Thekkady(Periyar) Tourism

Thekkady(Periyar) Tourism

Thekkady(Periyar) Info

  • State: Kerala
  • Famous for/as: Jungle
  • District: Idukki
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 Thekkady

The 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 Thekkady

Thekkady 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 Thekkady

To 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 Thekkady

Hotels 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.

Best time to visit Thekkady(Periyar) in the next six months

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Thekkady(Periyar) Traveller Reviews

Read 186 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 5953 Thekkady(Periyar) reviews 186
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  • Tourist
  • Pream
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 2 Reviews
  •  363 readers

"Good place to visit"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Great place for trekking. Maximum within a day you can cover whole Thekkady in less than a day. Try planning to spend half a day in Thekkady. Thekkady boating in reservoir and Kathakali art shows are the main attractions. Visit Thekkady post monsoons - beat time to visit.
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  • Guru
  • anngr
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 122 photos
  • 144 Reviews
  •  460 helpful votes
  •  73560 readers

"A nice place for a leisure trip"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted May 2, 2016
This is a place for nature lovers. The place's main attraction is the boating and gardens with wild lives. This is a wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve, forest area and also a tea estate. We get hill teas, coffees, aromatic spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, freshly packed. Since its in the border of tamilnadu and kerala restaurants serves both the cuisines that are a must try in the package. Trekking is also conducted we were told. If you plan for trekking do carry the shoes and creams as the forest is so dense with thick flora. Do carry cameras as one can be lucky enough to get a glimpse of a tiger:).
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Pritvi Kanchi

  • Expert
  • Pritvi Kanchi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 128 Reviews
  •  422 helpful votes
  •  464862 readers

"Beautiful Thekkady"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Apr 23, 2016
I had been to Thekkady by road in the month of February 2016. Thekkady is one of the natural wonders in the state of Kerala. The must-visit attractions around Thekkady include the Periyar wildlife sanctuary, Periyar lake and Peermade. The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is located on the Periyar river and spans 780 square kilometers. This was declared as a tiger reserve in 1978. The beautiful Mullaperiyar dam adds to the natural charm of this sanctuary. The main feature of the Periyar Lake is a magnificent palace located at the heart of the lake. This lake attracts heron and hornbills among other flora and fauna. Peermade is located 1100 meters above sea level and is located 44 kilometers from Thekkady town and is better known as a plantation town.
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Shoury bansal

  • Tourist
  • Shoury bansal
  • Lives in Haldwani
  • 6 photos
  • 22 Reviews
  •  182733 readers

"Good place to relax"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 21, 2016
It's a very good place to relax and enjoy the wild life. Take the extreme pleasure of periyar wild life. It is awesome by visiting it by boat.

Elephant ride is famous. There are many certified massage parlors available and it feels very relaxed after the massage.

Also enjoyed mashar arts and kathakali in the evening.

In simple world a very nice place.
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Himanshu Negi

  • Tourist
  • Himanshu Negi
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  1125 readers

"Good place to unwind with nature"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Mar 23, 2016
Nice place to unwind and relax in nature's lap. One get to visit Tamil Nadu as well and enjoy various farms and reserves. Sightseeing and tour are awesome, the temperature at that time of year was good so one use summer clothes to the fullest. Great place.
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  • 2 votes

Priyanka sengupta

  • Scout
  • Priyanka sengupta
  • Lives in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1583 readers

"Wonderful Experience"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Mar 7, 2016
I visited this place with my family. Its a beautiful lake surrounded by hills, wild animals and deep forest. We saw wild dogs, sambars, bison and elephant as we took early morning boat safari. The breeze was too cold and shivering at morning. You can see many wild animals in the river bank if lucky. Don't forget to carry your binoculars as they will never take the boat closer to the animal spotting area as the route is fixed.
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Papai Sinha

  • Tourist
  • Papai Sinha
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 5 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  1206 readers

