Thekkady has an exotic location in which Kerala landscape, culture, and wildlife are exemplified. Thekkady is abundant in evergreen, deciduous forests, making for the perfect picturesque coastal town. The most tourist attractions here are the Periyar National Park, a reserve for various endangered species and elephants. Spend some time here taking a safari through the Gavi Forest, hiking along beautiful trails, and taking a boat ride on the pristine lake in the forests. The vastness of Thekkady intimidates Moist deciduous forest which thickens from one end to the other and an artificial lake in the center put together during the colonial era now sporting shriveled stumps of the tree.
These wood stumps jutting from the lake were thick canopies that served as a residence for several species of migratory birds before the Mullaperiyar Dam rose to submerge the dense woodland. Hop on a boat to watch Thekkady’s majestic charm and spot a Gray Hornbill from Malabar, a wooden pigeon from Nilgiri, or a blue-winged parakeet, lounging on those stumps that fleck the lake as a reminder of the past. The Thekkady, Periyar Forest is one of India’s finest wildlife reserves and is spread throughout the district. Thekkady, synonymous with elephants, endless hill chains, and spice-scented plantations, is the perfect antidote to an urban hectic life. The plantations of cardamom make for a relaxing morning run and hill towns offer great opportunities for trekking and mountain walking.
Best Places to visit in Thekkady
- Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Kumily
- Periyar Tiger Trail
- Periyar Lake
- Spice Gardens
- Periyar National Park
- Mangla Devi Temple
- Chellar Kovil
- Kumily Village
- Indian Classical Dance Theatre
The word Thekkady’s very sound conjures up memories of elephants, endless hill chains, and spice-scented plantations. The Thekkady, Periyar Forests is one of India’s finest wildlife reserves, and spread throughout the district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for trekking and mountain walking.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Thekkady fascinating natural wildlife sanctuary-the protected Periyar Tiger Reserve. Spread over an area of 777 sq. Km including 360 sq. Km is a thick evergreen forest, in 1978 the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in Idukki District. The reserve is noted for its geomorphology, wildlife diversity, and scenic beauty, and draws tourists from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed over the Periyar River by the Mullaperiyar Dam adds to the park’s charm.
This is India’s only sanctuary where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife from the safety of a boat at close quarters. However, Periyar‘s biggest attractions are the herds of wild elephants which come down to play in the lake. Vasantha Sena, an initiative of the Periyar Tiger Reserve eco-development committee, comprises a voluntary group of tribal women who patrol the reserve to ensure it remains pristine and poachers are kept at bay.
Below are some of the best to watch in Thekkady
- Over 1965 flowering plants, including 171 grass species and 143 orchid species, and Podocarpus Wallichianus, the only conifer in South India.
- Animals: 35 species that can be seen from boats, including the wild elephant, gaur, samber deer, and wild boar, the Nilgiri Tahr in the higher rocky areas, the endangered lion-tailed macaque confined to the evergreen interiors, the macaque bonnet, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear, etc.
- Birds: 265 species which include migrants. Hornbill, Stork, Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Raptor, cormorant, darter, and so on.
- Reptiles: Cobra, Viper, Krait, a number of non-toxic snakes, and the monitor lizard.
- Amphibians: Frogs, toads, and boundless civilians, including the colorful Malabar glide frog, common Indian toad, fungoid frog, and bicolored frog.
- Surrounding the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary are forests of tea, cardamom, pepper, and coffee groves.
Activities to Do in Thekkady
- Nature Walk
- Night Treks
- Bamboo Rafting
- Boat Safari
- Boat Cruise on Lake Periyar
- Watch wildlife from the safety of a boat in the Periyar Sanctuary nearby.
- Ride the Elephant to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the scenic jungle. You will guide on your enriching journey by a mahout.
Kurisumala, near Kumily Pullumedu, 43 km from Thekkady & 26 km from Periyar Ottakathalamedu, 5 km from Kumily Grampi, close to Vandiperiyar. From Thekkady boat landing station in the Nellikkampetty area and Manakkavala Timings, the Forest Department conducts regular treks: 0800 to 1700 hrs Fare: Rs. 250 + Rs. 10 entrance fee. Wildlife preservation officer Thekkady can make reservations.
The tour includes visits to spice plantations, coffee and tea farms, tea factories, tribal settlements, etc. And can arrange through the District Tourism Information Office near SBT in Kumily. Visit a spice plantation, coffee plantation, tea plantation, tea factory, and flower garden.
Thekkady has a bite for everyone from local snacks and cooking made with fresh coconut oil to a number of Keralan delicacies that represent Kerala‘s rich and exotic food culture. Here also you can indulge in a range of fish preparations.
Shopping in Thekkady
Thekkady shopping is fun and really enjoyable. The markets have many small, colorful stalls. You can find both fenugreek spices, white and green pepper, cinnamon rolls, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, cilantro, cloves, etc. Thekkady is basically the heartland of spices and you can get sample sachets or buy the best of Spices bulk from any of the shops in Thekkady Junction or Kumily. Buy T-Shirts of good quality with special Periyar Tiger Reserve tiger and elephant motifs.
How to Reach Thekkady?
Kottayam, 114 km away is the nearest railway station to Thekkady.
The nearest airport is Madurai from Thekkady, which is linked to most major airports such as Chennai and Coimbatore. The other closest airport is the Kochi Nedumbassery Airport.
A further town located about 5 km from Kumily can reach. The district of Idukki has a good road network and various buses from all over the state provide services to this famous place.
Best Time to Visit Thekkady
The best time to visit Thekkady is September-March. As the weather during the winters is fairly friendly, it is the best time to visit Thekkady. The average temperature in the period between October and February is around 15 degrees centigrade. The weather is perfect for sightseeing and experiences little rain and humidity. Monsoons and dry months, like March and April, can also be a good time, respectively, to experience lush greenery and wildlife.