3 of the most beautiful eco- tourism destinations in Kerala

3 of the most beautiful eco- tourism destinations in Kerala

Being blessed by Mother Nature, Kerala is home to some of the best eco-tourism destinations in India. Let’s take a look at some of them.
We often tend to confuse eco-tourism with nature loving travel. Well, it’s not entirely wrong, because eco-tourism does refer to destinations that are teeming with pure natural beauty. But at the same time, this kind of tourism also refers to responsible tourism — as a tourist one has a responsibility towards the conservation and protection of the environment. As a tourist in an eco-tourism destination, one has to make sure that he doesn’t cause any harm to the environment, but at the same time, enjoy to the fullest.

Kerala, as we all know it, is blessed with the best of Mother Nature’s bounty. Lush vegetation, seas and backwaters dominate most part of the state. Quite naturally, the state has some of the finest eco-tourism destinations in India. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Thenmala

Thenmala

Kerala Tourism claims that Thenmala is the country’s first planned eco-tourism destination. Located at distance of 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, in the Kollam district, the place owes its natural beauty to the adjacent Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary at the foothills of the Western Ghats. The word Thenmala means Honey Hill in the local language, as the honey collected from this place is known to be of very good quality.

There are three zones, namely Culture Zone, Leisure Zone and Adventure Zone. In the Culture Zone, tourists can enjoy the Musical Dancing Fountain, sample Kerala’s local cuisine at the restaurant and shop for mementos. The Leisure Zone has a Sculpture Garden and a sway bridge, while the Adventure Zone offers a host of adventure activities including mountain biking, rock climbing and river crossing.

Silent-valley

Silent-valley

There are very few places in India that have as beautiful a rain forest as the Silent Valley National Park. Spread across an area of approximately 238 square kilometres, the forest covers a major chunk of the Nilgiri Hills. The forest has a mystic charm to it and why not — after all, it is ancient (50 million years old).

The rainforest is known to have one of the most varied populations of flora, which includes about 1,000 species of flowering plants, 108 species of orchids, 100 ferns and fern allies, 200 liverworts, 75 lichens and about 200 algae. The forest plays an important role for running the local families as a lot of them are employed with the local Forest Department as forest guards and visitor guides, among many other roles. The Silent Valley National Park is not too far behind in terms of its fauna. But the most prominent of them all is the lion-tailed macaques, an endangered species of primate. In fact, it is believed that this forest has the largest population of this animal.

Periyar

Periyar

The Periyar Tiger is known more for its biodiversity and natural bounty rather than the population of tigers. Sprawled with thick vegetation across an area of 777 square kilometres, this forest is sincerely guarded by the local community who make sure that the natural rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna of this place are efficiently protected.

The reserve is known for community-based eco-tourism initiatives that are managed by the state government’s tourism board. Tourists can join the night patrolling team in the sanctuary, go on nature walks, do bamboo rafting, do border hiking, visit the tribal heritage museum and participate in many more things. These initiatives are dedicated towards the conservation of nature and at the same time, help in providing enough sources of earning for the local population.

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