Periyar (Thekkady) - Guide India - Active India Holidays

Periyar (Thekkady)


Thekkady, the end of Eden lost in Kerala, is a favorite destination for people who love to escape in nature during their stay in India. Its landscapes shaped by forests, hills and tea plantations, combined with the moderate tropical climate; make this reserve a particularly favorable ground for escape and discovery. In the heart of this romantic nature, you will have the privilege of discovering the preserved flora and fauna. Find among other things different variety of species of birds and animals, as well as flowers of all kinds.


Curled up in Kerala, at a height of 1000m, Thekkady is the largest wildlife sanctuary of India. The reserve has long been favored by locals as well as foreigners who want to enjoy the beauty of nature to recharge in calmness. A heaven of peace and also a land of escape, Thekkady has revealed itself over the years conducive to a number of activities. Many hiking and trekking routes have been discovered in the heart of this place for the most adventurous travellers.

Periyar houses the “Periyar Wildlife Park”, also known as the “Periyar Tiger Reserve”. Being one of the most attractive natural reserves of India, the site is distinguished by its dense forest, covering three quarters of its surface. Declared as a tiger reserve in 1978, Periyar Park is not only a home to the famous Bengal Tiger, but also a variety of wildlife animals, including many endangered species. You will find here elephants, wild boars, monkeys, Sambhars, Sloths, hornbills, snakes etc.


Until today, Thekkady is a tourist destination for nature lovers visiting India. Crossed by Surki dam which is 120 years old, the sanctuary covers 777m², leaned against an artificial lake of 25m². Classified as a tiger reserve, Thekkady has a splendid fauna and a unique tropical flora. The place is not only a refuge of many endangered species but also a reserve of a rich tribal culture. Thekkady, the end of paradise lost on earth, will satisfy your desire to escape and discover nature in the wild. Dominated by lush green forests on the edge of the Western Ghats, Thekkady allows you to enjoy diverse landscapes conducive to a wide range of activities. At the heart of this immense wildlife sanctuary, you will have the privilege to observe more closely Asian elephants, deer, bison, lion-tailed monkeys, Bengal tigers and other felines with an imposing charisma. Run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, ferry boats await you on the river crossing, an enchanting break during which you can safely admire the surrounding nature. The walk takes about two hours. Arriving at the terminus, other landscapes unfold to you. Among other things, you can see the walls of the Mullaperiyar dam. If you are looking for a quiet place to recharge your batteries, Thekkady will serve as the best place for it. The lush nature associated with the cool climate will bring you well-being and serenity. To preserve Mother Nature, the Forest Department of Kerala took care to keep the reserve in an uninhabited area. However, some luxury hotels and guestrooms have been settled nearby for travelers. The closest town to the place is about 4 km. It is Kumily, a city that is also pleasant, where you can shop craft products, spices, etc. Apart from the nature reserve, Thekkady has other tourist attractions such as Murikkady, Anakkara, Mangala Devi Temple, etc.


Thekkady can be visited in any season, although winter is the ideal time to fully enjoy the attractions of the reserve. During this season, the region lives to the rhythm of festivals of all kinds. On the other hand, a visit during the summer season will allow you to benefit from reduced rates in terms of accommodation. The monsoon is also an interesting time to make a detour to Thekkady. The fresh wind blowing through the woods carries with it the murmurs of nature inviting you to ignore your worries and to appreciate the present moment.

How to get there

An efficient road network connects Thekkady to the cities of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Many buses stop there from Kumbam, Madurai, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram, etc. The closest airport to the reserve is Madurai. If you prefer railways, you can take the train to Kumarakom (114 km) or Madurai (136 km) to reach the place.

How to get there

There are miles and a ways to explore Thekkady. You can also walk or take part in boat trips.

What to do in Thekkady?

  • Go for hiking
  • Do some trekking
  • Ride on the back of elephant
  • Discover flora
  • Practice boat ride.
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