Thekkady, also known as Periyar is one of the charming hill stations in the Idukki district. If you are a nature enthusiast and have a passion for wildlife exploration, then Thekkady is the ultimate place. It is one of the important places in Kerala which attracts tourists. There are so many activities like Boat safari, Night Trekking, Jeep safari, shared boat ride at Periyar Lake to explore the wildlife, and Tiger trail program.
Periyar is surrounded by lush green forest. Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one of the major attractions which catches the attention of tourists. The sanctuary is spread across an area of 777 sq. km of forest land and is a home to a luxuriant collection of different species of flora and fauna in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. This spectacular stretch of greenery gets its name from the river Periyar which has its origin deep inside the reserve. The reserve also offers a host of eco-tourism programs to travellers.
The timing of the Sanctuary is 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM.
Thekkady is considered as a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, nut mace, ginger, and clove. It is the sanctuary center with the KTDC hotels and boat jetty.
Important places to explore in Periyar
This place is 4 kms away from the Periyar wildlife sanctuary, and is a growing strip of hotels, spice shops, etc. Kumily is well connected to Kottayam by the KK road passing through Vandiperiyar, Pambanar, Mundakayam, Kanjirappally, Ponkunnam, Pampady, and Manarkadu. This place always creates a special interest for tourists due to its cool refreshing climate.
Gavi is a widely popular eco- tourist spot, and it should probably be prioritized in anyone’s top 5 list of must-see places in India. This is one of the important places to have a day excursion while the guest is in Periyar. It is a village that belongs to Pathanamthitta District and is 50 Kms far from Periyar City. Normally from Periyar, all vehicles enter from the Vandiperiyar Check post. But if guest likes to have an adventure and a thrilling experience of the 4 -wheel Jeep ride through Gavi, then they should enter from the Angamoozhy Check post. However, guest need to ensure to report at the Forest Check post before 06:30 am to get the entry pass. From Periyar City to Angamoozhy Check post, it will be a 3hr drive which covers 90 Km. Through this trip, guest can enjoy the best jungle safari which is available in Kerala. Initially, they will pass through the cardamom plantations and tea plantations but later, the scene of travel will change. After they cross the check post it will be a narrow road surrounded by jungle on both sides. We can see a lot of bamboo trees while passing down this road. This area is preserved as a tiger reserve. So guest needs to follow certain rules of the Tiger reserve department. Plastics are strictly prohibited in this place, also leech-proof socks are recommended while in these areas.
This is an ideal picnic spot situated on Muttam – Moolamattam road, 25 kilometers from Idukki and 30 kilometers from Thodupuzha. It is a viewpoint that belongs to the Hydel Tourism by Kerala State Electricity Board. From there guest can have a panoramic view of the blue mountains on the northern side and the Muvattupuzha river on the other side. An underground power station called Moolamattam power station is another attraction of Nadukani. The entry will be allowed to Nadukani till 06:00 p.m. only. The best time to visit is from October to January.
Sightseeing & Activities
Jungle safaris ( Gavi – Jeep Safari):
The chance to explore the wildlife shouldn’t be missed. Jeep Safaris are conducted by the wildlife reserve authorities and professional wildlife Guides. The jungle safari is a full day program that starts at 05:30am and ends at 05:30pm. It involves 40kms safari by Jeep (15kms through village, 25kms through dense forest), trekking, sighting animals and pedal boating. The Jeep can accommodate a maximum of 5 people including one Guide. This program includes transport, trekking, breakfast, lunch, and mineral water.
You shall please contact us to book Jeep Safaris in advance, while you book hotel accommodation for your guests.
Boating at Periyar lake:
Periyar is surrounded by an artificial lake. This lake is formed by a dam that crosses the Periyar river. Ferry boats are available for tourists to take a ride along this beautiful lake. The view of wild animals and the herd of elephants during the boat ride will be a memorable experience. Periyar Tiger Reserve offers 1.5hrs boating trips at the lake near the sanctuary. A herd of elephants or a group of sambar deer are common sights near the lake. You may be able to spot herds of Gaur and wild boars in the grassland adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as darters, egrets, and kingfishers can be seen resting on dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. During your boat ride, there is also a high probability of observing the antics of the Smooth Indian Otter.
Please ensure to book tickets for guests well in advance. Kindly note that once the tickets are confirmed, they cannot be cancelled/refunded/amended. Tickets do not have to be reserved for children below 5yrs. The Forest entry fee as per rule has to be purchased from the forest information office separately. From there shuttle bus service is available to and from the boat landing area.
