Thekkady is a town located in the Idukki district of Kerala. By the very name of this place one is able to visualize roaring tigers amidst the savanna grasslands. Thekkady houses the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which is a home to 24 Bengal tigers, sambhars, elephants, deers, bisons, wild boars and a wide variety of other wild animals and birds. There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park out of which many are threatened species.
Periyar forest of Thekkady is known to have one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in the country. Surrounding this small town are picturesque plantations and hill towns that make this place truly beautiful.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger reserve in 1978. It is a thick evergreen forest with savanna grasslands. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park.
Boating in the Periyar Tiger Reserve
Boating in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is as thrilling as it could get. There are boats at regular intervals that take the tourists into the dense forests of Periyar. You are made to sit on the deck of the boat with your life-jacket circled around your chest and then begins the most memorable boat ride of your life. As the boat moves slowly into the forest one can see herds of elephants, sambhars, bisons, and wild boars assembled at the banks of the river to quench their thirst.
A wide variety of birds including the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Kingfisher, Blue-winged Parakeet, Great Hornbill, Sri Lanka Frogmouth and others can be spotted flying around or sitting on the logs of wood in the middle of the Periyar river.
It is advisable to carry a pair of binoculars and a high quality camera so that you can get a clear view of the wild animals and birds. Also, if you are lucky you just might spot a Tiger ;).
Elephant Safari in Periyar : Elephant safari in the dense evergreen forests of Periyar can be an exciting experience. On your way say hello to deers, sambhars, bisons and various other animals that you spot. The ride is truly enjoyable given the sorroundings.
Kumily : Kumily is a plantation town situated on the outskirts of Thekkady. This town is known for its spice gardens and Ayurveda preparations. A visit to the spice gardens is a must since Kerala is known for its spices. High quality spices can be purchased from the Government shop in Kumily. There may not be a a lot of variation in prices but the quality shall surely make you spot the difference.
- Air: Thekkady does not have an airport of its own but the Madurai airport located at a distance of 136 km. is the nearest airport.
- Train: The nearest railway station to Thekkady is in Kottayam 114 km. away. Kottayam is well connected with the major cities in India. Though it is advisable to drive to Thekkady so that you do not miss out on the panoramic views.
- Road: Thekkady is a 4 hrs. drive from Munnar. After seeing the flower gardens and tea plantations as you descend down to reach the Periyar forest you get drenched in the beauty of the breathtaking views along the road. However, Thekkady is well connected by road to all the other cities in Kerala.
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- State: Kerala
- District: Idukki
- Famous for/as: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Languages: Malayalam, English
- Best time to visit: October to February
- Weather: Summer 22 to 37°C, Winter 15 to 20°C
- Pincode: 685509
- STD code: 04869
- State Govt. tourism website: http://idukki.nic.in/thekkady.htm