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Thekkady

Complete with spice plantations, tea gardens, a wildlife sanctuary and a thriving indigenous tribe population, Thekkady is an traveller's delight. The Periyar Tiger Reserve here is the area's main attraction. Most resorts and hotels centre around the town of Kumily, a mere stone's throw away from the reserve. Probably the only reserve in the world that allows tourists to camp and trek inside the forest area, the sanctuary does live up to its high expectations, with thrillingly well-beautifully curated activities.

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Things to do

Elephant safari - Much like coconuts and red rice, elephants have been synonymous with Kerala from time immemorial. Long been domesticated to carry royalty, ride into war, lead temple processions and haul timber, these gentle giants are one of a kind. Drive down to Persian Paradise safari site, where your ride awaits you.

Gavi Jeep Safari - A quaint lesser-known eco-tourism centre, Gavi is part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Lush green forests, misty treetops, marshy grasslands and a reservoir make for superb pictures a little over 40 kilometres away from Thekkady.

Kalaripayattu Performance - Martial arts like none other, 6 feet under. What makes Kerala unique is its penchant for keeping ancient art forms alive with numerous cultural centers.

Jungle Scout - Here's a night safari like none other. Walk through the jungle in the dead of a night, with nothing but torchlight to guide you past mighty elephants in tiger territory. Organized more as a conservation idea for protection of jungles through the night, this is probably the best way to get a first-hand experience of life in the wild.

Related Trips

  • Think Thekkady, think big cats and pachyderms! Watch them at close quarters from the comfort of your boat on the beautiful reservoir. Thekkady is also known as the 'Spice County'and has numerous spice gardens. The hills here have some of the best trekking trails; all spread around an artificial lake created while the Mullaperiyar Dam was built.

    5 Days | INR 19,812 per person
  • Thekkady is known for its tribal heritage spaces. The villagers around the Periyar Tiger reserve still are dependant on the forest.Cultural shows of Kathakali and the Keralan martial art of Kalaripayattu are available. The Mangala Devi Temple which stands tall at 1337 metre above sea level opens its doors just once a year. Authentic Keralan cuisine can be sampled from many a restaurants here.

    5 Days | INR 13,802 per person
  • Step out on a leisurely tour of the spice plantations. Watch birds and butterflies on the various nature walks on offer through deciduous forests and grasslands. Relax with an Ayurvedic massage.

    5 Days | INR 17,246 per person
  • Watch herds of elephants come down to get a drink or bathe in the reservoir. The Bengal tiger, sambar deer, bison, gaur, wild pig, jungle cat, Nilgiri tahr, the Indian giant squirrel, and the lion tailed macaque are the other wild life you may spot. The avian population is also pretty rich: Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri flycatcher and rare species like black baza, Nilgiri thrush, little spiderhunter, brahminy kite, great hornbill etc.

    4 Days | INR 15,799 per person
  • Long treks with a tribal guide who knows the forest intimately, elephant rides, a jeep safari to Gavi forest, hiking and camping, boating, bike tours, jungle patrol, bamboo rafting; the possibilities of adventure in Thekkady are unending.

    5 Days | INR 22,438 per person

Best time to visit September to March

For clearer skies, opt for a slot between the early September to the end of March. The beaches look their best early November through to March.

Mid-October and November does see a fair amount of rain with the North-West monsoons.

Sultry summers set in by April to the end of May with fairly high outdoor temperatures.

Monsoons arrive by the first week of June right through to the end of August. Cool temperatures with overcast skies and green all around make this a visit like none other.

How to reach

Air

  • The nearest airport to Thekkady is Madurai Airport (IXM), which is located 157 kilometre away. Madurai airport is located in Madurai district in Tamil Nadu state of India. Madurai airport is connected major airports like Chennai and Coimbatore. You can take cab or bus from Madurai to reach Thekkady.

Rail

  • The nearest railhead is Kottayam, situated 109 kilometre away from Thekkady. Kottayam is well connected to other major destinations in Kerala. You can take cab/bus from outside of Kottayam railway station to Thekkady.

Road

  • Thekkady is well-connected to other major destinations through government/State transport. You can take cab or bus from any major destination in Kerala to reach Thekkady.

Blogs

  • thekkady-blog1

    Around Kerala in 10 days : Best Kerala Itinerary

    Variety is the spice of life. And tourism in Kerala is a fine example. From the serene backwaters and misty hills to ancient architecture and impressive wildlife, God's Own Country offers a truly d...

    Click to read
  • thekkady-blog2

    Monsoons in Kerala - The Hills

    Munnar and Wayanad are perhaps the most compelling reasons to visit Kerala during the monsoon season. It all begins with a drive across Kerala's palm fringed countryside that slowly ascends into lu...

    Click to read
  • thekkady-blog3

    Thekkady - Cat Prowling and Spice Hunting

    Complete with spice plantations, tea gardens, a wildlife sanctuary and a thriving indigenous tribe population, Thekkady is a traveller's delight. The Periyar Tiger Reserve here is the area's main a...

    Click to read