Kerala has always been fascinating to the travelers from all over the world. Among the most frequently visited attractions in Kerala is the district of Idukki, with its lush green beauty emboldened by high range glory and wooded valleys. Most of Idukki’s beauty is indebted to the three main rivers which bind these areas together – Periyar, Thalayar, and Thodupuzhayar and their tributaries. As a tourist destination, what Idukki has to offer is the enchanting beauty of hill-stations, serene dams, diverse wildlife sanctuaries, and an array of activities including invigorating spice plantation tours, adventurous mountain treks, and elephant rides. This small piece of land has been truly blessed when it comes to natural beauty. The large population of tribals we can find inhabiting the land is a testament to the resilience of the land and its people against urbanization.
One of the most visited places in Idukky is Thekkady, which also enjoys the position of being India’s largest wildlife sanctuary. At a distance of 257 km from Trivandrum and 145 km from Cochin International Airport, Thekkady could be accessed from Tamil Nadu at a distance of 114 km from Madurai City and Airport. The destination is 114 km away from Kottayam railway station. Located near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border city of Kumily, Thekkady offers mesmerizing views of dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, and moist deciduous forests along with stunning savanna grasslands. Herds of elephants, sambar deer, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed macaques, and Nilgiri Langurs are but some of its most noted inhabitants. Thekkady is the dream of any nature lover who comes to visit Kerala.
Thekkady also situates the sole Tiger Reserve in Kerala and is home to rich treasures of tropical flora and fauna. These thick woods preserve within them something of immeasurable value, which is the unsullied, unfiltered, wild beauty of nature itself with its rich bio-diversity which includes many endangered species as well as a precious tribal culture where man and nature live together in harmony. The pleasant haven of Thekkady is also considered as a paradise for organic herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and clove. Thekkady is a manifestation of nature in all her unfettered, otherworldly, and wild beauty.
Around five hundred thousand people visit Thekkady every year and they contribute substantially to the economy of the state. Some of the most widely enjoyed entertainments of Thekkady include:
Elephant Ride – where children and adults can go for a short elephant ride near the Turble Nature Park, after contacting the wildlife information center near the boat landing.
Boating- Boats of different capacity maintained by KTDC and Kerala Forest Department can be hired for a 2 hours cruise, which is the easiest, and most encouraged option for sighting wildlife.
All these together have transformed Thekkady to a tourist hub throughout the year which necessitates the emergence of plenty of hotels, resorts, and other accommodation facilities. Currently, there are plenty of hotels and resorts in Thekkady Periyar catering to the ever-growing number of tourists. From budget 2 star to luxurious 5 stars classified Resorts and Hotels provide world-class accommodation facility to the guests visiting Thekkady. In recent years, so many homestays and farm stays have also come to existence in Thekkady, aiming to give the complete sanctuary that the guests seek in a homely atmosphere.
Earlier most of the resorts and hotels were situated in Kumily town and on the way to Thekkady boat landing route. Now it has spread into a 15-kilometer radius of the town. On K.K Road just before reaching Kumily town from Kottayam, we can see plenty of resorts. Known resorts like Forest Canopy Resort, Kofi Land Resort, and Greenwoods Resort are all situated on K.K Road. The major resorts including Cardamom County, Spice Village, Michels Inn, and Abad Green Forest are on the way to the boat landing. These are just some of the examples. Many more accommodating facilities could be seen around these parts. En route to Munnar, we can find a lot of resorts and farm stays. Most of these resorts in Thekkady are eco-friendly and very soothing to the mind. They provide a quiet, tranquil escape from the noises of day-to-day life. Some Hotels also offer Ayurveda Treatment Centres and spa services, guaranteeing the holistic wellness of their customers. The green nature and cool climate around these areas ensure a perfect condition for Ayurveda Treatments. It’s a perfect getaway to heal both the body and soul. Nobody can resist the relaxing embrace of the quiet and wild nature while they are here, and can’t help letting go of the tensions of the mind.
While visiting Thekkady, most of the tourists are opting for a single night’s stay, which is not encouraged. This is so because a least of three days are needed for a thorough exploration of the beauty of Periyar/Thekkady. Tourists can go for farm trips, trekking in the forest, tailor-made Tiger Walks, Jeep Safari, hiking and rafting programs of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. All of these cannot be crammed into a single day. Rushing through the activities will not have the expected effect. One needs to slow down and soak in the prettiness around to have a lasting effect on your mind. If you do that, it is guaranteed that the impressions you make will forever remain treasured in your heart. Some tourists opt for a long stay in resorts in Thekkady to experience the nature and the elegance of the mountains, plantations, lake and the forest. This allure is what makes Thekkady/Periyar favorable to educational trips from schools and colleges from various part of the world.
Thekkady tourist destination offers an array of sights and activities which is sure to leave a permanent impression on one’s mind. If you are ready to give away three days of your life, you will gain the experience and knowledge which will last a lifetime.