activiteis, plantation walk, cardamom factory visit, bird watching, fishing, boating, Trekking, Plantation barbeque, kailasam, thekkady, kerala

Activities @ Kailasam

Jeep Safari

The owner of the plantation greets guests outside a bungalow. A factory where cardamom is processed is set beside it. A jeep awaits passengers. We are seen off by the gracious planter and his family. Driving past a check dam across a rivulet and entering a thick clump of cardamom bushes through a dirt path strewn with rocks. The jeep rocks, sways to the right and then to the left and then leaps in the air to land with a bone crunching thud, scrub bushes and tendrils of pepper vines reach into the cabin. The engine leaps forward as another gear takes hold. The path disappears from view, just when it seems that the jeep is headed right into the bushes, the path reappears careening into a tight turn. Skidding into the turn and steadily climbing, the jeep shudders against the ruts on the path; cardamom and pepper, fruit trees passing in a blur. And then for an instant time stands suspended, the sky above and below the beckoning embrace of the valley, tires screech over rock, searching for grip. A path leads over the ridge of the hill top to a mound on which the ancient church stands its cross silhouetted against the sky. All around and below: a magnificent vista of the plantation, the planter's house bungalow on the other side of the valley and higher mountain peaks rising into the distance.

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