December 31, 2007

Day 4: 22nd December '07 – Thekkady, Idduky

A 3-hour drive through rubber plantations takes you to the hill station of Thekkady - a melting pot for tourists. Spice plantations surround Thekkady in Idduky district. The Periyar Tiger Reserve is located here. Tourists flock Thekkady throughout the year – many foreigners had made this home and set up lodges for backpackers. There is much for the tourist here – elephant rides, treks, kathakali & kalaripayattu demonstrations (not to be missed), handicraft & spice shopping, ayurvedic massages (cannot guarantee for their authenticity) and restaurants serving an international cuisine. The weather is mostly cold and damp. The local population had done much for the tourist. However, the local government did not seem to acknowledge the tourist presence – roads and civic amenities were a mess and needed urgent repair. A trip to any one of the spice gardens around Thekkady is truly captivating. The evening was spent at a Kathakali demonstration – one that was tuned to educate the tourist about this ancient temple dancing art.

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