A tour of Kerala is likely to include a stay in Thekkady which is the home of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, situated on the banks of the Periyar lake. The main attraction is in the hope that by taking an early morning boat cruise one might get to see herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, and Nilgiri langurs coming to the water’s edge to drink. The reality can be somewhat different as these boats (filled with around 50 passengers) will to set off 3 or 4 at a time and few animals can be seen – at least not at close range. We saw bison, wild pigs, birds and I’m sure I spotted a chicken. A couple of our photos in our Kerala gallery. Those really passionate about wild life should probably research the limited accommodation that is in the reserve itself.
As Thekkady is a small town, and like any in Kerala, our driver suggested seeing the Martial Arts show at the Kelara Kalari Centre for Rs. 200 per person (Rs. 250 for video cameras). There’s does not seem to be too much on the web about this particular show so here is quick video of what you can expect. I’ve excluded the show finale which involves a couple of guys jumping through flaming hoops. The show bills its self as:
“an hour of fantasy, excitement with breathtaking performance of the oldest Martial Art”
In truth the only breathtaking moments are from pungent fumes produced by the fire stunts. However, I think even for those who have no interest in Martial Arts it is a pleasant and inexpensive way to spend an hour.
Video – Kalari Martial Arts
Click the image to view the video.