The state of Kerala is known for its varied beauty and alluring picturesque. One such place in the heart of the state is Thekkady. Thekkadyis situated in the Kerala state of India in the Idukki district and is about 250 kilometres away from the capital city of the state Trivandrum, 150 some kilometres away from the nearest airport that is Cochin international airport.
Thekkady is an alluring small town mostly famous for its finest kind of wildlife and is the home to amazing looking huge elephants. The chain of green hills stepping up towards the sky making the city like a dream location for a vocational chill out scenes.
The auguring plantation by the side of the cityscape makes the city bordered with greenery on the base as well as the giant mountains and hills gives you a chance to explore the adventurous side in you by taking a trekking session or a mountain walk amidst the landscaped beauty laid out in the city by the Mother Nature herself.
The Periyar Valley is the part of the town of Thekkady and the complete past story of this little town surrounds around the valley and its sanctuary.That was under the rule of the Pandya kings who ruled the town from a big city Madurai until the late 12th century.
In the year 1895, the famous Mullaperiyar dam was constructed and this dam was built across the west side flowing River Periyar that stops the river there to form a kind of a reservoir.
It resultedin the creation of artificial lake that enhanced the beauty of the valley. The lake, in the centre of the famous sanctuary in Thekkady named as the Periyar Sanctuary, is the core of the reserve and a spot where the huge elephants and the avifauna come to a flick, to drink water and to cool themselves in the hot seasons. By the idea of creating the artificial lake in the middle of sanctuary, this changed the landscape view and all the features of the place drastically.
Inthe 18th and 19th centuries, this reserve was the hunting ground for the kings of Travancore. The Kingdom of Travancore bracketed most of the modern day southern region of Kerala, the districtKanyakumari, and the southern most part of the neighbouring state of Tami-Nadu. After the independence of the country India. Travancore merged with the city of Cochin to form Travancore-Cochin royal state, which again after some time, joined in the Malabar district of Madras (Now Chennai) State to form the state of Kerala. The Edapalayam Lake Palace was inside the reserve at that time that was meant or constructed especially for the guests of the royal family living there.
In the year 1899, the rulers declared the area as a forest reserve and named it thePeriyar Lake Reserve. This step was undertaken with the very intention to protect the area where the kings perform hunting to not fall under the area of the tea plantation.
In the year 1934, the lake reserve of Periyarwas changed in a game sanctuary named the Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuaryand the step was taken on the recommendation of S. C. H. Robinson who was the first game warden. Thissanctuary at that time covered an area of 500 sq. kilometres but later in the year 1950, more area was summed to establishthe Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
In the year 1978, the sanctuary was then included in the initiative of Central Government, known as The Project Tiger and was renamedas Periyar Tiger Reserve.
In the year 1992, it became a part of Project Elephant. The Central Ministry of Environment and Forests took an initiative to protect the free ranging populations of wild Asian elephants in various Indian states andlaunched the project Elephant.
Later after 5 years in the year 1996, The India Eco-Development Project was inaugurated in the reserve. In the year 2001, the sanctuary was reorganized into two divisions that isPeriyar East and the Periyar West.
Today, the reserve is home toat least 50 tigers, uncounted elephants, the cities huge jungles, and its majestic flora and fauna attracts the tourist to visit the place and see the other living side of wild feelings with naked eyes.
An ideal time to visit Thekkady is in between the months of September and March. April and March are dry months hence the animals come close to the lake in the middle of the sanctuary to enjoy the chilled weather by the side of the water-body and to also drink water.
If you are not being able to come in these two months, do not be disappointed. The weather of this place is always ideal to enjoy the views of the animals with wilder sides.
If you are in the town of Thekkady and are confused that if there are good hotels available in this little calm town, do not worry and look across the streat to find a number of hotels from luxury to semi-luxury and normal categories. Enjoy the comfortable living with the fun activities announced by the hotel. You can also find swimming pool, gyms, game lounges in the hotels of Thekkady.
You can also stay in forest resorts and tree houses and spend a few days in natural scenic beauty all around.
An ideal duration of stoppage in the small city of Thekkady would be one or 2 days as one can enjoy the scenic view and the sanctuary fully. Therefore, a traveller can spend one-day sightseeing different attractions and trekking and another day for jungle safari tour.
The Periyarsanctuary is situated on the banks of the river Periyar that offers some of the best wildlife scenes in the country India. To enjoy the real feel of this alluring destination in Thekkadya person must takea chance on the bamboo rafting. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary has awesome landscaped view of dark greensurrounding backdrops that will compel you to take a few pictures from your camera to make the memories last forever.
Entry Fees: INR 25 For Indian citizens and INR 300 for international visitors.
This place is famous for its ancient form of Martial arts performed and learned by the people in here, the form is known as Kalaripayattu. This is a place where one can see the men and women performing this art form and in the most perfect way as well.
This place comply as one of the best tourist destination as it shows the deep culture of the state of Kerala. It is an act of self- defence. You can enjoy the view of the performance from a rare gallery.
Entry fees: INR 200 per head.
Kerala is famous for its spice and tea plantation. This place in the middle of the way from Thekkadyto Kottayam is a popular tourist destination as it is one place, where one can see the daily spices from the kitchen in a form of plantation. From cardamom to chillies, all could be found in this Abraham’s spice garden. The view of the gardens would make you take out the camera, clean the lens and start clicking the lush greenery.
Entry Fees: INR 200 per head.
If you love boating in the middle of the lake with all the mountains and plantations on the hills surrounding you. This lake is a perfect spot. One can enjoy the boating in the Periyar River. Enjoy the view of the elephants at the lakeside enjoying with their troop. The Periyar Lake is situated near the Periyar national reserve.
BOATING FEES: If you take a government boat, you will have to pay INR 150 and a boat from the hotel to the lake would be INR 40.
This is a place with traditional kerala culture. This is a spot where one can see performance of folk and classical dances, Kalaripayattu, classical singing and what not. The best part is the audience participation that is organised by the team of Mudra Cultural Centre. Spend a few hours at this place and know about the basic Kerala culture to tell stories to people back home.
Entry Fees: INR 200 per person.
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