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Tourist Places To Visit In Thekkady
Walk into the heart of Kerala’s evergreen forests in Thekkady. 257 kilometeres away from Trivandrum, this is a town in Idukki district, located near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. The place is famous for a variety of reasons: its fauna, the Western Ghats, a wildlife sanctuary, and much more. From Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to Mullaperiyar Dam and Elephant Junction, here's our pick of the best tourist places to visit in and around Thekkady.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Drift down the Periyar River on a bamboo raft witnessing the flora and fauna of Western Ghats. Sprawled across 777 square kilometers, this wildlife sanctuary is home to around 40 tigers and 1000 elephants besides bisons, sambars, langurs and wild boars. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also houses the Periyar lake (26 sq.km) which was created in 1895 by the British. There’s an entry fee of Rs. 25 for domestic and Rs. 300 for international tourists.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Visit the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre in Thekkady for an encounter with the traditions and culture of Kerala. This renowned performance center hosts an hour long performance of the Kerala martial arts form of kalarippayat and the famed dance form of Kathakali, every evening. Buy tickets at the counter outside for Rs. 200.
Something interesting happens at Ramakkalmedu. It’s quite literally the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Watch the Western Ghats end suddenly and drop down a 1000 meters to form the plains of Tamil Nadu. Enjoy the constant wind and the panoramic view of the small villages of Tamil Nadu sprawled out for miles below.
Quite a bit like Ramakkalmedu, Chellarkovil village too is situated on the eastern limits of Kerala’s Western Ghat hills, revealing a thought-provoking aerial view of Tamil Nadu’s plains. This ancient village has many legends and lore to offer to those who care to listen. All this with the sound of the Aruvikuzhi waterfall cascading down. This just had to be on the list of the best places to visit in Thekkady.
Situated right by the banks of the Periyar lake, Vandanmedu is the largest producer of cardamom in the world. Take a walk through aromatic spice plantations, visit the tea processing factory, go on mountain safaris and more.
Mangla Devi Temple
There’s nothing like coming across a 1000 year old temple nestled deep within a forest. Situated in the folds of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, visit the Mangla Devi Temple to be awed by ancient Pandyan architecture. Your visit to Thekkady is incomplete if you don’t visit this temple.
Murikkady cultivates about twelve different varieties of spices such as clove, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cardamom and vanilla, besides also growing coffee and tea. Come here to explore the plantations and buy your fresh stock of the famed Kerala spices.
Picturesque Pandikuzhi sandwiched between Chellarkovil and Tamil Nadu, boasts of dainty waterfalls, streams and deep valley views. A perfect spot for lovers of nature and photography, this definitely is one of the best places to visit in Thekkady.
Abraham’s Spice Garden
A privately run enterprise, this place grows spices in large quantities for domestic use as well as exports. Abraham’s Spice Garden, as it is known widely, doubles up as a tourist sight too in Thekkady. The plantation is sprawled over 2 acres of land, with special gardens where spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, turmeric, ginger, cloves and vanilla are cultivated. Bananas are also extensively cultivated. Do visit this garden for its oh-so-tantalising aromas and a freshness that no other place will make you feel.
Kumily is a small hamlet in Thekkady, replete with a natural charm. The forests and the green hills add to this charm, making Kumily a very coveted retreat when in Thekkady. You can hear the birds chirp and the wind whoosh, such is the quiet here. The tea plantations bring in fresh, enticing aroma and spice gardens add their own little mix to it. How can you not enjoy all of this?
Chellarkovil Viewpoint, as the name suggests, is your go to for beautiful views of the sun setting behind verdant green hills in Thekkady. As this happens, far into the horizon, the tall mountains are eaten up by cotton candy clouds. There are also a few waterfalls near this viewpoint, hence the steady hum of water falling adds to your viewing experience. Trekkers come here to hike through the bamboo jungles and plough fields of the villages, while others come to enjoy a quaint picnic.
Mullaperiyar Dam is built 155 ft high, from where water gushes down. In the midst of thick tree cover of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mullaperiyar Dam sits proudly, a manmade reservoir for the animals as well as humans. You can visit here to enjoy the tranquility or get good views of the Tiger Reserve with its lake. Sometimes you can also spot elephants, macaques, Indian bisons too while sitting here. And the elusive tiger, of course.
Another portion of the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Elephant Junction is a brilliant vivid place that is populated with elephants, of course, but also Nilgiri Tahrs and Indian bisons. The flora and fauna here calls out to nature enthusiasts. And tribes welcome all those who are kindly interested in their culture. You can stroll into the wild deep woods, or choose to be amid elephants, feed them, bathe their bodies. To top it off, cardamom plantations send sweet scents your way every time the wind blows!
Spring Valley Mountain
The Spring Valley Mountain is a little resort nestled in the hilly region of Thekkady. While the rooms are luxurious and cozy and service very good, most visitors come here to enjoy the spectacular views that their windows offer. You just wake up, throw open your windows, and there in front of you are the hills of Thekkady.
Green Park Ayurvedic and Spices Plantation
Green Park Ayurvedic and Spices Plantation in Thekkady’s Idukki is a greta place to indulge in fun activities. You get to educate yourself on Ayurveda and its remedies — the science behind Indian system of healing, as well as enjoy long heavenly strolls through the cooling forest. There are quite a few spice plantations too, and when they are in bloom, they scent the very air of this region. You can take a guided tour (it’s usually 2 hours) and walk around the spice planation and processing units, stay over in a tree house, and enjoy some quiet time away from the city hustle.