Thekkady in Kerala State, India’s largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination for any tourist visiting India. 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 paradise with its natural scenic beauty, clear waters and the serene atmosphere literally captivates the visitors.
In Thekkady you can get a glimpse of wildlife in a close range, and one can also have an opportunity to see and film the wildlife while they are in their natural habitat. Apart from this, the destination has various other opportunities for adventurous tourism such as trekking, wildlife train, bamboo rafting, border hiking and rock climbing.
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 remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake’s edge.
1. Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary: Spread across 777 sq .km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger reserve in 1978 and is noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar river adds to the charm.
2. Sanctuary watch towers: There are three watchtowers for observing wild life.
3. Kumily: This plantation town 4kms from Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping center and spice trading center.
4. Murikkady is 5 km from Thekkady. Washed in fresh spice scented air;Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantation.
5. Pandikuzhi (5 km from Kumily): This picturesque place is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border is a popular picnic spot. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer’s delight.
6. Pullumedu (43 km from Thekkady, 26 km from Periyar): The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala is visible from here. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu.
7. Mangala Devi Temple (15 km from Thekkady): This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala Style of Architecture. The peak commands a panoramic view of the other side of the Ghats and the vast plains of TamilNadu.
8. Chellarkovil (15 km from Kumily): This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons is a feast to the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kambam in neighboring Tamil Nadu.
9. Peerumedu: This famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammad, a Sufi saint .Wide vistas of tea, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed with silver cascades, sculptural rocks, meadows and mist-cloaked hilltops make Peermedu an unforgettable experience.