Day2: Travel from Kumarakom to Thekkady and stay
On the second day from Kumarakom we started our journey towards Thekkady a hill station at around 10:00 in the morning. The distance was about 100-120 Kilometers and being a hill area the tentative travel time was 4-5 hours.
After about an hours journey we passed through a major town of Kerala called Kottayam the rubber city. Kerala accounts for 90% of the Rubber production in India, major part being the contribution of Kottayam district.
We stopped at a super market to purchase some snacks, biscuits, milk tetra packs for kids for onward journey.
From Kottayam the hill journey started. both sides of the road were lined with rubber trees in rubber plantations. Many churches can be seen on the way having rubber plants in their campuses.
Rubber plants all along the road to Thekkady
We planned to see rubber plantations on the road side. Deepu told us that each night a new cut is made on the rubber tree causing a new flow of latex. A collecting cup is tied with a polythene wreathed around the tree. After a few moments the latex begins to flow into the cup. The accumulated rubber is collected the next morning and is carried to the processing unit. Most of the trees had black cups tied to them and black latex flowing in them. Children were amused to see the rubber in this form.
Moving forward in the hills the number of rubber trees reduced and tea plantations started increasing. We halted at a tea factory on the way to have a look how the tea is processed.
Passing through swirling narrow road with less traffic we reached Thekkady at around 3:00 PM and headed to do lunch first. Deepu took us directly to a vegetarian restaurant.
Elephant ride in Thekkady
Our next plan was to visit the famous elephant safaris of Thekkady which the children were eagerly waiting for. There are a number of elephant rides in Thekkady, but Deepu took us to the biggest and most popular one called…..
There were different packages The elephant package 1 or 2 hour with options of elephant ride, timber dragging, elephant shower and bathing, feeding fruits, and photo session. The packages varied from Rs 300 to 2000 per person.
But on seeing the elephants the children scared away and only preferred to see them from a distance.
At about 5 PM we started our search for a hotel. Our budget was Rs 1500 per day. We had made a hotel list and visited many hotels whose reviews we had read on the internet.
Hotels in Thekkady
All the popular hotels are located nearby to each other on the road going towards the Periyar wild life sanctuary. We saw the following hotels Michael’s Inn, The Elephant Court, Cardamom County, silver crest, spice garden SN international and finally settled for the newly constructed ranger woods situated near the entrance of the wildlife sanctuary.
Stay in Ranger Woods Thekkady
We bargained the room originally priced at Rs 2500 plus tax to Rs 1500 all inclusive including stay for children ( no food as the restaurant was not functional yet). The manager of the hotel was cordial enough and showed us the room personally. All hotels mentioned above are good with neat rooms. There are also a number of home stays in Thekkady
In the evening while strolling the main market we had a look at the spice shops, handicrafts and other shops. The environment was very calm & peaceful.
Our next day plan was to have a 2 hours boat ride in the Periyar lake at 7:00 Am in the morning organized by KTDC.
Check for a satellite TV on the boat, if you like to have some TV in the cool evening on a boat. Our house boat was lacking this.
Non A/c houseboat is not recommended by me because inside the room there is no ventilation and if you open the window than you will get lots of mosquitoes inside your room free of cost. Humidity levels are high and you will need the AC art night, as the boat is also parked and breeze also stops