Thekkady in Kerala State, India's largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination for any tourist visiting India. The 120 years old 'Suki' dam built across Periyar, Poorna in Vedic parlance, is a major tourist attraction. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 777 sq. Kms, surrounded by an artificial lake over an area of 25 sq. Kms.
Situated in Kerala, close to the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border town – Kumily, it is located about 257 km (160 mi) from Trivandrum, 114 km from Madurai City, and Madurai International Airport, 185 km from Cochin International Airport, and 114 km from Kottayam railway station.
The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations.
The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grasslands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques, and Nilgiri Langurs.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 km2 (300 sq mi), of which 360 km2 (140 sq mi) is a thick evergreen forest. The Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attraction of Periyar is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Sanctuary can be accessed through a nature walk, boating, or jeep safari.
Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove.
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Thekkady enjoys a moderate climate all through the year. But the best time to visit is from September to March
- Winters (October to February) are the best months to visit Thekkady as the weather is cool, ideal for sightseeing. The temperature remains cool, barely falling below 15°C, and during this time various festivals are also held.
- Summers (March to May) is not the best time especially the months of April and May for visits as the temperature can go up to 36°C, making it extremely difficult to come out of the hotel.
- Monsoons (June to September) receive heavy rainfall. Since the area experiences unexpected landslides, tourists are advised to avoid visiting during the monsoon months.
March to May is hot but is ideal for spotting animals and exploring the wildlife of the place. It is better to avoid visiting in monsoon months as the rains may hinder you from carrying out tourist activities. October to February months is pleasing and soothing which makes it perfect for sightseeing, enjoying the lush greenery, and spotting migratory birds.