Camp Cardamom is located in the pristine Marayoor Valley on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats. It is near the Chinnar and Pambar Rivers, two of only four Kerala rivers that flow eastward. Owing to its location in a rain shadow, it receives a modest 200 mm of precipitation in June. Temperatures are mild, with an average low of 17ºC to high of 25º C (63ºF to 77ºF). These are the perfect conditions for outdoor camp activities.
The towering mountains encircling the valley comprise a vast, interconnected system of protected lands: Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor Sandal Reserve (the only place in the world where sandalwood grows naturally), Anamudi Shola National Park, and Kurinjimala and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuaries. Together they make up one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, home to thousands of plant and animal species, including leopards, tigers, elephants, and the world’s largest bison.
In the Western Ghats, nature and culture are closely intertwined. The Marayoor Valley’s Muthuvan and Hill Pulaya tribal communities rely on their knowledge of medicinal plants to treat ailments, and worship a mix of Hindu gods and their own animistic nature deities. A short drive up the mountains leads to spice forests and Ayurvedic gardens where campers will see first-hand the environmental influences upon the subcontinent’s cuisine, medicine, and traditions.