"Heaven for spice lovers and massage lovers"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Feb 25, 2016
Roadside beauty during travelling from Munnar to Thekkady is awesome. Two sides of roads are full of Tea gardens, cardamom trees and also full of other different spice trees. Boating experience at Periyar lake also beautiful. If you are lucky enough then you could see Elephant, Bison, Deer and many types of birds. Also Kakhakali dance show and Martial Arts show are must watch events at Thekkady. And the last but not in the list is massage at Thekkady. One must do the massage experience.
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Shrirang Patil

  • Tourist
  • Shrirang Patil
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 4 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  3833 readers

"A good destination"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Feb 18, 2016
Thekkady is well known for tiger reserve. One must book the tickets online for boat ride in the Periyar lake to avoid inconvenience. Though we didn't get to see tigers, early morning boat ride in itself was a good experience. One must watch Kathakali, a folk art of Kerala and Kalari Paitu, a martial art of Kerala.
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Aishwarya Kokate

  • Tourist
  • Aishwarya Kokate
  • Lives in Sangli
  • 5 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  2017 readers

"Overall best experience of my life!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 13, 2016
This place has natural beauty. Series of tea farms then spice villages, market of Thekkady is also good. There are many shops of spice, banana wafers, craft & art shop for shopping. Periyar wildlife sanctuary & elephants safari in spice village this are really attractive place in Thekkady you must visit this place. At Thekkady there is spa massage available then kathakkali dance programs we were watched. My advice to travellers in your whole life please you don't lose the chance to see Kerala. Must visit Kerala really it is gods own country.
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Anuj Gupta

  • Tourist
  • Anuj Gupta
  • Lives in Jaipur
  • 16 photos
  • 13 Reviews
  •  21 helpful votes
  •  5240 readers

"Up the hills , Down the plains - Part 1"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Feb 11, 2016
A state known as God's own country. Which is famous for its spices and for its coffee. Which is densely populated with trees( lush green). Which has the highest literacy rate in India. You got that right I am talking about Kerala. The list is huge, the above mentioned are just a few points explaining the beauty and the serenity of the place. It is famous for its backwaters, beaches, monuments, forts, wildlife, hills, waterfalls and temples. There are a lot of places in Kerala which attract huge chunks of tourists, both Indian and foreign tourists. Munnar, Thekkady and Alleppey are among such places and these are the places which I visited.

Day 1: Kochi

Reached Kochi in the evening around 4. 30 pm, the flight got late otherwise would have seen Kochi a bit. Kochi is the starting point if you plan to see Munnar, Thekkady and Alleppey. You need maximum 6 days to cover all the three places and people generally cover these places in one trip, since there is no point of spending 5- 6 days in one of these places until and unless you have a specific reason for that and there is no point on going for 2-3 day vacation to place so far of from your place ( I stay in Jaipur, so imagine me visiting Munnar or Thekkady for 2-3 days, that would be ridiculous). These places are not that far from each other, hence covered in one trip.

I was in Kochi only for few hours, since I was suppose to leave for Thekkady the next day that to early morning. I saw marine drive ( I thought only Mumbai has marine drive, but every city which is connected to sea has a marine drive). There is also an option of boat ride from marine drive. The person will charge Rs 300 per head for a 2 hour ride. It is not that great, but if you don't have enough time then you should go for it, otherwise you will spend you day in the hotel room which is not at all a good option. I saw shipyard, navy base (a too distant view) and Bolgatty resort of KTDC ( a place where a lot of South Indian movies are shot). Also visited the local market but couldn't find anything worth buying.

Stay: I stayed in Hotel Sealord, which is opposite to marine drive. It serves variety of sea food (majorly). Vegetarian dishes are okay not that great. Talking about the room, it is spacious and the service is also good.

