Ideal Trip Duration: Half Day to Full Day

Base Station: Kumily (4 Kms)

Nearest City to Thekkady: Kochi (156 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Thekkady: September to May

Peak Season: February to May

State: Kerala | District: Idukki

Thekkady Weather: Maximum: 32°C
Minimum: 15°C

At a distance of 54 km from Idukki, 143 km from Kochi, 211 km from Trivandrum, 111 km from Kottayam, 136 km from Madurai and 82 km from Munnar, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India, is located in Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala. It is located at a distance of 4 km from Kumily on Kerala - Tamilnadu boarder. It is one of the most famous Tourist places in kerala and also a well know summer getaway in Kerala state. Thekkady is also known as one of the scenic Kerala Backwater trips in Periyar lake.

In 1899, the Maharaja of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma has declared the forests around Periyar Lake as a private game reserve to stop the invasion of tea plantations. Further, in 1934, the lake reserve was converted into a game sanctuary, the Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary, covered an area of about 500 sq. km. It was established as Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950 and named after the Periyar River. The sanctuary is spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest. It was declared as Tiger Reserve in 1978.

The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. There are a few watch towers inside Periyar Tiger Reserve which are excellent for viewing wildlife. Thekkady is famous for Asian Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Sambars, Lion-tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Wild Boars, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Wild Dogs, Sloth Bears, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Civet, Nilgiri Tahr, etc. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can watch wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat from the lake. The main attraction of the sanctuary is group of wild elephants that come to play in the lake.

The sanctuary contains 265 species of birds including migratory. Malabar grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, White bellied Treepie, many species of drongos, woodpeckers, flycatchers, babblers, spectacular Malabar trogon, etc can be seen near the boat landing. The sanctuary is also home for a wide variety of reptiles. The Periyar Lake and streams have several species of fish including the masheer, the famous and endangered game fish of India.

The park offers elephant rides, jeep safari, boating in the lake, tiger trails and forest treks. All cruises, treks start from boathouse in Thekkady. Contact Eco Tourism Center in Kumily for more information on tourism programs and advance booking (Ph. 04869-224572).

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady, Kerala also attracts a lot of pilgrims every year who come here to visit the Sabarimala Temple. Murikkady, Chellar Kovil, Anakkara, Mangala Devi Temple, Suruli Falls and Pullumedu are the popular Thekkady tourist places.

Madurai (148 km) and Kochi (135 km) are the nearest airports from Thekkady. Kottayam (111 km) is the nearest rail head from Thekkady. Kumily is connected by bus with major towns of Kerala & Tamil Nadu. Thekkady can be reached by public/private vehicle from Kumily.

The ideal time to visit Thekkady is between Sep - May while the peak season is from Feb to May. It usually takes half day to 1 day to visit this sanctuary.

Timing: 6 AM - 6 PM

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Internet Not Available
STD Code: 0486
Languages Spoken: Malayalam, Tamil , Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Details Not Available
Notes/Tips:
None

HOW TO REACH THEKKADY (PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY)


By Air

Nearest Airport: Madurai - Madurai Airport (140 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Kottayam Railway Station (100 Kms)
Alappuzha Railway Station (130 Kms)
Ernakulam Jn (South) Railway Station (156 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Kumily Bus Station (4 Kms)

16 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN THEKKADY (PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY)


Wildlife

Elephant rides are famous in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The elephant rides through the spice gardens are arranged by Elephant Junction. This park is situated 4 Km away from Kumily Bus Stand. It offers a rare opportunity to experience the safari on an Elephant through a Spice Plantation where the gentle breeze refresh ones, with the spice scented air.

Elephant Junction is a place where one can actually interact with the elephants getting indulged into activities such as bathing elephant, elephant ride and enjoying getting around with playful elephants. Elephant safaris are equipped with a howdah on the back of the elephant on which two tourists sit, with an umbrella over the riders head. Elephant trainers will be at side, walking along with the elephant.

Package Cost:

30 minutes elephant safari: Rs.350 per person
60 minutes elephant safari: Rs.750 per person
90 minutes elephant safari: Rs. 1500 per person

Elephant Safari Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM.


Adventure / Trekking

Several trekking programs are offered in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Short trekking programs are available that cover 4-5 Km and completed in 3 hrs. This is a good option to watch birds, butterflies and some wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests and grasslands. It costs Rs. 300 per person and a group can have a maximum of 4 persons.

A 12 Km trek (one way) to the ruined Mangaladevi temple in middle of the Periyar Sanctuary is a great option to experience beauty of the park in depth. It is recommended for experience trekkers.

Border Hiking is a conservation oriented hard trek taking up a full day. The trekking starts at 8 AM and ends in the evening. The route passes through undulating terrains. Maximum of 10 tourists can take the programme in two different groups. The trekkers will go with two guides and an armed forest guard.

Tourists can also participate in jungle patrol, which is a night trek programme intended to conserve .....


