Mentioning Thekkady conjures up the images of continuous chain of mountains with fragrant spices filling up the air. Thekkady lies in the Idukki district of Kerala and is a home to India’s finest reserves of wildlife. Housing the endangered species of our fauna, Thekkady is the only tiger reserve of our country. A major part of the area comprises the forests of the Western Ghats. Thekkady is a retreat to any nature lover. Whether it is a trek through the forest or a ferry ride the place continues to surprise you with its natural beauty. Rejoicing, relaxing, rejuvenating and also spotting animals like tiger, bison, elephants, deer, boars, leopards, monkeys or the wild squirrels, the place will leave a mark on your memory forever. Here is a list of top 5 places to visit in Thekkady.
1. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
Sprawling in an area of approximately 777 sq km with thick dense forest is the sole Tiger Reserve in the country. Periyar National Park encompasses an artificial lake; tourists can see the wildlife while on the ferry’s operating on the lake. One can either trek through the forest or take a ferry ride to watch the wildlife from a distance or take an elephant tour in the jungle; all of these leave you spell bound and provide an extraordinary experience. The sanctuary is also a home to the endangered lion-tail macaque.
Also known as the Spring Valley Mountain, Kurisumala is extremely famous amongst the trekkers. For the lovers of adventure and nature the place is an absolute delight. Being popular amongst the pilgrims, the hilltop has a Church where people often come to hail their offerings. The place provides a 360 degree view of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and of the nearby town of Kumily. With a dazzling view from the hill top the place is an absolute favorite amongst the visitors.
Well-known for its plantations of cardamom, pepper and coffee the air is filled up with spicy fragrant that will attract anyone even from a distance. Covered in the haze and splendid valleys of the Western Ghats is what makes Murrikaddy an experience to cherish. The slopes are covered with the plantations and being a prominent picnic spot of the region the place soaks you up in the peace and the greens of the nature.
The green-meadowy town quietly resides on the banks of the Periyar Rivers. With windy pathways along the journey one can gulp the greenery that the velvety hills of the Western Ghats have to offer. Pullumedu or ‘Green Meadows’ the place lives up to the name providing a lush green canopy to the place. Being only accessible by the jeep the place gives a fantastic view of the Makara Jyothi illumination and the Sree Ayyappa Temple. The place is rich in its flora and fauna but a large part of the forest here is a restricted zone and needs a prior permission for the visitors.
5. Mangala Devi Temple
With a typical Kerala architecture is designed this beautiful temple of Mangla Devi located at a height of 1337 m above the sea level. The temple is opened for visitors only on the Chithra Pournami festival day, can be accessed with the prior permission from the Wildlife Warden. The peak provides a majestic view of the eastern side of the Western Ghats along with few hamlets of Tamil Nadu. The temple is hidden in the dense woods at the peak definitely proves to be a charm for any traveler.
Thekkady has a lot of places to visit and anywhere you set a foot on will leave you awestruck. With an aura of purity this part of Kerela is also known as the God’s Own District. A small vacation surrounded by beautifully luscious hills and drenching in the nature with a wildlife that has endangered species is an experience beyond words.