Thekkady is a true paradise for wildlife and nature lovers and is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala. This heavenly tourist destination with its cool climate, panoramic vistas, and undulated forests covered in lush greenery, serene ambience, and the exotic wildlife sanctuary attracts scores of tourists from across the world, making it one of the most favoured holidaying destinations in the Southern state of Kerala.
The idyllic destination offers scores of thrilling adventure activities, unique wildlife, untouched nature, decent and affordable accommodation, as well as easy accessibility, making it a must-visit tourist spot in Kerala. From the scenic setting of swaying palm trees, vibrant culture and sunset viewing to picturesque hill stations, tea gardens and rich biodiversity, Thekkady’s bounty has much more to offer visitors. Add a dash of luxury to this by staying in one of the multiple luxury and affordable resorts and hotels here that ensure the best of hospitality to its guests who come from far off to enjoy a memorable holiday in nature’s laps.
A journey to the best places in Thekkady immediately brings to mind pack of majestic elephants and fearsome tigers walking along the pristine rivers in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, bamboo rafting and boating in the Periyar Lake, aromatic spice plantations along with scented gardens of tea, coffee and cardamom, chains of lush green hills, tranquil waterfalls, quaint little hamlets and soft contoured hill slopes. While there are endless breath-taking tourist attractions, we bring to you the list of top seven, saving you from all the stress of listing down the prospective places to visit in Thekkady. Make sure you explore these spectacular places to relax and rejuvenate in a short span of time. So, get ready to explore the wonderful places to visit in Thekkady in the true abode of Gods!
Periyar National Park is undoubtedly the most bio-diverse and well-protected region in the country and one of the best places to see in Thekkady. Known for its verdant greenery and natural beauty, the park is the dwelling place of the profusion of significant species including the royal tigers and majestic elephants. Spread over a sprawling 777 square kilometers of land, the national park draws thousands of tourists around the year. Once here indulge in the pleasure of boat cruises, jungle safaris in the form of jeep safaris and elephant safaris and prominent eco-tourism activities like Jungle Patrol, Border hiking, Bamboo Rafting, Periyar Tiger Trail, Jungle Inn, and Jungle camp. The Rivers Pamba and Periyar flow through the dense park and help the flora and fauna inhabiting in it to nurture and flourish.
Home to some 53 tigers and more than 900 elephants along with over 62 species of mammals, you can also spot many threatened and endangered species like flying squirrels, fruit bats, bisons, foxes, sloth bears, wild boars, leopards, and jungle cats. It also provides shelter to many migratory birds like Malabar grey hornbill, white-bellied blue flycatcher, Sunbird, great hornbill, black-necked stork, and Nilgiri wood pigeon. The floral beauty of the place is equally endearing and comprises of thick tropical evergreen trees of teak, mangoes, rosewood, bamboos, sacred fig, sandalwood, Indian conifer, among others.
The park houses many prominent attractions in it, such as the Mangala Devi Temple, Periyar Lake, Cardamom Hills, and Pullumedu amongst others. One can enjoy thrilling activities like river rafting, boat cruise, bamboo boat rides, and bird watching at the Periyar Lake.
Location: Thekkady, Kerala
Best time to visit: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, open all days
Entry fees: INR 25per person for Indians, INR 300 per person for foreign tourists
Activities/Attractions: Wildlifespotting, nature photography, bird watching, and boating
Nestled in the heart of the protected jungle area, the alluring Thekkady or Periyar Lake is famous for its wide varieties of wildlife. You can also take a boat ride in the reservoir, which offers plenty of chances to spot some rare birds like Malabar Grey Hornbill and Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. The artificial lake is one of its own kind and continues to serve as the primary water source to the jungle dwellers. The calm and serene lake is situated adjacent to the Periyar National Park and is a famous tourist spot, and is calming enough to relax your mind, body, and spirit.
While here, you can enjoy boating and appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings, and if you are lucky, you might get a chance to see herds of elephants bathing on the lakeside.