Historical & Heritage

The tribal heritage programme is intended to provide a glimpse of tribal life to the visitors. It mainly involves a visit to tribal museum and trekking through the tribal hamlet situated within the periphery of Periyar Tiger Reserve accompanied by a tribal guide. Five tribal communities live within the sanctuary. Mannans are among the oldest indigenous group of people to inhabit Periyar Tiger Reserve.

A two hour programme is conducted, where the visitors are taken to a tribal hamlet. The tour also includes a visit to the tribal heritage museum. The tribal heritage museum was built inside the Mannan settlement featuring various types of artifacts related to their ancient agricultural practices, marriage ceremonies, cultural events, dress code, rituals and death ceremonies. The museum has several objects like traditional hunting weapons, armors, cooking vessels, paintings, etc.

Program Timings: 8 AM, 10 AM and 2 PM.


Lake & Backwaters

Boat cruise is the best mode in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to watch the wildlife from a close distance. Boating in Thekkady is arranged by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) in the Periyar Lake and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. The lake was formed by Mullaperiyar Dam constructed in 1895. The land surrounding the lake is commonly frequented by wildlife.

Elephants are the most common wildlife you can see on the shores of the reservoir. Apart from Elephants, the sight of Wild Boar and Sambar Deer is also possible. The upper deck in the boat is best for wildlife viewing. The tickets for boating is issued at Thekkady Boating Point which is 4.5 Km from Kumily Bus Stand. The boats are mostly crowded and better to come early and allocate good amount of buffer time for boating. Early morning and evening are the best times to spot wildlife.

The duration .....


Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife

The Bamboo Rafting is an interest programme with the mix of rafting and trekking.

The programme starts at 8 AM from the boat jetty. After a couple of hours rafting, tourists are taken for trekking into the forest. The forests are rich in bird life and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. Animals like elephant, gaur and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake. Snacks and Lunch will be provided on the way and trekking will be finished by 3 PM. The rafting is continued in the return path and whole programme will be completed by 5 PM.

The programme costs Rs. 2000 per person for full day and Rs.1500 per person for half day. An armed guard and 4 guides will accompany a maximum of 10 tourists. Tea, snacks and packed lunch will be served enroute.


Wildlife

Jungle Safari is a fascinating program which includes Jeep Safari, Jungle Trek, Rafting and Night Camping.

The 40 Km scenic drive program starts at 5.30 AM through the jungle by Jeep. The trail passes through dense forest where truly man meets nature in all its majesty and glory. After crossing Periyar Tiger Reserve by jeep early morning, breakfast will be served at Gavi's forest lodge, followed by a jungle trekking for three hours. Lunch is offered here and you can have canoeing in the Gavi Lake. The visitors are taken to the camping area in the Jeep from the Gavi Lake. The accommodation is provided in tents and dinner is offered here with camp fire. Next day morning after the breakfast, visitors are taken back to Thekkady. The Jeep will arrive at the hotel for picking up the guest at 5.30 AM.

Jungle Safari Day Package is also available. The visitors are taken back to Thekkady after evening tea by 4.30 PM.

Tariff: Rs. 2200 per person.

Day Package: Rs.1000 per .....


Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife

Periyar Tiger Trial is a unique programme which has high chances of spotting tigers. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is also called as Periyar Tiger Reserve and it has rich tiger population with about 40 Tigers. The tiger trail provides tourists with an opportunity to explore Thekkady's wildlife deep inside the forest. One may get a chance to encounter many indigenous Birds and mammals like Nilgiri Langoos, Sambar deer, Wild Boar, Indian Goat, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Elephants etc.

There are two programs - 1N/2D and 2N/3D. It includes 25-30 Km of trekking through the dense forest covering the most beautiful parts of the sanctuary. Tourists will trek along the trail during the day and camp in pitched tents at night in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Vegetarian food is prepared and served en route. This programme is offered only for physically fit tourists. Each group will have 5 tourists, 5 guides and 2 armed guards. All the camping equipment is provided by the forest department.

The .....


Pilgrimage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 13 Kms from Kumily, Mangaladevi Temple (also known as Kannagi Temple) is 2000 years old ruined stone temple located in dense forest at the northern boundary of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is located at an altitude of 1337 meters.

Built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture, this temple is dedicated to Mangaladevi (or Kannagi), the principal character of the Tamil epic Sillapadhikaram. According to the epic, Mangaladevi burnt down Madurai after her husband was mistakenly accused of being a thief and killed.

This temple is open for public only on the full moon day of April-May (Chithra Purnami). Since it's located inside the Periyar Sanctuary, special permission is required to visit the place. Permissions can be obtained from Wildlife Warden, Thekkady.


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 14 Kms from Kumily, Vandiperiyar is located on the banks of Periyar River on NH220 towards Kottayam. This is a major trade center for coffee and pepper products and it has many tea factories.

