On The Tree Tops
- Sajita Nair
wondered how it would be like to live on treetops? If you think it is only
monkey’s business, you are mistaken. Welcome to tree houses - the latest
addition in the world of travel and adventure. As the name suggests, tree
houses are constructed on giant trees in verdant tropical forests. In
, only God’s own
offers these Godly abodes. Once on top, there is enough to
feast the senses - birds eye view of acres of greenery, chilly winds,
quiet nights and the thrill of being on top of the world! Although living
high does not come cheap, a number of visitors both from
and abroad take
this offbeat destination to experience the rare and unique. It is also an
ideal destination for honeymooners as it offers privacy coupled with quiet
and romantic surroundings.
A Unique Experience
an hour drive by jeep on rough terrain from Vythiri (near
through coffee and spice plantations leads you to the location of the tree
house. You also have the option to walk with a guide through the jungle to
reach your destination. This is highly recommended, as walking on this
trail can be a delight and a learning experience. The first sight of the
tree houses is astounding. Two giant trees have wooden cottages built high
on them. 86 ft above the ground they look like an adventurer’s trove.
There are four double rooms in two tree houses. Before you can
query about getting there you are ushered into a large cane basket, which
will now be your lift. By a combination of pulleys and counter weight of
water, this bamboo lift winches you to the top. This is an indigenously
developed mechanism to avoid using electricity and minimize noise. Access
to the tree house is by a suspension bridge, connected between two trees.
Once on top, the view is breathtakingly beautiful!
houses are made of ethnic, eco-friendly and locally available materials.
Each of them is equipped with all facilities such as beds, carpeted
verandahs, bathrooms with flushable toilets, washbasins with running water
and shower. There is also a sit-out where you can relax in the lap of
nature. Indigenous techniques,
skills and experience of local craftsmen, who are mostly tribals, are used
for the construction and maintenance of these houses. Guides
for sight seeing trips are available and currency exchange is also
possible. Laundry and restaurant services are also provided.
no TV, music system and other electronic devices to contribute to
cacophony, the evenings and nights are quiet and in total contrast to the
urban chaos. Living with the birds on treetops, this is the closest one
can get to nature. Hurricane lamps with kerosene oil and solar energy are
used for lighting. Whoever
said that only babies are rocked to sleep may be proved wrong here. In the
tree house, get rocked by the wind playing in the trees and sleep like a
baby. When you wake up in the morning just remember how high up you are!
specifically north Kerala cuisine is served here and hence the menu is
simple. The cuisine however, offers varied tastes due to the influence of
ancient Arab trade links, in this region. The food court is interactive
and visitors can see most of the activities. Food is served on banana
leaves as done traditionally in Kerala and no knives and forks are
provided. That leaves you with a lip smacking and finger licking
the resort is eco-friendly, water is taken from the nearby stream and
filtered. The energy used for this is provided by solar panels. Avoidance
of conventional electricity and power from diesel generators, help prevent
air and noise pollution. Food is prepared from fruits and vegetables grown
in the organic farm without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Meals
are cooked using biogas, which is made by the tribals from cow dung.
the tree houses are set in 500 acres of Wynad forest reserve, there are a
number of jungle trails one can choose from. A walk through pristine,
undisturbed jungle, teeming with various life forms is a refreshing
experience. Each trail promises a different adventure. You can also go for
trekking with your guide or explore the surrounding areas such as Pookode
lake, where you can go for boating and Muthanga, where you can see the
taming and training of wild elephants.
great bio-diversity offers a variety of flora and fauna. Monkeys, birds
and occasionally other animals like sambar, wild boar and elephants are
seen in adjoining forests. The various viewpoints offer a panoramic view
of the valley below. As the area
is completely eco-friendly, no plastics or glass are allowed. This is to
protect the animals and their natural habitat.
the quiet and serene atmosphere, doing nothing can be unwinding.
Meandering in the wild or reading a book can be quite relaxing. You can
also take short elephant rides on tamed elephants.
is 65 Km North of
on the Calicut-Mysore highway. It is 150 Km from
and 290 Km from
(Ernakulam). It is well connected by road and bus services are also
available. At an altitude between 3750 - 4500 feet, Vythiri is known for
its evergreen tropical rain forest and coffee, tea, cardamom and pepper
plantations. Nearest city is
at 65 Km, which is also the nearest railhead and airport. Nearest bus
station is at Vythiri, at a distance of 3 Km.
best season to visit is between September and May. Monsoon months (between
June and August) can be messy as the jungle teems with leeches. These
1-inch long thread like creatures latch on to any open area of your body
and bloat on your blood. The rainy season however, also has its own charms
as the rains pitter-pattering on the tree houses provide for a true
tropical rainforest experience.
Your Tree House
can select your tree house based on their location and monetary
Idukki in south Kerala and Munnar in central Kerala presently offer this
unique experience. Idukki is easily accessible from Kottayam or Thekkady
and Munnar from
Apart from the tree houses these eco-resorts also have land-based ethnic
and eco-friendly cottages. The prices
listed are prices for the season and are liable to change. Any off-season
discount applicable is adjusted during booking.
Green Magic Nature
Vythiri, Wayanad, Kerala
House : Rs 9,500 (
per double room per day)
Carmelia Havens Resort
- 685 551, Idukki district, Kerala
house : Rs 4000/-
from the tree houses, this resort has a multi-cuisine
restaurant, swimming pool, watch tower, Ayurvedic body massage center,
open-air barbeque and facilities for various games. It also has cave
houses and attractions like boating, trekking, fishing, visit to tea
factory and cardamom curing center.
house : Rs.6,500
Resort - Tree House
house (Single) : Rs.1,600