Location: Thekkady, Kumily
Best time to visit: Boat ride timings are 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:45 PM and 3:30 PM
Entry fees: INR 225 per adult and INR 75 for children. Advance booking charges for boating are INR 500
Activities/Attractions: Elephant spotting, photography, bird watching, and boating
One of the most exuberant places to visit in Thekkady, this ideal picnic spot for families and nature lovers, offers some spellbinding views of lush green gardens and the magnificent chain of hills. Spice plantations stretch through the area and the fine aroma of the coffee, tea, pepper, and cardamom wafts through the air and enlivens the senses. Murikkady cultivates more than twelve indigenous varieties of spices including clove, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and vanilla. Such a day out in a healthy environment with fresh air is a panacea for your body and mind.
Bask in the sweet and spicy aroma of the spice, as well as gain a unique insight into the commercial processing of cardamom. The lively environment and intoxicating aroma will fill you with an indelible mark leave you surprised.
Location: Murikkady, Thekkady
Best time to visit: 6:00 AM to 8:30 PM
Entry fees: N/A
Activities/Attractions: Spice plantations, nature photography, bird watching, and shopping
One of the most interesting tourist attractions in Thekkady is Kadathanadan Kalari Center, a place renowned for enjoying the traditional form of martial arts, Kalaripayattu. The place emanates an air of culture and historical heritage local to that of Kerala and is designed to showcase the self-defense practices of the Southern state of Kerala with full enjoyment to guests through the various performances of the martial arts. The age-old art form was developed by Sage Parshuram, and if you are keen on learning it, you can try your hands at it and enroll for the different levels here viz. basic, intermediate, and advanced.
Location: Tiger Reserve, Thekkady
Best time to visit: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Entry fees: INR 200 per adult
Activities/Attractions: Martial art performances, learning
One of the best places to see in Thekkady, the gorgeous hill station of Pandikuzhi is located between Chellarkovil and Tamil Nadu border and is just 5 kilometers from Thekkady. Enveloped by lush green foliage and extreme tranquillity and serenity, the place draws you away from the maddening crowd of the city and bestows an experience you have never had before. The place is famous for a number of pristine waterfalls and winding streams, captivating landscape, and a variety of flora and fauna housed in the virgin environs that will enlighten you and make you feel alive. The place is a perfect spot for spending a day picnicking amongst thickets of greenery, thrilling terrains, and gushing streams, and is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and photographers.
Best time to visit: 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Entry fees: N/A
Activities/Attractions: Nature photography, bird watching, and waterfalls
Located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the dam offers exquisite views of the tiger reserve and the Periyar Lake and is flanked by tall, dense trees that impart a sense of tranquillity and make the place true heaven for nature lovers. While at the Mullaperiyar Dam, revel in the unique sights of water cascading down from a towering height of 155-feet. For the wildlife enthusiasts, the vantage point offers a holistic view of the diverse wildlife of the reserve, including white tigers, Indian elephants, bison, leopards, and macaques.
Location: Thekkady, Kumily
Best time to visit: 6:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Entry fees: INR 25 per person for Indians, INR 300 for foreigners
Activities/Attractions: Nature photography and wildlife spotting
This privately owned spice garden is one of the most interesting places to see in Thekkady and is unique in its own way. Spread over an area of 2 acres, the organic spice plantations offer a hands-on experience with an interactive tour that explains the cultivation and processing of various spices. Featuring a myriad of species of banana, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, and other old spices, the place is truly a delight for botany enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The heavenly scented garden is situated between the way of Thekkady and Kottam and is looked upon as a perfect place to learn more about spice cultivation, Ayurveda, and organic farming.
Location: Spring Valley, Idukki, Kumily
Best time to visit: 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Entry fees: INR 200 per person
Activities/Attractions: Nature photography and spice plantations
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, leisure traveler, romantic couple, casual vacationer or a backpacker, the pictorial town of Thekkady with its rugged terrains, rolling hills, picturesque meadows, and fascinating locales will leave you wanting for more. If you are looking for an idyllic getaway featuring natural splendour in all its glory, there are plenty of places to visit in Thekkady that are perfect for those who are exhausted by the hustle and bustle of dreary life and want to escape to a place where there is only nature, wildlife, and serenity.
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