Destinations - Thekkady

Thekkady in Kerala State , India 's largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination for any tourist visiting India . The 120 years old dam built across Peryiar, Poorna in Vedic parlance, is a major tourist attraction. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 777 Sq.Kms, surrounded by an artificial lake over an area of 25 Sq.Kms. The Country's sole Tiger reserve, Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations.

Altitude: 900-1800 m above sea level
Rainfall : 2500 mm

Periyar Lake

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 Periyar Lake attracts grey heron, ibis, the great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbill. The other birds include kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket tailed drongos, parakeets, including the unusual blue winged parakeet and flycatchers.

Periyar National Park (Tiger Reserve)

The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.

Besides the elephant and tiger, the other animals commonly seen in the Periyar National Park are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole and Indian Wild Dog. Four primate species found at Periyar, which act as the centre of attraction, are the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque. Periyar is also the only habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr, which is not seen easily.

More than 100 species of butterfly and at least 240 bird species inhabit the area. The park is surrounded by the aromatic spice gardens. These gardens can be deeply explored by the help of good guides who elaborate the medicinal value of each spice. A large number of bird species at Periyar National Park comprise of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, and the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes.

A number of Monitor Lizards dominate the reptile population. The tourists can also be fortunate enough to view a Python or even sometimes a King Cobra. The fresh and unpolluted air and the moist deciduous forests ably define the real beauty of 'The God's Own Country' - Kerala. The flying lizard and the flying snake are unusual species found at Periyar National Park.

The temperature during summers (April-June) ranges from 21°C to 31°C with a high level of moisture in the air. The monsoon (July-August) season brings heavy rainfall and the temperature ranges from 19°C to 21°C. The winter season lasts from October to March and is cool and pleasant. The best months to visit the park are from October to April.

Anakkara

Anakkara is famous for its wide ranging spice plantations and is also visited for the rock caves in Chellarkovil, scenic beauty of Valiyapara and the sunset at Ottathalamedu that lies 1,400m above sea-level. Take a walk around the village and you will find breathtaking views at every turn-lush hills, huge waterfalls, sunrise and sunset, extensive stretch of paddy fields, tea, cardamom, pepper and vanilla plantations. A spice shop and an information centre have been set up for the curious visitors.

Cascading down like a long winding silver ribbon,Aruvikuzhi waterfall in Anakkara is a major attraction .


Murikkady

Located at a distance of just 5 kilometres from Thekkady, Murikkady is another important site to visit. Murikkady is particularly famous for its panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. A must visit to include in your excursion itinerary.

The area is famous for cardamom plantations, tea plantations and pepper cultivation. The salubrious climate here is seasoned with the tantalizing fragrance of exotic spices.


Peermede

Peeremede is a lovely hill station, an ideal retreat in the Western Ghats and a choice break for tourists en route to the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Sprawling gardens of tea, coffee,cardamom, rubber and eucalyptus lying side by side with natural grasslands, pine forests and waterfalls make this an ideal summer resort. The summer palace of Rajas of erstwhile Travancore is today an important monument here. Peeremede and its surroundings are suitable for trekking, cycling and horse riding. Kuttikanam a place for adventure tourism and trekking is just 3 km from Peeremede. Another attraction here is Thrissanku Hills four km away. The rolling hills, the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze make this a choice spot for long walks. The hills offer a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset.


Mangala Devi Temple

The Mangala Devi temple is located in the Idukki district about 15 km from Thekkady in Kerala. Its sits at an altitude of about 1337m above the sea level. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is closed throughout the year except during the Chitra Pournami festival. At other times tourists can still view it by getting a special letter from the forest ranger. The view from the temple premises is spectacular and one can see part of eastern ghats and some villages from adjacent state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the eastern slopes of the ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu.

Ramakalmedu

This mountain peak that overlooks eastern slpoes of the Western Ghats and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu. The place owes its name to the tale that the lord Sree Rama, the Hindu mythological god had set his foot on this rock. Also, Kerala’s biggest statue, Kuravan & Kurathy treats you here. The rocks, between which the Idukki Arch Dam was built, are named Kuravan & Kurathy, two histrical characters of the local comminity.

Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu and enchanting retreat. The hilltop also offers a panoramic view of the picturesque villages of Bodi and Cumbum on the eastern slope of the Western Ghats.

Parumthumpara

Parumthumpara has a panoramic view of High peaks and trenches.One can also see the Trishanku hills of Kuttikanam and the Pattumala church from here.It was like a 360 degree view of the High-range. From the top of a cliff here, enjoy the panoramic view of forests and plantations seen as and endless carpet of greenery.

Vandiperiyar

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. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthurium.

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. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthuria.



Chellar Kovil

This little village is situated on the outskirts of Periyar Wild life Sanctuary in the Idukki district of Kerala, 15 kms. or half an hour excursion from its home town Kumily. Nestled in the unending chains of hills of the Western Ghats (1200 meters above from sea level) and the cool mountain air make Chellarkovil a perfect holiday retreat. Chellarkovil ecotourism is a community initiative for a cool, clean and green planet. The project is being implemented in the true spirit of the ecotourism concepts accepted world wide. It’s nature based, ecologically sustainable, imparts education and benefits local people economically. It is managed by the Forest Department, Govt. of Kerala under its Participatory Forest Management Programme.

The facilities available here include a number of huts, a lovely watch tower, path ways, a herbarium of medicinal plants, a tourist amenity centre and an ecoshop.

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