Thekkady

Thekkady (Idukki District) is the location of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is an important tourist attraction in Kerala state, India, close to the Kerala -Tamil Nadu border town Kumily, located about 257 km (160 miles) from Trivandrum. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semievergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs.

The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is spread across 777 km² (300 sq. miles), of which 360 km² (139 sq. miles) is thick evergreen forest. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attraction of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.

Thekkady has immense possibilities for Adventure Tourism. The Forest Department offers many programs including Periyar Tiger Trail, Nature walk, Bamboo Rafting etc. There are private organizations as well as government agencies (e.g.KTDC), who promote adventure tourism in Thekkady. Plantation tourism also is promoted by these agencies, so that the tourists can see and learn the cultivation of various spices of Kerala.

Thekkady is considered as a heaven of natural spices like pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, hilly, tamarind etc.

Places of interest
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Spread across 777 sq.km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves.
    
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  :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.
    
Pandikuzhi    : 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      : 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.