Altitude 1200 m above sea level. Thekkady for the wildlife enthusiast. The periyar wildlife sanctuary amidst the rich jungles. You can have a boat safari on the Periyar lake around which the wild life sanctuary is based. As the area never gets too cold in the winter months and doesn’t have too harsh summer, periyar is a great tourist area all year round. This is one of the few Indian reserve forests which allows trekking. You can also have an elephant safari through the forest to see the wild life in their natural habitat.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry : 0600 to 1800 hrs)
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife reserves – the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake’s edge.
Kumily (4 km from Thekkady)
This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is in Kumily.
Mangala Devi Temple ( 15 km from Thekkady)
This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 M above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the other side of the ghats and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu.
THINGS TO DO IN THEKKADY
The forest Department, Thekkady offers facilities for elephant rides through the jungle. Duration of a trip : 30 minutes
Main trekking areas in Thekkady : Kurisumala near Kumily, Pullumedu, Ottakathalamedu : 5 km from Kumily, Grampi near Vandiperiyar. The Forest Department conducts daily treks from the boat landing station at Thekkady to the Nellikkampetty area and Manakkavala.
Boat cruises on the Periyar Lake
0700, 0930, 1130, 1600 hrs.