Forest Entry Ticket for Indian Adult: Rs: 45/- & Shuttle Service: Rs: 20/-
Forest entry ticket for Indian Child (5-11 yrs) : Rs: 15/- & Shuttle Service: Rs: 20/-
Forest Entry Ticket for Foreign Adult: Rs: 500/- & Shuttle Service: Rs: 20/-
Forest entry ticket for Foreign Child (5-11yrs): Rs: 180/- & Shuttle Service: Rs: 20/-
Still Camera: Rs:45/-
Video Camera: Rs:335/-
Boat ride timings:
Morning 07:30AM, 09:30am, 11:15AM
Afternoon: 01:45PM, 03:30PM
Periyar Tiger Trail ( Camping & Trekking program):
The program is unique in being conducted by a team of poachers who turned out to be protectors of the forests eventually. The team members have an intimate knowledge of the forest terrain. The programs are usually for 1 night/2 day and 2 nights/3 days duration. The first day’s trek starts at 9 am and ends by noon on the second or third day. The team consists of a maximum of 6 Tourists, 5 guides, and 1 forest official. Children below 12 years are NOT allowed for this program.
Normally 20 to 35 km of trekking distance will be covered, depending on the route chosen. The trek route passes through hills and valleys with a variety of tropical plants and wide-open spaces. En route vegetarian meals will be prepared and served and country tents will be pitched for holing up in the night. Trekking groups are accompanied by armed forest guards with good communication equipment and geared to face any emergency.
Bamboo Rafting - Full Day ( Full Day Trekking & Rafting):
The rafting program through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve is a program that one shouldn’t miss if visiting Periyar. Starting at 8 am from the boat landing area, tourists will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboo. The forests are rich in birdlife and animals like giant squirrels and Nilgiri langur. The rafting lasts for about 3hrs. Animals like elephants, gaur, and sambar are found close to the edges of the lake. An armed guard and 4 guides will accompany a maximum of 15 tourists. Tea, snacks, and packed lunch will be served en route. This program is an excellent programme for semi- serious nature lovers to feel the beauty of Nature. Children below 12yrs are NOT allowed for this program.
Bamboo Rafting – Half Day ( Half Day Trekking & Rafting ):
A dawn to afternoon range hiking and rafting program through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve. This programme works at 2 slots of 07:30am to 12:30pm & 09:30am to 2:30pm. Children below 12yrs are NOT allowed for this program. A variety of habitats will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboo. By rafting, you will get a panoramic view of forest-clad hills. Animals like elephants, Gaur and Sambar deer are sighted keeping close to the edge of the lake. You will be provided with packed food. This program has 3-4hrs trekking and 1 hour of rafting.
Jungle Scout (Night Trek):
This is a regular night patrolling program in the fringers of the Eco development zone of the Tiger Reserve in the company of armed guards between 7 pm to 4 am. (7pm to 10pm, 10pm to 1am, 1am to 4am) . This program injects excitement into the experience while keeping smugglers at bay. One really feels like a cop protecting the precious forest wealth. Of course, these best suits young visitors who are fit and disciplined enough to walk in the silence of the night.
Nature Walk / Green Walk ( Short Day Trek ):
It is an interpretive sandal protection trekking program offering excellent opportunity for watching birds, butterflies and other wildlife through a range of habitats during the 4-5 kms (2.5hrs walk). These program are offered between 7am to 3pm in different nature trails inside the Park. A maximum of 6 person can go for trekking at a time, along each trail accompanied by a trained tribal guide. It is a program where one can feel the whispers of nature and her sighs.
Pugmark Trail ( Self Guided Trek ):
The newly introduced self-guided trek at Periyar Tiger Reserve now explores the beauty of nature through self-guided soft trekking. In this program the tourists will be guided by a number of bio-diversity themes, pictures of birds carved out in stone, tree species name board etc. The trekking starts from entrance gate and ends up near the boat landing area.
Border Hiking (Full Day Hard Trekking ):
It is a day –long range hiking program along the borders of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The route passes through undulating terrains and altitudinal ranges of 900m to 1300m where the trekkers can glimpse the lofty escarpments bordering the park, watersheds, and the vast stretches of Cumbum valley below. Gaur, sloth bear, elephants are often sighted apart from birds and butterflies. A maximum of 12 tourists can take part in the program in 2 different groups. The trekkers along with two Guides and an armed forest Guard participate in the program which starts at 8 am and ends in the evening.
