Idukki district, Kerala, India - Gods Own Country - Tourist and Travel Information
GaviMany are attracted to this project. Gavi Eco-Tourism a project of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation has caught the attention of tourists, mostly from European countries. The project is exclusive in many respects and the majority who visited were nature lovers and adventure tourists. Over a short period of time visitors to Gavi gradually increased, especially after 'Alistair International' the world acclaimed tourism major recently listed it among the leading ecotourism centres and one of the must see places in India.
Spread across the beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi is a quiet, beautiful and pristine forest haven. It is at the eastern extreme of the Pathanamthitta District at 3400 ft above MSL. These evergreen forests are abundant with magnificent Wildlife including the tiger, elephants, leopards, bears, Indian gaur, sambar, barking & Mouse deers, lion tailed macaque, other varieties of monkeys, Nilgiri Marten and a lot more.For the nature explorers Gavi offers the complete acquaintance with the flora around including Nageia Wallichinia (Podocarpus Wallichinia), a highly endemic species of the Gymnosperm family seen only around Gavi in the whole Western Ghats ! If you are a birder, the forests around Gavi are home to over 320 species of birds -the great Indian hornbills, sunbirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and myriads of mynas, dongos, cuckoos and bulbuls-truly any birder's dream! The sheer beauty of this place is indeed worth a closer look ! Here is nature at its unadulterated best. Gavi often serves as a base camp for deep jungle trekkers, bird watchers, nature lovers, research students and the like.
A highlight of the Gavi Eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners and cooks. This will provide livelihood for the locals and also will help to create awareness on conservation of nature. Gavi offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris.
The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. En route to Gavi are places of interest like Mundakayyam, Kuttikanam, Peerumedu and Vandiperiyar from where the road deviates to Gavi.
Once you reach Gavi the serene eco-lodge 'Green Mansion' awaits you like a fairy to embrace you in its protective fold. From the 'Green Mansion', one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests. Some of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi like the Valley View offer spectacular view of a deep ravine and the forest below. From Kochu Pampa, a point near Green Mansion eco-lodge one can track the grazing Nilgiri Tahrs.
The famous Pilgrim destination, Sabarimala is a short trek from Gavi. For those interested in observing the nocturnal wildlife, night safaris to Kullur, Gavi Pullumedu, Kochu Pampa, Pachakanam provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Another unique feature of Gavi is camping in the forests. One can pitch a tent in the camping site, which is a rarity in many Indian forests. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere, an experience that cannot be explained in words. There are also tree top houses where one can enjoy the avian life to the fullest.
Gavi is bound to cast its magical spell on every visitor and is surely a place that should not be missed in one's lifetime. Gavi is pristine, and it belongs to the wild, which is a reminder that visitors are responsible for their intentions and actions, which will have a bearing on the upkeep of Gavi for a long time to come.
The place is rich in flora and fauna. There are hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, Sholas, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations. Endangered species including the Nilgiri Thar, Lion-tailed macaque is often sighted at the outskirts of Gavi. With more than 260 species of birds including the great pied hornbill, woodpecker, and kingfishers, Gavi is a haven for bird watchers. Active involvement of tribals in Gavi makes it a unique venture of its kind in the country. Traditional knowledge of the forest and its way of life helps Gavi to sustain its surroundings in its original state.
The Gavi Eco Tourism is dedicated to these three principles which encapsulate the vision we have for keeping Kerala green. Our State's heritage of jungle attractions, the Flora & Fauna and the tribal or otherwise humankind inside are amongst Kerala's most precious resources in the tourism aspect. Utilisation of these gold mines through sustainable ecotourism with reciprocal benefits - both for our guests and for the rural communities living in and alongside is our sole motto.In the case of the former-our guests-they are our future ambassadors, the link between Gavi and the rest of the World, the impetus that drives our dream of advancing the green and wild frontiers of Kerala helping us to be the ongoing custodians of our planet's endangered species and other wild treasure therein.
Best Season and ClimateSummer: February-April, daytime temperatures up to 28 C. but can drop to 20 degree C at night.
Monsoon: June - August, daytime temperatures up to 25 C but can drop to 10 degree C at night.
ClothingCasual, lightweight, comfortable, light coloured cotton clothing. Warm clothing may be required at night
Getting ThereGavi is 28 Km south west of Vandiperiyar, a town in NH 220 the highway connecting Kollam and Madurai, which itself is 14 Km from Kumily, near Thekkady. Let the rough journey to Gavi may better be made on a sturdy vehicle like jeep which are available on hire either from Vandiperiyar or from Kumily. Entry passes must be obtained from the Forest Check Post Enroute at Vallakkadavu. Advance booking with the Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd. is highly appreciable wherein such formalities will be taken care of by the Company itself.
How to Reach
By AirThe Kochi International Airport (200Km), Trivandrum International Airport (250Km)and Madurai (195Km) are the nearest Airports.
By RailThe nearest railway station is Kottayam (120Km) and is well connected with Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.
By RoadGavi is located about 28 Km from Vandiperiyar, Which is 18 Km from Thekkady. Regular buses are available to Vandiperiyar from Kochi & Thiruvananthapuram . A small bus rattles even up to Gavi from Vandiperiyar once a day (4 pm) the journey in which will be the most heart throbbing experience.
AccommodationThe Forest Lodge at Gavi conjures up the essence of the place-tranquillity amidst the abundance of nature. The cool breeze from the Gavi Lake, the gentle whistle of the Malabar whistling thrush or the raucous cry of the Nilgiri Langurs will keep you company as you wander the grounds in perfect harmony with nature. You could take a lazy stroll around, go row boating on Gavi lake or trek for hours in the breath taking beauty of the evergreen canopy... all awaits you at the climax of your safari to Green Mansions from the Forest Check post at Vallakkadavu, that safari itself being the prologue to the wonderland Gavi.
Besides the accommodation provided in 'Green Mansion' visitors can also try out the tree houses and also even pitch tents amidst the wilderness. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are overseen by trained local people. Those who would love to be left alone can do so in the tranquil environs of Gavi or may even go canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually provided vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly ambiance of the place.
For the more adventurous-minded, we have a programme of camping in the wilderness at Meenar where elephants trumpet their supremacy in the still of night! OR at valley view with its spectacular view of the Chenthamarakokkai-a deep ravine with dense forest below or even trek to the sacred Pampa Hills where the Nilgiri Thars prance around in gay abandon, where God Ayappa .(The Idol of the famous Sabarimala Temple) desperately wandered in search of milk of Leopard for his sick mother (Old Saying)).
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