Sunday, May 4, 2014

Enchanting Vythri!

We are at the Vythri resort nestled in the picturesque hill district of Wyanad located in the North Western region of God’s own country, Kerala. Our summer travels are typically R & R (Relax and Rejuvenate) getaways where we avoid hectic sightseeing expeditions and instead let our hair down and unwind .... and there couldnt be a better place than the Vythri resort! The Vythri resort spread across 150 acres of lush green rain forest is located at almost 3000 feet above sea level, and offers a perfect summer escape in its true sense. The rustic tribal themed resort has been designed to fit into its natural landscape, where you not only feel completely cut off from the hustle-bustle of a city but also settle down to experience the stillness of nature while witnessing a live "rain forest cafe" to  soak in the   sounds and the smell of a tropical rainforest, along with most of the modern comforts provided for the urban travellers. Frankly, I was skeptical as to how Abhay would survive without TV for five days,   but its day 3 and we're going strong! Well, who needs the idiot box when our activities span from braving the leech bites during nature walks to dipping into the swimming pool naturally canopied by the majestic trees, from hiking upto the tea plantation nearby and doing local sight seeing around Wyanad area to exploring the rainforest flora and fauna while criss-crossing its famous hanging bridge  ......and of course nothing to beat sitting in the patio curled up with a book, as you hear the sound of the natural stream gurgling past the cottage!:-)

The Vythri resort houses many rare species of plant and animal life, including the tiger tree and the endangered giant Malabar squirrel. With name boards hung on as many as over twenty to thirty trees and still counting, this place is treat for a nature lover and a budding nature lover!

Hoping to turn  my seven year old into a tree lover, we read " The Coral Tree" a Tulika publication by Mamata Pandya and photographs by Pankaj Gorana. Having seen the Indian Coral tree along with other trees here at the Vythri resort, this was an apt holiday read for us.
 Narrated in first person, a woman is seen gazing at the coral tree that stands outside her window like an old faithful friend! The author goes on to trace the growth and transition of the coral tree through the year - shedding its leaves during winter,  blossoming orange flowers in February to thereafter to full bloom so as to have climbers, insects, rat snakes, langurs, and birds from the Black Drongo to the bat stake claim for a part of the coral tree. Aided by keen nature photography of the tree in its various avatars and the numerous forms of life it's home to, this book also provides interesting facts and tidbits about the coral tree and its uses. The final page allows your little one make his or her own tree diary and ferret out information on the same - which will be Abhay's DIY  project for day 4!:-)))    Overall its an well written work of non fiction to introduce your little one to .... so that he appreciates the vibrancy of  nature as vibrantly depicted in " The Coral Tree " and as we experienced at the Vythri resort! 

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