The Indian state of Kerala has a
long seashore line with hill stations, wild life sancturies,
for the health conscious travellers you have the holiday resorts that cater to their needs, cultural monuments and backwaters . Idukki
district in Kerala has the most hill
stations and sancturies .
Thekkady is a place gifted with Periyar lake, which is
formed from the water catchment of river
Periyar . The Thekkady / Periyar sanctuary is one of the best for watching
and photographing wild life, especially elephants .
Other animals often seen include wild boar, wild dog and bison . Rarely leopards and bears may be spotted .
Engine boats are operated by KTDC (Kerala Tourism
Development Coroporation), Forest Department of Kerala and some private
operators . The trick is one should take the boat that
starts early in the morning (around 6:30am), when more
animals can be seen . The upper and lower decks of the boats are charged separately, buy the
ticket for the upper deck . The water ride takes around 2
hours . When you are midway through the ride, you will come across the Periyar dam . This dam was built mainly to divert the water to Tamil Nadu . The river is surrounded by forest with herds of elehpants on both the sides of the river and this
remains as an unforgettable experience . It is not
uncommon that tourists take 2 or 3 rides . There are three sightseeing towers for observing wild life - at Edappalayam and Manakkavala
and Thannikudi . Elephant rides and forest treks are
conducted by the Forest Dept. of Kerala which has limited reservations . Reservations can be made at the Forest Information
Counter, Thekkady . Tel. : +91-486-322028.
Among the South Indian hill stations, Thekkady is
exceptionally famous for spices like Cinnamon, Clove,
Nutmeg, Pepper and Cardamom . There are a variety of package tours
that are offered by certified guides taking you in and around the
Thekkady has a few resorts which are quite expensive for an economic conscious traveller . Kumili is a town located on the border of
Kerala and Tamil Nadu, just 4 km away from Thekkady .
This place has hotels that provide good food and accomodation .
Your trip to Thekkady is incomplete
without a visit to Munnar (Munnar is called as Thekkady Munnar by tour operators) . Munnar is the
only Southern Indian hill station that can come to par
with best of those in the great Himalayan stretch of Northern India in terms
of climate and scenic beauty .
Munnar is situated at the confluence
of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 M above sea level, this was once the
summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in
South India . The place has thousands of acres of tea plantations
and studded by many resorts . It is proves to be one of the best
destination for honeymooners . Guides are available,
they offer package tours for a day or half-a-day .
Places to see around include -
Mattupetti - The Indo-Swiss Dairy
Farm and a dam .
Echo point - It can be reached by a speed
boat by taking the route(road) to Mattupetti
Kundali - a tranquil dam
Eravikulam - National park and
the highest mountain in South India(Beware of Elephants on road)
Station - This is a point 32 km from Munnar from where trekkers start
off towards Berijam lake, which is 30 km from
Tattekad - bird
Chinnar Wildlife sanctury - you are sure to see
Valara - water falls.
Munnar can be reached by taking the route(road) from Udumalapet to
Coimbatore, which is in Tamil Nadu, and from Theni to
Munnar. Other sightseeing places worth visiting are Ponmudi, Peermade, Devikulam, Rajamalai and Kodaikanal.
Courtesy: Mr.Udaya Kiran M