Post-Conference Tour

The Western Ghats, also known as Sahyadri (Benevolent Mountains), are a mountain range that covers an area of 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) in a stretch of 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India which contains a large proportion of the country's flora and fauna, many of which are only found in India and nowhere else in the world. The organizing committee of  ASA2020  is pleased to arrange a Post-Conference Sightseeing Tour to the Western Ghats for our participants. Please click on the day cards given below, for the detailed itinerary

Early morning at 6 AM,drive to Thattekkad (1.5 Hour Drive) to go for a walking through the bird sanctuary.By 9.30 AM breakfast at a nearby resort.Later drive to Munnar (3 Hour Drive). Enroute stop at Mistletoe Farm stay for lunch followed by a spice farm visit. On arrival in Munnar,check into your hotel.Evening free. Overnight at the Hotel.

Thattekadu Thattekad Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, is one of the low altitude evergreen forest. It is a home for 280 species of birds including Grey hornbill, White-bellied tree pie, Rufous babbler, Wayanad laughing thrush, Grey headed bulbul, White-bellied blue flycatcher, Crimson-backed sunbird, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malabar parakeet etc and a number of water birds.

MunnarMunnar …breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility - an idyllic tourist destination in God's own country with unending expanses of tea plantations… pristine valleys and mountains…exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests…aroma of spice scented cool air. Munnar has all these and more…. It's the place you would love to visit… It’s the place you would wish never to leave. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Sprawling tea plantations, picturesque towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities makes Munnar a holiday resort. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower, which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India - Anamudi - which towers over 2695 M and is an ideal spot for campers who like trekking.

Peppear and CardomomIndian spices include a variety of spices and herbs grown across the Indian subcontinent (South Asia). With different climates in different parts of the country, India produces a variety of spices, many of which are native to the Subcontinent, while others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries.Spices are typically heated in a pan with ghee or cooking oil before being added to a dish. Lighter spices are added last, and spices with strong flavor should be added first. Curry is not a spice, but a term which refers to any side dish in Indian cuisine. It could be with a gravy base or a dry item. A curry typically contains several spices blended together.

Morning, after an early breakfast, proceed to the Shola forest region for a 3 hour trekking.Return to Munnar for lunch.Later visit Eravikulam Sanctuary to spot Nilgiri Tahr.Overnight at hotel.

Shola Trekking Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geographical and zoological significance of Pampadum Shola, the Government of Kerala declared it as a National Park in December 2003.The Park is located in the eastern part of Southern Western Ghats of Kerala on the way to Vattavada, near Top Station about 35 Kms from Munnar town. The fauna includes several threatened, rare or endemic species. There are about 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals, 100 species of butterflies and 93 species of moths recorded from the Shola.

Nilgiri TahrThe important animals found in the Park are elephant, gaur, leopard, wild boar, sambar and common langur. The clear blue sky, clean air, stretch of green meadows and thick foliage teeming with flora and fauna makes it a dream destination for tourists. All the Eco-tourism activities are organized jointly by the Forest Department and the Eco-development Committees (EDCs) of the local tribals. The activities are designed to offer a wide spectrum of wilderness opportunities to the visitors and to provide means of sustainable livelihood for local communities. Some notable birds found here include the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, white-bellied shortwing, vernal hanging parrot, blue rock-thrush, blue-capped rock-thrush and Nilgiri flycatcher, and black-and-orange flycatchers.

After breakfast,drive to Periyar Sanctuary Periyar (3.5 Hours drive). On arrival,check in at the hotel.Early evening go for a guided Nature walk through the border of Periyar Sanctuary. Overnight at Hotel.

Periyar Lake Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geographical and zoological significance of Pampadum Shola, the Government of Kerala declared it as a National Park in December 2003.The Park is located in the eastern part of Southern Western Ghats of Kerala on the way to Vattavada, near Top Station about 35 Kms from Munnar town. The fauna includes several threatened, rare or endemic species. There are about 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals, 100 species of butterflies and 93 species of moths recorded from the Shola.

Flora of PeriyarThere are 1966 varieties of flowering plants, including angiosperms. Both dicots and monocots have been included in this count. There are about 171 grass species and 140 species of orchids in the region. The richness of the flower wealth is so outstanding that it constitutes more than 50 percent of the entire flower wealth of Kerala, which is about 3800 species.

