They say that Nature is the greatest teacher, her immense patience visible in the time a fruit seed takes to sprout, her might manifested in the sheer height of oak trees, her kindness displayed in the sweet familial chirps from a sparrow’s nest, her mirth and beauty visible in the playful flutter of a butterfly’s wings, and her wrath unleashed in tempests that can never be bested. In every movement of a fragile green leaf, in a dew-drop gravitating towards the parched earth, or in the graceful sprint of a fawn, there is life in great measure. Nature also teaches us, through death and decay, that there is hope in even the most hopeless of situations, because it is from this decay that new life is birthed.
It was in mid-August of 2017 that a group of friends and I embarked on trip to Idukki, Kerala with the intention of simply unwinding over the weekend; we were, however, in for a pleasant surprise. By the time we bid our adieus to the little town, we were changed beings. Our experiences at Idukki deepened our appreciation for the things we often take for granted – the soft crunch of fallen leaves under our feet, the caress of a gentle breeze across our weary faces, the mighty roar of a thundercloud with its grey blanket shadowing the golden sun, the giggle of a happy stream, and the simple pleasure in doing absolutely nothing yet feeling gloriously accomplished.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
We spent a tranquil weekend walking amongst plantations and ferns at Little Flower Farms, playing in cool and clear waters with childlike glee, relishing home-cooked meals lovingly prepared using fresh produce from the farm, traversing up and down the botanical trails, and witnessing the Western Ghats paint a picturesque treat for eyes that had grown tired of the dull browns of tech parks and busy roads.
With every breath I took, I felt the untainted air cleanse my lungs and my mind – a wave a fresh perspective about my priorities, and my place on this beautiful planet I call home, came washing over me.
As I sat in awe of the delicateness, the richness, and the majesty of the surroundings, I was reminded that while we put a price on everything, it was never in our nature to do so. We were as pure and as simple as the gurgling stream or the passing feline – when and where did we go wrong?
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sun sweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they’re worth.
Did Idukki transform us into better human beings? I cannot answer this without uncertainty. It did, however, teach us things that no curriculum or training could – we learnt to pause and breathe, to unhurriedly savour each rare moment of calm, to catch raindrops in our palms and to also let them slip away, to spend time connecting with something bigger and more magnificent than ourselves and all our grand plans, and to just be. We were given a glimpse into the emerald heart of Nature, and I for one long to revisit and spend more time embracing Her and being embraced by Her.
Duration of the trip – Two days, two nights.
Mode of transport – Car (Bangalore-Oonukal-Vagamon-Bangalore)
Stay (inclusive of meals) at – Little Flower Farms
Budget for the trip per person – Under INR 10,000
Essentials to carry – A light raincoat/umbrella, natural bug repellent, torch.
Best time to visit – Idukki has warm summers, and mild winters. The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall. Each season caters to travelers who desire varied experiences. We visited in monsoon, which worked in our favour since we did not plan any treks/hikes.
A huge hug of gratitude to JT for hosting us at his family’s estate on the first night, and to Thomas and his lovely mum for welcoming us at Little Flower Farms.