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4 Memorable Experiences In The South For Your Next Vacation

We unearth southern India’s best-kept secrets for your next offbeat getaway

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Piali Gupta
June 13, 2023
4 Memorable Experiences In The South For Your Next Vacation

From roasting cacao to strolling down roads in the Ghats, these breaks in the south offer ideal conditions for a quiet retreat and restful time off.

Cacao Roasting In Idukki

Known as the ‘spice garden of Kerala’, Idukki is fast emerging as one of the prime destinations for the production of cacao in India. Amid the lush forests and wildlife sanctuaries, villages in Idukki are also invested in cacao as an intercrop alongside coconut, rubber, and spices. These cacao-growing areas have become the centre of the bean-to-bar movement. Make your way here to witness the origin of the process that brings your favourite chocolate to the table. Unlike mass-produced chocolates, the cacao beans that are harvested here undergo the processes of fermentation and roasting to enhance the original flavour of the bean. Many organic chocolate brands, both domestic and international, source their cacao beans from Idukki.

Wild Trail In Ponmudi

Perched at the height of 3,000ft, Ponmudi is most loved for its Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary which houses over 200 species of birds, more than 40 species of reptiles and mammals, and a variety of fish and amphibians. Adding to its lush green beauty is the Karamana River that flows through it. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot tigers, sambar, Nilgiri langur, and bonnet macaques around the place. For bird watchers, the place houses a wide range of species from the Malabar grey hornbill to the three-toed kingfisher to painted bush quail. And for those seeking the best of the wild, the sanctuary has king cobra and python appearing in the dark.

Rise And Fall In Ooty

The Song of the Brook by Tennyson will fall short to explain the serenity of the cascading water as it curves through the cliffs and bounces across the river. Just 16 kilometres away from Ooty at Mettupalayam Road lies the beauty of Catherine Waterfalls, for which you must trail up the Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint to enjoy the twin waterfall gushing down. Go boating to visit the Pykara Falls or to the idyllic Law Falls carved in the thick of the Coonoor forest range, the lushest of Ooty. Home to exotic flora and fauna, Kalhatti offers the thrill of wildlife adventure. For the best of Ooty, the Halasana, Kolakambai and Katary waterfalls have a lot to offer with the Elk Falls being a must-visit.

Spotting Birds In Lambasingi

Also known as the ‘Kashmir of South India’, Lambasingi is a small village in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This winter wonderland is the coldest place in Andhra, with occasional snowfall and temperature dropping as low as sub-zero levels, during the winter months. With a blanket of cold air due to its elevation of 1,000 metres above sea level, and a lush green cover formed by deciduous forests enveloping it, Lambasingi has a plethora of must-visit places ranging from the Kothapalli Waterfalls, the Thajangi Reservoir, Yerravaram Waterfalls, to Susan Garden and many more. For bird watchers, the Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary is quite a delight. You can also take a stroll on the Ghat Road at Lambasingi, with a visual panorama around and a light breeze waving by.

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