Gavi is a hidden jewel located deep inside Periyar National Park. It is an ideal place for all nature lovers who look for serene and soothing surroundings. A lake, a small waterfall, small trek inside the national park, bigger trek onto the neighboring hills, Gavi has everything that can keep you engaged. If not for the activities, you can sit and relax by just watching the amazing beauty of nature.
The trip to Gavi is organized by Periyar National Park, which begins at Thekkady. The day begins with a Jeep drive through the Periyar National Park to spot any wild animals. Though the route to Gavi is amidst the thick national park that has numerous wild animals, very few are spotted on the well-tarred route to Gavi. However, driving through the forests itself is an enthralling experience. You can easily spot several bird species, giant malabar squirrels, spotted deers and lion tailed macaques.
Route to Gavi
As you reach the destination, you will be welcomed at the forest office at Gavi. After finishing few formalities, you will be served delicious breakfast. You will also be introduced to various activities that can be done during the day at Gavi.
Forest office at Gavi
The most famous activity that can be performed is boating on a calm and peaceful lake. A guide will accompany you who will take you around some islands and introduce you to the various species of birds that can be found at Gavi.
Only row boats are available at Gavi. The guide says that this is a conscious decision taken by the forest department to preserve the spectacular natural beauty. Also, there are very limited boats, which means the visitors have to take turns to go around and explore the area.
While on the boat ride, you will realize the amazing bird life that exists in this area. Sometimes, it is very hard to spot the birds as they camouflage nicely to the surrounding beauty.
The guide who accompanies you in the boat is usually very knowledgeable about the species of the birds that live in this locality. The boat ride on the calm waters itself is a very soothing experience.
The boat ride also includes a trip to a waterfalls nearby. The small waterfall is accessible only by boat. Since there are limited number of boats, you are assured that there will be minimal or no crowd at the waterfall!
After a refreshing boating experience, you can now choose to go on a mild trek (3-6 km depending on which route you choose) in the surrounding hills. It is a thrilling experience to trek through the hills and the forests. You can also get a birds eye view of the forest range from one of the locations in the trek route. If you have a good binoculars, you can even see Sabarimala Temple at a distance. The road distance to the temple from is over 100 km, however, there is a walking trail that goes deep inside the forest that goes to Sabarimala temple in just 40 km! The guide also said that the ‘Makara Jyoti‘ of Sabarimala (the divine light/flame that is seen every year during Pongal/Sankranti) is from one of the surrounding hills.
The white patch is the town of Sabarimala (40 km away)
Beautiful Lake in the middle of the forests
If you are the one who wants to enjoy the tranquility of nature, you have an option too. The forest department has installed several benches facing the lake so that people like you can just sit and enjoy the timeless beauty. It truly feels as if time has come to a standstill when you look at the surroundings.
The number of visitors per day to Gavi is restricted by the forest officials. Most people who are ‘activity-oriented’ tend to leave Gavi after lunch. So it would not be surprising if the whole area is at your mercy! Even when the sun is hot and shining, you can choose one of the benches under the shade of the trees next to it. Watching the shine and glitters of water due to the reflection of sunlight is a very mesmerizing!
Amazing to watch sun light reflect on water
Where to stay?
- The best place to stay is at the forest guest house at Gavi (prior and limited booking available)
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