and 90 ft. in length. The gap in the rocks extends to over 30 ft appearing as a cave to the observer. The caves can be reached through trekking trails within the forested area starting at Edakkal and the best time to visit the caves is during the morning.

Chembra Peak Chembra Peak, the highest peak in Wayanad, stands at a height of around 2100 metres above sea level. At a distance of 14 km from Kalpetta, the Chembra Peak is a part of the Wayanad hill ranges in the Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala. The elevation makes it an ideal spot for trekking and mountain climbing. The District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipments on hire charges to the tourists. A heart shaped lake en route to the top of the peak is a major tourist attraction. It is believed that the lake has never dried up, even during the hottest of summers. For those seeking some adventure, temporary camps are set up on the top of the peak. Guides, camping apparatus etc are provided by the District Tourism Promotion Council on rent to tourists who are interested in camping. The Chembra Peak is undisputedly one of the most favoured trekking destinations; the breathtaking view from the top is sure to offer the traveller a spectacle worth more than all the hardship undergone while climbing. The picturesque Lake on the hill is an ideal picnic spot. Since it takes almost a day to reach the top of the hill, tourists can spend a day or two in the temporary camps.

Jan 082011
 

Thekkady is located in the south east of Kerala, virtually on the border with the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is best known for it’s spices & nature reserve at nearby Periyar.

We can arrange for a tour of a local spice plantation where you will see spices such as cardamon, pepper, & vanilla being grown. The town of Theakkady has numerous shops selling the locally grown spices at a fraction of the UK cost.

Elephant rides are also popular in this area & this can be arranged in Thekkady town.

  • Periyar Wildlife Reserve

    Periyar Wildlife Reserve

  • Periyar Lake

    Periyar Lake

  • Spice Village Hotel

    Spice Village Hotel

  • Periyar Wildlife

    Periyar Wildlife

  • Tea Plantation

    Tea Plantation

  • Periyar Lake

    Periyar Lake

  • Rafting on Periyar Lake

    Rafting on Periyar Lake

Jan 082011
 
Kasaragod, the Northern most district of Kerala is renowned as the land of gods, forts, rivers, hills and beautiful beaches. As yet relatively undiscovered, you will find yet another side to Kerala waiting to be explored.

  • Applying Theyyam Make up

    Applying Theyyam Make up

  • Theyyam Holy Guys

    Theyyam Holy Guys

  • View from Bekal Fort

    View from Bekal Fort

  • Bekal Fort

    Bekal Fort

  • Theyyam

    Theyyam

  • Local Theyyam Festival

    Local Theyyam Festival

  • Bekal Fort Beach

    Bekal Fort Beach

  • Theyyam Preparations

    Theyyam Preparations

  • Theyyam Interval

    Theyyam Interval

  • Local Theyyam Festival

    Local Theyyam Festival

  • Backwater Fishing Boats

    Backwater Fishing Boats

  • Backwater Fishing Boat

    Backwater Fishing Boat

  • Lunch at the Theyyam

    Lunch at the Theyyam

  • Backwater Ferry

    Backwater Ferry

  • Theyyam Tufts

    Theyyam Tufts

  • Holy Bell Ringers

    Holy Bell Ringers

Things to see

Theyyam

A particular cultural highlight of the region is the Theyyam festival: ‘the dance of the gods’. In a theyyam performance, the divine force – often the Great Goddess or Shiva, possesses the body of the dancer and acts through it to bless the community. The gathering is held spellbound by hypnotic chants and music and the performance may continue for a whole day or night. The dancer’s costume, make-up and mask are magnificent, while the headdress, the most important feature, can be up to six metres in height.


Bekal Fort

The imposing fort at Bekal is one of the largest and best preserved forts in Kerala.  This three-centuries-old  circular structure of laterite rises 130 feet above sea level and stands on a 35-acre headland that runs into the Arabian Sea.  The magnificent beach below offers spectacular views of the fort and has ample facilities for recreation and relaxation.


Ananthapura Lake Temple

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this 9th century temple is the only Lake Temple in Kerala and is the original Seat Of Anathapadmanabha Swami. The temple houses a beautiful image of Shree Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu) seated on Adisesha, the serpent god. An ancient shrine is engulfed by a chuttambalam and its walls have beautiful murals. It is believed that a lone crocodile inhabits the lake which is said to be 150 years old.  It is a venue of Thapotsavam, an annual one-day festival which is held in the month of April.

