Thekkady Tourism and Travel Guide
Sightseeing: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a fascinating natural wildlife reserve spread across 777 sq. km, which was declared a Tiger ReserveThekkady in 1978. The Sanctuary is centred around the 24 sq km artificial lake formed by Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river. There are three watch towers to observe wild life at Edappalayam and Manakkavala and Thannikudi.
The Mangladevi Temple (12 km away), on the northern boundary of the reserve, the famous plantation town Peermede, named after the Sufi saint Peer Mohammed, Munnar, the popular hill station known for Neelakurinji, a flower which washes the hills in a blue hue every twelve years and the highest peak in South India, Anamudi (2695 m), are places worth visiting.
Activities: The forest department arranges plantation eco-tours through the spice, coffee and tea plantations, as well as visits to tea factories, tribal hamlets in and around the hills. To enjoy the forest experience you can go for elephant rides, boat cruises on the Periyar Lake, and trekking in Kurisumala, Pullumedu, Ottakathalamedu, Grampi, Nellikkampetty and Manakkavala.
The Arubi creek (16 kms), Crusoe Island (19 kms), Manakkavala (10 kms), Mullakudy (29 km), Pavarasu (19 kms), Periyar Dam (12 kms), Thannikudy (38 kms) and Peermede (40 kms) are ideal picnic spots. The Tribal Heritage Programme gives you a glimpse into the tribal way of life with its tour of the grey thatched tribal hamlets, traditional fishing and hunting gears, indigenous medicinal plants, as well as the Tribal Heritage Museum.
How to Reach Thekkady?
Air: The nearest Airport is Madurai, which is 140 km and Kochi (185 km), and Thiruvananthapuram (265 km).
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kumarakom, 114 km and Madurai station is about 136 km.
Road: An excellent road network from Kumily (4 km) links the town to all major towns and cities in Kerala and India.
Shopping in Thekkady: Shopping in Thekkady is fun, as you will find many small knick-knacks to buy for yourself and family and friends. Thekkady does not have many big shopping areas, but one important area is Kumily, which is located at a distance of 4 kilometers. The question of what to buy in Thekkady shouldn’t bother you much as this place is full of those little items that are petty but still beautiful in its own way.
Shopping is really entertaining in Thekkady. You may be tempted to buy just about everything displayed in the small, colorful stalls of the markets. Since it is located in the heartland, you will find the best of fenugreek, white and green pepper, rolls of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, coriander, cloves and almost all spices you can think of. Buy a sample of all these, packed in neat, little, transparent pouches, that come with printed labels.
Munch on banana chips that are freshly fried in aromatic coconut oil, as you wade through the tangle of corridors of the spice markets. All said and done, do not forget to buy nice quality t-shirts for your kids that have tiger and elephant motifs on them as a memoir of your Kerala visit.