Thekkady (Kerala)

Things to do - general


Thekkady, is one of India's most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where you can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, the flora and fauna and the birds of Thekkady are uniquely rich, vast and varied that it does not bear semblance to any other wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Even a casual visitor to this place will not fail to observe the special ecological pattern of Thekkady. Thekkady (Idukki district) is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the Kerala state of India. Situated in Kerala, close to the Kerala - Tamil Nadu border town - Kumily, it is located about 257 km (160 mi) from Trivandrum, 114 km from Madurai City and Madurai International Airport, 185 km from Cochin International Airport and 114 km from Kottayam railway station.

The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-ta. Thekkady is tantamount to proud mountains, winding valleys, scented plantations and crisp air. The periyar forest of Thekkady is abode to one of the finest natural wildlife sanctuaries in India. Spread over a picture perfect landscape, it holds great opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. A cruise on the lake might just strike that long forgotten string of the heart. Set off on a memorable plantation tour, spice garden trek, walking through the cardamom, coffee, pepper and tea plantations. Make most of it by walking into tribal settlements and watching their life from close. Ride through the jungle on elephant back and see how it feels to walk in grandeur and style. Thekkady in the south Indian state of Kerala is one very appealing town of India with vast forest areas and some finest nature views. The very sound of the word Thekkady recollects images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations.

Periyar forest in Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are bewitching plantations and captivating hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. Around 700 elephants and 42 tigers! This is the least that Thekkady (Periyar) offers. Nestled in the verdant high ranges of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the cynosure of all eyes here in Kerala. The sanctuary covers a huge area of 777 sq km and harbours species like Nilgiri langoor, Nilgiri tahr, Bison, Sambhar, Deer, Antelope, Tortoises, Black Tailed Monkeys, etc. The avian species count to 265. To add to your experience all the more, there are aromatic spice gardens in the vicinity of the park. The pride of Kerala, Thekkady is a dream destination that offers a thrilling combination of wildlife safari tours and a hill-station holiday that leaves the tourists spellbound. The very mention of Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, rolling hills and spice plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience the most enchanting holiday with the animals of the wild and the simple unsophisticated mountain people.

Thekkady's premier tourist attraction is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Centered around an artificial lake of Thekkady, the national park is home to a great variety of wildlife species such as elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. The Sanctuary also doubles up as a Tiger Reserve and you can explore the Thekkady forest at leisure on elephant rides, cruises on the lake and jungle safaris to the heart of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. On tours of Thekkady, you will also come across other places of interest such as Kumily and Murrikady, where you can see the exotic spice plantations of cardamom, coffee and pepper. If you feel like picnicking, no other spot is better than Pandikuzhi that offers great opportunities for trekking and photography. Travel to Chellarkovil in Thekkady to enjoy the spectacular view of the plains and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons. Thekkady is king of jungles. The drumming calls of Nilgiri langurs, probably a coded message to the denizens of the forest to be alert and careful, will greet the visitors who enter the forests. Moving further, barking deers, a characteristic alarm signal to the inmate species, may shake the visitors. Amongst Thekkady worthy inhabitants, there is an exclusive charm in watching the majestic tuskers and the bright-eyed tigers in their exclusive kingdom.

It is meaningless to think of returning without a sweet brush with animals.That is fun. It is mandatory to have a guide. Most of the guides are poachers turned. The poachers were roped in as protectors as part of ecotourism and rehabilitation. The sprawling Periyar Tiger Reserve, in an area of 777 Sq Km, is rated as one of the 18 hot spots in the world in bio-diversity. Its tropical rain forests present worlds most ancient and complex environments. Home to elephants, tigers, leopards, deers, gaurs, antelopes, variety of reptiles and birds of numerous species. The location is ideal and adaptive. Amidst mountain ranges, valleys, lakes and rivers superb dramatic settings. The largest sanctuary in the State, it is in the south end of Western Ghats with splendid cardamom hills, in an altitude upto 6000 ft. The boathouse is the starting point. Just 2 Km from the entry gate. Eco-tourism centre is near the boathouse. Booking is to be made here for guide, treks, boat rides and other activities

Periyar National Park

The Thekkady lake as seen from Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.The Periyar National Park is spread over an area of about 777 km and comprises a thick evergreen forest with exotic wild life. The sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve sometime in 1978. It has an artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam, built in 1895 across the Periyar river.Bamboo Rafting during guided tour through Periyar[disambiguation needed] Wild Life Sanctury Murikkady .This place consists of spice and coffee plantations. It is about 5 km from Thekkady.

Chellar Kovil

This is located about 15 km from Kumily and leads to the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. This place has a lot of waterfalls and cascades. It is very beautiful and extremely serene.

Anakkara

Located at about 13 km from Kumily on the Kumily-Munnar road, Anakkara is an upcoming spice tourism destination in the state. There is also a new airport proposed at Anakkara and is under review by the Airports Authority of India.

Mangala Devi Temple

It is situated about 15 km from Thekkady and sits at an altitude of 1337 m above sea level. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is closed throughout the year except during the Chitra Pournami festival. At other times tourists can still view it by getting a special letter from the forest ranger. The view from the temple premises is spectacular and one can see part of eastern ghats and some villages from adjacent state of Tamil Nadu.

Plantation Resort

Plantation Resort situated in Vandanmedu (near Thekkady, Kerala, India) which is perched 4000ft above mean sea level (MSL), and this little town is the largest producer of Cardamom in the entire world.

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