Spread across the beauty of Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi is a quiet, beautiful and pristine forest haven. It is at the eastern extreme of the Pathanamthitta District at 3400 ft above MSL. These evergreen forests are abundant with magnificent Wildlife including the tiger, elephants, leopards, bears, Indian gaur, sambar, barking & Mouse deers, lion tailed macaque, other varieties of monkeys, Nilgiri Marten and a lot more.For the nature explorers Gavi offers the complete acquaintance with the flora around including Nageia Wallichinia (Podocarpus Wallichinia), a highly endemic species of the Gymnosperm family seen only around Gavi in the whole Western Ghats !If you are a birder, the forests around Gavi are home to over 320 species of birds –the great Indian hornbills, sunbirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and myriads of mynas, dongos, cuckoos and bulbuls-truly any birder’s dream!The sheer beauty of this place is indeed worth a closer look ! Here is nature at its unadulterated best. Gavi often serves as a base camp for deep jungle trekkers, birdwatchers, nature lovers, research students and the like.
Gavi is a heaven for birdwatchers. Active involvement of tribals in Gavi makes it a unique venture of its kind in the country. Traditional knowledge of the forest and its way of life helps Gavi to sustain its surroundings in its original state.
A highlight of the Gavi eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners and cooks. This will provide livelihood for the locals and also will help to create awareness on conservation of nature. Gavi offers its visitors activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, and night safaris.
The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations, which itself is a refreshing experience. En route to Gavi are places of interest like Mundakayyam, Kuttikanam, Peermedu and Vandiperiyar from where the road deviates to Gavi.
Once you reach Gavi the serene eco-lodge ‘Green Mansion’ awaits you like a fairy to embrace you in its protective fold. From the ‘Green Mansion‘, one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests.
Besides the accommodation provided in ‘Green Mansion’ visitors can also try out the tree houses and also even pitch tents amidst the wilderness. Here one can have outstanding trekking experiences, which are overseen by trained local people. Those who would love to be left alone can do so in the tranquil environs of Gavi or may even go canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually provided vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly ambiance of the place.
Some of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi like the Valley View offer spectacular view of a deep ravine and the forest below. From Kochu Pampa, a point near Green Mansion eco-lodge one can track the grazing Nilgiri Tahrs.
The famous pilgrim destination, Sabarimala is a short trek from Gavi. For those interested in observing the nocturnal wildlife, night safaris to Kullur, Gavi Pullumedu, Kochu Pampa, Pachakanam provide ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Another unique feature of Gavi is camping in the forests. One can pitch a tent in the camping site, which is a rarity in many Indian forests. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere, an experience that cannot be explained in words. There are also tree top houses where one can enjoy the avian life to the fullest.
Gavi is bound to cast its magical spell on every visitor and is surely a place that should not be missed in one’s lifetime. Gavi is pristine, and it belongs to the wild, which is a reminder that visitors are responsible for their intentions and actions, which will have a bearing on the upkeep of Gavi for a long time to come.
Summer: February-April, daytime temperatures up to 28 C. but can drop to 20 degree C at night.
Monsoon: June – August, daytime temperatures up to 25 C but can drop to 10 degree C at night
Gavi is 28 kms south west of Vandiperiyar, a town in N.H 220 the highway connecting Kollam and Madurai, which itself is 14 kms from Kumily,near Thekkady. Let the rough journey to Gavi may better be made on a sturdy vehicle like jeep which are available on hire either from Vandiperiyar or from Kumily. Entry passes must be obtained from the Forest Check Post enroute at Vallakkadavu. Advance booking with the Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd. is highly appreciable wherein such formalities will be taken care of by the Company itself.
How to Reach
By Air: the Kochi International Airport (200kms) ,Trivandrum International Airport (250kms)and Madurai (195kms) are the nearest Airports.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kottayam (120kms) and is well connected with Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.
By Road: Regular buses are available to Vandiperiyar from Kochi & Thiruvananthapuram . A small bus rattles even up to Gavi from Vandiperiyar once a day(4 pm) the journey in which will be the most heart throbbing experience.