Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary
September to May
Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, English
Thekkady, located in central Kerala, is a popular hill station and a wildlife centre. This town, which is an important plantation centre, conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations.
In the Periyar Forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves of India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold immense opportunities for treks and mountain walks. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978.
Noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river adds to the charm of the park.
This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge.
Sanctuary Watch Towers
There are three watch towers for observing wild life - at Edappalayam and Manakkavala and Thannikudi. Reservations can be made at the Forest Information Counter, Thekkady.
Kumily(4 km from Thekkady)
This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is in Kumily.
Murikkady(5 km from Thekkady)
Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.
Pandikuzhi (5 km from Kumily)
This picturesque place is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border is a popular picnic spot. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight.
Pullumedu (43 km from Thekkady, 26 km from Periyar)
The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu, which can be accessed from a jeep.
Vandiperiyar ( 18 km from Thekkady)
The river Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories.
Chellarkovil (15 km from Kumily)
This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons is a feast to the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kumbam in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Vandanmedu (25 km from Kumily)
This is one of the world's largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantaions of Vandanmedu is a pleasent experience.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air - Nearest Airport : Madurai (Tamil Nadu) 140 kms, Kochi (Nedumbassery - 185 km), Thiruvananthapuram (265 kms).
Rail - Nearest railway station is Kumarakom 114 kms. Madurai station is about 136 kms.
Road - An excellent road network from kumily (4 kms) links the to all major towns and cities in india.