Thekkady is the place to indulge in spice shopping in India, though there arenât many big shopping areas. In your quest for exotic condiments, head to Kumily â a pretty town in the cardamom hills, about 4 kilometers (.5 miles) from Periyar. It is a major tourist destination and a spice trading centre close to Periyar Tiger Reserve and the Lake. The market place here is speckled with small, colorful stalls selling local knick-knacks, handicraft and one-off souvenirs. And you will be tempted to buy just about everything on display!
Wade further into the tangle of narrow alleys of the local market to discover a wealth of spices such as fenugreek, white and green pepper, rolls of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, coriander, cloves, and almost every kind of spice you can think of. Packed in pretty little transparent pouches with printed labels, the spice samples make for a memorable souvenir. And you can shop for armloads of them at reasonable prices for yourself and your loved ones back home.
Take a break from spice shopping, and munch on the famous South Indian banana chips freshly fried in aromatic coconut oil. Before concluding your shopping excursion, donât forget to pick up some interesting elephant and tiger motif T-shirts for kids as a souvenir of your holiday in Kerala. Also visit Eco Shop and Eco Spices near the entrance gate of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. They sell an assortment of organic garden fresh spices such as tea, coffee, vanilla, saffron, cardamom, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, nut maze, star anise, honey, cinnamon, Ayurvedic oils, and homemade chocolates. At Eco Shop, you will find an impressive collection of message T-shirts, postcards, books on wildlife, and WWF souvenirs among others.
Thekkady offers a rare, but authentic shopping experience.