Thekkady in Kerala State , India ‘s largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination for any tourist visiting India . The 120 years old ‘Surki’ dam built across Peryiar, 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.
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.
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 sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. 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 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 are 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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March to May is hot but is ideal for spotting animals and exploring 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 are pleasing and soothing which makes it perfect for sightseeing, enjoying lush greenery and spotting migratory birds.