Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the major attractions in Thekkady is this fantastic sanctuary, which is also a tiger reserve, that is spread across an area of 777 sq. km, around the man-made lake of Thekkady. The sanctuary is also home to the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, elephant, sambar, gaur, deer, Indian bison and bear.
This placid lake is located near the Periyar national reserve. Tourists can go for boating and enjoy the serene surroundings. If you are lucky you may even get a chance to see herds of elephants bathing on the lakeside.
A very pleasant and warm town, nestled between cardamom hills, Kumily is an interesting tourist destination in Idukki district. Enveloped by tea and spice plantations, this town is a must-visit to understand the rural lifestyle of the region. Tourists can enjoy typical Kerala cuisine also in this town.
Very famous for breathtaking views of scenic spice plantations, Murikkady is situated at a distance of around 5 km from Thekkady. Beautiful with misty mountains, lush green valleys, cardamom, tea and pepper plantations, this is a picture prefect picnic spot.
Another pretty and idyllic town which is an excellent picnic spot is Pandikuzhi. Small wild streams and lush vegetation are the main features of this attractive spot. Situated at a distance of 10 km from Idukki district, this spot is excellent for trekking also.
Mangala Devi Temple
An ancient temple (almost 2000 years old) designed in Pandian style of architecture, this temple is dedicated to Devi Kannagi or Mangala and is at a distance of about 15 km from Thekkady. 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.
This town is very popular as an auction center for cardamom spice. The whole town is filled with plantations of cardamom. The aroma of cardamom in the air of this town is exhilarating. Guided tours are available for those who are interested in learning about cardamom cultivation in detail.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Well known for martial arts, Kalaripayattu, this center is a place where you can get a firsthand experience of the renowned art. A sport which is unique to Kerala and well designed for self-defence, Kalari is popular in the world of martial arts. In Kadathanadan center visitors can watch this art form through a specially designed gallery.
Pullumedu or ‘green meadows’, is a small charming town situated on the banks of the Periyar River. As the name suggests this place is filled with scenic green canopy. This is a good spot to go for picnic and relax in peace. The famous Shabarimala Ayyappa temple can be viewed from here. Prior permission from the forest officials is required to visit this place.
Famous for gushing waterfalls and panoramic valleys, this is a must-visit place for every nature lover. There are several small mountain brooks in this place and the overall natural beauty is enticing. It is very near to Cumbum, which is famous for lush coconut groves. Tourists can enjoy the view of those beautiful imposing coconut groves from here.
Thekkady does not have an airport of its own and the Madurai airport located at a distance of 136 kilometres from Thekkady is the nearest domestic airport. From Madurai, you can hire a cab to get to Thekkady. The nearest international airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 190 kilometres away. This airport is well-connected with all major cities in India and abroad. The best way to get to Thekkady from Cochin is by hiring a cab.
The nearest railway station to Thekkady is in Kottayam, located 114 kilometres away. The railway station in Kottayam is well-connected to major cities across India.You can hire a cab from Kottayam to get to Thekkady, or even board a government or private run bus.
The most inexpensive way to get to Thekkady from nearby cities like Cochin, Trivandrum and Kottayam are the government or private run buses. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses are available at regular intervals from Kottayam, Cochin and Trivandrum to Thekkady.
Driving through the quaint countryside painted with the green colour of tea plantations and forests, is quite an experience. From cities like Cochin, Madurai, Trivandrum, Munnar, Kottayam, one can easily book a cab or get behind the steering wheel of their car to drive to Thekkady. While on the road to Thekkady, do not forget to keep your camera ready to click pictures of the scenic views. Also, do remember to take an extra 10 to 20 litres of petrol or diesel with you in case you run out of fuel as there is no fuel station nearby.