Thekkady – Wildlife in Kerala
Thekkady is a well-reputed place for wildlife preservation. It is situated in the Idukki district of the state Kerala. Thekkady is a popular holiday destination among tourists. The distance from Thiruvanathapuram to here is around 150 miles. The tiger reserve is known as the last shelter for Tigers in India and is one of the highly maintained wildlife sanctuaries in the country.
Covered by thick evergreen forest, this wildlife sanctuary (Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary) is spread over a large area of 777 sq km. It was officially declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The picturesque hilly towns and lush plantations are impressive destinations for the tourists to indulge in opportunities like trekking and long mountain walks.
Flora and Fauna
Thekkady, the Country’s sole Tiger reserve offers an abundance of tropical flora and its fauna is the home to several endangered species. The flora includes more than 1965 kinds of flowering plants, 170 grass species, over 140 varieties of orchids, and also the only South Indian conifer.
Besides serving as the motherly home to tigers, there is a diverse range of wildlife which includes wild elephants, gaur, wild boar, Indian Bison, Barking deer, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Malabar giant squirrels, etc. Besides these, almost 265 kinds of birds (including migrating ones) could be spotted here.
Reptiles like the viper, cobra, krait, and several other non-poisonous snakes are found here. It is a good place for wildlife viewing as the Sanctuary watch towers which are situated right in the middle of the forest area give out wonderful panoramic view of the animals and other plants.
Besides the natural plants and trees, several kinds of plantations are cultured here among which tea, cardamom; pepper, and coffee are worth mentioning.
Unlike the other wildlife sanctuaries of the country, in Thekkady, one can catch a glimpse of wildlife from a short-range. The excellently woven scenic beauty, natural waters, and the wonderful atmosphere are uniquely designed by nature to captivate the visitors. For the shutterbugs, this could be a lifetime opportunity to capture and film the wildlife in their natural domains.
Thekkady is one of the most fascinating destinations of the world which has been noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife, and scenic beauty! One can choose from a variety of fun activities to do here; whether it is trekking or rock climbing or bamboo rafting.
The people are friendly around this place and one can choose to visit the plantations and explore the working farms of spices, tea factories, and tribal settlements that have been there for a long time. The elephant safari or wildlife trains are joyful and thrilling activities that allow one to be in touch with the wonders of nature.
A few of the popular trekking trails are Pullumedu, Kurisumala, Pttakathalamedu, and Grampa.
Best time to visit: From March till May
Altitude 900-1800 m
Rainfall 2500 mm
How to reach
Thekkady is well linked to Kerala and Tamil Nadu via Roadways. One can hop into a bus from Madurai, Kumbam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, and a few other locations as well.
There are good accommodation facilities in the form of hotels and lodges that are located at Kumuli and Thekkady.