In the lofty Cardamom hills, where traces of pepper linger in the mountain air, the small town of Thekaddy reveals an Eden in the shadows of the Western Ghats. Here, the creatures roam wild, forests dominate and unruly fruit trees grow unabated in the absence of any contender.
Known as the gateway to the Periyar National Park, you can trek through the forest with guides from indigenous communities to examine intriguing botany and exotic wildlife like the wise looking lion-tailed macaque and multi-coloured Malabar squirrel. Or cruise Periyar Lake, punctured with stark submerged trees, in the hopes of seeing herds of Indian elephants and even fiery orange Bengal tigers known to appear at the water’s edge.
Away from the reserve, the fertile soil lends itself to acres of spice farms where you can taste the giant fruit of nutmeg trees, dig up turmeric roots and learn exactly when to pluck plump peppercorns. You’ll find ginger and cloves used to flavour Kerala’s swoon-worthy cuisine made up of spicy beef stir-fries and creamy coconut-based curries.
A wildlife adventure not to be missed, talk to our Indian experts about how to incorporate Thekkady into an itinerary.
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