THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Scheduling a vacation involves planning around the traffic these days. With the number of tourists visiting the state going well over 1,31,72,535 during the year of 2016 alone—according to Kerala Tourism Department’s statistics report—the once idyllic destinations of the region are turning into dusty and crowded towns. An example of the aforementioned issue would be the crowded roads leading to Munnar. So, before planning a cliched ride to Meesapulimala or Valparai—immensely popular routes taken by riders from Kochi—browse through our pick of untrodden trails and locations which don’t turn up in an easy ‘vacation spots’ search on Google.
Bobbing on the waves
When planning a long weekend in Karkidakam, the process of rejuvenation is to be taken seriously. Take a road trip down South, enjoying the beauty of Kerala’s rain-swept waterscapes to Mayyanad (Kollam), a confluence of backwaters and the ocean. Located on the Paravur Lake, this place has a distinct geography of being a narrow strip of land bobbing between the Arabian sea and the backwaters. While there, be sure to engage in a refreshing ayurvedic treatment at Ayushkamy, a waterfront facility.
Time: 4.30 hours
Route: Stick close to the coast on roads like the SH66 to get the best of ocean-view stretch from Thottappally to Azheekal Beach.
Don’t miss: Thangassery light house which has been operational since 1902 and Travancore royal family’s cheena kottaram, famed for its Indo Saracenic architecture.
Nelliyampathy has been hailed as a trekker’s paradise for long. However, Pakuthi Palam has an added advantage to claim, as it is hailed as the tiger’s roaming ground. So if you’ve been smitten by the Puli Murugan induced fever, head over to the KFDC’s resort in the region. As to how wild it can be, RJ-turned-traveller Sabari Nath recounts the experience of being woken up by a bear knocking on the door during his stay at the property.
Time: 5 hours
Route map: Set in Palakkad district, the shortest route to Pakuthi Palam is via NH 544 with a switch over to SH 58 and forest roads.
Don’t miss: Night-time jeep rides by KFDC and viewpoints at Kesavan Para and Seethargundu
Chasing the mist
Kunchacko Boban starrer Ordinary caught the imagination of travel fanatics with a red KSRTC bus snaking through the hills of Gavi. Discerning travellers would, however, set their GPS to Kakkadampoyil to capture the chill of mountainscapes blanketed in thick mist. Located on the border of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, this village rises at an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level. The region hides many attractions like Kozhippara and Adyanpara waterfalls.
Time: 6.45 hours
Route map: Take a detour via Pattambi through SH 39 to Nilambur in order to experience the Butterfly garden as well as world’s first teak museum
Don’t miss: Pazhassi Cave, one of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja’s safe houses during the Cotiote War (1793- 1806)
Since the monsoons are raging on, we suggest packing a thermos full of hot beverages as you get ready for your trip. “The roadside shops along Kerala’s riding trails will be more than happy to offer a refill of black tea,” shares Team Redrawlife. Available options include stainless steel ones by Mira, which can hold 1.2 litres. From `1,300 onwards. Details: amazon.in
When travelling under unpredictable weather conditions, an accessory such as the AGV Sport Solare Jacket comes in handy. Boasting of properties including a well-ventilated mesh outer shell, detachable waterproof liner, removable Certified European or CE-approved shoulder/elbow armour, and an 8 mm-thick foam back pad that’s upgradeable to CE-level, this one is a must have as far as Chetan Rao and Pramod Nath, of e-commerce platform Ride Material, are concerned. Rs 6,500. Details:ridematerial.com