Kerala, also known as "God's Own
Country" is one of the most popular tourism destinations
in India. It's tropical climate, beautiful palm-fringed
beaches with pristine stretches of sand, the serenity of
the backwaters and the clear blue Arabian Sea, make Kerala
one of the most beautiful destinations in India.
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Lake their favorite haunt for frolicking in the water.
Scores of them can be witnessed bathing and swimming here.
The Indian female elephants do not posses tusks like their
African relatives. They are also not as swarthy as their
inhabitants of Periyar include the leopard, wild dog,barking
deer, mouse deer,Nilgiri languor (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.
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
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.
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.
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.
through the placid lake provides the only opportunity to
watch Elephants and other wild
animals at close quarters.
Rs. 75/- (Lower Deck) and Rs. 125/- (Upper Deck)
07.00 to 10.00
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 it is
a photographer's delight.
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
CHELLAR KOVIL (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 Kumbam 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
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.
AMMACHY KOTTARAM: This
is an ancient summer palace built by the Maharaja of
Travancore in the traditional Nalukettu style.
KUTTIKKANAM : A place for adventure tourism and
trekking, or even langourous, tranquil break. This
picturesque plantation town washed in the fragrance of
cardamom is surrounded by lush-green, gentle hills.
THRISANGU HILLS (4 km from Peermedue, 1/2 km from
The rolling hills the lovely landscape and the gentle breeze
make this an ideal spot for long walks. The hills offer a
breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset.
PEERU HILLS (4 km from Peermede; 1 km from Kuttikanam)
This idyllic hill station is a favourite haunt of trekkers
and picnic teams. The hill is named after Peer Mohammed. the
Muslim Sufi saint, who spent his last days here. The
mausoleum of the saint, the summer palace of the royal
family and the residence of the Diwan situated nearby are
all worth a visit.
GRAMPI (5 km from Peermede; 10
km from Vandiperiyar) Grampi is also known as Parunthupara (eagle rock)
because of the panoramic view from its high peaks. Rocky
plains, lush hillsides, forests, trekking trails and
picturesque views lend charm to this destination. The road
to Grampi is flanked by unending stretches of cardamom, tea
and coffee plantations.
PATTUMALA (17 km east of Peermede; 28 km west of
Lofty peaks, little streams and ever expanding tea
plantations are the attractions of this place. Pattumala
(which literally means hill draped in silk) is home to the
two most famous tea plantations in Kerala - Harrisons
Malayalam and AV Thomas & Co. The Velamkanni Matha Church,
built entirely of granite, at the top of the hill, is a
famous pilgrim centre. The flower garden nearby is a
fascinating riot of colours of roses, orchids and anthurium
NEDUMKANDA A longish town extending along the 2
km stretch of road somewhat midway between Kumily and Munnar.
A town with a history of less than four decades. It is a
testimony to the high rate of migration from the low lands
of Kerala in this time span. Where elephants roamed until
the early sixties there are now computer training centres
and a spate of Government offices littered among the
business centres. Pepper and cardamom are the mainstays of
the economy. Pepper cultivation is predominantly a Malayalee
activity. Holdings are small, generally ranging from 10
cents to 5 acres and a couple of cows for a family are a
rule. In the dawn hours, riders with pails of milk can be
seen descending to the town from their boards in the hills
around Nedumkandam. The milk, collected by societies and
carted off to Kochi, Kottayam etc has sustained many a
family in the lean years after their pepper vines were
decimated by the wilt disease.Cardamom farms are larger and
about half of the owners are Tamilians whose parents
ascended the ghats from Cumbam, Bodinaikanur areas of Tamil
Nadu to cultivate the forest soils of the Cardamom Hill
GAVI Spread across the
beauty of the Periyar Tiger Reserve,Gavi is a
quiet,beautiful and pristine forest haven. The Gavi division
of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation takes you on a
rare journey through the vast expanse of the tropical wet
evergreen forests to observe at close quarters the
spectacular flora & fauna of the Western Ghats lying
adjacent to the Periya Tiger Reserve.
SAFARI TO GAVI Gavi is 30 kms
from vandiperiyar, a town on the KK road,17 kms from Kumily
near Thekkady. The transfer from Vandiperiyar to Gavi is
possible only on sturdy vehicles like the jeep. Jeeps are
available on hire at Vandiperiyar(see map). Appropriate
entry passes at the two forest check posts en-route
Vallakadavu and pachakanam are required for entry. Prior
permission from the Kerala Forest Development Corporation is
recommended for tourists seeking entry through these chech