Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Tiger Reserve contains evergreen and semi evergreen rainforests with the Periyar and Pampa Rivers flowing through and is spread over an area 777 sq. km. in size with a 26sq. km artificial lake in its heart where animals come to drink. The sanctuary is home to elephants, tigers, bison, wild boars, langurs and deer and a fabulous array of numerous other species.
The Periyar Lake is a placid artificial lake, a reservoir behind the Mullaperiyar Dam. The reservoir and the Periyar River meander around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for wildlife in the game sanctuary. Visitors may go on boat rides in the lake and on some days one may spot herds of animals drinking from the water in the shore or bathing.
Kumiliy is a quaint little town nestled between hills draped with cardamom, tea and spice plantations. A visit to Kumily is a must in order to understand the predominantly rural lifestyle of the region. And while visitors are here, there is a variant of the splendid Kerala cuisine to be relished.
Murikkady(5 km from Thekkady)
An area renowned for breath taking views of scenic spice plantations, Murikkady is situated at a distance of around 5 km from Thekkady. Picturesque with misty mountains, lush green valleys, cardamom, tea and pepper plantations, Murikkady is a picture prefect picnic spot.
Pandikuzhi (5 km from Thekkady)
A pretty and idyllic hamlet that is also an excellent picnic spot. The landscape around Pandikuzhi is composed of small wild streams flowing through lush vegetation. Situated at a distance of 10 km from Idukki district, the area is excellent for trekking as well.
Mangala Devi Temple (15 km from Thekkady)
An ancient temple (almost 2000 years old) designed in Pandyan style of temple architecture and dedicated to Devi Kannagi or Mangala. Situated on the top of a cliff and surrounded by trees, this temple is visited by many pilgrims. Please note that it is necessary to get permission from the wildlife authorities in Thekkady to visit the area.
Vandanmedu (25km from Thekkady)
Vandanmedu is the largest auction centre for cardamom and the fragrance of the spice hangs in the air. A visit to the town and guided tours to plantations and auctions are on offer for those who are interested in learning about cardamom cultivation at close quarters.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Kalaripayitu is a martial art that is unique to Kerala and essentially designed for self- defence. The Kadathanadan Kalari, renowned for the propagation and training in Kalaripayattu, guests with an interest in martial arts will find that a visit to the centre is an enthralling experience and will give them an experience at close quarters of the routines practiced by disciples viewed through a specially designed gallery.
Pullumedu (43kms from Thekkady)
Pullumedu or ‘green meadows’, is a small charming town situated on the banks of the Periyar River. As the name suggests the undulating landscape is blanketed by thick wild grass and renowned for its flora and fauna that attract nature lovers. The area offers numerous spots that are ideal for picnics. The famous Shabarimala Ayyappa temple can be viewed from here. Prior permission from the forest officials is required to visit this place.
Chellarkovil (15 kms from Thekkady)
Chellarkovil, situated 11 km from Kumily, is a sleepy little village situated above the coconut groves in Cumbum to the east with breath taking views of Mangaladevi, the highest point in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the plains in Tamil Nadu and cascading waterfalls that originate in the state of Kerala and drop down into the state of Tamil Nadu. A watch tower with a telescope and cottages nearby are offered to visitors. Views of both sunrise and sunset are spectacular on most days, weather permitting.
Ramakkalmedu (40km from Thekkady)
A windswept tiny hill station throughout the year, Ramakalkal Medu gets its name from an impression of feet on a rock surface here that is believed to belong to Rama, a god from Hindu mythology. Monuments from the Sangam era in Tamil history are also found nearby. Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu and enchanting retreat. The ecosystem of the area also consists largely of grass land Shola forest type which is laced by sporadic bamboo forests. Visitors will enjoy panoramic and picturesque views of villages in the plains in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu to the east.
Trips to Ottakathalmedu are best undertaken at dawn or later in the evening. Situated very near Thekkady at an altitude of 1300 metres above sea level, Ottakathalmedu is a vantage point atop a hill providing stunningly beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains that encompass the town of Kumily, the Periyar National Park and further beneath the plains in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. A trip best undertaken at dawn or in the evening to view a spectacular sunset. Also an offbeat trekking spot.
A trekker's paradise and the highest peak in Thekkady. Kurisumala, literally meaning 'mountain of the cross' offers visitors splendid all around views of the lake in Periyar, Kumily town and vast stretches of the plains of Tamil Nadu. Kurisumala is also a renowned Christian pilgrim centre where hundreds of devotees from far and near converge during the holy week and after, to climb the hill in faith, carrying small wooden crosses. A serene monastery near the top of the hill, the silence of the hills, the cool mountain air and the lush green landscape are all soothing to the soul. To the east, on a neighbouring hill named Muruganmala ,a rock cut temple is situated which guests may want to visit.
Vandiperiyar (14.7km from Thekkady)
Lush hill slopes, redolent with the fragrances of coffee, black pepper, tea, and other numerous spices and the Peryar River flowing through -Vandiperiyar will enthral a nature lover. While one is here also take a look at orchids, rose pants, and anthurium in the Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden.
Anakkara (12km from Thekkady)
Situated on the Kumily-Munnar state highway, Anakkara is a tourist destination that is rapidly gaining popularity for its unique spice gardens and numerous scenic picnic spots. The area is also one of the destinations identified by Government of India and United Nations Development Programme to develop and promote tourism.