Being one of the most paramount gifts of nature, the Thekkady hills are something to crave for. The pleasantly chilled out atmosphere and the alluring smell of cardamom and other precious spices make it one of the most famous and sought after hill stations in Kerala by both foreign and native travellers. This sleepy town offers recluse and their hospitality is worth recommending.
The steep forested hill sides of Thekkady are an ideal location for a mini vacation. This gem of a place is encompassed by enchanting waterfalls, beautiful lakes, layers of spice plantations and deep forests. The best part is that you can cover Thekkady in a day. So you can customise your vacation and add this hill station to your itinerary thereby enjoying one more place for your vacation.
Enlisted below are few places including Thekkady that can be covered in two days.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Eco tourism has become a catchphrase in recent times and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers just that. It is a great combination of manmade and natural beauty. Covering a core area of 350 square- kilometres, this is the only national park in India that has an artificial lake flowing through the forests.
Though well known as an elephant and tiger reserve, you will also spot Deer, Wild Pigs, Wild Dogs, Langurs, Giant Squirrels, Sloth Bears and many more. The Sanctuary is also a bird haven.
A half an hour boat cruise on the Lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve. You will also get a good view of the Periyar Dam while on the cruise.
cruise timings: 7.30am, 9.30am, 11.15am, 01.45pm & 3.30pm
Idukki is the spice farming capital of Kerala with cardamom, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, etc being its being its major produce. A two hour tour amidst the spice plantations can do wonders to the mind and body. Abraham’s Spice Garden is a famous and well reviewed plantation that is open to guests all year round.
Spring Valley Mountain
Locally known as Kurissumala, the Spring Valley Mountains is a hillock overlooking the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. You will feel like stopping at every hairpin bend to capture a piece of nature on your camera. It also provides an excellent opportunity for trekking.
A private area offering elephant rides located at Anavachal road in Thekkady. They offer various elephant ride programs ranging from half an hour to one and a half hour rides. The place opens at 9 am and closes by 6 pm.
The Chellarkovil waterfalls are located 15 km north of Thekkady and are the perfect place for trekking and nature walks. These waterfalls are a vista that none can miss.
En-route Kumily/ Thekkady, you can stop over at the following places
This ethereal beauty never loses its lustre of being pristine. Reserved by a great amount of forest area, Kuttikanam is a gifted natural haven with its diverse flora and fauna.
Just one Km away from Kuttikanam is the plantation town of Peermade, which is named after the Sufi saint Peer Mohammad who spent his last days here. The hills have been a favourite haunt for soul searching wanderers, trekkers and picnickers. The summer palace of the Travancore royal family (which is now converted into a Govt. Guest house), mausoleum of the saint and the Dewan house are worth a visit.
Grampi or Parunthumpara
The hill top got the name Parunthumpara (which means eagle rock) due to its vast panoramic view from up high. These hills are layered with unending tea, coffee and cardamom plantations and rocky trekking trails, making it an ideal stop over. Grampi is located 5 km from peermade.
Mythology has it that pandavas along with their spouse Panchali (Draupadi) found shelter here during their one year long exile. Hence, the place got its name [Panchali (Draupadi), Medu (hills)]. You can also sight makarajyothi or Makaravilakku from the pond, Panchalikkulam during the pilgrimage season at Sabarimala. It is also believed that Pandavaguha (cave of the Pandavas) beholds the footprints of the mighty Bheema. The hills are located 12 Km away from Kuttikanam.
The rustic hill town of Thekkady has a lot to offer in hideouts. Visit local markets, sip some coffee and buy some homemade chocolates. A day in the midst of nature is a day well spent.