Thekkady offers you Elephant rides. If tourists look for an extended elephant experience, 30-minute elephant ride program to 2hrs elephant ride activity program is also available. 2hrs elephant ride activity includes elephant ride, elephant feeding, bathing, timber dragging & photo sessions.
Spice Plantation Tour:
Spices have always been an important part of life in Kerala. Here the masters of Ayurveda, the science of life, discovered the use of spices for medicinal purposes. Spices also have an important role in Kerala cuisine, Non–ayurvedic medicine and cosmetics. Periyar is, due to its location in the lower mountains around 1000 meters above sea level, blessed with numerous types of spices. So, apparently the spice plantation tour is one of the most important activities outside the reserve that a visitor can engage in. it is an opportunity to see why the Kerala cuisine is so different from most of the other Indian cuisines. The tour gives you the chance to see cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and many other varieties of spices and medicinal plants.
Cooking classes- are also offered at Periyar which would be offered by many local homestays.
Kathakali Show ( Kerala Traditional Dance show):
Daily Kathakali dance show performances are available at Periyar. There are 3 Kathakali centers available in Periyar town. Kathakali timing is from 7PM to 8PM
Kalarippayattu show ( Martial Arts):
Daily Kalaripyattu show performance available at Periyar. There are 3 Kalaripayattu show centres available in Periyar town. Kalarippayattu show timing from 6PM to 7PM
Nearest Airport is Madurai which is 150 KMS from Periyar and Cochin International Airport is 180 KMS.
Nearest Railway station is Madurai which is about 150 KMS and Kottayam which is about 114 Kms.
Accommodation Facilities in Periyar
There are many accommodation facilities available at Thekkady. Standard to Luxury category hotel accommodation & Standard to Luxury category homestay are also available.
Major Hotels In Periyar
Michaels Inn Thekkady - http://www.michaelsinnthekkady.com
Periyar Meadows - http://www.periyarmeadows.com
Elephant Routes Resorts - https://www.elephantroute.com
Hotel Ambadi - http://hotelambadi.com
Bamboo Creak - http://www.bamboocreak.com
Grand Thekkady - http://www.grandthekkady.in
Sandra Palace - http://www.hotelsandrapalace.com
Livinns Thekkady - http://www.livinnsthekkady.com
Coffee Routes - http://www.coffeeroutes.in
Tree Top - http://hoteltreetop.com
Aranya Nivas - https://www.ktdc.com/aranya-nivas
Holiday Vistas - http://www.holidayvista.in
Ranger Wood - http://www.rangerwoodperiyar.com
Club Mahindra - http://www.clubmahindra.com
Silver Crest - http://sealordhotels.com/silvercrest.html
Spice Grove - http://www.spicegrove.in
Peppervine - http://www.peppervine.in
Periyar House - https://www.ktdc.com
Tiger Roar - http://www.tigersroarperiyar.com
Jungle Park Resort - http://www.jungleparkresorts.in
Cardamom Country - https://www.xandari.com/cardamomcounty-xandari-overview.php
Mountain Courtyard - http://themountaincourtyard.com
Forest Canopy - http://www.forestcanopy.in
Amana Plantation Resort - http://www.aanavilasam.com
Sterling Thekkady (formerly know as Hotel Cinnamon Thekkady - https://www.sterlingholidays.com/resorts-hotels/thekkady
Oxygen Thekkady (formerly know as Wild Corridor) - https://www.cluboxygen.net/oxygen-resorts-thekkady.php
Hills & Hues - http://www.hillsandhues.com
Carmelia Heaven - http://www.carmeliahaven.com
Woodnote Thekkady - https://woodnotethekkady.com
Spices Lap Resort - http://www.spiceslapthekkady.com
Abad Green Forest - http://www.abadhotels.com
Mystic Mayappot - https://mysticmayapott.com
Spice Village - http://www.cghearth.com/spice-village
Kofi Land Thekkady - http://www.kofiland.in
Lake Palace - https://www.ktdc.com/lake-palace
Shalimar Spice Garden - https://shalimarspicegarden.com
The Elephant Court - http://theelephantcourt.com
Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club - http://www.niraamaya.com/cardamom-club-thekkady
Poetree Sarovar Portico Thekkady - http://www.poetreeresort.com
Green Woods Resort - http://www.greenwoods.in
Reen Resorts Aanavilasam Thekkady ( Previously known as “Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House”) - https://www.reenresorts.com
Paradisa Plantation Retreat - http://www.paradisaretreat.com
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