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Once you’ve discovered some of the vibrant cities that India has to offer, chances are you’ll be in need of a break. Fear not – Thekkady meets that need, and more. Although not as famous as its urban equivalents, this place has plenty to offer; so if you’ve still got a bit of energy, you won’t get bored.
The first thing that you should know is Thekkady is perched up at an elevation of some 700m. That might not sound terribly high, but that altitude is more than enough to take some edge off the temperature. This is not only good for you, but good for the coffee, tea and numerous spice plants that thrive in this cooler climate. And local farmers have made the most of it. The aromas coming from the fields are heavenly. Take a Thekkady tour and stock up on spices while you’re here, and make the most of using them as soon as you can – the taste of fresh spices is amazing when they’ve come so quickly from field to your banana-leaf plate.
The location also makes for wonderful views - in this case over the evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, and the nearby Periyar National Park. However, the nearby Plains of Tamil Nadu might tempt you down from your perch. This area - transformed by the engineering masterpiece which is the Mullaperiyar Dam - is one of the best places to get an authentic feel for the rural India life and people.
Having a look around a spice plantation and production plant is a great way to while away an afternoon. It’s amazing to see spices growing and being processed into something that’s probably sitting in your kitchen cupboard hundreds of miles away.
Once you’ve had a chance to relax, try the climb to Kurisumala, a mountain-top pilgrimage site. The panoramic view opens up beneath you, so take a picnic and spend some time up there for a visual detox. After the trek, you can treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage at one of the local spas. The technique dates back 5,000 years and involves aromatic oils, Indian Raga music and good vibes channelled from your therapist. It’ll take you to a whole new level of relaxation.
Alternatively, you can explore the nearby Plains of Tamil Nadu by bike. The Mullaperiyar Dam is the man-made highlight of this area - an engineering feat which transformed the lives of the local Tamil farmers after the great famine of 1876 - but there are simpler pleasures too. For example, tea shops abound, or you could immerse yourself in a farmer’s market and or even hitch a life on a traditional bullock-drawn cart.
When it comes to natural beauty in India, Thekkady steals the show. Escape the bustle of the city and take some time out to see spectacular view and tropical plantations. You’ll thank yourself afterwards for the truly relaxing break. Have a read of our blogs below to get the feel.
Leave the sights, smells and sounds of the hectic cities behind you and there is a whole lot of lesser-trodden land just waiting to be explored.
Dreamy mountain vistas and palm-fringed beaches aside, India’s food was made for the camera lens.
If the Earth’s the body, then India is the soul - a land of spirituality, contrasts and rich culture.
A cycling tour allows you to soak up the sights at your own pace and really immerse yourself in a destination.
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