Shalimar Spice Garden
Periyar National Park, Kerala and Karnataka, India
At a Glance
Shalimar Spice Garden is set 25,000 feet above sea level with lush surroundings
The resort is close to Periyar Reserve, one of the best places to observe Kerala's wildlife
Surrounded by Cardommon hills, coffee plantations and other spice plants
Cool off in the hotel's swimming pool, or opt for one of two pool villas
The architecture of the cottages is a fusion of Indian concepts and Western comfort
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Isolated from much of India by the Western Ghats, the climate of Kerala & Karnataka is tropical and as a result of the mountain ranges the area isn’t as dry as much of India. The best time to visit is from January through to April. While there can be the occasional light showers these are just a prelude of the wet weather to come. The weather is generally hot and humid during this early summer. The monsoon season arrives in early June and thus can wash out July and August. September is much more humid as a result of the rainy season, and the fall can be dry but with the humidity this makes it feel quite warm. There can be a little rain in the night in October and November. The temperatures cool down and the humidity lets up as winter comes in around December, with this season lasting until February when the dry spring returns. Winter can be a pleasant time to visit, especially if you’re looking to head off the beach and explore the rest of this Indian land of mystery.
To start planning your holiday to Shalimar Spice Garden
Shalimar Spice Garden is located in Thekkady, with 18 guest suites dotted around the gardens. It is located in the middle of a lush jungle rolling away from cardamom-covered hills and next to the flora and fauna of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Shalimar Spice Garden is accessed by a series of steps leading to the wooden walkway which brings you to the hotel. It comprises twenty two rooms made up of elegant rooms, cottages and pool villas. The cottages come in clusters of 3 or 4 and are surrounded by lush foliage of coffee, cardamom and other spice plants. The rooms are not air-conditioned; yet remain cool throughout the year. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and have a small garden and a hammock outside. Simple yet stylish, each room is tastefully furnished.
Elsewhere at the hotel, guests can dine in the small restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a swimming pool and small spa with two treatment rooms, offering all traditional Ayurvedic treatments and massage. For younger guests, there is a TV and board games in the sitting room.
Activities in the local area include excursions to the nearby Periyar National Park where you can go on a boat safari. There is also trekking and walking with a guide in the surrounding spice plantations, visits to a tea factory and tribal villages, bamboo rafting and night walks.
Shalimar Spice Garden comprises 19 rooms and villas. There are eleven elegant cottages and two pool villas which are great for families. They are all dotted around the garden and are very picturesque with their thatched roofs, colourful lamps and cushions, white walls, terracotta tiled floors and wood panelling. Please note that neither the rooms or the cottages are air-conditioned because the mountain climate ensures cool nights.
Children are welcome at the Shalimar Spice Garden. Children may be accommodated in their parent’s bedroom for an extra charge. Only one additional child per room is permitted. A babysitting service is available upon request.
Services at the resort include money changing, medium sized unheated pool, Internet and WiFi in designated areas, a small conference hall, spice garden, shop selling jewellery, clothes and artefacts, spa with two treatment rooms, offering all traditional Ayurvedic treatments and massage, a cosy sitting area with a log fire and a TV room with board games.
Activities in the local area include excursions to the nearby Periyar National Park which is home to tigers, Indian elephants, gaur, Bison, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards. You can also go trekking and walking with a guide in the surrounding spice plantations, visits to a tea factory, bamboo rafting, night walks and visit to tribal villages.
Sophie Jones (Staff)
I felt like I was entering a local tribal Village on arrival at Shalimar Spice Garden. This boutique hotel is set on a hill with a stream running through it. The accommodation in the basic villas is a blend of European and Indian design. I found the accommodation was comfortable, but had dark interiors. This hotel is ideal for a relaxing couple of days where you get the opportunity to learn about the local spices, herbs and fruits. Although Shalimar appeals greatly at first glance it doesn't always provide the service and quality that many guests might expect.
Backwaters - Experience Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a village based on the edge of Lake Vembanadu. The village is beautifully laid out over a number of different picturesque islands and is a wonderful example of how people live in the backwaters.
Periyar - Boating at Lake Periyar
Boating in the splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river adds to the charm of the park. Spot some fascinating wildlife from the boat including animals coming to drink on the lake.
Periyar - Jungle Walk in Periyar National Park
Take a jungle walk in Periyar National Park. You will see a variety of bird life and small mammals, including Nilgiri Black Langurs (a type of monkey), deer, giant squirrels and if you are lucky wild elephants.
Periyar - Spice Plantation
Visit a spice plantation and discover where many of the spices you have in your kitchen at home are grown naturally. This is a lovely experience for couples or families of all ages to enjoy.
Location & directions
Periyar National Park, Kerala and Karnataka, India
Shalimar Spice Garden is located in a village called Murikkady, surrounded by Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. 6km from Thekkady and easily accessible from Cochin (180km/4.5 hours away) and Madurai (140km/3 hours away).
How to get there
13-hour flight (1 change) to Cochin International Airport. Cochin is the nearest airport to Shalimar Spice Garden, the drive from there takes around 4-hours 30-minutes.