 


Ranipuram

Located 85 km from Kasargod town, 750m above sea level on the Western Ghats, Ranipuram is a beautiful mountain terrain known for trekking. Covered with evergreen shola woods, monsoon forests and grasslands, this beautiful land and its extensive forests merge into those of Karnataka. This is unexplored territory for the nature enthusiast and birdwatcher. Butterflies are in abundance and birds of the evergreen biotope like the black eagle, crested serpent eagle and little spider hunter are common. Elephants pay visits in the summer months and leopards have also been sighted.



Valiyaparamba Backwaters

Located 30 kms from Bekal, this is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in northern Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is a favoured backwater destination that offers enchanting houseboat cruises to its visitors.


Jan 082011
 

  • Locals bathing

    Locals bathing

  • School girls on the beach

    School girls on the beach

  • Pulling in the nets - 1

    Pulling in the nets - 1

  • Pulling in the nets - 2

    Pulling in the nets - 2

  • Pulling in the nets - 3

    Pulling in the nets - 3

  • Pulling in the nets - 4

    Pulling in the nets - 4

  • Pulling in the nets - 5

    Pulling in the nets - 5

  • Pulling in the nets - 6

    Pulling in the nets - 6

  • Tea shop

    Tea shop

  • Padmanabhapuram palace

    Padmanabhapuram palace

  • Padmanabhapuram palace

    Padmanabhapuram palace

  • Padmanabhapuram palace

    Padmanabhapuram palace

  • Fishing at Vizhinjam near Kovalam

    Fishing at Vizhinjam near Kovalam

  • Ladies at the market

    Ladies at the market

  • kovalam-lighthouse-beach-kt_0

    kovalam-lighthouse-beach-kt_0

  • Boats in Vizhinjam harbour

    Boats in Vizhinjam harbour

  • Carrying bananas

    Carrying bananas

  • Vizhinjam harbour mosque

    Vizhinjam harbour mosque

  • Chowara beach near Kovalam

    Chowara beach near Kovalam

  • Boats in Vizhinjam harbour

    Boats in Vizhinjam harbour

  • Lighthouse beach

    Lighthouse beach

Things to see

Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse beachIn the extreme south of Kovalam is the famous Lighthouse Beach. The name comes from the towering Vizhinjam lighthouse which is built on a rocky headland. Tourists are not allowed to go inside the lighthouse. Around the lighthouse are memorials of Ayyanappilla Asan and Ayyippilla Asan which are visited by tourists in abundance. The beach is a long sandy strip backed by an illuminated promenade and is a great area to eat out. Not surprisingly, all kinds of sea food are the speciality.

Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)

Situated 87 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, it is located at a junction at the southernmost tip of India where the three water bodies, namely, Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet. From here, one can see the sun rise from the Bay of Bengal and set in the Arabian Sea.It is a holy place for Hindus because of the Kanyakumari Temple. The Gandhi Smarak Mandir and Vivekananda Rock Memorial are additional tourist attractions.  A full day excursion to Kanyakumari could be organised whilst staying in Kovalam.

Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple

This ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Overlooking the Padma Theertham Tank, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name. Exquisite stone carvings and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple itself is open only to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram PalaceLocated 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram across the border in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, the palace nestles at the foot of the Veli hills. Built during the 14th century it was called Darpakulangara, but later in the 18th century it was renovated and renamed as the Padmanabhapuram palace. A place of elaborate woodwork, it was the ancient seat of the Travancore rulers Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma till the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram in 1780. It contains relics of historical and artistic value.

 

 

Jan 082011
 

One of the many fascinating experiences for visitors to Kerala is without doubt the Homestays. These are literally a home away from home, allowing you to experience Keralan life with the host family and local community.  Tucked away in misty plantation hills, amidst cool coconut groves, circled by backwaters, by the side of sun drenched beaches or in villages with distinct characteristics; homestays in Kerala offer a unique opportunity to enjoy and experience the culture, lifestyle and flavours of the land and its people.

  • Villa - Philipkutty\'s

    Villa - Philipkutty\'s

  • Taxi Driver - Philipkutty\'s

    Taxi Driver - Philipkutty\'s

  • Emerald Isle Homestay

    Emerald Isle Homestay

  • Fishing Near Philipkutty\'s

    Fishing Near Philipkutty\'s

  • Approaching Emerald Isle

    Approaching Emerald Isle

  • Tranquil Bar

    Tranquil Bar

  • Tree House - Tranquil

    Tree House - Tranquil

  • View from Villa - Philipkutty\'s

    View from Villa - Philipkutty\'s

  • Swimming Pool - Tranquil

    Swimming Pool - Tranquil

Places to Stay

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle is situated on an island on the banks of the backwaters, around 10 kilometres outside of Alleppey. From the moment you step onto the dug out canoe which transports you across the river to the homestay, you enter into a tranquil world of peace and harmony. Your hosts, Vinod and his Family will welcome you into their home which dates back 150 years.  Emerald Isle is ideal for those wanting to relax & the extensive beautiful grounds & hammocks are ideal to do just that. You might spot the local ‘Toddy Tapper’ climbing the coconut trees & taste some of the fresh toddy! Vinod can provide you with a number of walking routes where you can visit local temples, villages and schools.


