Top Things to Do in Thekkady for a Memorable Trip!

A scenic nature destination, Thekkady is a popular travel destination in the Idukki district of Kerala. Surrounded by lush forests of the Western Ghats. The beautiful landscape and activities here make it a great tourist destination.

Thekkady Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Things to do
  2. History & Geography of Thekkady
  3. What is Thekkady famous for?
  4. How to Plan a trip to Thekkady
  5. Places to stay

Things to Do

The best part of this vacation is the number of things you can do besides sightseeing. 

  • Join a jungle trek and take explore the forests. There are guided treks available for tourists, where you can walk along designated nature trails, spot any of the 266 species of birds or lose yourself to the beauty of wildflowers.
  • You can also take a Jeep safari through the Periyar National Park, and spot wild animals, birds, or exotic plants.
  • To make your wildlife experience more exciting, you can try a forest stay in Thekkady. You can camp at designated camping grounds or stay at one of the forest lodges/cabins, where they also conduct various adventure activities.
  • Go on a spice plantation tour. The forests are a treasure trove of spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger, and clove. You can explore the plantations and see how these herbs are cultivated and take home some freshly harvested, unadulterated exotic spices.
  • Don’t miss a ride on an elephant. You can visit an elephant camp in Thekkady for the same or you can also explore the forests on an elephant. The elephant safaris usually last about an hour.

Places to visit in Thekkady

Thekkady

Filled with natural treasures, there’s no shortage of places to see in Thekkady and its surrounding areas. Check out these popular tourist places on your trip – 

1. Periyar National Park

  • How to Reach – The national park is located at 5KM from the town centre. You can book a cab or rent a car for the day to travel and return. Or you can stay at the national park. 
  • Timings– 6AM – 7PM, Night Safari after 8PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 45 (adult), INR 15 (child)
  • Time Required– 1 day

2. Periyar/Thekkady Lake Boating 

  • How to Reach – The lake area is 12KM away from the main town. You can book a cab or rent a car to reach. 
  • Timings– 7:30AM, 9:30AM, 11:15AM, 1:45PM and 3:30PM.
  • Entry Fee– INR 225 (adult), INR 75 (child)
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

3. Green Park Ayurvedic & Spices Plantation

  • How to Reach – The plantation is only 3KM away from the main town. You can book a cab, rent a car, or take the local transport to reach. 
  • Timings– 9.30AM-5.30PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 100 
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

4. Kadathanadan Kalari Centre

  • How to Reach – The art centre is only 1.4KM from the main town. You can easily walk or book a cab or take the local bus from any other part of the town to reach.
  • Timings– For shows – 5PM to 6PM & 7PM to 8PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 200 
  • Time Required– 1-2 hours

5. Kumily Elephant Camp 

  • How to Reach – The elephant camp is located at 1.5KM from the main town. You can walk, take the local bus or book a cab to reach.
  • Timings– 9AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 350-1500 depending on ride duration.
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

Places to visit near Thekkady

There are a lot of other scenic and interesting places near the town to visit, which you can easily include in your sightseeing – 

1. Eravikulam National Park

Thekkady
Eravikulam national Park
  • How to Reach – The park is located at 93KM from Thekkady. You have to book a cab or rent a private car for an entire day to travel and return.
  • Timings– 7.30AM-4.30PM
  • Entry Fee- INR 90 (adult), INR 65 (child)
  • Time Required- 4-5 hours

2. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 
  • How to Reach – The sanctuary is located at 123KM from Thekkady. You can book an outstation cab for two days to travel and return.
  • Timings– 6AM-6PM
  • Entry Fee- INR 50
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

3. Idukki Dam

Idukki Dam
  • How to Reach – The dam area is located at about 60KM from Thekkady. You can book a cab or rent a car to reach.
  • Timings– 9AM-5 PM
  • Entry Fee– INR 25, boating: INR 125
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

4. Vagamon

Vagamon
  • How to Reach – The tiny hamlet is located at 46KM from Thekkady. You can book a cab for the day to travel and explore the village and return the same day.
  • Timings– 24 hours
  • Entry Fee– NA
  • Time Required– 1 day

5. Sabarimala Temple/Ayyappa Temple

Sabarimala Temple
Swamiyae Saranam Ayappa……Ayyappa Temple, Sabarimala
  • How to Reach – The temple is 23KM away from Thekkady. You can book a cab or take the local bus to visit the temple and return the same day.
  • Timings– 4AM-11PM
  • Entry Fee– Free
  • Time Required– 2-3 hours

Places to eat in Thekkady

Sample the local flavours at some of these top-rated eateries – 

  • Ebony’s Café Restaurant 
  • Hotel Thekkady Café 
  • SORA 
  • Tusker Café 
  • Drizzle Thekkady 
  • Rangerwood Castle Restaurant 
  • Periyar Tiger Café Restaurant 

History & Geography of Thekkady

Thekkady sits just 4KM off the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is located at 257KM from Trivandrum, 155KM from Kochi, and 107KM from Kottayam. The town serves as the entry point to the Periyar National Park, one of the largest and most prominent wildlife reserves in the country. 

