The road to Thekkady is graced by picturesque mountains and lush greenery which gets prettier and prettier as you reach closer. The crescendo of your journey is when you arrive here. Its beauty and calmness will please your soul. This quiet little town is located in the Idukki district in Kerala and is a neighbor to the majestic Periyar National Park. Along with being a tourist destination, Thekkady is also like a bridge that will take you to several amazing places. In this list, we are going to take a look at some of the most exciting things to do in Thekkady.
Ah, the highlight of everyone’s trip to Thekkady is always this enormous park which is nestled in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills. Nature, beauty and animals, all of this is available here in abundance. It is one of the most famous national parks in India and why won’t it be? Periyar is home to two of the most beloved creatures of the animal kingdom, tigers and elephants.
But that’s not all. The other residents here like the stripe-necked mongoose, Nilgiri marten and Indian giant squirrel are equally intriguing. Let’s not forget about the plenty of colorful birds from different species that also live here. You can make the best out of your visit by going on treks, boat safaris, walks and even camping.
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Some waterfalls get featured in movies, songs, and even ads. But this one got a shout-out from Ilango Adigal in his poem Cilappatikaram which was written way back in the 5th or 6th century! The poem spoke about its beauty, a quality that is still present in it and the reason why so many people see it as a fun getaway destination. It is situated in the Theni district, which is less than an hour's drive away from Thekkady.
The waterfall is created by the Suruli river from the mountain ranges of Meghamalai. The pond that it creates is considered to be very safe, so you can enjoy this boon of nature with peace of mind.
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Just 50 mins drive from Thekkady will take you to one of the best tourist points in this region. The Parunthumpara Hill View Point is perched on a mountain at a height of 1200 m and not very far from the Peermade village. The name translates to ‘Eagle Rock’ because there is a small portion of the hill that extends, which looks like an eagle's head, and it makes the rest of the surrounding area look like an eagle's body.
Some amount of trekking is required to reach the top and you are going to have a lot of fun doing it. But the real joy is to reach the top and stand at the hill point. This is when the time slows down and a soothing silence takes over. You can’t tell if your eyes are in overdrive mode trying to focus on a breathtaking panoramic view or completely relaxed and lost in bliss. From the viewpoint, you see the Peerumedu hills, its neighboring plains, Sabarimala forests and Periyar Tiger Reserve.
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It is a place where the age-old art of Kathakali and martial arts is preserved and flourished. No, it is not the kind of martial arts you see in the movies but it is every bit as interesting. It is called Kalaripayattu, a traditional form of martial art that's performed and originated in Kerala. The performances are backed by dramatic narration and music which really gets you hooked. You also get the chance to go on the stage after the show and hold the weapons used by the performers.
You might be familiar with Kathakali, a classical dance form that originated in Kerala. It is used as a medium to portray epic tales from our country’s mythology. Its choreography, story, costumes, makeup and background music have so many layers and meaning behind them. Just like Kalaripayattu, these performances will also keep you glued to your seats.
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This is one of the many reasons why Kerala is called “God’s Own Country”. Gavi looks like an embodiment of heaven. It is a small village situated in the district of Kerala and is very much untouched by human civilization, so you won’t be seeing any pollution here. What you will see are lakes, waterfalls, lots of flora and fauna and tranquility. Woodpeckers, hornbills, elephants and Nilgiri tahrs are just some of the animals that reside here. You can explore Gavi in all its glory with a tour guide and you can also opt to go on a trek, camp and even a night safari!
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The experience of listening to a tabla player perform and Zakir Hussain perform is different. It's different when someone plays cricket and Virat Kohli plays cricket. You are not seeing an artist hit the right note or a player score a six, you are witnessing magic. So when we say that it is different to go on a picnic somewhere and go on a picnic to Murikkady. You know what we are talking about.
It is one of the best getaway spots in the state and is carpeted with plantations of coffee, pepper, cardamom, tea and more. It is a sheer delight to walk around them and to take in the aroma. If you are a shutterbug, then this is your time to shine and if you are not one, trust us, Murikkady might turn you into one! The fact that it is just a 10 min drive away from Thekkady makes it even better.
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If we were a state, we would be jealous of Kerala. How can one state have so many amazing places?! Pandikuzhi is yet another example. Take a 10 min ride from Thekkady and you will arrive in this piece of paradise that is ornamented with streams of water and waterfalls.
Pandikuzhi is a hill station where the animal kingdom thrives and greenery is everywhere.
Having uneven terrain makes it a great spot for trekkers. People from neighboring regions see this as their weekend getaway and we would have done the same. The climate here is pleasant almost throughout the year and because this place has not been commercialized yet, its peaceful vibe is still intact.
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So, what do you think about Thekkady? Can't you already imagine yourself standing on Parunthumpara hill or taking a stroll around the tea farms at Murikkady, having little happy thoughts? Thekkady does feel like a comfort food that we need from time to time. Even a short three-day stay here is enough to rejuvenate and prepare us for the army of Mondays and deadlines that lies ahead.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Thekkady?
The best time would be during the winter months from October to February. But those who don’t mind a bit of mud and getting wet would enjoy the monsoons here from June to September.
How Far Is Thekkady From Munnar?
You will have to travel for around 91 km to reach Thekkady from Munnar. The route that you should follow is Munnar – Chithirapuram – Anachal – Rajakkad – Nedumkandam – Thekaddy.
How Is The Climate In Thekkady?
Weather around the year in Thekkady is enjoyable. Even the summers here are good as the mean maximum temperature tops as 31°C, while in winters, the mercury hovers between 13 °C and 25 °C. It receives medium to heavy rainfall during the monsoons and it makes all the lush greenery look even more beautiful during this period.
Is One Day Enough For Thekkady?
No. You will not be able to visit all of the interesting places. Try to visit for at least two days so you can enjoy your trip.
Is Periyar National Park Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Periyar is one of the most cherished national parks in the country. Not only do you get to see the majestic tigers and elephants, but several exciting animals as well.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Periyar National Park?
The period from October to March is considered to be the best time to visit as the climate is the most pleasant. But if you want to see the most animals, you can visit in the summer season- the months from April to July. Because this is when the animals come out of their hiding to search for water.
Do We Need Permission To Visit Gavi?
Yes. You will require an entry pass and it can be availed from the Forest Check Post. You can find it on your way to Vallakkadavu. You can also contact the Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd and book the pass in advance. Remember, only 30 vehicles are allowed per day, so advance booking would be a better way to go.