Thekkady

A beautiful place in the Idukki district of Kerala, Thekkady is almost synonymous with the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. That in turn whips up images of herds of elephants enjoying themselves in the Periyar Lake. Well connected to major cities in Kerala by road and having a moderate climate for most of the year Thekkady beckons nature enthusiasts, enticing them with promises of stunningly beautiful landscape with exotic flora and fauna. A paradise for those seeking activity amidst pristine nature, Thekkady offers trekking trails, nature walks and Bamboo Rafting. The Sanctuary Watch Tower in the interiors provides a panoramic view.
Must see places are Kumily and Murikkady having spice plantations that cast their spell with their verdant green cloaks and aromatic wands. One can reach Thekkady by the excellent state bus service from the nearest railhead at Kottayam or airports at Kochi and Madurai.
Best time to visit: September to May
Languages spoken: Malayalam, Tamil, English
Climate: Pleasant summers, heavy rains during monsoon and pleasant winters
Natural wonders: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar River, Periyar Lake
Places to visit: Watch Tower inside Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Abrahams Spice Garden at Kumily, Murikkady pepper and cardamom plantations

Thekkady – Another hope for tiger sighting

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After check-in, we took a walk in the resort, it is a not a very big resort and does not have a very nice view unless you go on the terrace of the reception. It has a nice swimming pool though and not to mention that we spent that evening in the swimming pool as kids does not wanted to do anything else. I inquired about the must see things from hotel staff and they mentioned about Jungle Safari with Jungle Trek, Periyar Tiger Reserve boat ride in a man made lake, Kerala Martial Art, Kathakkali dance show, Elephant ride and Elephant bathing. We decided to first go to the Jungle Safari, we booked the Jeep for 5:30 AM in the morning. In the evening, we went out for dinner as we wanted to try to local food, we found one restaurant, it was newly opened, they were serving Kerala and north Indian food. We tried both and it was ok kind of food. Interestingly, the waiter who was serving us, told me that he lived in Ghaziabad for few years and has recently moved back and his sister still works as a nurse in one of the hospital in Ghaziabad.

This Jungle tour is a Kerala government 8 hour package tour which includes Jeep, Jungle Safari, Jungle Trek with guide, 30 minutes boat ride in a small lake along with breakfast and Lunch. We started at 6:00 AM sharp in the morning, driver was not very happy as we got late. After about 45 minute drive, we reached the main entrance of Periyar Jungle and our safari started from there, it was about 15 KMS we drove watching couple of monkeys and few birds and reached the government rest house where the Jungle Trek starts. Lots of people were already there and waiting for the breakfast, after having breakfast we were introduced to our guide who was suppose to take us to the Jungle Trek. He gave us a cloth to wrap around the legs to avoid the leaches, he asked whether we wanted to do 1/2/3 hour trek, I silently chose the 2 hr trek, my wife wanted to have 3 hour trek, but I somehow managed her.

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Kerala – A Trip to the God’s Own Country

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This was the best experience of all as we were on the houseboat for the first time. The person driving the boat was amazing. Thought of being on water for 22 hrs was amazing. The boat went through several lakes and canals. We saw several villages where the only means of transportation was boat.

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Bamboo Rafting in Tiger Country.

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…Then the trek started in dead earnest, and soon we were walking through some shoulder height elephant grass. The guides showed us some exotic butterflies flitting about in the grass. At one place they pointed out to some Niligiri langurs peering down at us from the high trees. That really made us feel that now we were being stalked and hunted rather than the other way around…

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Periyar Tiger Reserve

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Kerala has more than its fair share of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the Western Ghats. Of these, the Periyar Tiger Reserve at Thekkady [Kumily] is the most visited. It is our favourite wildlife reserve simply because we have always seen wildlife there on every trip, without even trying to!

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Kerala’s Green Treasures-Idukki Trip-Part 2

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Your troubles don’t end once you get the entrance tickets. Because the tickets to the actual boat ride will be issued only at the counters near the lake boating area which is another 2 kms away. From the gates of the sanctuary we left our car and took an auto to reach the boat house(auto drivers queue up at 3 am to book their place at the head of the queue). For the 2 kms, autos charge(robbed would be the right term)200 bucks to the inner gate of the sanctuary. From there, it is a sprint for another 500 metres to the ticket counter. After all these troubles, I just about managed to get the tickets just in the nick of time. I heard from the authorities that to avoid these troubles one can stay at the KTDC Aranya Nivas, inside the sanctuary which provides access to the boat rides.

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Kerala’s Green Treasures-Idukki Trip Oct 2011

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As we moved on towards Idukki, the rain got heavier and the drive became difficult. Our driver Rajesh, informed us that though he was a resident of Kottayam, this was the first time he was driving from Kottayam to Thekkady via Idukki. Hearing this made me more anxious, and I began to worry whether I had chosen the right time to visit the wettest district in Kerala.

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