Thekkady: Spice cultivations and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Thekkady is located near to Kerala Tamil Nadu border, 190km from Cochin. Kerala’s history is closely linked with its commerce, which in turn was wholly dependant until recent times on its spice trade. Kerala was known for its spices and traders travelled here to trade and to gain control over this rich land. It is believed that the spice trade dates back three thousand years. Pepper still remains the king of Kerala’s spices, but the state also has a very rich produce in cardamom, cinnamon , nutmeg, ginger and tumeric. The state is the spice capital of the world. Over twelve varieties of spices including ginger, garlic, cardamom, vannilla, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, tea, clove and nutmeg is cultivated in Thekkady and its neighbouring villages. Take a walk amidst the green, terraced farms in Thekkady, while you hear the murmuring sound of the rippling stream. You can go for nature walks, bird watching treks, taste the various spices and breathe in the fragrant air while exploring the spice plantation in Thekkady. Pick up a few packets of the tea and spices grown here that make for a good buy. If you’re seeking a bit of adventure can get off the trodden path and experience exploring the lake on bamboo rafts or rowing across its breadth in coracles. Stocked with an abundance of fish, there are numerous spots on either bank of the lake where guests can indulge in a spot of fishing
Thekkady holiday trip also includes a visit to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. It owes its origin to the Maharaja of Travencore, who was an avid hunter and nature lover. He declared in 1984 that forests around Periyar lake are now a private game reserve to stop the encroachment of tea plantations. You can opt for Periyar Tiger Trail, Nature walk, Bamboo Rafting, etc in this exotic sanctuary, or an early morning boat ride in the Periyar Lake. The best way to explore Periyar is by boat.
FloraThere are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species. lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur. Others are leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, monitor lizards and more. Around 24 Royal Bengal Tigers and also an important elephant habitat.
About 265 species of birds can be seen in the park, including migratory ones. Periyar’s rich bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo.
Fauna The forests are tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen, the last occurring in the moist valleys and characterised by tall trees and a closed canopy.
How to reach Thekkady
Reach Thekkady By Air The Madurai airport is the nearest airport to Thekkady and it is well connected with different parts of India. It is around 136 km from the center of Thekkady. The other international airport nearby is Thekkady is Nedumbassery airport in Kochi. It is approximately 190 km away from the heart of Thekkady
Reach Thekkady By Road Thekkady also has good connectivity with various cities via road. The highway connects Thekkady with cities like Kochi (165 km), Kottayam (108 km), Kothamangalam (110 km), Munnar (90 km) and Trivandrum (206 km). You will find comfy deluxe buses as well as private cabs to reach Thekkady.
Reach Thekkady By Train The nearest railway station is Kottayam at the distance of about 114 km. All the trains which get to Trivandrum will go via Kottayam as well. There are various types of trains such as local, express and super fast which connect the city with different parts of the country. You can hire taxis as well as private cabs from the station to reach Thekkady.
Best Time to Visit Thekkady has a moderate climate therefore travelers can visit all through the year(but watch out for the rains). Though there is no specific time to come here, the best season to visit Thekkady are the months from September to March. During this period, tourists can admire the verdant beauty of this lush region.