Thekkady, situated in the heart of Kerala, is a highly sought-after tourist destination renowned for its natural beauty, rich wildlife, and vibrant culture. In this article, we will delve into the must-visit places and experiences that make Thekkady a remarkable destination. As we explore this captivating region, we’ll take you on a journey to discover its prominent tourist spots, luxurious resorts, varying weather conditions, exciting boating adventures, the distance from Munnar, accommodation options, hidden gems, and the significance of understanding the local temperature. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to unlock the hidden treasures of Thekkady, ensuring you have a memorable and enriching experience in this enchanting part of Kerala.
Table of Contents
- Thekkady Tourist Places
- Places to Visit in Thekkady
- Crafting the Perfect Thekkady Itinerary
- Thekkady Weather and Temperature
- Munnar to Thekkady Distance
- Thekkady Boating
- Hotels in Thekkady
- Thekkady Resorts
Thekkady Tourist Places
Thekkady, often referred to as the gateway to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the prominent tourist places that define the allure of Thekkady.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary:
Nestled in the heart of Thekkady, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the jewel in its crown. Spanning over 777 square kilometers, this sanctuary is a sanctuary for biodiversity. Here, you can witness the majestic Indian elephant in its natural habitat, observe the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger, and encounter an array of other exotic wildlife species. The sanctuary offers various trekking trails, boat safaris on the Periyar Lake, and guided tours, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Mangala Devi Temple:
Set amidst dense forests, the Mangala Devi Temple is a place of cultural and spiritual significance. It is dedicated to the deity Mangala Devi and is known for its serene surroundings and architectural beauty. The temple is open to visitors only during the Chithira Pournami festival, making it a unique and spiritually enriching experience.
For panoramic views that will leave you breathless, the Chellarkovil Viewpoint is a must-visit destination. Located about 15 kilometers from Thekkady, this viewpoint offers stunning vistas of cascading waterfalls and the plains below. It’s an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers seeking to capture the beauty of Thekkady from a different perspective.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre:
Delve into the rich cultural heritage of Thekkady by visiting the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. Here, you can witness the traditional martial art form known as Kalaripayattu. It’s not just a performance; it’s a cultural journey that showcases the ancient combat techniques of Kerala. The center’s skilled performers demonstrate their agility, strength, and precision, leaving audiences enthralled.
Abraham’s Spice Garden:
Thekkady is renowned for its spice plantations, and a visit to Abraham’s Spice Garden offers a delightful sensory experience. Explore the lush greenery and learn about the cultivation of various spices like cardamom, pepper, vanilla, and cinnamon. The guided tours here provide insights into the region’s spice trade history and its vital role in Kerala’s culture and cuisine.
These are just a few of the prominent tourist places that await you in Thekkady. Each destination offers a unique and enriching experience, showcasing the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and wildlife wonders that make Thekkady a must-visit destination.
Places to Visit in Thekkady
While Thekkady is renowned for its Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, it offers a plethora of other captivating destinations that are worth exploring. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the must-visit places:
Detailed Descriptions, Historical Significance, and Travel Tips:
Mangala Devi Temple: Nestled in the dense forests, this ancient temple is not only a place of worship but also a site of historical significance. It opens only during the Chithira Pournami festival, offering a unique experience.
Chellarkovil Viewpoint: This viewpoint offers panoramic vistas of cascading waterfalls and the plains below. Visit during the monsoon for the most dramatic views.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre: Experience the rich cultural heritage of Kerala by witnessing the traditional martial art of Kalaripayattu. The center’s performers showcase their agility and strength in captivating performances.
Abraham’s Spice Garden: Explore the lush spice plantations of Thekkady at Abraham’s Spice Garden. Learn about the cultivation of spices like cardamom, pepper, and cinnamon and the region’s historical significance in the spice trade.
Mullaperiyar Dam: Visit this historic dam, which stands as a testament to Kerala’s engineering marvels. The dam offers stunning views of the Periyar River and the surrounding landscape.
