Thekkady - Co-existence of wildlife 20th of August , 2015   

Thekkady is a small town in the district of Idukki, which houses the Periyar National Park, is an important tourist attraction in the state of Kerala, India. Thekkady is located around 265 KM from Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of Kerala and around 114 KM from the Madurai City in the state of Tamilnadu. It is located on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The place is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grasslands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs.

How to reach

Air : Madurai Airport in the state of Tamilnadu is only 114 KM away. It is around 172 KM from the Cochin International Airport in the state of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram airport is around 265 KM from Thekkady.

Rail : Madurai railway station is at a distance of 114 KM. Cochin-Ernakulam railway station is around 172 KM. Kottayam railway station in the state of Kerala is just 114 KM from Thekkady.

Bus : There are plenty of buses available from Cochin, Madurai, Kottayam and nearby cities.

Road : Thekkady is well connected by roads for travelling in other modes of transport.

Things to do at Thekkady

Plantation tours : Arranged by the District Tourism Information Office at Thekkady Junction in Kumily cover cardamom, pepper, coffee and tea plantations, tea factories, tribal settlements and the surrounding hill regions.

Elephant ride : The Forest Department of Thekkady offers facilities for elephant rides through the jungle.

Trekking : The Forest Department conducts trekking to Kurisumala near Kumily, Pullumedu, Ottakathalamedu near Kumily, Grampi near Chottupara.

Boating : The Forest Department and the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. conduct boating trips.

Places to visit

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: The rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however, is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.

Kurisumala : A place for adventure tourism and trekking. This place offers a panoramic view of Kumily town and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kumily : This plantation town, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. This is an important shopping and the spice trade centre.

Murikkady : Rich with fresh spice-scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.

Pandikuzhi : This place is a picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. This is a popular picnic spot, which offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight.

Mangala Devi Temple : This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak which is around 1337 m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak has a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the Ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Wadren, Thekkady.

Chellarkovil : The sleepy little village has a breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls, which is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

Chottupara : The River Periyar flows through the centre of this town and nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. This is a major trade centre and home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of roses, orchids and anthuria.

Vandanmedu : This is one of the world's largest auction centres for cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu gives an exotic experience.

Pullumedu : The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar River, offers a mesmerising view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty. Since it is part of the restricted forest zone, special permission to visit Pullumedu has to be obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady.

Ramakalmedu : Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu an enchanting retreat. The hill top offers a Panoramic view of the picturesque villages of Bodi and Cumbum on the Eastern slope of the western ghats.