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7 unbeatable reasons to visit Thekkady
Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

“And I’ve got to satiate the wanderlust again.” My origins are in Kerala but never having lived there, the diversity of landscape in this sliver of land on the south-west coast of India tugs me back regularly for holidays. Kerala is a traveller’s paradise because of nature’s bountiful kindness in bestowing its beauty and the diversity of culture due to ancient trade links. Today as I sit down to write this post, I am reminded of one of Kerala’s most popular hill destinations, Thekkady.  It is a multi-dimensional holiday destination as it offers something for every kind of traveller. Here are 7 great reasons to visit Thekkady.

  1. Periyar Tiger Trail

Periyar Tiger Trail is unique in its own self. The programme presents an inimitable chance to be one with nature and explore the wildlife in the depths of the forests. Interestingly enough, this is organised by the Reserve officials, who are former poachers. They have indepth knowledge about the terrain and its inhabitatnts. The programme features day-long trekking and night halts in tents. You can choose to do this in 2 days or 3 days. Elephants, Giant Squirrels, Sambhar can be easily seen during this trek. If you are really lucky, you may see a tiger too. I didn’t see any though. The meals on the Tiger Trail are made mostly from fruits and vegetables plucked from the forest en route.

Tiger Trail on A Boat

The Tiger Trail

  1. Elephantine affair

The tusker trail is a nature park that has elephants residing. You can ride the backs of the gargantuan animal for an hour, enjoy the tuskers taking bath and even feed them. You may have seen this on wildlife channels but for a change, you can enjoy the experience up close and personal.

  1. Nature Walk:  A Walk to Remember

The walk arranged by the Periyar Wildlife Reserve provides an excellent opportunity to trek through the forests and the marshy grasslands. En route, you can enjoy the sights of several species of birds and butterflies. It is a 4-5 km walk accompanied by a trained tribal guide.

The Mullaperiyar Dam

The Mighty Dam

  1. Serene Chellarkovil

15 km away from Kumili, on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Cheelarkovil is a small village, dotted with cascading waterfalls. The eastern side has a slope where coconut groves stand tall. A view from this point covers the plains of Theni and the highest point of Periyar Reserve, Mangala Devi and I can vouch that it is a breathtaking one.  Just being there, looking at the view soothed my city frazzled senses in the tranquility that prevails here.

  1. Kalaripayattu is a must watch.

Kalaripayattu is an indigenous martial art of Kerala and one of the oldest fighting systems in the world that is still practised. I was entranced watching a spectacular Kalaripayattu performance in the specially designed Kadathanadan Kalari Centre at Kumily. Trained fighters up a daily evening show for an hour from 6-7 pm, performing with real swords and with adept flexibility. They even perform fire stunts. What will amuse you is the style of the athletes to shake hands with tourists before each back flip they take.

Indigenous Martial Art

Kerala Martial Art

  1.  Mangaladevi Temple

Located at the highest point of the Periyar Reserve, a 1000 year old example of superb architecture, this temple is made of granite. This temple is dedicated to Mangaladevi or Kannaki. She is worshipped for her moral powers. Kannaki’s tale has been penned down by many Tamil poets. You can definitely catch a glimpse of the temple, for its architectural, aesthetic and historical essence.

  1. Spice it Up!

Other than resorts built in spice plantations, there are several smaller gardens belonging to the local farmers where they cultivate spices in and around Thekkady. I loved seeing, touching and smelling spices like cardamom, vanilla, pepper, tiny extra hot chilly, coffee and much more. Typically the owner or someone from his family will walk you through the spice garden explaining in detail the use and importance of every spices. I liked the unassuming Abraham and his 1 hectare Spice Garden who had his share of fame after being featured on Monty Don’s UK show Around the World in 80 Gardens

 

If you are fascinated enough to plan a getaway to Thekkady, I’d love to help you plan an unforgettable holiday in Thekkady showcasing the best of this lovely spice and wildlife town.

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There are more than 7 reasons to visit Thekkady. I’d love to hear your favourite ones. 

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Picture Courtesy:

Tiger Trail, Pranav

The Mighty Dam, Reji

Kalaripayattu, Pranav

 

 


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Posted by Sudha at 7:17 pm
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Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
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