What All Kerala Offers to Adventure Lovers?
Get off the tourist trail and pack your bags for Kerala ‘Natventure.’ wonder what it means? It is taking adventure in its raw form. Taming its twists and turns, its rocky paths and its highs and lows is an utterly thrilling experience. Come to Kerala, the trip of your life beckons! The place has been attracting people from far and wide to have a life-time experience.
What Kerala is All About?
A unique topography, diverse terrain and a composed climate are some of the attractions that make Kerala an adventure destination. From the lofty mountains to the gorges and deep-cut valleys to the rolling hills and shallow valleys, Kerala has it all. Here are some of the most interesting adventure trails.
How About trekking and camping?
Tropical rainforests, scenic country sides, majestic hills, spice plantations and grasslands, Kerala has some of the most exotic playgrounds for trekkers. From the myth-shrouded Agasthyakoodam that is a haven of medicinal plants and herbs, to Parambikulam which shelters the world’s first ever scientifically managed teak plantation, every trekking experience here will be truly captivating as the destination itself. You can trek under a starlit sky, spot the majestic tiger and breathe in the fragrant air of the spices.
TREK AND CAMP
This is the second highest peak in Southern India at 1,868 meters. Located 70 kilometers from Thiruvanthapuram. The trek through the forest interspersed with grasslands, waterfalls and the steep climb is truly magical.
Parambikulam offers two fascinating trekking options. The Cochin State Forest Tramway Trek takes you along a century old tramway route that gives a unique opportunity to spot rare wildlife. A naturalist’s delight is the Kariyanshola trail which is through evergreen forests that shelter the endangered medicinal plants and orchids.
An undulating lush terrain makes this a true delight of the trekker’s. This is a 6-hour trek, through the butterfly forest to Meesapulimala at 2,624 m, followed by descend through tea and eucalyptus plantation to the scenic campsite at Rhodo Valley.
If you are ready to pit yourself against the gravity and push your mental and physical limits, Kerala’s mountains, hills and cliffs with their rigid climbs and steep slopes present immense opportunities for rock climbing. While Eruthavoor in Thiruvanthapuram and the adventure zone at Thenmala in Kollam are the most popular. The other sites like Munnar in Idukki and Kolagappara near Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad offer an equally thrilling experience.
Situated on the outskirts of Thiruvanthapuram, Eruthavoor is developing very fast as a rock climbing site. The craggy rock here is 160 feet in height. The Kerala chapter of the National Adventure Foundation regularly organises rock climbing camps here.
Situated roughly at 72 kilometers from Thiruvanthapuram, Thenmala is home to India’s first planned ecotourism project. The rugged terrain of this land lies 500 meter above the sea level and packs a lot of adventure. This adventure zone offers options for the recreational rock climbing and rappelling with rocks of different sizes and heights.
WILD LIFE SANCTUARY
With 16 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks nestled in the Western Ghats, Kerala offers countless number of options for the wildlife safaris. The rich flora and fauna and the unique topography of the sanctuaries make every safari truly special. You can enjoy the majestic views of the forests sitting comfortably on the back of elephants. You can follow a tiger trail, coming face to face with the boars, otters, exotic birds and more. A boat safari through Periyar Lake will enable you to spot herds of elephants, deers and sambhar.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki
Sprawling across 777 square kilometer, the unique geomorphology, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes make it a hotspot for wildlife safaris. Declared as a Tiger Reserve, the sanctuary’s 26 square kilometer artificial lake that serves as a waterhole for animals during summers, adds to the overall experience.
Gavi Wildlife Sanctuary, Panthanamthitta
Developed as an exclusive ecotourism project, Gavi’s evergreen forests shelter a great wildlife including the Lion tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Marten as well as rare flora including Podocarpus, Wallichinia. The forests are also home to over 320 species of birds – the Great Indian Hornbill, Woodpecker, Sunbird and more.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:
Declared as a project Elephant site and rich in bio-diversity, Wayanad Sanctuary is shelter to flora typical of the South India, moist deciduous forests and west coast semi evergreen forests.
