Thekkady, located in the Idukki district of Kerala, is a mesmerizing destination known for its lush greenery, wildlife sanctuaries, and spice plantations. It is famous for the Periyar National Park, which is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Here are some of the top attractions and experiences in Thekkady:
1. Periyar National Park: Periyar National Park is a renowned wildlife sanctuary, home to diverse flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and various bird species. The park offers opportunities for boat safaris on Periyar Lake to spot wildlife along the water’s edge.
2. Periyar Lake: Periyar Lake is an artificial lake created by the Mullaperiyar Dam. The boat safari on the lake provides a unique experience of watching animals in their natural habitat from the water.
3. Bamboo Rafting: Enjoy a thrilling bamboo rafting experience on the Periyar Lake, where you can traverse through the forest, spotting wildlife and enjoying the serene surroundings.
4. Spice Plantations: Thekkady is famous for its spice plantations, including cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and clove. Take a guided tour to learn about the cultivation and processing of various spices.
5. Elephant Junction: Elephant Junction offers opportunities for elephant rides, bathing, and feeding. It is a great place to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.
6. Mangala Devi Temple: Situated inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mangala Devi Temple is an ancient temple with panoramic views of the surrounding forests and mountains. The temple is open to visitors during the Chitra Pournami festival.
7. Chellarkovil: Chellarkovil is a picturesque village with stunning views of the plains of Tamil Nadu and the cascading waters of the Palani Hills. It is a serene and offbeat destination near Thekkady.
8. Kadathanadan Kalari Centre: Witness the ancient martial art form of Kerala, Kalaripayattu, at the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. The performances showcase the skill and agility of the trained artists.
9. Mullaperiyar Dam: The Mullaperiyar Dam is an engineering marvel that forms the Periyar Lake. The dam provides a beautiful backdrop for boat rides and leisurely walks.
10. Gavi: Gavi is an eco-tourism destination located deep within the Periyar Tiger Reserve. It offers a tranquil environment, nature treks, and the chance to spot rare wildlife.
Thekkady’s unique combination of wildlife, spice plantations, and stunning landscapes makes it an unforgettable destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and wilderness of Kerala.