The top 5 amazing things to do in Thekkady
Thekkady, situated on the shores of the Periyar River is a magical place with acres of mossy green land and misty atmosphere. The air around Thekkady smells of exotic spicy fragrances as the place is riddled with many spice plantations.
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The area was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978.
The most enchanting site is the large artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam and its calm waters attracts many tourists to the area. There are quite a number of activities to do around the place and they are under the watchful eyes of the forest department to ensure safety of the tourists.
1. Go cruising on the Periyar:
This is an experience one should never miss. Rent a boat and go cruising around the waters and enjoy the silence of the place. If you are lucky enough you may get to see herds of elephants or deers come to the open water to have a drink. The boats can be rented at a reasonable rate and are provided by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. A trained personnel will accompany the trip.
2. Be a jungle guard for a night:
In a move to sensitise people towards the importance of jungle and the abundant wildlife it offers, the Forest Department organises a one night package where you can patrol the mysterious forest with them. It is not for the light hearted as you may see many a pair of glinting eyes in the dark. The package is carried out with utmost care so as not to alarm the wildlife and attract a disaster. You will come across active night life such as the fox, a few elephants and if lucky, even a tiger.
3. Follow the jungle King:
Periyar Wildlife sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve due to its once abundant tiger population. Unfortunately, human activities such as poaching and game hunting in the past have greatly reduced its population to a few hundreds. The most amazing fact of this package is that it is guided by ex-poachers. They expertly take you through tracks never ventured before and show you the signs to identify a tiger track. The venture is tailor made as the tracks may differ each day and you can learn how to identify a tiger from its footprints and sometimes you may actually spot one at the end of the day.
4. Go range hiking from dawn to dusk:
Have a day full of enjoyment from sunrise to sunset with the hiking and rafting programs of Periyar Tiger Reserve. The curriculum includes 10 visitors who would be guided by armed guides.
5. Ride the majestic elephant:
Elephant rides are common and popular in Thekkady. You can ride an elephant for some time for a fixed price and it is available not only in the Periyar Tiger Reserve but also in the various spice plantation compounds.