After visiting Parunthumpara, the next destination is Vandiperiyar. Vandiperiyar is famous for its tea plantations. It is a beautiful and serene place. Here, cardamom, black pepper and tea are available in plenty. The famous river Periyar flows through this place. Crossing the bridge across this river, we reach Vandiperiyar City.
The road to the left just before reaching Vandiperiyar City leads to Elappara, Kattappana. Travelling 2 km on this route leads us to Ayyappan Kovil, situated on the beautiful and serene banks of Periyar. The whole day, I strolled around the city. Since the plan was to start for Gavi the next morning, a jeep was booked.
Vandiperiyar Tea Plantation
This journey took place around the year 1998 or 1999. In those days, travelling to Gavi was not as strict as it is now. Going through Kumily route, Kakki Junction lies 1 km from Vandiperiyar. From there, Vandiperiyar-Moozhiyar route which lies on the right leads to Gavi. On this route, the whole of the area that lies beyond Vallakadavu check post is forest area.
Morning at Gavi
The trip to Gavi is an exciting one. The dense forests, hills, low lying areas, tropical rainforests, grasslands, waterfalls cardamom plantations, etc make this place a heaven. Gavi has around 260 types of birds including hornbill and woodpecker.
The best time to visit Gavi is from September to February. Elephants, lion-tailed macaque and bison can be seen in plenty here. The monsoon season in Gavi is brisk. During this season, even mid-days turn dark. There are packages for trekking from Thekkady to Gavi, for staying inside the forest, etc. KSRTC provides bus services from Pathanamthitta to Kumily and Thekkady via Gavi. These trips provide extreme delight to anyone.
The day went by without even realizing how fast. I decided to take rest and start for the next spot which might be Thekkady.