Imagine watching a herd of elephants bathing in the lake. While the mother elephant is busy showering her young one, while a baby elephant is being playful with the tree branches on the bank of the lake. Wonder where to witness such a cute picture? Welcome to Thekkady Tourism!
Thekkady is the region in Idukki district, which encompasses the famous Periyar national park and is known for its rich flora and fauna. Adventure, trekking and natural beauty - all assorted in to one, this destination is a major crowd puller in Kerala.
History suggests that the region was ruled by the Pandyas till 12th century. During 18th and 19th century the region was used as the hunting ground by the Travancore Kings. The area owes its prominence mostly to the setting up of Periyar national park.
Green Forest, Aranya Nivas, Tusker Trails and Club Mahindra are some of the ideal hotels in Thekkady.
Following are the main travel attractions of Thekkady
Periyar National Park
Covered with thick greenery and abundant in wildlife, this national park is the pride of Kerala. There are mostly tropical evergreen and deciduous trees found in the park. The flora mostly includes vegetation of banyan, jamun, fig, eucalyptus, mangoes and bamboo.
The fauna family has more than 35 species of animals. Bengal tigers and elephants are found in abundance. There are more than 265 species of birds like black-necked stork, white-bellied blue flycatcher, great hornbill, oriental darter etc.
Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple
This temple is surrounded by lush greenery and is closed round the year except Chitra Pournami festival. Tourists need to get a special letter from the forest authority to view the temple in other times.
One can view parts of eastern ghat from the temple premises. Presumably the king of Tamilakam had built this temple nearly 2000 years back and performed regular religious rituals here. The presiding deity is Kannagi, the legendary woman of the Tamil epic. Some believe that the stone used in making of the idol was brought from the Himalayas.
Lauded for its hilly terrain and a waterfall, Chellarkovil is a laidback village ideal for Village sightseeing and the cultural tour of Thekkady. It has a vast stretch of coconut groves and a beautiful waterfall giving it the look of the village shown in Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan.
Shopping in Thekkady
Spices are the most popular item bought from here. T-shirts with elephant or tiger motifs are loved by the children. Antique items like traditional utensils, lamps, furniture can also be purchased from the popular shops in the market.
When to Reach
September to May is the ideal time for Thekkady sightseeing as the weather is cool and pleasant. Onam festival (August) is also a sought after time to explore the destination.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Madurai Airport, 136km away that is linked to only domestic cities while those coming from abroad will have to get down at Cochin International Airport. Nearest railhead is in Kottayam, 114 km away. Taxi or cab can be hired from the airport and railway station for the destination.
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