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Hiking Biking

Climbing the hills and exploring the jungles

You can go hiking or mountain biking across the Periyar Sanctuary jungles. While you are on your way, make sure to discover the Periyar Lake aboard a bamboo raft. From Periya, ride a bike through the mountain paths which lead to Munnar. Cycling for two days will take you to a cardamom or tea plantation of Munnar.

Backwater Canoeing and Biking

Lazy cruises aren’t all you can enjoy in Kerala’s backwaters. There are all sorts of adventures you can have there. The backwaters- the lagoons, canals, rivers and lakes-are bestowed with exceptional geographical features and leave an ineradicable impression on those who observe them from close up. The best possible way to enjoy this experience is by taking one of the backwater bikes or canoes down from Alleppey, alongside the fields of paddy and central Kerala villages.

A fantastic backwater area that can be accessed from Alappuzha is the beautiful Kumarakom. Magnificently green, this little village appears to be dozing peacefully along Vembanad Lake. Here, the luxuriant green belonging to the countryside smoothly blends with the swinging coconut palms along the waters. This area is so magical that it made Henry Baker, an Englishman who was awed by the place, build his bungalow nearby in the previous century. Today, that stylish and elegant manor is a place for tourists. The famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located right next to Kumarakom. It is a refuge for lots of Siberian birds, water ducks and plenty other rare species from across the world.  It is a pleasure to visit at any time. The perfect time, however, is winter as at that time the birds arrive in droves. You must surely visit Pathiramanal, a golden-yellow island that is located in Vembanad Lake. It is a short ride away from Kochi, and is a place that oozes peace and tranquility.

Another route you can take is from Alappuzha to Kollam. The journey will lead you to the Pampa River and then up towards the island settlement of Champpakkulam, followed by the Karumadi Canal. Pause for a moment and admire the Karumadikuttan statue, which people believe is the Buddha. According to locals, this is a legacy dating back to the occasion when Buddhist monks arrived in Kerala in order to preach the message of peace. After that your bike will take you past Trikunnapuzha and across the Ashtamudi and Kayamkulam Lake towards the end of your journey by the aged port of Kollam.

Camping and Trekking

If the sea, sun, sands and backwaters do not interest you, Kerala will entertain you in its valleys and mountains, where you are free to trek and camp as much as you desire. The grasslands found in the Western Ghats at the Periyar Wildlife and Munnar are counted in the most famous trekking destinations. The mountain range of the Western Ghat borders Kerala’s East. For centuries, these lush forests and majestic mountains have been a natural barrier for Kerala’s slim expanse of land. As can be expected, these mountains are among some of the most fantastic routes for trekking for people who seek adventure.

At Munnar, there’s a hike of 7000 feet above sea level. The beautiful mountain scenery and the lively streams flowing down the hills will give you hours and hours of pleasure. Enroute, you could see some Asiatic elephants if you’re lucky. You could even catch glimpses of the rare Nilgiri Tahr and the Indian Bison, protected in their natural homes.

While camping in Periyar you will be amid a sultry rain forest, in the midst of striking flora and fauna. In case you are a wildlife enthusiast, a trek within the Periyar reserve would give you immense experience. The Tiger Reserve and the Periyar sanctuary, a little far from Kochi, have a variety of wildlife. Trekkers are sure to get rare sights such as flying squirrels, herds of elephants or even tigers giving them company. Additionally, you could see rare birds such as the Malabar Pied Hornbill, the Crested Serpent Eagle, and butterflies like the Malabar Tree Nymph.

The path towards Munnar will introduce you to mountainous roads through wide expanses of spice-scented plantations of cardamom. At the top, there is a land peace and tranquility resting on the shola-grasslands. A place you shouldn’t miss is Vagamon, located 60 km away from Kottayam, and a heaven for trekkers. There is the Periyar Tiger Reserve for you to camp in, followed by mountain paths towards Munnar. Trekking across the forests and crossing the Periyar Lake aboard bamboo rafts is an experience you can never forget.

Reaching Munnar:

The closest railway station and airport is in Kochi, located at a distance of 130 km. You can also access Munnar via various towns of Kerala. At a distance of 80 km from Kochi is Kottayam.


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