Undulating hills, picture-perfect greenery, shimmering lakes, and cool, aromatic air - Thekkady has it all. Situated in Idukki district of Kerala, at an altitude of 900-1800 m above sea level, Thekkady is a dream destination for adventure travellers and Nature lovers alike.
The region is also home to the richly bio-diverse Periyar Tiger Reserve. Thekkady, lying on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is so closely related to this renowned sanctuary that, often, the names, Thekkady and Periyar, are used interchangeably to refer to the area.
Name, ambience and other details
The name Thekkady is derived from the word thekku which means teak. Thekkady enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. The temperature drops to 13 degree Celsius during December/January and rises to 30 degree Celsius during April/May.
Two of the salient characteristics of Thekkady and the surrounding Periyar Valley are its undulating mountains of more than 1700 meters and its many shades of stunning green.
If you take a walk along the nature trails that cut across lush greenery, you will be enthralled by the beauty of the place. The chirping of the birds, the sounds of the jungle animals, the rustle of the leaves and the gushing of the mountain streams all work in harmony here to give Nature a unique rhythm.
Apart from this, there are elevated flat terrains, lush valleys, picturesque lakes and greenery that merges into the horizon. There are great opportunities for treks and other Nature-related activities. Apart from the thick forests and the abundant wildlife of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, the slanting hills of Thekkady are home to plantations of vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, tea, coffee, etc.
Inside the Thekkady forests and the Periyar Tiger Reserve are tribal hamlets that hold on to age-old practices. Their presence adds to the charm of Thekkady. A visit to one of the tribal villages will give you a glimpse of lives lived in complete harmony with Nature.
Thekkady is just four km from the border town of Kumily. Kumily links Kottayam to Theni of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu via Mundakkayam, Peermede and Vandiperiyar. Kumily, located on NH 220, is well-connected with all the major cities of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The bus is a good option to travel to and from Kumily.
The journey from Kumily to Thekkady is a beautiful experience. On either side of the road are majestic mountains and the striking greenery of the plantations. The streams crisscrossing the abundant foliage and the aroma of spices that fragrances the fresh air augment the appeal of the place greatly.
The nearest railway station is at Kottayam which is 114 km from Thekkady. The nearest airport is at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, about 136 km from Thekkady; the Nedumbassery airport in Kochi is about 190 km away.
The best time of the year for a Thekkady trip is from September to March.