GAVI – a paradise for nature lovers Spread across the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the village of Gavi is a quiet, beautiful and pristine forest haven. It lies at the eastern end of Pathanamthitta district at 3400 ft above sea level. This evergreen forest is abundant with magnificent wildlife which includes the tiger, elephant, leopard, bear, Indian gaur, sambar, barking and mouse deer, lion tailed macaque and other varieties of animals. Home to over 320 species of birds including the great Indian hornbill, sunbirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and myriads of myenas, dongos, cuckoos and bulbuls, Gavi is a heaven for birdwatchers. The plant life mainly includes Nageia or Podocarpus wallichinia, a highly endemic species of the Gymnosperm family seen only around this place in the whole of Western Ghats. Gavi often serves as a base camp for deep jungle trekkers, birdwatchers, nature lovers, research students and the like. Arrangements for adventurous activities like trekking, wildlife watching, outdoor camping in specially built tents, night safaris etc are available for tourists. Active involvement of tribals in Gavi under the novel eco scheme initiated by the government involving them as guides, cooks and gardeners, makes it a unique venture of its kind in the country. Traditional knowledge of the forest and its way of life with inputs from the indigenous people themselves, helps Gavi to sustain its surroundings in its original state. This activity ensures livelihood for the locals and also helps to create awareness on conservation of nature among the touring public. The road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations. Eco lodges from where one can savour the spectacular view of the Gavi Lake and the adjoining forests, are available for accommodation. Visitors can also try out the tree houses with singing birds for company or even pitch tents at the camp site to stay amidst the pristine wilderness. As the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can hear and feel the presence of wildlife in the middle of nowhere. There are guides to enrich your trekking experiences. Those who prefer solitude can bask in the tranquil environs of Gavi by going canoeing in the placid waters of the lake or simply enjoying a breathtaking sunset. Visitors are usually offered vegetarian food and snacks, which further adds to the eco-friendly atmosphere of the place. One of the breathtaking viewpoints at Gavi is the Valley View with a deep ravine and the forest below. If you are lucky enough, you might spot some Nilgiri Tahrs grazing in the valley. For nature enthusiasts, Gavi offers total connectivity with the wide species of flora and fauna that abound here. Here you find nature at its unadulterated best. Gavi has set itself as a model for responsible tourism in Kerala.