Another India : impressions of Tamil Nadu

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thekkady sits right next to the frontier between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. But once you cross the Western Ghats it’s like setting foot in a whole other country. The alphabet is different, the language is not malayalam but tamil. And the temperature is much hotter than in the hill stations, thus flora and fauna are radically different too. I mean it’s quite a shock, I’ve never felt this otherness when crossing a border in Europe. Tamil Nadu counts 72 million souls and tamil has been used for 3800 years so naturally the country has a distinct identity. Continue reading

So I’ve arrived at Cardamom County

This week, I arrived in Thekkady, at the frontier between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. My name is Allegra I’m a french professional who decided to take a break from hectic Paris to learn about entrepreneurial conservation and eco-tourism. I’ll spend the next two months at Cardamom County with Raxa Collective. Cardamom County borders the Periyar Tiger Reserve. As it nears the center of a bustling spice-trading town, I sometimes forget we’re in a forest. Nature always finds a way to remind you though. Continue reading

Bullock Cart Discoveries

This activity is being sponsored by the Kerala Forest Department and, similar to the Tiger Trail, is conducted by a group of men who had previously engaged in illegal forest activities.  They surrendered before the forest department, receiving immunity from imprisonment in exchange for a life devoted to the protection of the forest. They are currently engaged in the Bullock Cart excursion, a “zero carbon activity” in the Cumbum Valley, an area famous for vegetable farms and wine yards. Continue reading