Periyar Tiger Trail: Embark on an adventurous trekking expedition led by experienced guides. It’s an opportunity to explore the wilderness of Periyar Tiger Reserve and encounter its diverse flora and fauna.
Pandikuzhi: A picturesque picnic spot with winding streams and greenery, Pandikuzhi is an ideal place for a leisurely day in nature.
Vandanmedu: Known for its sprawling tea and spice plantations, Vandanmedu offers a scenic retreat for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
Spring Valley Mountain: A serene location away from the bustling tourist spots, this place is perfect for those seeking solitude and stunning views.
Anakkara: A serene village surrounded by lush greenery, Anakkara offers a glimpse into the tranquil life of Kerala’s countryside.
Gavi: Located deep within the forest, Gavi is an ecotourism destination known for its wildlife and pristine surroundings. A visit here includes trekking, bird watching, and boating.
Ramakkalmedu: Famous for its windmills and panoramic views of Tamil Nadu, this hill station is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
Deepa World Spice and Ayurvedic Garden: Learn about the healing properties of spices and herbs used in Ayurveda at this informative and aromatic garden.
Panchalimedu: Known for its mythological significance, Panchalimedu offers a tranquil atmosphere and panoramic views of the Western Ghats.
Pullumedu: An enchanting spot located in the midst of dense forests, Pullumedu is known for its religious significance and natural beauty.
When exploring these places in Thekkady, remember to respect the environment, follow local regulations, and soak in the natural beauty that makes this region truly exceptional.
Crafting the Perfect Thekkady Itinerary
A. Tips on Planning a Trip to Thekkady, Including the Best Order to Visit Places:
When planning your visit to Thekkady, it’s essential to strike the right balance between wildlife encounters, natural beauty, and cultural experiences. Here are some tips to help you create an unforgettable itinerary:
Start with the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Begin your journey with a visit to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can explore the rich biodiversity of Thekkady through boat safaris and guided treks. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times for wildlife sightings.
Cultural Experiences: Include visits to cultural attractions like the Mangala Devi Temple and Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. Plan your visits during the temple’s opening hours or scheduled cultural performances.
Scenic Beauty: Schedule visits to scenic spots like Chellarkovil Viewpoint and viewpoints like Ramakkalmedu and Spring Valley Mountain during the daytime to fully appreciate the breathtaking landscapes.
Spice Plantations: Reserve time for exploring spice plantations like Abraham’s Spice Garden, where you can learn about the region’s spice cultivation history.
B. How to Make the Most of Your Time While Exploring Thekkady:
Early Mornings: Start your days early to make the most of your time. Early mornings are ideal for wildlife safaris and experiencing the tranquil beauty of the region.
Local Cuisine: Savor the local cuisine at Thekkady’s restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste authentic Kerala dishes and spices.
Plan Adequate Rest: Thekkady’s serene ambiance can be soothing but also physically demanding. Ensure you plan breaks and rest time between activities to fully enjoy your experiences.
Guided Tours: Consider guided tours, especially for wildlife safaris and treks, to make the most of your adventure while gaining insights from local experts.
Thekkady Weather and Temperature
A. Seasonal Climate Variations in Thekkady:
Thekkady, situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala, experiences distinct seasons, each offering a unique charm to visitors. Understanding the seasonal climate variations is essential for planning an enjoyable trip to this enchanting destination.
Winter (October to February):
Thekkady enjoys a pleasant and relatively dry climate during the winter months. Daytime temperatures range from 15°C to 21°C, making it an ideal time for nature exploration and outdoor activities. The crisp air and clear skies enhance the beauty of the lush landscape, and this season is particularly favored by tourists.
Summer (March to May):
The summer season in Thekkady is warm, with daytime temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C. While it can get hot during the day, the evenings remain pleasant. This season is excellent for wildlife enthusiasts as animals tend to gather near water sources to cool off, offering increased chances of sightings during safaris.
