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The region of Cumbum in Tamil Nadu is one of South India’s most fertile lands. Blessed with the rich nutrients in the soil and a climate that is suited for the cultivation of a variety of crops. Located between the Thekkady Hills, the Varusanadu Hills, and Kodaikanal, Cumbum Valley consists of large areas of farmland and includes crops like paddy, vegetables, grape vineyards, and mango and pomegranate farms. Cumbum also happens to be one of the few regions in Tamil Nadu that has thriving grape cultivation.
The farmers in the Cumbum Valley are able to harvest the fruits up to five times in two years. Visitors from Thekkady can take a 20 km long drive to cross the border into Tamil Nadu and into the Cumbum Valley.
At Cumbum one can visit the grape farm and have a firsthand look at the cultivation of grapes in the vast vineyard. To visit the farm from Thekkady one can take a jeep ride from Thekkady to the Cumbum grape farm. The route takes you through the Periyar Tiger Reserve and one can take some time out during this trip to see the massive waterlines that carry water from the Mullaperiyar Dam for irrigation to the regions of Tamil Nadu. One can also indulge in some shopping at the vineyard’s store for some wine that is brewed at the vineyard itself. One can also catch a glimpse of the Chellarkovil Water Falls from the vineyards. The grape farm visit is an experience of a new culture in many ways. The people from the nearby villages are employed at the farm and one can get to interact with them and learn more about their lives and work.