This was our first Christmas in Kochi. We moved to Kerala in August 2018 and unfortunately, we were unable to see anything yet because of the massive destruction caused by the flood. So, we decided to explore a bit on the Christmas vacation.
We packed our bags and head towards Thekkady which is located in the Idukki district. We started at 7 am. The 5 hours drive is scenic and breathtaking. The tropical forest, rich flora and fauna, and lush green tea gardens make this place extremely beautiful and full of life. October-February is the best time to visit Thekkady. As this was Christmas time, the place was fully packed up with tourists. This place is a traveler’s delight if you love nature, want to get away from hustle and bustle of city life, and get lost in the misty mountains. It was 2 pm and we checked in to the hotel. Relaxed for some time and then ordered some authentic Kerala food to satisfy our taste buds.
We stayed at Spice Grove which offered us a valley view from the room itself. The chirping of birds, mystic mountains, and the aroma of spices was just magical. After having our lunch and admiring nature for some time which we were not able to get enough of, we went for an hour session of Ayurvedic massage which Kerala is famous for. It was indeed a rejuvenating session. We got dressed up and proceed to the Martial art show which is a delight to the eyes.
After having a hearty dinner and fried ice cream (not to miss) we returned to our resort as the new adventure was waiting the next day.
The next morning, we woke up with the chirping of birds, seeing the sun rising above the horizon was mesmerizing. We took some great shots and head quickly towards getting ready as today was the day full of adventure and excitement.
We visited Periyar National park, which we booked our sightseeing tickets in advance. Though getting a sight of wildlife animals is a little difficult but we were lucky enough to witness a herd of elephants and some birds. There are many activities available like elephant ride, boating, bamboo rafting, etc so depending on the choice you can opt for. We enjoyed bamboo rafting and Jeep safari (a bit expensive though). We took a long walk around the place and took some pictures. The visit to a coffee plantation and spice garden was something which I cannot forget in life. While returning to our resort, we took a stroll at the main market, did some shopping for banana chips, spices, and homemade chocolates (not to forget). Enjoyed our heavenly meal and thanked God for the immense beauty of this place.
Thekkady is a small place and generally, people stay here for one night but as we’re staying here for 3 nights, we opted to visit Gavi. We booked an entire day of sightseeing which included trekking, boating, and reaching the Gavi viewpoint which was an out of the world experience. We returned to our resort at 6 pm and relaxed for that evening. The resort was all decorated with Christmas lights and staying here was a divine experience.
This was our third day, and we kept it for our leisure. Woke up and enjoyed our cup of coffee sitting on the balcony. Took a head massage and soaked ourselves in the beauty of these magical mountains, nature, and tea gardens. This was Christmas evening. Enjoyed special meal arranged by the resort and this way our Thekkady tour package came to an end. Being at Thekkady and enjoying all the Thekkady sightseeing was indeed an experience that will last forever and difficult to describe in words.
Things to do in Thekkady are basically related to The Periyar National park only but if you are open to experiments then do try some adventure activities, massages, tribal art, martial art, Kathakali, and some local shopping for spices, home-made chocolates, and chips. It will be incorrect to say that you can get drenched in the beauty of Thekkady within a night, please keep at least two nights to get a real feel of this place.
This was my experience of spending some time in the lap of nature. If you are someone, who rejoices in connecting with nature and wildlife then definitely this place is for you.
Do share your experiences! Happy Tripping!