Monsoon (June to September):
Thekkady experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, with an average annual rainfall of around 3000 mm. The temperature during this period ranges from 23°C to 30°C. The lush greenery of the region comes alive, and waterfalls swell with cascading water. While outdoor activities may be limited due to rain, this season has its own unique beauty for those who appreciate the rain-soaked landscape.
B. Best Times to Visit Based on Weather Conditions:
The choice of the best time to visit Thekkady depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you seek:
For Pleasant Weather: Winter (October to February) is the most pleasant time to visit. The cool climate is perfect for outdoor exploration and wildlife safaris.
For Wildlife Enthusiasts: Summer (March to May) is the ideal time, as it offers better opportunities for wildlife sightings, especially near water sources.
For Scenic Beauty: Monsoon (June to September) is the time to witness the lush, green landscape and rejuvenated waterfalls. However, outdoor activities may be limited due to heavy rainfall.
Munnar to Thekkady Distance
The journey from the charming hill station of Munnar to the picturesque town of Thekkady is a scenic delight in itself. The distance between Munnar and Thekkady is approximately 90 to 110 kilometers, depending on the specific route you choose. This distance takes you through the Western Ghats, offering breathtaking views of mist-covered hills, lush tea gardens, and fragrant spice plantations.
Modes of Transportation Available for the Journey:
Travelers have several options when it comes to transportation from Munnar to Thekkady:
Private Taxis: Hiring a private taxi is a convenient and comfortable option. It allows you to stop at scenic viewpoints along the way and enjoy the journey at your own pace.
Bus Services: State-run and private bus services connect Munnar and Thekkady. While economical, bus journeys might be less flexible in terms of stops and schedules.
Self-Driving: If you enjoy driving, you can rent a car and explore the route at your leisure. The roads are generally well-maintained and offer plenty of opportunities for photography and exploration.
Shared Cabs: Shared cabs are available, offering a cost-effective way to travel between the two destinations. However, they may involve multiple stops to pick up and drop off passengers.
Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, the journey from Munnar to Thekkady promises to be a scenic adventure, showcasing the natural beauty of Kerala’s Western Ghats.
Thekkady is synonymous with serene boating experiences, and at the heart of this adventure is the magnificent Periyar Lake. Nestled within the Periyar Tiger Reserve, this pristine lake offers a tranquil environment surrounded by dense forests, making it a must-visit attraction.
Boating at Periyar Lake is a remarkable way to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty and witness its vibrant wildlife. The guided boat tours take you through the calm waters, offering captivating views of the lush greenery and the chance to spot various animals coming to the lake’s edge for a drink of water. It’s an experience that allows you to connect with nature on a profound level.
Types of Boats Available and the Experience They Offer:
There are several types of boats available for boating on Periyar Lake, each offering a unique perspective and experience:
Large Cruise Boats: These spacious boats are ideal for larger groups and provide a comfortable and leisurely ride. They offer ample seating and are perfect for a relaxed boating experience while enjoying the scenic beauty of the lake.
Bamboo Rafts: For a more intimate and eco-friendly experience, bamboo rafts are a popular choice. These smaller, traditional rafts allow you to get closer to the water and the wildlife. They are often guided by expert local guides who share their insights about the surroundings.
Rowboats: Rowboats offer a quiet and serene experience, ideal for couples and those seeking a peaceful journey across the lake. The rhythmic rowing creates a tranquil atmosphere, allowing you to soak in the natural surroundings.
Regardless of the type of boat you choose, the experience of boating in Thekkady is a serene and magical one. It’s a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with the tranquility of nature.
Hotels in Thekkady
Thekkady, with its diverse appeal, offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s budget and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious retreat or a cozy guesthouse, you’ll find a plethora of options to choose from. Here’s a snapshot of the types of accommodations available:
Luxury Resorts: Thekkady boasts luxurious resorts like Spice Village by CGH Earth, Cardamom County, and Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club. These opulent properties offer a blend of comfort and natural beauty.
Boutique Hotels: For travelers who prefer intimate and unique experiences, boutique hotels like Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House and The Mountain Courtyard offer personalized stays amid picturesque surroundings.
