You can visit many places in Thekkady. Some of the most renowned ones are Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Elephant Junction, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi Forest, Periyar Lake, Mangala Devi Temple, and others.
The first thing you cannot miss while visiting Thekkady is the Periyar Lake. A boat ride here is simply unforgettable. It is not a natural lake but an artificial one, which is formed due to Mullaperiyar Dam. It surrounds the entire area of Periyar. You can watch the herds of elephants cooling down in the water of this lake. Periyar is characterized by marvelous scenic beauty and wildlife diversity. This is what draws so many visitors across the year.
HOW TO REACH:-
Madurai is the nearest airport to this place, which is only 140 kms away. Other two airports located near Thekkady are Kochi airport and Thiruvananthapuram airport, which are located 180 kms and 260 kms away respectively.
The nearest railway station to this place is Kumarakom, located only 114 kms away. Madurai railway station is also situated near Thekkady, which is only 130 kms away.
To reach the place from the nearest railway stations and airports, you have to avail road transport. The available transports include buses (public as well as private), private taxis and cars-on-hire. Buses are the cheapest option available but they do take longer time than taxis and rental cars to reach destination
WHAT TO SEE
Periyar National Park:-
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a renowned tiger and elephant reserve, located in the districts of Pathanamthitta and Idukki in Kerala. This protected place is spread over an area of 357 square miles.
This is an artificial lake that surrounds the entire Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. In India, it is the only sanctuary that enables tourists to watch wildlife while boating in the lake. Periyar Lake, spread across contour of the hills, was formed when Mullaperiyar Dam was built in the year 1895. This has become the permanent water source for wildlife here. While visiting this place, you would surely spot herds of elephants playing in this picturesque lake.
Periyar Tiger Trail:-
If you love adventure, camping, and trekking, Periyar Tiger Trail Program is meant for you. Every tiger trail consists of five guides along with one armed forest guard. Maximum six tourists are allowed in every trail. The total trekking distance is anything from 20 km to 35 km. You can have the adventure of encountering various indigenous wild animals such as elephant, giant squirrel, Nilgiri Langur, and tiger (if you are lucky enough).
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre:-
At Kadathanadan Kalari Centre you can experience marvel of the oldest martial arts, Kadathanadan. The well designed gallery helps you to get a clear view of the action
packed performances. Get thrilled by watching the performers perform this 3000 year old art form. People believe that popular martial art form, Kung-fu, originated from Kadathanadan. If you want to get marvelled by the performers’ body-mind control and coordination, you can visit Kadathanadan Kalari Centre and watch the daily show from 6pm to 7pm.
Located around 20 km from Thekkady, Vandanmedu is small village and a perfect weekend gateway. It is also the largest auction centers of cardamom in the world and these cardamom plantations are worth exploring. Its relaxing rural environment, pleasant weather, and few old buildings are the key highlights of the place. While visiting this place, don’t forget to watch one of the most notable old buildings – the post office (or ‘anchal’ office, as known locally). You can still find trenches all around the place to keep elephants away from entering the fields of plantation and adjoining areas.
Vandiperiyar is situated at a distance of about 14.7 km from Thekkady and can be reached by the National Highway 220. This is one of those places that are popular for plantations of coffee, black pepper, tea, and other spices. Located in the Idukki district of Kerala, it is one of those destinations that you should include in your itinerary. Don’t forget to have a look at orchids, rose pants, and anthuria in the Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden. Periyar River flows through this place, enhancing its natural charm. Plantations of pepper, coffee, and tea are the main source of income for many people living at this beautiful place.
When you are in Thekkady, you should buy the spices available in the place. The best place to shop is from the colorful roadside stalls in the heartland of Thekkady. The best quality spices can be found here. Some of the most popular spices of this part of the country are cloves, coriander, star anise, nutmeg,
cardamom, rolls of cinnamon, pepper (green as well as white), and fenugreek.
The most popular dishes available here are the south Indian ones. Relish the fiery and tangy taste of Kerala cuisine at Thekkady restaurants. You can not only have delicacies of Kerela here but also the taste of Tamilnadu. Other than the most favourite dishes of the region like Dosa, Idli, and Kappa, Rice and curries (made up or either fish or fresh vegetables) should be savoured to get the real taste of the place.