Thekkady " Defying description "
Thekkady in Kerala State, India’s largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination for any tourist visiting India. The 120 years old ‘Surki’ dam built across Peryiar, Poorna in Vedic parlance, is a major tourist attraction. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 777 Sq.Kms, surrounded by an artificial lake over an area of 25 Sq.Kms. The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations. Thekkady is placed at an altitude of 700m above the sea level. Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Thekkady is a perfect retreat for anyone who loves adventure, fun, wildlife and nature. Nestled between the ever-green and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats, Thekkady has so many things to offer for the tourists who visit this place. In the biggest wildlife sanctuary, you can sight Asian elephants, bison, sambar deer, boars, tigers, leopards, wild squirrels, lion tailed monkeys etc. Ferry boats are arranged by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and you can enjoy the wildlife and the surrounding nature while having a ride through the river. The sight of herd of elephants is an unforgettable experience. It will take around two hours to complete one boat ride. At the end of the ride you will be able to sight the walls of Mullaperiyar Dam. Thekkady offers a very peaceful and calm atmosphere. The chill climate of Thekkady will refresh your mind and body. The forest areas around Thekkady is strictly uninhabited by the Forest Department to preserve the Mother Nature. The nearest town to Thekkady is Kumily, which is 4 kilometer apart. You can plan a calm walk though this town. This town is also a place for shopping. You can shop here handicrafts, spices and cloths. Don?t miss the elephant rides here at reasonable price. With these rides, you can dwell deep into the forests and enjoy the thrilling experience of sighting wildlife very near. Trekking also can be done with the help of foresters. Thekkady is also blessed with several luxury hotels, resorts and homestays. So, you will not find any difficulty in accommodation. You can enjoy the serene and tranquil atmosphere of Thekkady, while having a stay in this resorts and hotels. Other than the National Park, you can roam around the places like Murikkady, Chellar Kovil, Anakkara, Mangala Devi Temple etc at Thekkady. To reach Thekkady, you can get down at Cochin or Madurai Airport. Frequent buses are available from there. Nearest railway station is at Madurai and Kochi. Thekkady is a destination for all season. At any time you can make a visit to Thekkady. But, winter will be the best time to be at Thekkady. The cool and pleasant climate will help you to explore this place beautifully. Most of the festivals at Thekkady take place during winter season. Though summer season will not be a comfortable time for you to visit Thekkady, this will be a time, when you will be getting hotels and resorts in cheap rates. If you want to visit Thekkady without any rush, choose this season. Monsoon is another time to explore the real beauty of Thekkady. If you are a monsoon lover, don’t miss this opportunity.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the major attractions in Thekkady is this fantastic sanctuary, which is also a tiger reserve, that is spread across an area of 777 sq. km, around the man-made lake of Thekkady. The sanctuary is also home to the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, elephant, sambar, gaur, deer, Indian bison and bear.
This placid lake is located near the Periyar national reserve. Tourists can go for boating and enjoy the serene surroundings. If you are lucky you may even get a chance to see herds of elephants bathing on the lakeside.
A very pleasant and warm town, nestled between cardamom hills, Kumily is an interesting tourist destination in Idukki district. Enveloped by tea and spice plantations, this town is a must-visit to understand the rural lifestyle of the region. Tourists can enjoy typical Kerala cuisine also in this town.
Very famous for breathtaking views of scenic spice plantations, Murikkady is situated at a distance of around 5 km from Thekkady. Beautiful with misty mountains, lush green valleys, cardamom, tea and pepper plantations, this is a picture prefect picnic spot.
Another pretty and idyllic town which is an excellent picnic spot is Pandikuzhi. Small wild streams and lush vegetation are the main features of this attractive spot. Situated at a distance of 10 km from Idukki district, this spot is excellent for trekking also.
Mangala Devi Temple
An ancient temple (almost 2000 years old) designed in Pandian style of architecture, this temple is dedicated to Devi Kannagi or Mangala and is at a distance of about 15 km from Thekkady. Situated on the top of a cliff and surrounded by trees, this temple is visited by many pilgrims. Please note that it is necessary to get permission from the wildlife authorities in Thekkady to visit the area.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Well known for martial arts, Kalaripayattu, this center is a place where you can get a firsthand experience of the renowned art. A sport which is unique to Kerala and well designed for self-defence, Kalari is popular in the world of martial arts. In Kadathanadan center visitors can watch this art form through a specially designed gallery.
- Coordinates: 9.533 N 77.200 E
- State: Kerala
- Clothing : Warm Clothes and Rain Gear
- Temperature : Min. 0 c – Max. 25 c
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, via Aluva – Munnar Rd, about 108 km
By Rail/ Train
Nearest railway station: Aluva about 108 km and Angamali, about 109 km