The entire region is famous for dense vegetation of teak and other exotic woods, savanna grasslands, and diverse flora and fauna. The forests, hills and valleys, surrounded by spice plantations, the town is a treat for nature lovers. 

What is Thekkady famous for?

Elephant-Spotting in Periyar National Park, Thekkady
Elephant-Spotting in Periyar National Park

The town is synonymous with the Periyar National Park. The Periyar wildlife sanctuary is one of the most diverse and intriguing wildlife sanctuaries of India. Spreading across 925 sq. km. of area (including buffer regions) the sanctuary is home to rich and varied species of flora, fauna, and vegetation, including a host of endangered species of each. The national park also houses a huge artificial lake, formed by the outflow of the Mullaperiyar Dam.

The highlight of Periyar forests is its expansive sanctuary of tigers. Declared a tiger reserve in 1978, this national park boasts a sizeable population of Bengal tigers, as well as a notable population of elephants. There are also several sambar deer, Indian bison, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs, as well as 171 types of wild grass, 140 varieties of orchids, sandalwood, eucalyptus and bamboo found all around the forest area.

Credits: World Ghoomo

How to Plan a Trip to Thekkady

How to reach Thekkady

By Train

There is no railway station in Thekkady. The nearest railway station is in Kottayam, 114KM away. Kottayam is well-connected to all major cities and towns in Kerala and other neighbouring states. For long-distance trains, you can travel to Kochi. From either of these stations, you have to take the local bus or book a cab to reach Thekkady.

By Road

Thekkady is easily accessible from the cities of Trivandrum, Madurai, and Kochi via NH183. There are regular state-run and private buses from Kottayam, Kochi, Trivandrum, Vagamon, Munnar, Madurai, Dindigul and other major towns and cities nearby. The best way to reach Thekkady from any of these places is to book an outstation cab or rent a private car and do a road trip.

By Flight

There is no flight service to Thekkady. The nearest airport is in Madurai, 136KM away. The nearest international airport is in Kochi, about 146KM away. There are regular flights from most cities and towns to Madurai and Kochi. From either of these airports, you can hire an airport cab or book a taxi to reach Thekkady. 

Best time to visit Thekkady

The climate can be defined as a wet tropical climate. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures becoming too harsh to explore. The Spring months of March and April are pleasant with intermittent dry patches. This is when it becomes easier to explore the wild. But for better outdoor adventures, the best time is between October and February, when the weather is conducive to venture out and engage in various activities. The weather here is also good during the monsoon when the rainfall reduces the summer heat but it is not advisable to travel around the hilly roads and forests in the rain.

Best Hotels and Resorts in Thekkady

From budget hotels in Thekkady to luxury resorts, you will find all kinds of accommodation options in this scenic town. Some places in Thekkady also have options for tree houses. Check out some of these best resorts in Thekkady for a memorable vacation – 

  • Lake Palace KTDC Thekkady
  • The Elephant Court
  • Hills and Hues Resort Thekkady
  • Spice Village – CGH Earth Thekkady
  • Hotel Ambadi 
  • Wildernest
  • Poetree Sarovar Portico 
  • Vanya Tree House
  • Woodnote Thekkady 

Download our Savaari car rental app for a smooth and pleasant journey. 

Tamil Nadu is filled with breathtaking hills and you can access all these places like Thekkady from Chennai very easily. Access Savaari’s curated list of such places near Chennai.

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Thekkady: Lord of the Jungles - A Complete Travel Guide
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Thekkady: Lord of the Jungles - A Complete Travel Guide
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A scenic nature destination, Thekkady is a popular travel destination in the Idukki district of Kerala. Surrounded by lush forests of the Western Ghats, Thekkady sits just 4KM off the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The town serves as the entry point to the Periyar National Park, one of the largest and most prominent wildlife reserves in the country.
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