Nilambur: A gem hidden in north Kerala, on banks of Chaliyar river-nested between mountains

‘Conally’s Plot’ or the oldest teak plantation in the world. Pic courtesy Kerala Tourism

Amarambalam, Nilambur, designated amongst India’s ”Hidden Gems” by the Union Tourism Ministry is renowned for ‘Conally’s Plot’ or the oldest teak plantation in the world. Located in the north of Kerala, Nilambur is a small town on the banks of the Chaliyar river in Mallappuram district.

This hidden gem was unearthed by Ms Bindu Menon, an avid traveler and writer by passion at a webinar organised by the Ministry of Tourism, on November 21.
Sharing features of Nilambur, Menon said this place is renowned for the oldest teak plantation in the world. The first railway line in Kerala was introduced to transport teak. ”Tourists can enjoy a wonderful train rides from Shornur to Nilambur. This place also has a hanging bridge at the Chaliyar river. New Amarambalam forest was declared as reserved forest in the Western Ghats and it is home of the indigenous Cholanaickan tribes. Environment enthusiast can also enjoy Amara wildlife Sanctuary which is the 18th wildlife sanctuary of India,” the Tourism Ministry quoted from Menon’s presentation.

An introduction was also given for Great Hornbill resorts located at Amarambalam. It is named after Great Hornbill (Vezhambal) which is official bird of Kerala. The place is a bio diversity hotspot over seven acres nested between two mountains wrapped on three sides by the forest. ”With the mighty mountains as the backdrop, the Amarambalam forest is home to the Cholanaikar tribe, a perennially gushing fresh water stream with medicinal properties, hundreds of butterflies, a million fireflies and exotic plants all around. It is completely sustainable vegetable garden and much more, this is certainly a secret paradise. It is a great experience of nature surrounding the soul bringing calmness and peace.

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