You can visit many places in Thekkady. Some of the most renowned ones are Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Elephant Junction, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi Forest, Periyar Lake, Mangala Devi Temple, and others.
Having a boat ride around the wildlife sanctuary on the upper deck will be a cherished experience for you. The boat ride starts at 6 or 7 in the morning, depending upon the season. You will definitely come across a wide array of chirping birds, deer, wild boar, and elephants on the banks or in the associated forest all around while your boat sails through the lake. If you want more thrills, you can trek through the wild jungle, guided by some tribal guides, who used to be poachers in the past. If luck favors you, you can catch a glimpse of a Tiger, staring at you from only some feet away. On the Tiger Trail, you're sure to encounter sightings of huge butterflies, black langurs, lion-tailed macaques, assorted deer, Malabar squirrels, and many more. You can also tour the plantation areas in the Periyar National Park that cover tea and coffee, pepper, and cardamom plantations . A visit to the Tribal settlements in the surrounding hill areas is also ensured.
Visiting Kadathanadan Kalari Centre is a must for you. Here, you can watch a martial arts performance. They say Kung Fu and other known forms of martial arts have originated from Kalaripayattu, the martial art practiced here. You can enjoy the performance every day from 6 to 7 pm.
Best Time to Visit
It is such a place where you can visit across the year. However, the best time to visit is between September and March. During this time, the weather remains cool. Most importantly, in the winter season too, the lowest temperature hovers around 15°C.
Forests in the Periyar region becomes more beautiful to visit during the monsoon. However, heavy downpours between June and September bring landslides in the area. That's why travelers with a tight schedule of travel may avoid the monsoon season.
Summers are not the best of times to visit Thekkady. The average temperature during day time hovers around 36°C. So, it's best to avoid visiting here in the months of April and May. However, it needs special mention that exploring wildlife is best during March-May because the chances of spotting wild animals around the water bodies increase manifold.
If you want to move locally, the best options available are railway and road transport. Public transports like bus services are good and should be availed to move from one place to another or adjoining areas at affordable cost. You can also hire taxis for moving locally. In fact, most tourists prefer to hire these cabs for visiting various places of Thekkady.
This place has come up as an important tourist destination and that's why you will find all kinds of accommodation facilities in Thekkady. Whether you need an economical option or a luxurious one, you will find everything here. Budget, economical and star (Two, Three, Four, and Five) hotels are available in Thekkady. Most of these hotels can be found in some of the important places of Thekkady and they are Vandanmedu, Thekkady Road, near Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary, KK Road, Ramakkalmedu, Idukki, Peerumedu, and Kumily.
One of the greatest accommodations for nature and wildlife lovers is the Periyar House. It is a budget jungle lodge, situated on the banks of Periyar Lake. You cannot experience Periyar more closely throughout day and night like this.
Some of the other good budget hotels in Thekkady are Highrange Residency, Hotel Ambadi, Edappalayam Tourist Bungalow, Mukkumkal Hotel Regent Tower, Mas Lake Queen Hotel, Hotel Revathy International, and Hotel Mount Sinai. Many economy hotels are also there such as Hotel Tree Top, Thrisangu Haven, Hotel Kumily Gate, Woodlands Prime Castle, and Michale's Inn. If you want to have a luxurious stay in Thekkady, you can try any one among The Elephant Court, Taj Garden Retreat, Spice Village, and Lake Palace.
The most popular dishes available here are the south Indian ones. Relish the fiery and tangy taste of Kerala cuisine at Thekkady restaurants. You can not only have delicacies of Kerela here but also the taste of Tamilnadu. Other than the most favourite dishes of the region like Dosa, Idli, and Kappa, Rice and curries (made up or either fish or fresh vegetables) should be savoured to get the real taste of the place.
As it is a popular tourist destination, you will find all kinds of cuisines here. The most sought after ones include Chinese, Continental, and some other spicy delicacies of India. Besides renowned restaurants, quality food is available in the roadside makeshift shops too. To get the original taste of Thekkady, you can visit these roadside eateries.
When you are in Thekkady, you should buy the spices available in the place. The best place to shop is from the colorful roadside stalls in the heartland of Thekkady. The best quality spices can be found here. Some of the most popular spices of this part of the country are cloves, coriander, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, rolls of cinnamon, pepper (green as well as white), and fenugreek. While shopping, don't forget to buy and munch the indigenous banana chips available here. If you want to bring a souvenir of Thekkady, especially Periyar, you should purchase the T-shirts displaying tiger and elephant motifs.
Thekkady has various things to offer. Whether you like adventurous travelling or family oriented laid-back tours, you will get everything here. Starting from the boat ride (Water Safari) on Periyar Lake to trekking in the dense forest in Tiger Trail, you will find everything in Thekkady. You can also soothe your eyes with views of the lush greenery of plantation sites. If you are a nature lover, visiting Chellarkovil and Pandikuzhi view points are a must. Adventurous people can also visit Gavi Sanctuary for an unforgettable Jeep Safari. You can also enjoy bamboo rafting and border hiking.
A renowned religious site located only 15 kms from the place is Mangala Devi Temple, which demonstrates the traditional architecture of Kerala. This temple is situated 1337 kms above sea level, which will give you a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding areas. Even if you are a non-religious person, visiting this place is a must for you, just to witness the traditional architecture and natural beauty.
Some of the other must-visit destinations in and around Thekkady include Kadathanadan Kalari Centre of martial arts, Ramakalmedu mountain peak, Peermade, Parinthenpara Pambanar, Ramakelmedu, Vagamon, and many more.
You can reach Thekkady by airways, railway, or road transport. Therefore, it is important for you to know the distance of nearest airports and railway stations to Thekkady.
- Madurai is the nearest airport to this place, which is only 140 kms away. Other two airports located near Thekkady are Kochi airport and Thiruvananthapuram airport, which are located 180 kms and 260 kms away respectively.
- The nearest railway station to this place is Kumarakom, located only 114 kms away. Madurai railway station is also situated near Thekkady, which is only 130 kms away.
- To reach the place from the nearest railway stations and airports, you have to avail road transport. The available transports include buses (public as well as private), private taxis and cars-on-hire. Buses are the cheapest option available but they do take longer time than taxis and rental cars to reach destination.
Cost to Travel
Traveling by hired cars is the best medium available here. Depending upon the car and facility (A/C or Non-A/C) you select, it will cost you anything from Rs. 3,500 (Non A/C Indica - 4 Persons) to Rs. 4,700 (Tavera A/C - 7 Persons) to travel from Kochi to Thekkady.
How many days are enough to Travel?
Days required for traveling and enjoying a place varies from person to person. However, to check the most popular destinations of Thekkady, you will require at least 2 days and 1 night of stay.
Tourism Department Contacts
District Tourist Information Office, Thekkady
Phone: + 91 4869 222620
Tel: 1-800-425-4747 (Toll Free)
Tourist Alert Service
Emergency Contact Numbers
Police Station, Kumily: (4869) 222049
Police Station, Idukki: (486) 2235229
Helpline Numbers: 0471-3243000, 0471-3244000, 0471-3245000
Highway Help Number: 9846100100
Railway Alert Number: 9846200100
Places to See in Thekkady
- Periyar National Park
- Periyar Lake
- Periyar Tiger Trail
- Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Last Updated on : 20/09/2013