In the Periyar Forest of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves of India and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold immense opportunities for treks and mountain walks. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat.
Location: The drive to Thekkady itself is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. The sanctuary, 60 km from Idukki, 190 km from Cochin and 114 km away from Kottayam is open throughout the year, but the best season is from September to March.
Other Name Periyar
Languages Spoken: Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.
Long Distance Code: +91-486
Importance: Houses one of the best sanctuaries in India, Periyar.
Best Time To Visit: September To March
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the worlds 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 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 anthodium.
(18 km from Thekkady)
This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains and cascading waterfalls during the monsoons is a feast to the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kumbam in neighboring Tamil Nadu.
(15 km from Kumily)
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.
(4 km from Thekkady)
Mangala Devi Temple
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.
(15 km from Thekkady)
(43 km from Thekkady,)
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 or The Range Officer, Vallakkadavu.