Imagine visiting a tourist place and NOT finding anyone blocking your way with the same worn-out dance moves for Instagram reels… No crowd, no plastic dump, just you and nature. Nilambur is Kerala’s long-kept secret for a fun weekend in nature’s lap. Known for its verdant teak plantations, breathtaking waterfalls, and rich cultural heritage, Nilambur is a hidden gem just waiting to be explored.
If you are planning a short trip to Nilambur, here is a blog to help you plan your trip covering the major tourist attractions, how to reach Nilambur, how to get around in Nilambur, and several travel tips from my experience.
Places to Visit in Nilambur
Nilambur has three tourist attractions— Teak Museum, Conolly’s Plot, and Adyanpara Waterfalls. All of these places can be covered in a single day. If you are planning an overnight stay in Nilambur, the Nedumkayam Rainforest is a must-visit.
Nilambur Teak Museum
Nilambur is known for its tea plantations and, one-of-its-kind, Teak Museum. History has it that the British planted teak forests in Nilambur way back in the 1840s, which then turned into the world’s most successful and thriving teak plantation in the world.
The Teak Museum was established in 1995 and is now under the care of the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI). The museum has a dedicated section for research on Kannimara Teak, the oldest (450 years) and largest teak in India located in Nilambur.
Nilambur Teak Museum offers a great opportunity to learn. As you step inside the museum, you’ll be greeted by teak wood samples of various sizes and textures, providing a tactile experience of this exquisite wood. The museum’s exhibits also include vintage photographs and artifacts that narrate the story of teak cultivation and its uses over the centuries.
The Teak Museum is located in a lush green forest with many indigenous and exotic fauna. You can take a stroll through the 800-meter-long forested glade and enjoy the bliss of nature with butterflies and crickets fluttering around you.
The complex also includes a children’s park, food stalls, and clean bathrooms. You can expect to spend quality 2-3 hours in Nilambur Teak Museum.
Located about 7 km from the Teak Museum, Conolly Plot is an enchanting teak plantation that dates back to the British colonial era. The was a teak plantation developed under the supervision of V H Conolly, the then collector of Malabar, and thus came to be known by his name.
Strolling through this living history, you’ll find yourself surrounded by majestic teak trees, their towering canopies forming a green cathedral above you. As you walk amidst the serene landscape, you’ll appreciate the tranquillity and history that this place exudes.
At Conolley’s plot, you will get to witness the confluence of the Kuthirapuzha River into the Challiyar River, the fourth longest river in Kerala.
Another important attraction in Conolly Plot used to be a hanging bridge, which, unfortunately, got destroyed in the 2018 flood. Following this, the property lost some of its charm and has since been in a state of abandonment and neglect. Even the ferry service across the river to Kannimara Teak has halted.
Conolly’s Plot may be lackluster without the hanging bridge, but it is still a great place to spend a couple of hours.
A visit to Nilambur wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the natural beauty of Adyanpara Waterfalls, situated about 14 km from the town. These cascading waterfalls, set against the backdrop of dense forests, offer a refreshing escape from the everyday grind. As the pristine waters tumble over the rocky cliffs, you can enjoy a relaxing dip in the natural pool at the base of the falls.
The lush greenery and the soothing sound of water create a serene atmosphere, making Adyanpara a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s an ideal place to unwind, connect with nature, and capture the beauty of Nilambur’s natural wonders.
We visited Adyanpara Waterfalls on a weekday morning and we were the only tourists in the place. It was the best experience of our trip.
Nedumkayam, situated near Nilambur in Kerala, India, is a nature lover’s haven that unfolds like a secret garden waiting to be discovered. Enveloped by dense foliage and teeming with biodiversity, Nedumkayam is more than a tourist spot; it’s an immersive experience in the heart of the Nilambur Wildlife Sanctuary.
The air is filled with the earthy scent of the forest, and as you meander through the verdant trails, the symphony of bird calls and the rustle of leaves create a tranquil ambiance. The sanctuary is a sanctuary in the truest sense, offering glimpses of native wildlife and a serene retreat for those seeking a respite from the chaos of urban life.
River Chaliyar adds to the allure of Nedumkayam with its meandering course, reflecting the lush greenery along its banks. As you explore the sanctuary, you may encounter the gentle giants of the forest, elephants, and a myriad of bird species.
How to Reach Nilambur
You can reach Nilambur by road or by train.
Nilambur is easily accessible by road, and driving to the town can be an adventure in itself. Depending on your starting point, you can follow these routes:
From Ernakulam: You can hire a taxi or drive from Ernakulam to Nilambur. The road journey takes approximately 4 to 5 hours, covering a distance of around 220 kilometers. Take the National Highway 66 (NH66) and then switch to the National Highway 66A (NH66A) to reach Nilambur.
From Calicut: If you’re coming from Calicut (Kozhikode), take the NH66 and NH766. The distance is approximately 45 kilometers, and the drive is a beautiful journey through the countryside.
From Bangalore: If you’re starting from Bangalore, you can take the NH275 and NH766. The journey is around 300 kilometers and offers scenic views of Kerala’s landscape.
From Coimbatore: For travelers coming from Coimbatore, take the SH78 and NH966, covering a distance of about 190 kilometers.
From Mysore: If you’re traveling from Mysore, follow the NH212 and NH766. The distance is approximately 175 kilometers.
While road trips to Nilambur are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the lush surroundings, make sure to check road conditions, and consider the terrain, especially during the monsoon season.
Nilambur has its own railway station known as Nilambur Road Railway Station. There are several passenger trains between Nilambur and Shoranur, and one each between Palakkad and Nilambur and Kottayam and Nilambur. There is also an express train from Trivandrum to Nilambur via Kottayam.
How to Get Around in Nilambur
If you are not driving yourself to Nilambur, taking an autorickshaw is your best bet. You can hire an auto for the entire day or hire them as you go. You can also take buses but you will have to change multiple times and buses for Adyanpara Waterfalls and Nedumkayam are infrequent.
Nilambur is a great spot for a short trip and to rejuvenate yourself in the lap of nature. The major attractions are the Teak Museum, Conolley’s Plot, Adyanpara, and Nedumkayam.
I hope you found this blog useful to plan your trip. If you have any doubts or would like to share an experience, let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
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