Top 20 Places To Visit In Thekkady

 In Holidays, Kerala, Travel

Feel the magic of Kerala with the list of top places to visit in Thekkady and Kerala Tour Package. Thekkady, situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, is a serene and picturesque destination known for its greenery, wildlife sanctuaries, and spice plantations. Do not forget to go through the Travel tips to keep in mind while visiting Kerala.

 

Thekkady, Kerala: An Overview

Thekkady is a charming hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala, offering visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural experiences. The name Thekkady is derived from the word “thekku” which means teak. Temperatures are lowest in the months of December–January and highest in the months of April–May.

Top 20 tourist places to visit in Thekkady

1. Discover the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

periyar-national-park-and-wildlife-sanctuary

This is the prime attraction in Thekkady. Spread over a vast area, the sanctuary is home to diverse species of birds like Siberian cranes, Herons, Darters, and Bitterns. Visitors can enjoy boat cruises and River rafting and go for guided nature walks or safaris to spot wildlife like elephants, tigers, and sambar deer. 

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685509

Timings: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 6:00 am

Entry fees: Domestic Adults- 45 INR, Children- 15 INR (below 12)

Foreigners Adults: 500 INR, Children- 180 INR  (below 12)

2. Visit the Periyar Tiger Reserve

visit-the-periyar-tiger-reserve

Established in 1978, The Periyar Tiger Reserve is dedicated to the conservation of the Bengal tiger and other endangered species. Guided safaris and trekking expeditions offer visitors a chance to explore the pristine wilderness and catch glimpses of elusive wildlife. The reserve encompasses a core area of 925 square kilometres and a buffer zone of 345 square kilometres.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685509

Timings: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 6:00 am -12:00 pm

Entry fees: Domestic Adults- 45 INR, Children- 15 INR (below 12)

Foreigners Adults- 500 INR, Children- 180 INR  (below 12)

3. Enjoy the Spice Plantations

spice-plantations

Thekkady is famous for its spice plantations, where visitors can learn about the cultivation and processing of various spices such as cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Guided plantation tours offer insights into the traditional methods of spice cultivation and provide opportunities to interact with local farmers.

Top Recommended spice plantations are:

  • The Spice farm – plantation of spices & herbs
  • Abraham’s Spice Garden
  • Green Park Spices

Location: Kizhakkethala Clal Dairy Farm, Munnar-Kumily Highway, Thekkady, Kumily, Attappallam, Kerala 685509

Timings: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Entry fees: 300 INR per head + 50 INR for camera + Free Guide

4. Take a walk around the Periyar Lake

periyar-lake

Periyar Lake is an artificial reservoir created by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. Boat cruises on the lake offer scenic views of the surrounding forests and opportunities for wildlife spotting, including elephants, deer, and birds. This man-made reservoir plays a crucial role in sustaining the ecosystem of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the surrounding areas. The lake is known for its adjoining Guest houses, visitors can choose to live in.

Boating Timings

  • 7:30 am to 9:00 am
  • 9:30 am to 11:00 am
  • 11:15 am to 12:45 pm
  • 1:45 pm to 3:15 pm
  • 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: 4 kms from Kumili, District Idukki, Thekkady, Kerala, 685536

Timings: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 7:30 am

Entry fees: 225 INR for Adults, 75 INR For Kids, 25 INR for camera

5. Experience the Elephant Junction

elephant-junction

Elephant Junction offers unique experiences with elephants, including elephant rides, bathing sessions, and feeding activities. Visitors can interact with the gentle giants under the guidance of trained mahouts and learn about elephant conservation efforts. The activities have different durations depending on the package you choose.

Location: Elephant Junction, Murukkady P. O., Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala 685535

Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 am

Best Time To Visit: 8:00 am

Entry fees: 400 INR (0.5 Hours), 1000 INR (1 Hour), 1250 INR (1.5 hours), 1500 INR (2 hours), 3000 INR (Half day), 6000 INR (Full day)

6. Learn the art of Kalari at Kadathanadan Kalari Centre

kadathanad-an-kalari-centre

Kadathanadan Kalari Centre is dedicated to showcasing the ancient martial art form of Kerala, known as Kalaripayattu. The centre hosts live performances featuring skilled practitioners demonstrating various combat techniques, sword fights, and acrobatic feats.

