Welcome to Periyar Forest Bungalow
The Cardamom Walk
Cardamom, known as the Queen of Spices is a crop that never lets you down if you look after it. As the quality of the cardamom grown in the area was so good that it was much sought after all over the world and the hills were named as the cardamom hills. History has it that the some of the first plants were planted here by the famous colonial planter J R Vincent who bought over 700 acres of virgin forest to set up the Downton estate. Cardamom is perhaps the ideal crop to grow in the region as it needs the shade of the tall trees without which it would not survive and would wilt. Hence you will find most of the tropical jungle still very much standing in the estate with the cardamom growing under it's canopy. With the changing times and advances in plantation science there have been new strains of the plant however little has changed in the cultivation, harvesting and processing the cardamom pods. The estate that was once a hive of activity is now not as active as it was before. The original Downton Estate with over 700 acres has now been split into smaller units, each privately owned, some better managed than others. The estate around the Forest Bungalow now belongs to Renju Kurian who is a keen planter and takes an active interest in the plantation. The plants here are well looked after and the yield good. Here you can see first hand how the plantation is run, from how cardamom is planted, tended, weeded, harvested and later processed.The walk in the plantation with the estate person will give you first hand information on how this lucrative spice is grown, cultivated, harvested and processed. The walk is usually after you main activities like the bird walk or the game drive. It would take about a couple of hours and will be in the vicinity of the bungalow. The pickers start their chores around the estate by about 8 am and usually the work lasts until about 4pm. You can do this activity any time during the day. This is complimentary for guests staying at the estate.
- Complimentary for in house guests
- 4 person each trip
- Services of a local person to take you on the walk and brief you about the estate and the various stages of harvest and process
- For those interested you can involve in activities in the estate.
- A private walk in over a 100 acre cardamom plantation. You will not have other tourists crowding the place
- A knowledgeable guide to walk you through the plantation.
- You get to see all stages of Cardamom cultivation from the field to the packet.