The Southern Beauty.
Thekkady is one of the most important tourist attractions, located towards the southern region of India, near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. It is basically a sanctuary with the location of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The nearest airport is the Madurai Airport in the city of Madurai, about 141 kms from Thekkady and the nearest railway station is Kottayam railway station, located at a distance of about 114kms from the sanctuary. The place is famous for it's lush greens that include dense evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests and the Savanna grasslands. The sanctuary is spread across 300 sq mi, more than half of which is covered in thick evergreen forets. Being accessible by trekking, jeep safari, or boating is home to tigers, gaurs, elephant herds, sambar, lion tailed macaques, deer, bison and the Nilgiri langurs. Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyay river has formed an artificial lake in the middle of the greens, adding beauty to it's richness. Harbouring natural spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg, Thekkady will surely leave your taste buds watering for more of it's special dishes and delicious bursts of flavours. Simply go for nature walks, plantation visits or jeep safari in the Tiger trails of Thekkady or the more adventurer soul can opt for a plethora of activities like trekking, boating, rafting, bamboo rafting, mountain biking, bullock cart riding and many more such adventures. All the photographers, whether professional or amateurs will have a wonderful vacation with uncountable number of shots to capture for their Instagram page. Their camera or maybe phone will definitely be unputdownable with all the magnificent views this southern beauty has to offer.
Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, Thekkady is home to the Periyar National Park. One of the most important tourist attractions of Kerala, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Tiger Reserve in the year 1978. Kerala was a major spice exporter as early as 3000 BCE, according to Sumerian records, with Thekkady being one the major places in Kerala to produce commonly used spices.
The region experiences three climates, namely summer, monsoon and the winter season. Summer season usually records a highest of 36 degree celsius, while the monsoon months record a highest of 25 degree celsius. Days are pleasant and nights are cold during the winter season in Thekkady. Monsoon comes during the months of June to September, bringing heavy rains and landslides. Therefore it is best to avoid those months. The best time to visit being the post monsoon period as the rain makes the place more green and beautiful than ever.
How to reach
Thekkady is well-connected with airports and railway stations, with the nearest airport being at Madurai City and the nearest Railway station being the Kottayam Railway station. It is about 257 kms from Trivandrum.
How to Reach by Flight
The nearest airport from Thekkady is the Madurai Airport in the city of Madurai located at about a distance of 141 kms from it. From Madurai, one can hire a cab to reach Thekkady. Also, the nearest International Airport is the Cochin Airport, about 145 kms away, from where you will again have to hire a cab to reach your destination. A lot of the well-known airways will help you reach the nearest airports.
How to Reach by Train
Kottayam Railway station is the nearest railway station from Thekkady. It is about 114 kms away, from where you will have to hire a cab or board a bus to Thekkady.
How to Reach by Bus
Government and private run buses frequently pry to Thekkady. Kerala SRTC has buses from Trivandrum, Cochin and Idukki that will help you reach Thekkady. Also, it is one of the most inexpensive ways of travelling to Thekkady.
How to Reach by Road
Travelling to Thekkady by road, whether it is a rental or your own car, can be quite sensational. Thekkady is a three hour drive from Munnar, a four hour drive from Cochin and is about a five hour drive from Trivandrum.
How to travel within
Travelling locally in and around the place is mostly done by taxis, although people can also go for daring options like bullock carts or mountain bikes.
Thekkady has numerous restaurants and small food joints that serve all kinds of cuisines starting from Italian and Chinese to Indian. The Indian menu has lot's to offer as one can find both North Indian as well as South Indian dishes on the menu. Different kinds of Biriyani, that is mixed rice cooked with a variety of Indian spices available in both vegetarian and non vegetarian options is available in the local food joints as well as in well-known restaurants. Southern delights like Dosa, Idli, Sambar, Rasam, etc along with dishes starring coconut combining pork, beef, chicken, mutton, shrimps and different types of fish are quite famous here. One doesn't have to be worried about getting suitable food here, as there are many good restaurants and small street shops that provide quality food.
There are quite a number of decent hotels in Thekkady with some offering free breakfast, free wifi and free parking. Prices for hotel rooms accomodating two adults range from 999 INR a night to 12000 INR a night. One can choose hotels depending on the view they want or the amenities required with a lot of online sites offering great deals on bookings.
With all the picture perfect moments in Thekkady, one might want to carry extra batteries for cameras so that you don't have to miss any of those moments from being captured. Thekkady is full of thick dense forests, so be sure to carry enough mosquito repellants with you. Also, while going for nature walks, do not tread into forests unless you have someone that can guide you out of it and even if you do beware of insects and snakes that are quite common in the deep forests of Thekkady.
The Periyar Tiger trail is the best thing to do on your first day. Choose from one night to two night stays.
Spend your day exploring the tea, coffee and pepper plantations in Vandiperiyar and enjoying the sunset among the flora and fauna of the marvellous Spring Valley Mountains.
Go for a morning walk among the clouds by opting for the Cloud Walk and end your day by some adventurous Bamboo Rafting with panoramic views of the dense forest.
Mangala Devi Temple and Panchalimedu are must visits if you ever go to Thekkady.
Go for the nature walk or border hiking for breathtaking views of Periyar. You can also tread around the village or interact with tribals for some great stories and rare customs.