Kalari is considered the mother of all martial arts, introduced by Bodhidharma the third son of a Pallava king from Kanchipuram. Bodhidharma later migrated to China where he taught the Buddhist monks, The 13 Hands of Buddha and the concept of ZEN meditation.

Location:  Kumily Thekkady Rd, Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala 685509

Timings: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 9:00 am

Entry fees: 200 INR per hour

7. See the sacred Mangala Devi Temple

mangala-devi-temple
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Situated atop a hill in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mangala Devi Temple is a revered Hindu pilgrimage site. The temple is believed to be over 2,000 years old and is dedicated to Goddess Mangala (also known as Kannaki). The temple is open to devotees only during the Chithra Pournami festival, which usually falls in April-May.

Location: Mangaladevi Temple Rd, Bolar, Mangaluru, Karnataka 575001

Timings: 6:00 am – 1:30 pm; 4:00 pm – 9:15 pm

Best Time To Visit: April-May- 6:00 am

Entry fees: No entry fee

8. Click pictures at the Chellarkovil Viewpoint

chellarkovil-viewpoint

Chellarkovil Viewpoint offers panoramic views of the Periyar Valley, the plains of Tamil Nadu, and the cascading waterfalls. The viewpoint is accessible via a short trek through lush forests and offers breathtaking vistas, especially during sunrise and sunset. If you are someone who likes to trek do check out the list of places for Trekking in Kerala 2024.

Location: Chellarkovil-Mettu Road, Kerala 685509

Timings: 9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Best Time To Visit: 9:00 am or 6:00 pm

Entry fees: No entry fee

9. Climb the hills of Ramakkalmedu

hills-of-ramakkalmedu
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Ramakkalmedu is a scenic hill station located about 40 kilometres from Thekkady. The site is known for its wind energy farm and offers panoramic views of the Western Ghats and plains of Tamil Nadu. Visitors can enjoy trekking, paragliding, and nature walks in the serene landscapes. Rolling green hills and the fresh mountain air make Ramakalmedu an enchanting retreat.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 04868

Timings: 12:00 am – 11:59 pm

Best Time To Visit: 7:00 am

Entry fees: 25 INR for Adults, 15 INR for Children (below 12)

10. Discover the town of Vandiperiyar

town-of-vandiperiyar
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Vandiperiyar is a charming town situated on the banks of the Periyar River.

The town is known for its tea and spice plantations, offering visitors opportunities to explore the tea factories and spice markets.

Key features of Vandiperiyar:

  • Spice Plantations
  • Vandiperiyar Lake
  • Agriculture Market
  • Eco-tourism Activities

Location: Vandiperiyar, Kerala 685533

Timings: 24 hours a day

Best Time To Visit: 10:00 am

Entry fees: No Entry fee

11. Have a relaxing time at Pandikuzhi

relaxing-time-at-pandikuzhi
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Vandiperiyar is a charming town situated on the banks of the Periyar River.

The town is known for its tea and spice plantations, offering visitors opportunities to explore the tea factories and spice markets.

Key features of Vandiperiyar:

  • Spice Plantations
  • Vandiperiyar Lake
  • Agriculture Market
  • Eco-tourism Activities

Location: Vandiperiyar, Kerala 685533

Timings: 24 hours a day

Best Time To Visit: 10:00 am

Entry fees: No Entry fee

12. Learn about spices and coffee at Murikkady

spices-and-coffee-at-murikkady
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Murikkady is famous for its vast stretches of coffee and spice plantations, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s agricultural heritage.

Guided plantation tours provide insights into the cultivation and processing of coffee, cardamom, pepper, and other spices.

Visitors can also purchase authentic spices and coffee products sourced directly from the plantations. Murikkady is known for its authentic local Kerala Cuisine.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685535

Timings: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 9:00 am

Entry fees: No entry fee

13. Feel the culture of Anakkara

culture-of-anakkara
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Anakkara is a serene village known for its rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.

The village is home to indigenous communities and tribal settlements, offering visitors opportunities to interact with the local inhabitants and learn about their traditional way of life.

