After an exhilarating experience at the Elephant Junction (Read part 1: The Best Of Thekkady | Spice Garden And Elephant Shower), there are three more must visit places and things to do in Thekkady such as watching Kalaripayattu, taking a stroll at Kumily and animal spotting at The Periyar National Park. I took off to watch Kalaripayattu which is the oldest and the mother of all martial arts. I got the tickets for the 6 pm show at Kadathanadan Kalari Centre and made it just on time! While everybody was taking their seats around the rectangular centre, Gayatri Mantra was being played in the background. The show started with the students thanking all their masters – the weapons, the serpent god et al.
The show continues with practitioners showing different techniques to defend and attack. Some of the weapons used for the fight were knives, stick and cloth. It was interesting to watch how one can practice Kalaripayattu and fight the enemies with or without weapons. There were 9-10 demonstrations after which the grand finale was when a practitioner jumped through several rings of fire. It was unbelievably scary yet an applaudable performance. The show lasted for an hour and the tickets were for Rs.200 per person.
The last thing before calling it a day was to take a stroll at the Kumily market which was just a five minute walk from Cardamom County. Here you can pick cotton sarees, Banana chips and spices for home. I picked lots of Banana chips to take back for friends and family. I could not go to the Periyar National Park on the first day as the tickets to the boat ride were sold out. But the hotel made sure that I do not miss it and hence they got me tickets for the early morning spot on the next day before I checked out.
It is difficult to get on this boat ride as the tickets are not easily available and the online booking is only open for a couple of hours. I reached the ticket counter at 6:30 am for the boat ride to begin at 7:30 am, yet there was a long queue waiting for the bus to take us to the boats. I made it on the third bus and reached the Periyar National Park. The view from the drop off place to the Periyar National Park was surreal! It seemed like the sky had been splashed with hues of green, yellow and blue.
As soon as the boat ride began, I started looking at both sides of the river in the hope of spotting a Tiger. After 15-20 minutes, I spotted a wild Boar, an Elephant, a fox and several birds!
During the boat ride the guide used to inform us where to look and which animal to spot. I did not spot a Tiger but the boat ride and the view at the Periyar National Lake was stunning and worth getting up early in the morning. The only thing I missed taking with me were my binoculars. It was difficult to spot animals without them. So if you are going to Periyar National Park, make sure that the first thing you carry with you is your binoculars to enjoy animal spotting. The entry fee per person is INR 300.
I made the most of my trip to Thekaddy and that was all possible because of Cardamom County, Xandari Resorts. In April 2018, Xandari Resorts invited me to review their stunning properties and warm hospitality.