Exploration of Gavi
About this place
If you start from District capital Pathanamthitta, you will go through Angamoozhy to Gavi which will be a wonderful journey that you will never forget in your life. Roads are in very bad condition which requires you to have a sturdy vehicle with good ground clearance. This trip will be a semi-adventurous trip because it is highly likely that you will see wild elephants during journey. If you observe closely, you can see several marks left by elephants during their daily visit through the road you travel. There are a lot of animals in this forest including tiger, leopards, bears, sambar and deers. It is said that there are around 250 species of birds.
How to enjoy Gavi
When I go to Gavi, I always go with a group. It ensures that I give more targets to a wild elephant in case it attacks and probability of my survival is higher compared to when I am alone. 😉 It is a good idea to have food with you because there are no restaurants to your liking in Gavi. Whenever I go, we pack foods for us which is usually ‘pothichoru’ and ‘kappa puzhukk’.
Kappa puzhukk is boiled cassava . This along with chammanthi is a wonderful combo. This can be used as breakfast. I usually have this breakfast just after we cross Moozhiyar dam. Traditional pothichoru is rice with curries which are wrapped using a plantain leaf. Pothichoru was so popular till 2000( I think) for people who needed lunch packed. An ideal pothichoru for me consists essentially of egg omlette, chammanthi and Sardine fry along with other curries. When you become hungry enough, you can halt somewhere on road side in the forest and unwrapp your food. If you have a proper pothichoru, you will feel the smell immediately as you take it outside of the cover. Speaking about cover, please do not throw away plastic items into the forest. I really hope I do not have to explain you the reason. Now, if you took your pothichoru out, you can find a nearby place to sit. I prefer a rock in such situations. Then you can slowly open it and start enjoying. There are convenient places after the forest station that you will see in the middle of the journey. Here you can see the picture of the forest station I mentioned.
As I said earlier, it is not just the place that creates all the beauty, but the journey towards this place. So, be sure to stop once in a while and come out of the vehicle and enjoy surroundings. There are no such ‘view points’ that are marked, but all points are view points here. There is nothing here that you cannot enjoy if you love nature. However you should note that Penstock Pipeline is easy to miss since it is not directly visible from the road you are travelling. You will have plenty of scenery to take pictures. Scenery varies from place to place, as you can see grassland, rocks, groves,brushes etc as you go. There are some beautiful plants in the compound of the forest station I mentioned above which you can photograph. Guava trees in the surroundings probably have fruits. Be sure to ask permission before you climb up and pluck it :).
Next place you can have a closer look is near Kakki Dam view point. I am unable to exactly pinpoint the location in google maps, but you can see a place where there are enough space for like a number of vehicles to park on the right and some trees there. There is a narrow way through which you can move a bit close towards water. Please note that it is prohibited to enter further into these lands. I once noticed some people whom I do not know ( :D) moved through that narrow path, entered the forest and reached shore of the reservoir and even dipped their feet in that water. Then they tried to go back, but then realised that it was not easy to climb back the way the reached down. So, they chose a different path to reach to the top, but lost their way for some time. Finally they shrieked so that their companions in road could hear and reply back to them. Then they travelled to the direction of sound and reached road. Then they heard from locals that it is a place where wild animals drink water. Check the list of wild animals mentioned earlier in this post!
When you reach Gavi, you can see Gaviyar dam there. Boating is available there, but I think it is only for those who booked with KFDC hotel there.
Please also note that Travel is allowed only from Angamoozhy to Gavi. You cannot travel back to Angamoozhy from gavi. You have to go to Vandiperiyar to travel back to your place. Therefore calculate your time accordingly if you want to reach a distant place on the same day.
How to reach Gavi
If you start from District capital Pathanamthitta, you will go through Angamoozhy to Gavi. Another route is from Vandiperiyar to Gavi. I wouldn’t suggest to go through there, because almost everything I mentioned in this post is in the former route.
Vehicles are limited to 20 per day from Angamoozhy. It is good to know in advance that 50% of people who try to go to Gavi by private vehicles doesn’t get a chance because of limitation of private vehicles. Therefore you will have to book it in advance online. Here is the URL for booking. You have to reach here within 8:30 am to 11 am to fill out the form and receive hard copy of the ticket.