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Bamboo Rafting: River Rafting in the Wilderness
Bamboo rafting is organized by the Forest Department of Thekkady. This day-long programme begins with a hike and is a memorable adventure.
The Forest Department of Thekkady organises a dawn-to-dusk hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest tracts of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. If you are an adventure lover, your trip to Thekkady would be incomplete without it.
It begins at the Forest Department’s office at the edge of the forest. Five tourists accompanied by two guides, are taken on each trip. Each tourist is given a backpack with some juice, water, and lunch. The initial leg of the activity involves trekking through the Mannar settlement – this is a tribal community that has been given plantations and houses near the forest by the government. They grow spices, bananas and raise livestock on their land.
The forest itself appears green and serene in the morning. Massive redwood and jackfruit trees stand tall. Butterflies flutter around like confetti. Birders can spot Eagle Owls, Spider Hunters, Hornbills and Woodpeckers, who are natives of these majestic forests.
When tourists arrive at the bank of the river, famished, the food packed by the forest officials feels like a feast. After lunch, the rafting begins. The bamboo rafts are specially designed and steered by experienced boatmen. The ride is about three hours long. Apart from the mysterious forest-clad hills one can spot Elephants, Gaur and Sambar at the edge of the lake.
The sounds of the forest are a constant companion. The team hitchhikes back to the boat landing by about 5 pm.
Good to Know :
Location: 1 km drive from Sterling Thekkady
Timings: 8 am to 5 pm
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