Day 2: Thekkady: I left for Thekkady early morning 7 am. It is best to leave as early as you can when you are out tripping, you could save yourself the traffic which you might encounter if you leave late. Apart from that you would also reach the destination on time would be able to cover maximum places. Our driver was very informative, he kept us telling the facts of Kochi like how may railway stations the city has, Milma - Dairy of Kerala, the refinery of Kerala etc. In Kerala, there are a lot of people following Christianity, I saw a lot of churches on the way and most of them were very beautifully built. The structure was astonishing making you wonder how much labor, time, money would have been spent to build the same. Apart from that I also saw rubber plantations, pineapple plantations, supari trees, banana plantations. Do stop and have look. Then next was, Vallamgalam waterfall (I guess that is the name), it is not that huge but it is a tourist stop, so probably stop for a few min. That's all and if you do then don't miss to taste the pineapple's which are sold by the shops there. The taste is unusual. And off-course the majestic site of nature ( by that I mean hills, waterfalls, rivers etc) will keep on making you awe struck on every turn which you will take.

Reached Thekkady by 1 pm. Checked in the Hotel, had lunch and then left for sight seeing. There are a few places to see, but if you are there for 1 and half day then following are the places which are to be covered:

1. There are three types of Jeep ride in Thekkady:

A) which covers the specific points in thekday (you can call then nature points). It covers 4 points namely- Camel top, waterfall point, Kubily-TN point and the watch tower point. Charges are Rs 2000 per Jeep and generally it take around 3-4 hours to cover all the points or may be more, depends how much time you spend at a particular point. The Jeep ride is very bumpy, its like you are cruising through the area covered densely with trees, the next moment   you are climbing the mountain with a Jeep. The roads are not properly built. I did see some of the residential houses, whose owners own maruti alto, a maruti 800 etc. I was wondering they must be testing the limits of their cars everyday ( since the area where 2 out of 4 points are located is very steep, and you normally only see cars like Jeep cruising through such routes). There is one point which is situated on the Kerala-TN border. From camel top point, you will witness a picturesque view of Thekkady.

B) which covers the grape and tea plantations. There is no point in taking that ride since you can witness these for free while you are on you way to Thekkady or Munnar.

C) I do not remember the name of the place. It takes around 2-3 hours to reach there and as told the view from that point is very pretty. Charges are Rs 3500 per Jeep.

2. Mudra Arts Center : There are daily shows of Kathakali ( it is a dance of Kerala state and its intriguing how the artist dresses up, his gestures specially the movement of their eye) and Kalaripayyttu (martial arts of Kerala State) happening in Mudra Art Centre. Charges are Rs 200 for each show per head. If you have seen these acts before then you can pass but if not then you should definitely see them.   I opted for jeep ride mentioned as 1. A) and after that I saw kathakali and kalaripayyttu and got free by 7pm. After that i roamed in the market for some time and came back to the hotel.  

Day 3

3. Periyar National Park: There are some 5-6 activities which can be done while you are in reserve. Some are bamboo rafting, boating, trekking etc. Bamboo rafting is not worth money, so its's my advice not to go for that. Now trekking, I did not do it since I was running short of time, but it guess it would good ( think trekking in the forest area with a guide who is making you familiar with the forest, there also an option of night trek).

Then comes the main activity Boating. It is advised that you book tickets on-line to avoid the long ques and to save time. If you do not want to book on-line, then it is advised that you reach at-least 1. 30-2 hours before the scheduled time. Boat timings are 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm and then i guess 3 pm is the last. So if you reach the booking counter by 8. 30 am and hope to get tickets for 9 am, then I am pretty sure you must be dreaming ( all this is in context to peak season). It is a 2 and half hour long boating, if you are lucky then you will see animals on the shore of the islands which will come while you are boating ( I wasn't that lucky, just saw a few birds). You will encounter picturesque views while boating.

Stay :I stayed in silver crest. It is a newly built hotel, and food is delicious. Also it has a swimming pool and the room are clean and spacious.
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  • 3 votes

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