Thekkady feels like that cool storming wind on a harsh and gloomy day. It sweeps away your fatigue and replenishes you from within. Located near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, the town is well-known for its rich spice plantations, rounding hills, evergreen deciduous woods and lush-green meadows.
Explore the wild and untouched parts of Kerala on your trip to Thekkady. Home to one of the most important national parks of India, Periyar National Park, the hill town has a plethora of tourist places and activities to offer. Undoubtedly, Thekkady is one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala owing to the nature’s abundance with sky-scraping hills and forgotten-mystic forests. It is what thousands of creatures from the animal kingdom call home.
What makes the hill town even more beautiful and welcoming is the fact that poachers here have converted to protectors. The region was infamous for elephant poaching and cannabis fields but the very locals have now transformed to become the protectors of the jungles. Their guns have been replaced by binoculars and they can recognize the species from a distance to describe them to the tourists.
We invite you to a journey into the jungles of the hill town to explore the best places to visit in Thekkady.
Periyar National Park
Not for the weak-hearted, Periyar National Park is undoubtedly the very first place to visit on your trip to Thekkady. The pride of Kerala, the park is home to some of the rare and endangered wildlife species of India. The sound of hornbills chirping, wild creatures shying from the tourists and dark-mystic Periyar forest together make the experience an exhilarating one.
Tourists can explore the wildlife of the national park through boating and trekking trails. Bamboo rafting on the Periyar Lake is a unique way to spot creatures on the edge of the waterbody quenching their thirst.
One thrilling experience to actually be one with creatures is walking through the Periyar Tiger Trail- a trekking trail that takes you into the woods to spot the erotic shy cat, Tigers.
Tourists can spot the Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Sambar deers, Indian Bison and Leopards among other species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. One of the finest natural reserves of India, Periyar National Park is the best tourist attraction in Thekkady.
Ever fancied a family picnic among the huge manicured plantations of the ‘Spice Capital of India’? With the aroma of coffee, pepper and cardamom in the air, Murikkady is an ideal destination for a family picnic in Thekkady. At a distance of 5 km from Thekkady, Murikkady is an abode of lush-green rounding hills, perfectly maintained spice plantations and vistas of nature’s beauty.
With clean air and sprawling beauty of a part of God’s own country, no one should miss out this incredible tourist attraction. Opt for nature walks taking you around the whispering winds in the forests with birds chirping in a flock and majestic hills towering over you to climb them and chase the most beautiful sunrise of your life. Plan a day trip to Murikkady for a fun picnic with your family among the bliss of nature.
Nestled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border is the picturesque hill town of Pandikuzhi. Bestowed with a sprawling beauty of cascading waterfalls, rounding hills, lush-green valleys and hidden creeks, Pandikuzhi is one of the best places to visit in Thekkady. The welcoming hearts of the locals along with the natural beauty of the hill town encourages nature lovers and avid travelers to take up a vacation in the hills of Pandikuzhi.
Adding to this, the hill town is a shutterbug’s haven for all that the camera captures here is the timeless beauty of how nature offers its abundance to mankind. Pandikuzhi is a must-visit on your trip to Thekkady for all that this place has to offer is tranquility and serenity.
Built in the centre of the Periyar National Park is the manmade Lake Periyar. Surrounded by the rounding chain of lush-green hills, the lake has developed into an entire ecosystem that serves as a home to the wildlife of Periyar. A large area of forest had to be submerged in the water to create it. Tree barks jutting out of the lake is a living example of it.
During summers, the lake becomes the only source of water and tourists can spot herds of wild elephants playing in the water to escape the humid heat along with various species such as tigers, gaur, sambar deer and rare migratory birds.
Thrilling activities such as bamboo rafting takes you deep into the wilderness of the natural reserve through Lake Periyar to explore the wildlife and the tribal settlements of the region from a safe distance. With an ocean of things to see, Periyar Lake makes it to the list of top places to visit in Thekkady!
Chellarkovil is a quaint little village located at a distance of 11 km from Kumily. This local settlement is a huge contributor to eco-tourism in Kerala. The dainty village offers spectacular vistas of lush-green meadows, towering hills, white cascading waterfalls and different hues of the setting sun.
Chellarkovil is an ideal tourist destination for nature enthusiasts and travelers seeking an escape from the monotonous journey of city life. The village slows down time for you to breathe freely among the plantations, paddy fields and hospitable locals.
Tourists can indulge in activities like village walks, trekking, nature walks and plantation visits to experience the local heritage of the village. Exploring the dense bamboo forest on foot is something everyone will enjoy.
A watch tower, popularly known as the ‘God’s own balcony’ offers a telescope for visitors to witness and appreciate the glowing beauty of the village.
Nestled in the dense woods of Periyar is the Mangaladevi Temple which is believed to be 1000 years old. It has a legend attached to it which speaks about Kannaki, a Tamil woman who burnt down the entire city of Madurai to avenge the death of her innocent husband, Kovilan who was wrongly accused of theft. She is believed to reach the Suruli Hills here for her final journey to heaven with her husband.
The temple made up of huge granite rocks was commissioned by the Chera king, Chenkuttuvan. The temple unlike others is opened for visitors once in a year during the Chitrapournami Festival during the month of April or May.
The priests from both the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu perform the rituals and pray to Mangaladevi for great moral power. Visitors who wish to visit the temple need to get prior permission from the Wildlife Warden of Thekkady.
Mangaladevi Temple is not only a religious site but also an exhilarating experience because of the journey through the dense woods of Periyar, making it one of the best tourist attractions of Thekkady.