Anakkara also serves as a gateway to the pristine forests and wildlife reserves of the Western Ghats.

Location: Anakkara, Kerala 685512

Timings: 24 hours a day

Best Time To Visit: 10:00 am

Entry fees: No entry fee

14. Visit the Panchalimedu hill

panchalimedu-hill
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Panchalimedu is a hilltop located amidst dense forests and verdant valleys.

According to Hindu mythology, it is believed to be the site where the Pandavas from the Mahabharata epic spent their exile.

The hilltop offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and is dotted with small shrines and temples dedicated to various deities.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685532

Timings: 6:00 am – 6:30 pm

Best Time To Visit: 9:00 am

Entry fees: 20 INR per head

15. Take in the fresh air of the Spring Valley Mountains

spring-valley-mountains
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Spring Valley Mountain is a serene retreat nestled amidst lush greenery and gushing streams.

The pristine environment and refreshing air make it an ideal destination for trekking, birdwatching, and nature photography.

Visitors can explore the scenic trails, and spot endemic flora and fauna.

Kerala is known to be rich in its mountains and escalations, check out the list of best hill stations in Kerala to capture the beauty from a height. 

Location: Idukki district, Thekkady 685509

Timings: 4:00 am – 8:30 pm

Best Time To Visit: 5:00 am

Entry fees: No entry fee

16. Take a hike at the Gavi Forest

gavi-forest

Gavi is a secluded eco-tourism destination located deep within the forests of the Western Ghats.

The pristine wilderness of Gavi is home to a wide range of birds and animals, including elephants, Nilgiri tahrs, and Nilgiri langurs.

Visitors can indulge in activities like trekking, camping, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting in this unspoiled paradise, accompanied by trained guides from the forest department. Do not forget to visit the Beaches in Kerala to enrich your experience even more.

Location: Pathanamthitta, Kerala 685533

Timings: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Best Time To Visit: 8:30 am

Entry fees:80 INR domestic, 160 INR Foreigners

17. Experience the majestic Mullaperiyar Dam

majestic-mullaperiyar-dam

Mullaperiyar Dam is an iconic engineering marvel built across the Periyar River.

The dam serves as a vital source of water and electricity for the region and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Visitors can learn about the history and significance of the dam and enjoy scenic walks along the reservoir.

Location: Idukki, Peermade, Kerala 685533

Timings: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 10:00 am

Entry fees: 60 INR for adults, 15 INR for children (below 15)

18. Visit the Vandanmedu village

vandanmedu-village
Image Source : Tripadvisor

Vandanmedu is renowned as one of the largest cardamom trading centres in the world.

The village is surrounded by lush cardamom plantations, offering visitors opportunities to explore the scenic landscapes and learn about cardamom cultivation.

Visitors can also witness the bustling cardamom auctions and purchase authentic spices directly from the farmers.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685551

Timings: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Monday- Friday)

Best Time To Visit: 9:00 am

Entry fees: No entry fee

19. Capture the essence of Deepa World Spice and Ayurvedic Garden

deepa-world-spice-and-ayurvedic-garden

Deepa World Spice and Ayurvedic Garden is dedicated to showcasing the rich heritage of Kerala’s spices and Ayurvedic herbs.

Visitors can take guided tours through the aromatic gardens, learn about the medicinal properties of various plants, and indulge in Ayurvedic wellness treatments.

The garden offers a serene ambiance for relaxation and rejuvenation amidst nature’s bounty.

Location: Chillithodu, Kerala 685561

Timings: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Best Time To Visit: 10:00 am

Entry fees:200 INR for adults, 100 INR for children (below 12)

20. Learn about the local spice market of Kumily Town

kumily-town

Kumily is a bustling town located near Thekkady, known for its vibrant spice markets and culinary delights.

The town is a hub for spice trading and offers visitors opportunities to explore the bustling markets and purchase a variety of spices, herbs, and traditional handicrafts.

Kumily also provides culinary tours and cooking classes where visitors can learn the art of Kerala cuisine from local chefs.

