Cycling in Tiger and Wines

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06 Nights / 07 Days

SUMMER PRICE (Apr-Sep)
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Periyar-Kochi

Thetea growing areas of Munnar and the rain forests at Periyar have spectacularwalking trails. Besides being a region of endemism, this area also hasindigenous people living within the forests here. This trip will also take usamidst endemic mammals, birds, butterflies, cloud forests with its owncollection of rare flowers and other wildlife, like elephants. While theeco-system around Munnar is primarily shola-grassland type. (Sholas are highaltitude montane forests & typical to the Western Ghats), the forests atPeriyar reverberate with wildlife and the mysteries associated with rainforests.

Periyar

Ouradventure starts at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the few habitatsremaining for wild tigers in India (and indeed, the world). Periyar is part ofProject Tiger, a wildlife conservation project designed to protect Royal BengalTigers from extinction. Set high in the mountains of the Western Ghats, thisprotected area covers some 777 km², out of which a 350 km² forms part of thecore zone known as the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Famous for itspicturesque (though artificial) lake and of course the tiger (which numberabout 40), the park is also home to 62 different kinds of mammals, the mostwell known of these being the herds of wild Asiatic elephants, gaur, sambar,barking deer, mouse deer, wild dogs, mongoose and leopards. We start ourcycling from Kumily and ride deep into the interior of the forests to Gavi,passing through narrow winding roads where wildlife sightings are common. Wereach Gavi and settle into the luxury Cottage tents, located on the banks ofthe Gavi Lake, with a spectacular view of the dense rain forests opposite.

Gavi

Wejoin a naturalist-led walk in search of wildlife and to get a betterunderstanding of the surroundings, into heart of the rain forest. The signs oftigers are everywhere – the fresh pugmarks and the telltale scratch marks onthe trees among others. The dense forests also harbour the endangered and endemicLion Tailed Macaques and the beautiful Great Hornbills. In the evening we willcycle a short distance in the company of our guide to the cardamom processingplant and meet the local communities who have made these forests their abodefor a long time.

Ranni

Wewill ride through the dirt roads through the heart of the wildlife reserve,passing the holy River Pampa, which we will be following right till the end ofthis journey to the coast. Our roads will be some of the loneliest and deserted,except for the odd vehicle, as we ride through forests and grasslands. Wildlifesightings are common and by evening we will arrive at the well appointedhomestay at Ranni.


Ranni

Wehave the full day to discover the heart of the spice lands of Kerala – thepepper plantations that stretch for miles, the quaint villages that arewelcoming and friendly, people working on their spice plantations which growginger, cloves, turmeric, cardamom and chillies among other things. We willalso take a ride to the elephant rescue centre and the breathtaking ManniarLake where we will have a picnic lunch before returning to the homestay in theevening.

Alleppey

Onour ride today we will visit the cultural and religious centre of Central Kerala– Aranmula, with its myriad temples, palace and most importantly, its famedmagical metallic ‘Aranmula mirror’, so finely polished that normal glassmirrors pale in comparison. Our way down to the plains takes us through ricegrowing villages before we hit the backwaters roads for a ride of a life time.This is Kerala’s green magic with paddy fields and coconut groves aplentystretching as far as the eye can see. We will end our ride as we take a shortcanoe ride to a heritage villa located on the banks of the river.

Kochi

Onour ride today we will visit the cultural and religious centre of Central Kerala– Aranmula, with its myriad temples, palace and most importantly, its famedmagical metallic ‘Aranmula mirror’, so finely polished that normal glassmirrors pale in comparison. Our way down to the plains takes us through ricegrowing villages before we hit the backwaters roads for a ride of a life time.This is Kerala’s green magic with paddy fields and coconut groves aplentystretching as far as the eye can see. We will end our ride as we take a shortcanoe ride to a heritage villa located on the banks of the river.

Kochi – Departure

SayGood Bye to this fascinating Backwater cycling tour with lot of memories anddepart to Kochi for onward destination.