Mayapott is the ideal setting from which to experience Nature. One can participate in a variety of nature-based activities. Mayapott Bungalow is at the edge of a cardamom plantation in the hills between Kattappana and Thekkady, where cardamom still flourishes under the evergreen canopy of the tropical rainforest. It is a 40-minute drive from the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the finest tracts of tropical wet-evergreen ecosystem in the Western Ghat mountains, the whole of which have been notified as a global bio-diversity hotspot.
Activities at Mayapott
- Cardamom processing (curing) centre visit & plantation experience
- Soft trekking through the private estate
- Guided hiking to the near-by hillock: Chekutthanmala (3 hours)
- Ethnic culinary classes with the chef and/or host
- Bird watching by yourself on the estate
- Morning and evening walks in the plantation tracks
- Cardamom plucking along with estate staff
- Apiary visit: accompany the estate bee-keeper and collect honey with him
Activities outside Mayapott
Fruit farm visit
It is a half-day drip to our fruit farm and vineyard at Combai in Tamilnadu, the adjoining state. It takes 90 minutes to reach the place. The trip includes a scenic photographic drive, covering villages and agricultural markets of small towns in the Cumbum valley. You can walk, bike or ride (if you know how to stay on a horse) around the farm. Packed lunch is recommended. If you are interested, you can also visit the famous lentils and pulse market of Cumbum during this trip. It is a vivid cross-cultural exposure for the intrepid traveller.
Local spice garden visit, interaction with spice farmersMany spices other than cardamom are also grown by farmers in the locality: pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and so on. You can visit a spice-garden and interact with the farmer, who will explain to you how the spices are grown and harvested, and how best to use them!
Kumili spice-market visit
The town of Kumili is less than a half-hour drive from Mayapott. Traditionally, the major emporium of spice trade for the entire region, the town still boasts a large number of shops trading locally-grown fresh spices, along with essential oils and some exotic spices, as well. It is best to combine this with a boat-ride on the Periyar lake, or other activity in the Periyar Wildlife Santuary; Kumili is only 4km. from Thekkady, the entrepot to the Sanctuary. All activities in the Sanctuary need to be booked in advance.
Full Day Trekking
Main trekking areas in Thekkady : Kurisumala near Kumily; Pullumedu and Ottakathalamedu, 5 km from Kumily; Granby near Vandiperiyar. The Forest Department conducts daily treks from the boat landing station at Thekkady to the Nellikkampetty area, and Manakkavala. Starting time: 0700 hrs.
Boat Cruise in the Periyar Lake
The sanctuary is centred around the large artificial lake, formed by the dam across the Periyar river. The main attraction is a boat trip over an area of 26 sq. km. in the man-made lake of Thekkady. This is a two hour boating programme. One can see the wild animals along the shore of the lake bathing, drinking, resting and foraging. Also, it is a rare experience to see the inner reaches of the forest. Time: 7am, 9.30am, 11.30am, 2pm & 4pm. The best times for wildlife viewing are the first and last trips.