PhilipKutty’s Farm

Staying at Philipkutty’s Farm is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the real Kerala experience in a fascinating location set on a small island adjoining Vembanad Lake in the Backwaters.  You are welcomed, looked after, and cared for by the Kutty family who will be your hosts. Though you have the opportunity to experience local family life, your privacy is assured as the five waterfront villas are entirely independent and away from the main family residence.  A very special place to experience local life, great home cooking and wonderfully serene surroundings.


Tranquil

Tranquil is located in a 400 acre private coffee and vanilla plantation nestled within the remote and lush rainforest of Wayanad, Northern Kerala. If you are looking for a calm and quiet location within an environment of exquisite ecological beauty and unending relaxation, Tranquil, with just eight rooms and two luxury tree houses is a good choice. The Family Treehouse is superb and the only one of its kind that we have come across in Kerala.

Jan 082011
 

Travel east from the backwaters of Kerala & the landscape changes into rolling hills smothered in tea plantations. Winding roads snake their way around the hillsides, emerging at picture postcard towns. Once the summer capital of the British during the times of the Raj, Munnar is the most important town in this area. At an altitude ranging from 1600 to 1800 metres, Munnar ranks among the most beautiful hill stations in South Asia.
Munnar derives its name from the Malayalam words mun (meaning three) and aaru meaning (stream) as it is located at the confluence of three streams.

  • Waterfall -  Eravikulam National Park

    Waterfall - Eravikulam National Park

  • Waterfall -  Eravikulam National Park

    Waterfall - Eravikulam National Park

  • Tea Plantations

    Tea Plantations

  • View of Tea Plantations

    View of Tea Plantations

  • Tea Plantations

    Tea Plantations

  • Tapping Rubber

    Tapping Rubber

  • Tea Picking

    Tea Picking

  • View Around Munnar

    View Around Munnar

  • Noisy Frog - really!

    Noisy Frog - really!

  • Weighing Yam at Munnar Market

    Weighing Yam at Munnar Market

  • Munnar Market

    Munnar Market

  • Nilgiri Ibex Goat

    Nilgiri Ibex Goat

  • Nilgiri Ibex Goat

    Nilgiri Ibex Goat

  • More Tea..

    More Tea..

  • Lake View

    Lake View

  • Long & Winding Road

    Long & Winding Road

  • Jack Fruit

    Jack Fruit

  • Kurunji Plant - Eravikulam National Park

    Kurunji Plant - Eravikulam National Park

  • Cardamom Flower

    Cardamom Flower

The scenery in this area is breathtaking & there will be many photo opportunities as you tour around the area. We can organise a visit to a tea plantation to learn more about this industry & its impact on local life. Eravikulam National Park is also situated in this area & we can organise an excursion there to visit the endangered Nilgiri tahr goats. If you are lucky, your visit may coincide with the flowering of the Kurunji plant which paints the mountainside in a glorious shade of lilac – but only once every 12 years.

Things to see

Mattupetty
Famous for its Indo-Swiss livestock project, Mattupetty is situated at a height of 1700 m and is just 13 km from Munnar. The Mattupetty Lake and Dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.

Lock Heart Gap
Lock heart gap is ideally located for adventure tourism. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills and panoramic view make it worthy of a visit.

Eravikulam National Park
Originally established to protect the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex), the Eravikulam National Park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District, 15 Km from Munnar. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of rolling grasslands and high level sholas (evergreen forests). The Anamudi peak (2695) is located in the southern region of the park. The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world.

Tea Museum
A visit to the tea museum in Munnar Town enlightens you about the art of tea making. An encounter with very interesting pieces of history and antiques of Munnar is guranteed during a guided tour of the mini Tea factory in the museum.

Top Station
32 Km from Munnar and 1700m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar -Kodaikanal road. The rare Neelakuranji (strobilanthus) belongs to this region. This plant blooms once every twelve years bathing the hillsides in bright blue. Top station also offers panoramic view of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

Marayoor
40Km from Munnar, this is the only place in Kerala that has natural sandal wood trees. The caves (muniyaras) with murals and relic from the New Stone Age civilization and the children’s park spread across a hectare of land under the canopy of a single Banyan tree are of great interest to tourist. Thoovanam waterfall and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are also nearby.