The abundance of greenery makes Kerala a paradise for avian. Over 500 species of birds both resident and migratory can be found in the lush green tropical forests, numerous freshwater and brackish lakes and waterlogged paddy fields of the State. From the kol lands (marshlands and open paddy fields) surrounding the town of Thissur to the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary in Ernakulam, Kerala has not dearth of birding sites. November to February is the best time to spot the migratory birds.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Ernakulam:
Also known as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, named after the internationally renowned ornithologist, Thattekkad is one of the richest bird habitats on peninsular India. Spreading across 25 sq.km, it is home to over 300 species of birds like the Srilankan Frogmouth, Racket-tailed Drtongo, Bronzed Drongo, White bellied Treepie, Shama, Yellow-browed, Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Parakeet, Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied and Malabar Grey Hornbill.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kottayam:
Spreading across 14 acres, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary has an interesting variety of birdlife like the Indian Darter, Little Cormorant, White Ibis and several other species of Herons, Kingfishers and Egrets. Between the months of November and May, it plays host to the rare migratory birds. The Vembanad lake attracts waterfowls like pin-tailed duck , Garganey Teal, Spot-billed Duck and birds of prey like Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Steppe Eagle etc.
Cycling can be a real fun when you are out to discover Kerala. Whether you want to explore the natural beauty of the place its culture or its rich heritage, Kerala has it all. The cycling enthusiasts will be more than happy to experience the lush paddy fields, dusty tracks which lead to the remote hamlets, exotic trails that run along the tea gardens, rubber estates and spice plantations. There are so many things to do. You can have conversation with the local people, stop by local coffee stalls. You can explore even those destinations which are hard to be traced in the map of Kerala. So, cycle your way to the heart of Kerala.
Cycle from the lowland forests of Thattekkad in Ernakulam, along the banks of River Periyar and the spice-scented mountain roads to reach the foothills of the Western Ghats at Adimali. You can make your way to the hills of Munnar and from there to the Wildlife Sanctuary at Chinnar. Later, ride to the lower elevations to reach the waterfalls of Athirapally and Vazhachal.
Pedal through the fishing villages and coconut plantations towards the Marari Beach in Allappuzha. Go past the small villages, temples, paddy fields or you can enjoy the joy of travelling all through the spice scented mountain roads to reach the foothills of Western Ghats at Adimali. You can make your way to Munnar hills and from there further to the Chinnar. In the lower elevations you will find waterfalls at Athirapally and Vazhachal.
You can ride along tea and spice plantations, quaint villages and tropical rainforest in Wayanad. Lush Vythiri located at 2,600 ft above the sea level is a quaint town of Sulthan Bathery, Mananthavady-the forests of which are noted for their scenic beauty are some of the spots where you can explore the possibilities for cycling abound. Thanks to diversity of the landscape and its mesmerizing beauty. The raw and rustic landscape of Wayanad has immense possibilities.
Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing, Whitewater Rafting and Wind Surfing. With a 900 km backwater stretch and 44 rivers originating from the Sahadri Hills and several beaches, Kerala is a dream come true for the water sport enthusiasts too. While the canoeing and kayaking can be enjoyed along the serene backwaters, that are also venue for the most famous and spectacular snake boat race in the State. Parasailing is also gaining popularity with the Varkala and Alapuzzha beaches. For the wind surfing, the beaches of Varkala and Kovalam are the best bet to be at.
Surfing at Kovalam, Thiruvanthapuram:
Coral reefs, gigantic waves and strong currents make surfing a pure delight in Kovalam. Surfing at the beaches of Kovalam can be easier with the help of surf boats. Trainers are available for those who want to try it for the first time.
Kayaking at Alappuzha:
It is a major sport in the State that has travellers coming in from far and wide. The backwaters of Alappuzha are a hub of Kayaking in Kerala and the journey through the fringed waterways in kayak will be an excellent opportunity to experience the local village life.
You can get a bird’s eye view of Kerala at nearly 6,000 ft above the sea level. The paragliding season starts from September and offers great flying conditions until January and again from March to May. You can fly like birds in the open skies.
Located roughly at about 50 kilometers North of Thiruvanthapuram city, Varkala Beach with its magnificent cliffs is another destination that is sought after as a paragliding location.
Located over 3,000 feet, it is a 10 km long ridge that is perfect for landing and take-offs. You can have a bird eye view over cool climes, meadows, Shola forests, grasslands and tea gardens. Kolahalamedu hills located 4 kilometers from Vagamon is the perfect platform for paragliding.
Have a thrilling experience in Kerala with us.