Gavi is a quiet, beautiful and pristine forest haven near Thekkady in Kerala in the Pathanamthitaa district where you can escape to wildreness and the best season to visit Gavi is in Summer or in Monsoons unlike other tourist destinations. Gavi is a welcome addition to any Munnar Thekkady package in Kerala if you have some extra days to spare.
Elephants on the way to Gavi
This is one of those rare places in the world where with every turn and sight you encounter nature at its unadulterated best – sprawling grasslands, cascading waterfalls, hills and valleys with its dear inhabitants and eco friendly tourism practices. Owing to its abundant and magnificent wildlife reserves and raw geographical milieu, a major portion of the tourists here are either nature lovers or adventurists. The best option is to stay in Thekkady and visit Gavi as accommodation is limited in Gavi.
The active participation of the local tribes make Gavi eco-tourism project a success beyond comparison; there is nothing like being in the company of the inhabitants and getting to know the place better. A short trek along the hill will take you to Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, one of the most-visited Hindu pilgrimage centers of India. The major activities that you can do in Gavi are
* Wildlife watching
* Stay at top tree huts
* Outdoor camping in forest around
* Safaris through jungle roads
* Visit to paradise cove at Ninnumulli
* Boating in the Gavi& kochupampa lakes.
* Leisurely walks through spice gardens
* Visit to cardamom factory
* Climb to Sabarimala temple view
Accommodation in Gavi
Green Mansions is an Eco-lodge located right in the middle of the sanctuary overlooking the magnificent Gavi lake and the thick verdant forests nearby. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, this quixotic Eco-lodge would allow you to savour the wilderness to your heart’s content. Getting there is half the fun; the three-and-a-half-hour, bone rattling jeep ride ensures some of the best natural spectacles that you could ever ask for.
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.
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.
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.
Jeep safari to Gavi
Jeep safari to Gavi starts from 8.00 am from Kumily and end at 5:00 pm. The road leading to the picturesque Gavbi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are over seen by trained local people. The place is rich in flora and fauna. There are hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grass lands, shoals, cascading water falls and cardamom plantations. Endangered species including Nilgiri Thar, Liontaled macaque is often sighted at the outskirts of Gavi. 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. Trained Guides are available only if you book in advance as the seats are limited in this programme.
Other such places of interest near Gavi include Kuttikanam, Peermedu, Vandiperiyar and cardamom factory visits. Gavi is a new upcoming destination but is a good delight if you would like to get a taste of eco tourism while visiting kerala.