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Nilambur, Malappuram

Location : 40 km from Malappuram town, Malappuram district, north Kerala

Nilambur is renowned for the oldest teak plantation in the world, the Conolly's Plot, just 2 km from town. The place is also noted for its tribal settlements, the world's first Teak Museum, vast rain forests, waterfalls and ancient kovilakoms - residences of maharajas.

The teak plantation is named after H.V. Conolly, the Malabar District Collector during the British rule, who was instrumental in planting teak in the entire Nilambur area. Chathu Menon, a forest officer under Conolly, organised the hectic task of planting the saplings. Chathu Menon was laid to rest in the teak garden in Conolly's Plot.

The oldest teak tree, Kannimari, is a rare attraction at the Conolly Plot. The plot extends across 2.31 hectares beside the Chaliyar river at Aruvakode, where a country boat ferries visitors across.

Four kilometres away from the town, on the Nilambur - Gudallur road, stands the world's first Teak Museum. The museum is a sub-centre of the Kerala Forest Research Institute. Arranged in the two storeyed building are exhibits, articles and details of historic, aesthetic and scientific value, which give information on all aspects of the teak to visitors.

Nedumkayam, just 18 km from Nilambur town, is noted for its rich rain forests. From the wooden rest house built here by the British, elephants and deer can be seen. One has to get permission from the Forest Department to enter the forest zone. Heavy restrictions are imposed in a measure to save the existing forest land. A half hour journey from here, through the dense forests, by jeep takes one to Mancheri, the home of the Cholai Naikars, a primitive tribe.

Yet another tribal settlement of this region is on the hilltops of Valamthode which can be reached only from Kozhikode through the Areekode - Mukkam road. Valamthode is about 27 km from Nilambur, beyond the Chaliyar river.

Nilambur town is also famous for a cluster of kovilakoms the residences of the local rajas or rulers of earlier days. These structures, are famous for their beautiful frescoes and artworks in wood. The Nilambur Pattu an ancient festival which is noted for its Kalampattu or ritual powder drawing on floor falls in the month of February.

Getting there:

Nearest railway station: Nilambur is the terminus of the Shornur - Nilambur railway line.
Nearest airport : Kozhikode, about 26 km from Malappuram town.

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