Kumily – The Spice Store of Kerala
Kerala never ceases to surprise; with hidden treasures everywhere, the state is a virtual paradise. It is no wonder then that it owns the befitting tag of ‘God’s own country’. The popular tourist destinations draw an endless stream of tourists. The lush green rolling hills, speckled with rising mist, the never-ending white sandy beaches and the calm blue waters, the untamed wildlife, the trekking paths and the houseboats on the backwaters; the list is endless. And then there is unexplored Kerala.
Yes, parts of this beautiful state still have not got the average travellers’ attention. Only savvy travellers choose the roads less travelled. The unchartered destinations make for unique travel experiences, with plenty of sights to enjoy and beautiful memories to make. And social media influencers can click awesome photos for their Instagram accounts.
Let’s walk you through Kumily, a quaint town, with enchanting raw beauty. It is one of the lesser-visited places in Kerala, but it is not remote or desolate. There are resorts in Kumily, so yes, travellers will find a place for a comfortable stay, equipped with modern, essential amenities.
A sleepy town, standing on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Kumily maintains an old-world charm. It is nestled in the Western Ghats, at a height of 2890 feet, and is one of the most scenic towns in the region. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful – lush greenery of the hills, the rising mist, and the chill fresh air are intoxicating.
Kumily remains a part of the forest that surrounds it, so it is easy to spot exotic wildlife. It is also a plantation town, so while the town’s natural scenic beauty is mesmerizing, the expanse of the manicured plantations and estates add another dimension to it. It is lovely to stroll on the terraced plantations, and they make an ideal spot for the selfie enthusiasts. Once colonized by the British, the remnants of that era are visible in the colonial structures that dot the estates and plantations, adding to its charm.
Stay close to nature
Kumily is easily accessible by road, and a well laid-out network of national and state highways connects it to Kochi, Kottayam and Kollam in Kerala, and Chennai, Coimbatore and Ooty in Tamil Nadu, and Bengaluru in Karnataka.
Kumily enjoys clement weather all year round, and temperatures remain pleasant, even during the summer months. It is a perfect destination for spending a few days. Travellers will find Kumily resorts set amid nature, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. Outdoor activities can be enjoyed, as the terrain is ideal for nature trails, hiking, trekking, bird watching and visits to the plantations.
Abraham’s Spice Garden
A visit to Kumily is incomplete without a visit to a spice garden, and there is no better place than Abraham’s Spice Garden for that perfect experience. Initiated in 1952, Abraham’s Spice Garden is one of the oldest, finest and largest in the region. However, its real claim to fame is having featured in a BBC documentary, made by Mounty Don, the world-renowned horticulturist.
Visitors, to the spice garden, are taken on a guided tour, where they are shown around the estate. The walk turns into an aromatic trail, as the distinctive smells of the spices whiff through the air. It is an informational tour, as the erudite guide shares snippets of valuable information, about the spices and herbs, with the tourists. The walk along the pathways, lined with a variety of spice plants, promises to be a unique experience. Visitors can see, touch and smell and even taste the organically grown exotic spices.
Those interested in taking home the organic spices can shop for them at the in-house store. Freshly grown herbs, spices and oil extracts can be bought here. You are assured of high-quality authentic products at competitive prices.
Weather Suitable for Spice
Kerala has always been known for its spices and is truly the land of spices. Throughout history, traders from Europe and other parts of the world, visited Kerala, by sea routes, to trade in spices. The climate in Kerala is conducive to growing many different kinds of spices. There is sufficient rainfall, and the cool weather, combined with organically rich soil are just the right ingredients for the spices to thrive and flourish.
The entire region is famous for producing a variety of the finest quality spices. And most of the spices exported, from India, are grown in Kerala. Black pepper is among the most famous spice grown in Kerala, and it is often grown alongside coffee. Many different varieties of black pepper are grown here, each uniquely different in aroma and flavour. Cardamom grown in Kerala is in huge demand in the Western world. The spice is fragrant and flavourful. Most of the cardamom sold in markets around the world originates in Kerala.
Historical evidence shows that over 2,000 years ago, the Egyptians used cinnamon grown in Kerala for embalming their dead. The cinnamon grown in Kerala is highly prized, it is aromatic and has a distinctive sweet flavour. Clove is the other famous spice grown in Kerala. The spice is available as a dried bud, for use in food, as well as clove oil extracted from the spice.
Gateway of Thekkady
Kumily is the gateway of Thekkady, the tourist hotspot in Kerala. The distance between the two places is barely one-and-half kilometers. Other places of interest in and around Kumily and Thekkady are the Periyar National Park, which is a forest reserve area, home to tigers, elephants, gaurs, and wild boars and other wildlife. The Periyar lake, located within the national park, attracts tourists and is worth visiting Bamboo rafting and boating can be enjoyed on the still waters of the lake, with high chances of spotting wild animals by the banks of the lake.
Murikkady lies around 5 kilometers from Thekkady and is an excellent place for nature trails and plantation visits. The Kadathanadan Kalari Centre is also an interesting place to visit. It gives you an insight into the traditional dance forms and martial arts of Kerala.