Sunday, December 06, 2009

Escape to the Jungles

This weekend, our friends and family trip was of a different kind. An escape from Kochi to the jungles of Sethumadai and Parambikulam and participation in harvesting tomatoes at Kozhinjampara was indeed an unforgettable experience.

View Sethumadai Parambikulam Trip in a larger map

We started in a Tempo Traveller from Kochi at early morning. The first stop was at Mannuthy for breakfast and a short visit to Kerala Agricultural University. Then we headed to Pattikkad to visit another friend on our way.

It was already late in the afternoon when we arrived at a friend's farm in Kozhinjampara. We spent some good time walking through the bitter guard and tomato farms and finally participating in the tomato harvesting along with the farm labourers. The lunch was served there. Next was the visit to a vegetable distribution center at Kozhinjampara where the tomatoes we harvested and other vegetables were sorted and packed in crates to be sent to the super markets across Kerala.

Sethumadai Nature Trip

We also visited a sugarcane plantation nearby Kozhinjampara where jaggery was manufactured. The sap was extracted first from the sugarcanes and then boiled in a very big pan for making the jaggery cubes. The waste after extracting the sap was dried in the sun and used as a fuel for boiling.

When we reached Sethumadai, it was almost dark. The climate was very comfortable... cold but not too cold. We had booked three cottages in the Cots Villa Resorts ( They had arranged camp fire with BBQ; and a team of locals were there to entertain us with country music (typical dappaan kuthu). The cottages we stayed for the night were of unique construction having stone walls, palm thatched roof and bathrooms with a sky view option :).

The beauty of the locality was revealed more clearly in the next day morning. The resort was set in a spread of few acres under the scenic foothills of Western Ghats. We could see lots of peacocks roaming around within the resort compound. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve was just across the fence and we enjoyed a nature walk through the forest in the early morning.

After the breakfast, we headed to Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary after a brief stop at Topslip. The safari arranged by the forest department took us through the various scenic view-points like the reservoir, dam, Kannimara teak, etc. We could spot a lot of wild animals like bisons, deers, hogs, variety of monkeys, malabar giant squirrel etc. After the safari, we returned to Kochi and reached back home before midnight.

Poster by: Hari P, Trip Organization by: Subunu K, Photos by: Sameer C Thiruthikad