Jumbo Trail

Enjoy fresh-off-the-farm meals, go trekking or just take in the songs of nature at Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal
By Charu Sharma

Cradled by the Palani Hills, Elephant Valley is as natural as it gets.The eco-certified property is spread over 100 acres in the Western Ghats– one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world – in Tamil Nadu, just 20 kilometres from Kodaikanal. The nature lover’s paradise is strategically located on an old elephant migration route – it might just be possible that Colonel Hathi passed through here on his travels!

The property has 20 eco-friendly bungalows that are equipped with solar lights, low-consumption bulbs and firewood fuelled hot-water showers – even the soaps in the bathrooms are 100 per cent organic! The bungalows have been tastefully built and designed using local materials, such as locally sourced granite, reclaimed doors and windows, and wood. Colonial-style furniture adds to the rustic charm of the interiors. Each bungalow also has a private garden overlooking the Gangavaar River.

Elephant Valley has a sustainable bio-intensive vegetable garden and organic coffee plantation in which you can get your hands dirty, literally. An intensive crop management system is followed here, and more than 25 species and varieties of vegetables are grown through the year to maintain the biodiversity in the garden. The coffee is a blend of organically grown Arabica from the finest coffee-growing regions of South India, and is processed, roasted and packed here. These packs make for perfect gifts for friends and family.

Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, this eco-lodge is the perfect place to beat the crowd.