Ample tigers, wild elephants, and Nilgiri langur welcome you as you firm your footsteps in India's one of the most remarkable wildlife sanctuaries and brilliantly preserved natural ecosystem, Periyar, situated in the picturesque Thekkady. Spread over an area of 777 sq km with about 360 sq km of thick evergreen forests, the place is a goldmine for animal and nature lovers. Also known as Periyar Tiger Reserve, the place has a rich collection of flora and fauna and is sure to enthrall one and all who pay a visit here. Apart from wildlife exploration, there are many other excursions: pilgrim centers, rich plantation towns, trekking spots, picnic spots, and trading centers that people can explore. Read about them in brief in the following lines.
Managala Devi Temple
Managala Devi is an ancient temple dedicated to Kannaki and is located 15 km from Thekkady. It lies hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak, 1337 m above sea level, in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The temple opens only once a year during the Chithrapournami festival and to reach here, you have to travel 12 km through the rough forest road.
Kumily, known as the plantation town in the cardamom hills, is located about 4 km from Thekkady on the borders of Periyar Sanctuary in the Idukki district. It is an important shopping center and spice trade center.
Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee, and pepper plantations. Located at a distance of 5 km from Thekkady, a visit to this place is not to be missed when in Kerala as the gorgeous views of spice and tea plantations are sure to leave you spellbound.
This picturesque place, cradled between Chellarkovil and Tamil Nadu state border, is a popular picnic spot and welcomes a number of tourists every year. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight. It makes one of the most important excursions points for tourists visiting the town of Thekkady.
The winding journey to this hill town, along Periyar River, offers stunning views of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns and rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu, which can only be accessed from a jeep. Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illumination at the shrine are visible from here.
Vandanmedu is one of the world's largest auction centers for cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a pleasant experience.
Vandiperiyar is an important trade centre and a home to a number of tea factories. River Periyar, flowing through the centre of the town, not only provides nourishment to the vast coffee, tea, and pepper plantations, but adds a touch of scenic beauty to the proceedings. The government agriculture farm and the flower garden have a delightful collection of rose plants, orchids, and anthuria.
Legend has it that Lord Rama set his foot on this rock, for which it is now called Ramakalmedu. The beautiful view of the vast plains of Tamil Nadu and the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats lie in front, if you set your foot on top of the hill. The biggest statue in the state of Kerala, Kuravan and Kurathi, awaits the tourists.
Kurisumala, meaning the mountain of the cross, is the highest peak in Thekkady and is a trekker's paradise. The Periyar Lake, vast areas of Tamil Nadu, and the Kumily town can be sighted from the hill. Situated 3 km from Vazhikkadavu, it is a renowned pilgrim centre where hundreds of devotees climb carrying small wooden crosses in faith. Visiting the monastery on the hill soothes the clogged up soul at a single glance.
The Calvary Mount in Thekkady is both a pilgrim destination and a trekking spot. Kerala's forest department conducts trekking expeditions to explore the wild. The mount also offers spectacular views of the colossal Idukki Arch Dam.
Gavi is one place that has it all - trekking, bird watching, outdoor camping, and boating. And reaching there is an experience in itself that will etch in the memory of those taking the journey, walking past the hills and valleys, tropical forests, and vast plantations.
Located 15 km from Kumili is a sleepy little village called Chellarkovil that provides lush green landscapes with cascading waterfalls. The extensive coconut groves of Kamabam and the plains of Theni in Tamil Nadu are also to be marveled at.
Peermede, located at a distance of 44 km from Thekkady and situated at an altitude of about 1100 m above sea level, is a plantation town, a visit to which should not be missed. The town has been named after a Sufi Saint called Peer Mohammad who was known to have been a close associate of the royal family of Travancore. Apart from the picturesque tea, coffee, cardamom, and rubber plantations, it is also known for trekking, cycling, and horse riding. An absolutely not-to-be-missed excursion!
Parunthumpara is a beautiful place situated just 5 km from Peermede and 10 km from Vandiperiyar. The place derives its name from the local language wherein 'Parunth' means 'eagle' and 'Para' means 'rock'. It is named eagle rock because just like an eagle, visitors, too, can see the vast expanse of greenery made green by the forests and plantations.
Read about different excursion points around Thekkady town.
|Thekkady Excursions | How to Reach Thekkady