South of France is unaffordable to us, so is the Cape Town of South Africa to have opted as our Honeymoon destination. Yet another domestic location of Goa, Ooty or Nainital will obviously not be listed by us, as we had already been to those places with our families and friends earlier in our separate lives. Then finally, the prospective option of Kerala as travel destination had never struck us until one of the aunts of my dear wife is married to a Malayali Uncle had invited us to visit them on any of our leisure time. I still remember, even after our marriage, that name of Nilambur was somewhere in my mind. When I discussed this with my better half, she said that they are actually settled somewhere in Kozhikode district of Kerala. Then it was the time for some utter confusion. Then why did he mention the name of Nilambur in even in those casual ice-breaking talks with me?
This was haunting my thoughts for a while. With the sole of knowing more about the thing he had said, I did search somebody named Ravi.K.Nair on in the friend’s list of my wife’s Facebook account. The moment I found him, I quickly sent him a request and started chatting online. Just like any Mallu I meet, I also found Ravi Uncle to be a very friendly guy. Therefore, in our later conversations, he clarified that their home is at Mukkam in Kozhikode district. Moreover, he had informed that Nilambur was so mentioned in the talks as it is a beautiful location yet not much unexplored among the usual travellers to Kerala. Consequently, he added that even when we are planning to visit the place for honeymoon, it would be unlikely to find any tour packages based on them. However, we luckily found a tour company called Dream Holidays. Moreover, very pleasantly, they agreed to customize one of their honeymoon tour packages to cover more locations in Nilambur, rather than following that typical romantic stuff.
Once scheduling our dates with the tour company, we were in the land of Kerala at the Calicut International Airport that is the nearest to Nilambur. We boarded an evening Indigo flight with a layover of around half an hours in Mumbai. It was almost approaching midnight when we arrived at the airport. Without waiting much in the lobby, we got to meet the tour executive of the company we had booked with. He introduced himself as Thomas Kurien, he is basically from Tamil Nadu, yet from the very first meeting, and he seemed to be an efficient guy. As we already had a light dinner in the flying time itself, we just needed to doze off for some time. We reached the resort at 2 in the morning and completed the checked-in process quickly. Consequently, we were preceded by a room with a balcony. We could not find anything outside, as it was utter darkness.
After a sound sleep in the cosy room, it was my beautiful wife who woke me up in the eventful day. As the weather was a bit cold especially when I walked up to the balcony, it was a spectacular view of small natural spring flowing slowly. I don’t know if it was for viewing such a sight, I was feeling reluctant to take a bath. However, she compelled me to do so. If ignored whatever she had ordered she will be moody for the entire day. I did not want to ruin our honeymoon trip right from the first day from the very first venture. So after our refreshments, we waited for Thomas in the Reception of the resort. When he came, he handed us a brochure kind of things, in which it was listed the travel spots and activities we are to be indulged in. There was the visit to Teak Museum, Conolly’s plot and Adyanpaara and the activities consisted of a trek to Nedumkayam rainforest.
Walking past the bamboo installations and beautifully set garden area, stepped on to the sophisticated museum. I think it was for the first that, I am visiting a museum exhibiting and promoting solely a single species of tree that is the majestic hardwood teak tree. From there we gained a lot of information obviously about teak, agricultural tools. We also got to know that the largest ever teak tree of the whole world is in Kerala! It can be seen at Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and is known as ‘Kannimara.’
Later, from Butterfly Park situated adjacent to the museum, my lovely wife was not willing to return as she was startled by the illuminating animations of thousands of butterflies together. Then we moved slowly to the Bio-Resource Nature Park which was a bounty of hundreds of both medicinal and ornamental plant. We were dumbstruck when realizing the expansiveness of the park. After those meaningful visits, Thomas asked us to be ready for clicking as many pictures for our honeymoon.
We were next approaching to the large teak plantations, otherwise called as Conolly’s plot that can be reached after crossing a hanging bridge which is one the longest hanging bridge of Kerala. Moreover, such an estate is not only the oldest one in Kerala but also in the entire world. Thomas was right! We clicked numerous pictures from the bridge when it was approaching sunset. It is the River Chaliyar, which is flowing beneath this exotic suspension bridge. The final tourist destination of our tour in Nilambur was the spellbinding Adyanpaara Waterfalls.
After a drive sparing 45 minutes of drive in our allotted cab from our resort (the same time is taken to reach our home from the main city of New Delhi), we reached the foothills of the waterfalls. Such a facility was available to us only because we were vacationing in customized honeymoon tour packages. As we were a bit tired after the time consuming walking in museums and teak plantations the previous day, we were trekking slowly in the forested path. The views of the alluring cascading waters caught our attention quite abruptly, as they cannot be fetched initially. Thomas said that the locals do believe that the water of Adyanpaara is filled with medicinal properties and is also purified. With a refreshing dip in the cold waters, we put curtains to our eventful honeymoon trip.