Drive to the Sahyadris
10 Feb 2017: Day 41 (Munnar – Kumily, 90 km, 3 Hrs)
After some amazing roast dosas at Saravana Bhavan, we commenced our drive to Kumily at 0850 Hrs reaching Panthalam homestay by noon. Our very affable host, Mr. Shukkoor guided us on the various things we could do and shared the official website of the Periyar Tiger Reserve where we could book the many programs offered by the Periyar foundation. After going through the website, we decided to book the “Green Walk” program for the next day.
In the evening, we explored the area around the homestay and sighted a few birds and mammals like the Grey-fronted Green Pigeon, Indian Golden Oriole, Brown-breasted Flycatcher along with a Bonnet Macaque family and a Nilgiri Langur.
11 Feb 2017: Day 42 (Periyar Tiger Reserve)
After a delicious breakfast of banana Puttu, we reached Bamboo Grove, the trek start point at 0630 Hrs, but were able to start the trek only by 0800 Hrs since no guide was available.
The hike took us through a combination of bamboo, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests and gave us a good overview on the habitat of the region. Some of the birds observed during the trek were Grey Junglefowl, Shikra, White-eyed Buzzard, Jungle Owlet, Malabar Trogon, Rufous Woodpecker, Greater Goldenback, Brown Shrike, White-bellied Treepie and Asian Fairy Bluebird.
We also sighted several mammals like the Bonnet Macaque, Dusky-striped Squirrel, Gaur, Indian Giant Squirrel and Nilgiri Langur. Several birder friends had told us that this is a good place to search for the elusive Wynaad Laughingthrush, but we were unable to find one.
Towards the end of the trek, we also sighted a Common Goldenback and a Lesser Yellownape near the agricultural fields and a Thick-billed Warbler and a Asian Brown Flycatcher close to Bamboo Grove.
After returning to the homestay, Mr. Shukkoor gladly offered his washing machine and we spent the rest of the afternoon finishing off our bag full of laundry.
Accommodation: Panthalam homestay is an excellent place to stay and offers spacious rooms with spotlessly clean bathrooms. The host, Mr Shukkoor is a very helpful person and manages the property with complete dedication. The food is authentic and delicious.
Phone: +91 944 622 6524, +91 965 613 8140
Periyar Tiger Reserve: Periyar Tiger reserve has a well developed tourism zone and offers various options from boating, bamboo rafting to trekking. We booked the Green Walk program online at https://www.periyarfoundation.online/. Gavi is supposedly a nice drive from Kumily, however, we did not try it out.
Please feel free to ask us any question that you may have about our time at Periyar. Also, stay tuned for details on the next leg of our road trip.