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Home » Information » Tourism » Thekkady

Thekkady - The heart of God's own country!

The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience the most enchanting holiday. With the animals of the wild and the simple unsophisticated mountain people. In the Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.


The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry: 0600-1800 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 forests, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, 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, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.

The Sanctuary Watch Towers:

There are two watch towers in the sanctuary at Edappalayam and Manakkavala. Reservations can be made at the forest Information Counter, Thekkady. Ph: 322028.

Kumily (4 km from Thekkady):

This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. An important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region are in Kumily.

Murikkady (5 km from Thekkady):

Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.

Pandikuzhi (5 km from Kumily):

This Picturesque spectrum of exotic flora, fauna and gurgling streams is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. A popular picnic spot, Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight.

Mangala Devi Temple ( 15 km from thekkady):

The 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 viewof the eastern slopes of the ghats and some hill villages of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Thekkady. Ph: 322027.

Chellarkovil (15 km from Kumily) :

This sleepy little village with its breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Vandiperiyar ( 18 km from Thekkady):

The River Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantaions. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthuria.

Vandanmedu ( 25 km from Kumily):

This is one of the world's largest auction centres for cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a heady experience.

Pullumedu (43 kmfrom Thekkady, 26 km from Periyar):

The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar River, offers a stunning viewof the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of pullumedu which can be accessed only by jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Jyothi illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Since it is part of the restricted forest zone, special permission to visit Pullumedu has to be obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady Ph: 322027 or the Range Officer, Vallakkadavu Ph: 352515.


Plantation tours are arranged from the District Tourism Information Office at Thekkady Jn. in Kumily. Tours cover cardamom, pepper, coffee and tea plantations, tea factories, tribal settlements and the surrounding hill regions. Ph: 322620.

Elephant rides:

The forest Department, Thekkady offers facilities for elephant rides through the jungle.
Time 1000 to 1700 hrs.
Duration of a trip: 30 minutes.
Fare: Rs. 30/- per person.
Tickets are avitable from the Wildlife Information Counter. Ph: 322028.

Main trekking areas in Thekkady:
  • Kurishumala 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.
    Starting: 0700 hrs.
    Fare: Rs. 10/- + entrance fee.
    Bookings can be made with the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady, Ph: 322027,322028.

    Boat cruises on the Periyar Lake:
    0700, 0930, 1130, 1400, 1600 hrs.
    Fare: Lower deck: Rs.25/- + 10/(entrance fee), Upper deck: Rs. 501-+ 10/- (entrance fee).
    The Forest Departmet (contact Ph: 322028) and the Kerala Tourism Department Corporation Ltd. (contact Ph: 322023) conduct boating trips from Thekkady.

    Entrance fee at check post:
  • Foreigners: Rs. 501- (valid for 3days),
  • Domestic tourists: Rs. 2/-

  • Kumily: 4 km ( 15 mts)
  • Sabarimala via Pullumedu: 50 km (2 hrs)
  • Idukki: 65 km (2 1/2 hrs).
  • Munnar: 106 km (4 hrs).
  • Kumarakom: 128 km (4 hrs).
  • Sabarimala via Erumeli: 134 km (4 hrs).
  • Kodaikanal: 149 km (5 hrs).
  • Alappuzha: 164 km (5 hrs).
  • Kollam: 220 km (6 hrs).
  • Ooty: 390 km (11 hrs).

    Banks / currency exchange:
  • State Bank of Travancore,Near bus stand, Kumily Ph: 322041.
  • Central Bank of India, Central Jn.,Kumily Ph: 322053
  • Ayurvedic Hospital: Sree Sankara Gardens Anakkara, Kumily Ph: 363222.

    Resorts offering Ayurvedic massage:
  • Shalimar spice Garden, Murikkady Ph: 322132.
  • Spice Village, Kumily 322314.

    Travel agents/tour operators:
  • Global Tour Operators & Travel Agents, Kumily Ph: 322101
  • Mauria Tour & Travels, Kumily Ph: 322366
  • Mickey Travels, Kumily Ph: 322196.
  • Thekkady Tours and Travels, Kumily Ph: 322988.

    Local transport: Tourisr cars, taxi jeeps, mini buses and autorickshaws are available in Kumily

  • Periyar Hospital, KKRoad, Kumily Ph: 322045 .
  • CentralHospital, Thekkady Jn., Ph: 392045
  • St. Augustine Hospital, Spring valley, Kumily Ph: 322042.

    Indian classical dance theatre:
  • Natyagriham, Thamarakandom Road,near Ambady Jn., Thekkady.
  • Lectures and demonstrations of BharathanatyamKalaripayattu DailyBharathanatyam perfomance: 1730 to 1830 hrs. Ticket:Rs 100/- per person Ph: 322941.

  • Peermede Marketing Cooperative Society Ltd., Thekkady jn. Ph:322256.

  • Grama Silpa, Kumily Ph:322247.
  • Kirali handicrafts, AranyaNivas Ph: 322023.

    Hotels in Thekkady Tariff in Indian Rs Telephone
    ThekkadyLake Palace (KTDC)
    8000 322024
    Spice Village 4500-6000 322315
    Taj Garden Retreat
    3500-4000 322273
    Cardamom County
    2300 - 6500 322806
    Aranya Nivas (KTDC)
    700-2500 322023
    Periyar House(KTDC) 700-1500 322026
    Leela Pankaj 500 322392
    Ambady 425 -990 322193
    Shalimar Spice GardenResort (cottages)
    3450-5150 322132
    Mlichael's Inn
    900-2500 322355
    Kumily Gate 900 322279
    Tebemacle 500- 700 322240
    Revathy Intemational
    400-700 322434
    Lissiya Intemational
    300-1450 322288
    Mukkumkal Regent Tower
    100-1250 322570

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