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 resemblance 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. The Thekkady sanctuary is one of the best in the country for watching and photographing wild life. A cruise through the waters of Periyar lake around which the wild -life sanctuary is situated, offers a soul – stirring pleasant experience. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations.
IN AND AROUND THEKKADY
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. 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 tiger and leopard are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these animals come and drink water from the river. There is facility for boating.
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.
THINGS TO DO IN THEKKADY
Plantation Eco-Tours are arranged in Thekkady. Tours cover cardamom, pepper, coffee and tea plantations, tea factories, tribal settlements and the surrounding hill regions. Hosted and accompanied by trained local people, the visitors can go for trekking and bird watching in the many trails around, paddle in still waters to cool off or perhaps settle down for watching sunset in this oasis of peace and tranquility.
Nature Walk – The guided day trek
Different nature trails traversing diverse habitats form the trekking routes, generally 4 to 5 km. in length. This is an interpretive programme offering excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. The Nature walk is the right programme to feel nature, hear her whispers and smell her flowers.
The Periyar Tiger Trail – Adventure trekking and camping. In this trail, one may chance to encounter much indigenous wildlife like Nilgiri langur, giant squirrel, elephant and who knows, even the tiger! The trek route passes through hills and valleys with a variety of tropical plants and wide-open. Visitors who are medically fit and aged between 15 – 65 are advised to take the tiger trail. Visitors should be serious nature lovers willing to sacrifice some of the luxuries and comforts of a hotel.