Thekkady, located in the Idukki district of the state of Kerala, is the place where the Periyar National Park is located. Thekkady lies very close to Kumily, which lies on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across an area of 300 square miles, is home to thick evergreen forests, deciduous forests and a host of animal species, viz. elephants, sambar, tigers, Nilgiri Langurs, etc.
Things to do in ThekkadyThe Mullaiperiyar Dam has been built across the Periyar River here, resulting in the formation of an artificial lake, which adds to the scenic beauty of the place. Apart from the park, Thekkady has a few more tourist attractions. Tourists can also try various attractive packages options to tour Thekkady.
There is the Mangala Devi Temple here which opens only during the Chitra Pournima Festival. The Chellarkovil which is known for its waterfalls and the Anakkara are other attractions. Thekkady is also known for its natural spices which are found in abundance here in the form of clove, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper. In recent times, the government has made concerted efforts to promote spice tourism in the area. The area of Anakkara along with Murikkady is known for its spice plantations.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by the Cardamom Hills, with the highest peak being that of Kottamalai at 2019 metres. The varying altitudes of the sanctuary give it different temperature conditions, which results in different types of vegetation. The temperature during the summer months could be between 15-20° Celsius, depending on the altitude.
Apart from being an ecotourism destination, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or Thekkady as it is often called, also attracts a lot of pilgrims every year who come here to visit the Sabarimala Temple here. The temple receives more than 3 million pilgrims every year.
The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary, which dates back to 1950, is largely a protected piece of land with tourist activity restricted to the northern end of the park. It has been done so to protect the flora and fauna of the region.
Food and Shopping in ThekkadyThekkady offers quite a few places to shop, for the most produces are spices and small knicks-knacks. Market places are very few and not big on scales. But, there are a few attractive stalls centrally located in those areas. One can buy fenugreek, rolls of cinnamon, white and green pepper, cardamom, star anise, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and more. Traditional banana chips should be missed out, which are fried in fresh coconut oil and this is also a speciality.
Travelling to ThekkadyTo reach Thekkady, the nearest airport is at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, which is located at a distance of around 136 km away from Thekkady. The nearest international airport is Nedumbassery airport in Kochi, which is at a distance of about 190 km away.
Thekkady has the nearest railhead at Kottayam at a distance of about 114 km. All the express trains that go to Trivandrum, passes through Kottayam as well. There is KSRTC public transport buses connecting Thekkady with nearby cities, along with super fast buses regularly available from Kochi, Kottayam and Trivandrum to Thekkady..
Accommodation options in ThekkadyHotels in Thekkady range from mountain resorts and budget hotels to jungle resorts. Most of these hotels also offer transfers for sightseeing and pick-up from railway and bus stations.