Vandiperiyar offers a pleasant atmosphere throughout the year. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens are places worth to visit in Vandiperiyar.


Pilgrimage

At a distance of 15 Kms from Kumily & 5 Kms from Gudalur, Chellarkovil is an Eco Tourism destination located between Anakkara and Gudalur. This place is blessed with rich natural beauty provides spectacular views of surrounding valleys.

There is a watch tower located here to catch the views of the beautiful hills. Other activities here include Border Trekking, Spice & Ayurvedic Garden Tours, Spice Shopping, etc.

This place can be reached from Gudalur by private vehicles. Gudalur is connected by frequent buses from Kumily.


Waterfall

At a distance of 123 kms from Madurai, 22 Kms from Thekkady (via Gudalur & Karuna Muthevan Patti), 10 Kms from Kambam (via Suruli Patti) & 548 Kms from Chennai, Suruli Falls are situated amidst rich flora fauna and serve as a perfect picnic spot.

The falls originate from the Megamalai hills and descend from a height of 150 feet. They are surrounded by the astounding beauty of the dense forest. The best feature of Suruli Falls is that they are round-the-year Falls, best time is June to October.

The falls serve as the venue of Summer Festival, organized every year by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department. The Kailasanathar Temple Cave is also an added attraction of the place. There are also other 18 caves in and around the Suruli Falls. The Kailasanatha temple and Suruli Velappar temple are also nearby the falls.

The falls are reachable by road from Kambam and Gudalur towns. About 1-2 Kms trek through dense forest is required to reach the falls from nearest road.

Distance (From Thekkady (periyar Wildlife Sanctuary)): 22 Kms
Trip Duration (From Thekkady (periyar Wildlife Sanctuary) - Including Travel): 2-3 Hours
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Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 23 Kms from Kumily, 34 Kms from Idukki & 66 km from Munnar, Vandanmedu is a wonderful hill resort located on Thekkady - Munnar route at an altitude of 4000 feet. It is one of the world's largest auction centers for Cardamom.

Taking cardamom plantation tours in one of the interesting activities in Vandanmedu. This is also good place for trekking. This place is connected by frequent buses running between Kumily and Munnar.


Lake & Backwaters

At a distance of 23 Kms from Kumily, Mullaperyiar Dam was built across Periyar River in 1895. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread around the reservoir formed by this dam. The Periyar River is originated from the hills around Periyar Sanctuary.

The dam is 175 feet tall in height and is 5704 feet long. The water of this reservoir is used for irrigation purposed in Tamil Nadu.

Boating facility in the reservoir are available from the Boat Jetty at Thekkady side of the reservoir.


Hill Station | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 80 km from Kottayam, 26 km from Kumily, 128 km from Kochi and 184 km from Trivandrum, Peermedu is a hill station in Idukki district of Kerala. Also known as Peermade, It is fertile land at an altitude of 915 m in the Western Ghats between Kuttikkanam and Thekkady. Peermedu is slowly becoming a popular option among Kerala Hill Stations.

The town takes its name from Peer Mohammed, a Sufi Saint who is believed to have been the first trader of spices in the region and close associate of the royal family of Travancore. Peermade once served as the summer retreat for the Rajas of Travancore and the palace here is an important monument.

The landscape of Peermedu includes spectacular waterfalls, rubber plants, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations, open grass lands and pine forests. The cloud covered hilltops and lush greenery make this an ideal place for a weekend trip. .....


Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 35 Kms from Kumily and 20 Kms from Vandiperiyar, Pullumedu is lovely place surrounded by rolling hills. Sabarimala can also be reached from this place, which is 8 Kms by trek.

This is part of the restricted zone of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and special permission is required to visit this place. Permissions can be obtained from Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady.

Pullumedu has no public transportation and it can only be reached by private vehicles (Jeeps) from Vandiperiyar. There is a watch tower at Pullumedu offering magnificent views of the surrounding valleys.


Adventure / Trekking | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 40 Kms from Idukki, 38 Kms from Kumily, 57 Kms from Munnar, 15 Kms from Nadumkandam & 18 Kms from Kambam (on NH220 towards Palani), Ramakkalmedu is a lovely tourist place with rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air.

The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of the picturesque villages of Kambam and surrounding places on the slope of the Western Ghats. Kerala Tourism Department has provided additional facilities for tourists with resting points & statues of Kuravan & Kurathi (local tribes) at Ramakkalmedu.

Ramakkalmedu is also a great trekking destination. The view point on top of the hill is the highest point in this area, which can be reached by 3-4 Kms trek from the Ramakkalmedu Junction.

This place is connected by bus service from Munnar, Kottayam and Ernakulam.

Distance (From Thekkady (periyar Wildlife Sanctuary)): 38 Kms
Trip Duration (From Thekkady (periyar Wildlife Sanctuary) - Including Travel): 3-4 Hours
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