Location: Idukki, Kerala 685509

Timings: 24 hours a day

Best Time To Visit: 12:00 am

Entry fees: 150 INR for adults, No entry fee below age 5

Best Hotels to stay in while you are in Thekkady

hotels-in-thekkady

Spice Village by CGH Earth:

  • Spice Village is a luxury eco-resort situated in spice plantations and lush greenery.
  • The resort offers spacious cottages built in traditional tribal style, featuring modern amenities and eco-friendly practices.
  • Guests can enjoy nature walks, cultural performances, and Ayurvedic treatments at the resort’s wellness centre.

The Elephant Court:

  • The Elephant Court is a premium boutique hotel located near the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
  • The hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with modern amenities, as well as facilities such as a swimming pool, spa, and multi-cuisine restaurant.
  • Guests can also enjoy activities like bamboo rafting, jungle safaris, and spice plantation tours arranged by the hotel.

Cardamom County:

  • Cardamom County is a charming resort set amidst spice gardens and lush greenery.
  • The resort offers comfortable cottages and suites with scenic views of the surrounding hills and forests.
  • Guests can relax at the resort’s swimming pool, enjoy Ayurvedic massages, and indulge in delicious Kerala cuisine at the restaurant.
ktdc-lake-palace

KTDC Lake Palace:

  • KTDC Lake Palace is a heritage hotel situated on an island in the middle of Periyar Lake.
  • The hotel offers well-appointed rooms and cottages with stunning views of the lake and surrounding hills.
  • Guests can enjoy boat cruises on the lake, nature walks, and cultural performances organised by the hotel.

Greenwoods Resort:

  • Greenwoods Resort is a luxury property located amidst serene surroundings near the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The resort offers spacious rooms and cottages with modern amenities, as well as facilities such as a swimming pool, spa, and multi-cuisine restaurant.
  • Guests can also participate in activities like birdwatching, plantation tours, and cooking demonstrations at the resort.

How to get there?

how-to-get-there
  • The nearest domestic airport to Thekkady is Madurai airport, which is about 136 km away.

Sedan cab from the airport costs 3900 INR

SUV cab from the airport costs  4600 INR

For more information regarding air travel go through the list of Best airports in Kerala.

  • The nearest train station is in Kottayam which is roughly 110 km away.

Sedan cab from the train station costs 2500 INR

SUV sab from the train station costs 3200 INR

  • Private car or bike:

Alleppey to Thekkady: 4 hours

Bangalore to Thekkady: 12 hours

Trivandrum to Thekkady: 5 hours

Know where you are travelling!

Interesting Facts about Thekkady

know-where-you-are-travelling
  • Thekkady is located in the Western Ghats, which is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The region is home to a rich array of flora and fauna, including many endemic species.
  • Thekkady is often referred to as the “Spice Capital of Kerala” due to its abundant spice plantations. The region is known for producing high-quality spices such as cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which are exported worldwide.
  • Thekkady is rich in cultural heritage, with influences from various communities including the indigenous tribes, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Visitors can witness traditional art forms like Kalaripayattu (martial arts) and Kathakali (classical dance) and explore the vibrant local markets.
  • Apart from the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady boasts numerous natural attractions including scenic viewpoints, cascading waterfalls, and serene backwaters. These natural wonders offer visitors opportunities for trekking, birdwatching, boating, and wildlife spotting.
  • Thekkady offers a wide range of adventure activities for adrenaline junkies, including bamboo rafting, trekking, rock climbing, and camping. These activities allow visitors to explore the rugged terrain and pristine wilderness of the Western Ghats.
  • Thekkady’s proximity to Tamil Nadu and its indigenous tribal communities contribute to its cultural diversity. Visitors can experience a blend of Kerala’s rich traditions with influences from neighbouring states, making it a unique cultural melting pot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which are the best waterfalls in Thekkady

Chellarkovil and Spring Valley waterfalls are considered to be the best waterfalls in Thekkady.

Which are the famous places to visit in Thekkady?

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Elephant Junction, and Abraham’s Spice Garden are the most famous places to visit in Thekkady.

What is the best time to visit Thekkady?

The best time to visit Thekkady is during the winter months, from October to February, and the beginning of the summer season, from March to May.

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