Mid-Range Hotels: Several mid-range hotels and lodges provide comfortable stays with essential amenities, catering to families and budget-conscious travelers.
Homestays: Experience the warmth of local hospitality by opting for homestays in Thekkady. These cozy accommodations provide a glimpse into the region’s culture and daily life.
Budget Guesthouses: Travelers on a tight budget can find affordable guesthouses and hostels that offer basic amenities and a comfortable stay.
Mention of Their Unique Features, Locations, and Guest Reviews:
Spice Village by CGH Earth: This eco-friendly resort immerses guests in the charm of spice plantations and offers traditional Kerala architecture. Guests appreciate its sustainability efforts and serene ambiance.
Cardamom County: Set against the Western Ghats, this hotel offers spacious rooms, an Ayurvedic spa, and an open-air restaurant. Its serene location and beautiful gardens are highlights for visitors.
Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House: Nestled within a spice plantation, this boutique property offers a few well-appointed rooms, ensuring an intimate and personalized experience.
The Mountain Courtyard: Perched on a hillside, this hotel provides breathtaking views of the landscape. Guests praise its infinity pool, well-furnished rooms, and delicious local cuisine.
Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club: With luxury cottages and a focus on wellness, this retreat is known for its stunning location amid the Cardamom Hills and its holistic wellness experiences.
Homestays and Budget Guesthouses: These accommodations provide an opportunity to connect with local families, savor authentic home-cooked meals, and gain insights into Kerala’s culture.
Reading guest reviews and checking ratings can help you make an informed decision when selecting your ideal hotel in Thekkady.
When it comes to accommodations, Thekkady offers an array of luxurious resorts that complement the region’s natural beauty. These resorts are not just places to stay; they are experiences in themselves. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of this pristine destination, Thekkady’s resorts offer the perfect blend of comfort and tranquility.
Spice Village by CGH Earth: Located near the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Spice Village is an eco-friendly resort that immerses you in the charm of the spice plantations. Its thatched-roof cottages and eco-friendly practices make it a unique and sustainable stay.
Cardamom County: Set against the backdrop of the Western Ghats, Cardamom County offers spacious rooms and cottages. It boasts a multi-cuisine restaurant, Ayurvedic spa, and an inviting swimming pool.
Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House: This luxury plantation house is tucked away in the heart of a working spice and tea plantation. It offers a small number of rooms for an intimate and personalized experience.
The Mountain Courtyard: Perched on a hillside, this resort provides breathtaking views of the lush landscape. Guests can enjoy the infinity pool, well-appointed rooms, and a restaurant that serves delectable local cuisine.
Niraamaya Retreats Cardamom Club: Set amidst the verdant Cardamom Hills, Niraamaya Retreats offers luxury cottages with private gardens and stunning views. The resort also features a spa, yoga center, and a multi-cuisine restaurant.
The Elephant Court: Known for its spacious and elegant rooms, The Elephant Court is located close to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It offers a range of modern amenities, including a spa and an open-air restaurant.
These are just a few of the top resorts that Thekkady has to offer. Whether you prefer eco-friendly accommodations, serene hillside retreats, or luxury with a view, Thekkady’s resorts cater to diverse tastes and provide easy access to the region’s attractions and activities.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve uncovered the hidden treasures of Thekkady, showcasing its diverse attractions beyond the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. From cultural experiences at the Mangala Devi Temple to serene viewpoints like Chellarkovil and thrilling boating adventures on Periyar Lake, Thekkady offers a tapestry of experiences waiting to be explored.
We encourage you to embark on a journey to Thekkady and immerse yourself in its natural beauty, rich culture, and thrilling adventures. Thekkady’s charm lies not just in its wildlife but in the serene landscapes, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality of its people.
As you plan your trip, remember to consider the weather, accommodation options like Thekkady resorts and hotels, and the best order to visit places. These factors can significantly enhance your experience in this enchanting destination.
Discover Thekkady’s unique blend of wildlife, culture, and natural beauty – a true gem in God’s Own Country.