THEKKADY [ PERIYAR] TOURISM
Periyar > Thekkady Tourist Information
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Thekkady, is one of India's most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries, where you can watch wildlife at close range. The vegetation, the flora and fauna and the birds of Thekkady are uniquely rich, vast and varied that it does not bear semblance to any other wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Even a casual visitor to this place will not fail to observe the special ecological pattern of Thekkady. Thekkady - The very sound of the name conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hill and spice scented plantations. 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 mountain people. In the Periyar forest 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 Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wild life. Thekkady is on the border with state of Tamil Nadu , in fact just 5 kilometers from the border town of Kumily which is very well connected by bus to both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Notable among the denizens of Periyar are the tigers, the majestic Asiatic wild elephants and the distinctive Nilgiri langur. Other animals include the wild boar, wild dog, bison, bear and leopards. Amongst the avifauna, the most profuse are herons, egrets, darters, kingfishers and the great Malabar grey hornbill. A cruise through the waters of Periyar lake around which the wild -life sanctuary is situated, offers a soul - stirring pleasant experience. The temperature during summers (April-June) ranges from 21°C to 24°C. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19°C to 21°C. Winter season lasts from October to March and is cool and pleasant. Visit the national park with elephant in Periyar make the entire experience unforgettable. Thekkady has a moderate climate all through the year. Summers (March to May) are bit hot with maximum temperature reaching 36°C and winters (December to February) are very pleasant with temperature goes down as low as 11°C. Monsoons (June to September) offer very heavy rainfalls, associated with landslides. The famous Mangala Devi temple opens for visitors only on the Chithra Poornami festival day coinciding with month March. September to March is the best time to enjoy the eye catching lusting greeneries. Bird watchers can spot migratory birds during post monsoon and winter seasons. Summers are optimal period to spot more wild animals when they flock to water sources
Periyar National Park Kerala is a veritable paradise of elephants. Herds of playful wild elephants have made Periyar Lake their favorite haunt for frolicking in the water. Scores of elepahnt in Periyar can be witnessed bathing and swimming here. The Indian female elephants in Periyar do not posses tusks like their African relatives. They are also not as swarthy as their African counterparts. Other inhabitants of Periyar include the leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, Nilgiri langur (a primate), bonnet macaque, sambhar, porcupines, squirrels, gaur (Indian bison), wild boar and sloth bear. There are approximately 40 tigers in the area as per the latest reports. The tigers, along with the Nilgiri tahrs (a kind of a wild goat), are elusive creatures. However, an early morning visit, with luck on your side, could yield results. Amidst the rocky hinges along the lake, monitor lizards may be spotted. Trekkers have also sighted pythons, king cobras and flying lizards. Some 260 species of birds are found at Periyar. These include darters, cormorants, ibises, gray herons, mynas, flycatchers, orioles, wood pigeons, kingfishers, kites, ospreys, thrushes, and an appreciable number of blue-winged parakeets. The months of March and April constitute the driest part of the year, because of which the animals spend a lot of time near the lake. Even the tiger may be spotted approaching the waters. Animals may be seen from motorboats on the lake or from watchtowers. A special permission is required to travel by boat to the source of the artificial lake, the River Periyar. This area is generally not open for tourists, but is the favorite haunt of the sloth bear. There is a good chance of spotting an occasional tiger in this relatively peaceful corner of the forest. One can also form a group and go on a walking tour with locally available guides.
Tourist Places in Thekkady
There are some tribal villages around Periyar, which are worth a visit. The tribal people are expert fishermen and farmers. Some are still engaged in the traditional practice of collecting honey of dangerous hill bees. They have built interesting tree dwellings. These dwellings do not signify a 'perched' existence. Quite the contrary, they are comfortable watchtowers for taking note of any wild pig or elephant in Periyar that might ruin the cultivated fields. Nearby Kottayam (117 km) and the temple town of Madurai (140) km)
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry: 0600 to 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 forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geo-morphological 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 remains the large herds of wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge
The sanctuary Watch Towers
The sanctuary watch towers There are three watch towers for observing wild life - at Edappalayam and Manakkavala and Thannikudi. Reservations can be made at the Forest information Counter, Thekkady. Tel. : +91-486-322028
Kumily (4 km from Thekkady) This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is 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 place is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border is a popular picnic spot. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer's delight.
Mangala Devi Temple
Mangala Devi Temple ( 15 km from Thekkady) This 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 view of the other side of the ghats and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden at Thekkady. Tel. : 91-486-322027.
Chellarkovil ( 15 km from Kumily) This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains (and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons) is a feast for your eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kambam 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 plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthurium.
Vandanmedu ( 25 km from Kumily) This is one of the world's largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantaions of Vandanmedu is a pleasent experience.
Pullumedu ( 43 km from Thekkady, 26 km from Periyar) The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu which can be accessed from a jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Joythi 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 Tel.+ 91-486-322027 or The Range Officer, Vallakkadavu Tel. :+ 91-486-352515.
Best Time To Visit Periyar
Best Time To Visit Periyar National Park Kerala,The temperature during summers (April-June) ranges from 21°C to 24°C. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19°C to 21°C. Winter season lasts from October to March and is cool and pleasant. Visit the national park with elephant in Periyar make the entire experience unforgettable.