State : Kerala
Thekkady - The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants,
unending chains of hill and spice scented plantations. Here, in
the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience the
most enchanting tour.
Spices are found in abundance in Periyar. A guided Plantation tour
to familiarize you with different spices and plantations like cardamom,
pepper, tea, coffee, cloves, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin seed,
garlic etc. is a main attraction of Thekkady.
Place to See
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located by the side of the river Periyar, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
is the main attraction of Thekkady. Spread over an area of about
777 sq km with about 360 sq. km of which is thick evergreen forest,
the sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. However, the
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary can also be recognised as one of the
natural treasure houses of some of the rare species of flora and
fauna. The flora of the park includes over 1965 flowering plants,
171 grass species, 143 species of orchids and the only South Indian
conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus. Apart from the tigers, the fauna
of the park includes wild elephant, gaur, sambar deer, wild boar,
Nilgir Tahr, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, Malabar giant
squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear, hornbill,
stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter,
cobra, viper, krait, monitor lizards, frogs, toads, masheer (famous
and endangered game fish of India) and otter. .
The lake of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary makes an important site
to visit in Thekkady. This splendid artificial lake formed by the
Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the
park. A wonderful palace located in the heart of the Periyar Lake
attracts a lot of visitors. The greatest attraction of Periyar Lake
however is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in
the lake. Periyar is the only sanctuary in India where you can have
the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters form
the safety of a boat on the lake.
The Watch Tower makes another important tourist spot to visit within
the park. You can also have a wonderful view of the surrounding
areas from here. The tower is maintained by the Forest Department
and it is one of the best places to witness the animals, as the
tower overlooks water holes in buffer zone. Wear proper boots and
outfits to avoid scars and insect bites.
How to Reach
: Nearest Airport Madurai(140 km) / Cochin
is (190 km).
: Kottayam, Madurai, Teni, Changanaserry
are the major railheads near Thekkady.
: The city is connected to various destinations
of South India by frequent bus services.