Flowers at Periyar forestTeak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Jacaranda, Mango, Jamun, Tamarind, Banyan, Pipal, Plumeria, Gulmohar and bamboo are some of the trees found here. The three main endemic plants are Mucuna pruriens thekkadiensis, Habenaria periyarensis and Syzygium periyarensis. Rare plants like the Podocarpus wallichianus, the only South Indian conifer, are also found in the reserve. More than 350 medicinal plants, including trees, shrubs and herbs, have been identified at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, mainly in the evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Plants belonging to the family of Fabaceae and Euphorbiaceae are the major ones among them. Glory Lily (Gloriosa superba) and Kino Tree (Pterocarpus marsupium) are two plants with medicinal value found here.

Full day trekking (7.30 AM till 4 PM) in the Sanctuary.It will be a guided program by the forest Department and there are chances of closure of the Sanctuary between April & June due to the fear of wild fire etc.At 0745 AM we have to report at the starting point where a packed breakfast & lunch are given to each passenger to be consumed during meal intervals.The program also involves a Bamboo raft in the Periyar Lake.This will be a nice program to watch possible wildlife in the sanctuary.Evening return to the base to return to your hotel.Later you may opt to go for shopping spice.Overnight at hotel.

Periyar Lake The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing unique flora & fauna. A cruise through the waters of Periyar Lake around which the wildlife sanctuary is situated, offers lots of photo opportunities. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge. Tigers are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the river.

Tigers in PeriyarEvergreen and semi-evergreen forests constitute the major part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The rest of the area is a combination of moist deciduous forests and grasslands. Of the 27 tiger reserves in India, the Periyar Tiger Reserve is the oldest in the country and the largest in the State. The abundant wildlife here attracts a lot of visitors.Apart from being a recognised breeding ground for tigers, the reserve has also been identified as the best place for researching elephantine life. The tiger population in the area is estimated to be about 40. Though it is difficult to sight them, visitors often spot pugmarks and scats around the reserve.Thirty-five species of mammals have been identified here. They include rare and endangered species.

Boating at Thekkady, PeriyarA boat ride on the lake is a great way to spot the wild elephants, the Gaur, the Sambar and so on. While the Gaur is the largest of the bovines here, the Sambar, the largest deer in India, is the main prey of the tiger and the wild dog. Apart from these, there are wild pigs, Malabar Giant Squirrels, Small Travancore Flying Squirrels, jungle cats, sloth bears etc.The endangered species in the area include Nilgiri Langurs and the Lion-tailed Macaque, that is usually seen only in the evergreen interiors. Nilgiri Tahrs are also found in the reserve, especially in the higher rocky areas. Salim Ali’s fruit bat, one of the rarest bats, is also reported to have been found in the area. The stripe-necked mongoose, usually found in the semi-evergreen and evergreen forests, the extremely rare Nilgiri Marten - the only species of marten found in southern India- and endemic mustelids are also seen here.

Birds of PeriyarThere are about 265 species of birds in the Periyar reserve including migrant birds. The birds include raptors, water birds, galliform birds, pigeons, wood peckers, darters, kingfishers, golden orioles, Brahmini kites, cormorants and passerines, as well as a large flock of the Great Pied Hornbill and the Ceylon Frogmouth.The endemic species include the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the Blue-winged Parakeet, the Nilgiri Flycatcher, the small Sunbird and the White-bellied Blue Flycatcher. Other birds found in the area are the Black Baza, Forest Eagle Owl, Nilgiri Thrush, Little Spider Hunter, Rufous bellied hawk eagle etc.An interesting sight is that of water fowl perched on the dead trees protruding out onto the lake. Other aquatic birds include the Indian Darter and the Black–Necked Stork. Woodland birds, owls etc. can also be seen in the forest.

Munnar Kochin raod A scenic drive from Munnar to Kochi, the whole drive from Munnar to Kochi  is marked with some remarkable views of the mountains and the valleys in between. So much so that the journey will be over but you will feel you didn’t have enough of it. Afternoon, you will be reached to Cochin for your onward journey.