By Tushar : [15/Jan/24] Kerala boasts a remarkable landscape, bordered by the Western Ghats ranging from 500 to 2700 metres in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Connected by 44 river streams, it has become one of Asia's highly coveted tourist destinations. Renowned for its scenic beauty, Kerala is not only a favourite spot for honeymooners but also an ideal destination for family vacations. A visit to the Cardamom Hills is a must for anyone exploring the region, adding to the plethora of captivating sights. This unique geography, surrounded by the Arabian Sea and intertwined with numerous rivers, elevates Kerala's status as one of the most sought-after tourist locations in Asia.A Quick Glance of the Cardamom Hills
The Cardamom Hills, also known as Yela Mala, form a mountain range in southern India, situated within the southern Western Ghats. Spanning across southeast Kerala and southwest Tamil Nadu, these hills derive their name from the cultivation of cardamom spice in the cool elevations, alongside pepper and coffee. Designating the entire Western Ghats south of the Palakkad gap, they act as the dividing line between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In addition to cardamom, the region cultivates tea, coffee, teak, and bamboo. As part of the Western Ghats, renowned as one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots, the Cardamom Hills boasts an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, sheltering around 350 globally threatened species.
With an average elevation of 2637 metres, the Cardamom Hills reach their highest point at Anamudi. Positioned at the convergence of the Cardamom, Palani, and Anaimalai hills, this area hosts the Periyar National Park at its core. Home to various tribal communities settled in the eastern and western regions, the hills are inhabited by groups like Urumban, Mudugan, and Irulan. These indigenous people, relying on the cultivation of tea and their connection to the forest, particularly the Urumbans, Mudugans, and Irulans, continue to depend on forest resources for their livelihoods.
The temperature in these hills varies from an average of 15°C during winter to 31°C in the summer months of April and May. The annual rainfall ranges from 2,000 mm to 3,000 mm in Periyar. On the western side, the majority of the precipitation, about two-thirds, occurs during the southwest monsoon from June to September. Additionally, the region experiences rainfall from the northeast monsoon between October and December, as well as pre-monsoon showers in April and May. Winters are considered to be an excellent time to plan a trip to Cardamom Hills.How to Reach
Neither the railway station nor the airport is within a stone's throw distance. The best option to make the commute is from Ernakulam Junction or Cochin International Airport, located at Kochi.Things to do in Cardamom Hills
1. Visiting Periyar National Park- Periyar National Park is a verdant sanctuary that unfolds its natural splendor in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Home to diverse flora and fauna, the park encompasses a picturesque landscape centered on the Periyar Lake. This artificial reservoir, created by the Mullaperiyar Dam, not only adds to the scenic beauty but also serves as a crucial water source for the park's inhabitants. Renowned for its rich biodiversity, Periyar is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, offering opportunities to witness majestic elephants, playful otters, and a myriad of bird species in their natural habitat. The park's well-maintained network of trekking trails allows visitors to explore the lush greenery, providing an immersive experience in the lap of nature.
2. Trekking- For an adventurous traveller and mountain enthusiast, trekking presents an exhilarating activity in the vicinity of the Cardamom Hills. The trekking experience in these hills is not at all challenging, making it accessible even for first-time trekkers. Amidst the trek, participants are treated to the breathtaking landscapes of valleys, spice villages, wildlife parks, dense forests, tea plantations, and numerous captivating sights. The trek offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, making it an ideal exploration for those seeking an immersive outdoor adventure.
3. Biking and Cycling- Embarking on a ride through these hills offers a unique opportunity to savour routes, trails, and vistas, immersing oneself in the thrill of nature—an experience not to be missed. The journey unfolds hidden pathways leading to dams, expansive tea estates, shola forests, elephant parks, farms, and serene lakes, delving deep into the heart of the hills. Biking and cycling emerge as the most exquisite means to appreciate the diverse flora and fauna, the allure of mist-covered hills, the invigorating mountain air, and the panoramic landscapes that unfold with every pedal stroke