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State Kerala
City Kumily
Airports Nearest airport at Madurai
Distance from Madurai 140 Km/90 Miles
Railway Junctions Kottayam
Local Languages Malayalam
Thekkady ( 115 km from Kottayam)

This is the one of best known wild life centres in India. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary here, offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat.

Reaching Thekkady

There are excellent services to Kumily from Kottayam from both the KSRTC bus stand and the Nagampadom Private bus stand. The journey takes about 4 hours. Kumily is also accessible from Madurai. Thekkady is 4 km from Kumily. The forest department runs a bus service (Rs. 5) to the sanctuary from Kumily though the bus is not regular, one can reasonably expect it to make a trip once in 2 hours. Autorickshaw fare will be Rs. 40 from the Kumily bus station. Walking or cycling through the shady roads is also a good alternative.

Things to do:If you are a one day tourist all you can do is, take the sight seeing trip by boat offered by the forest department and probably squeeze in a hurried walk in the forest accompanied by a forest guide. The chances of seeing wild animals is poor. But chances are better during March / April when the ponds in the forest dry up and animals are forced to come to the lake for a drink. Otters and Elephants are common sightings.

If you have more time you could stay in one of the many rest houses in the reserved forest area or the luxurious Lake Palace. The chances of wild life sightings are distinctly better. Some time you can see the animals moving close to your window in the night.

The bookings to the rest houses can be made at the wild life information centre. The other way to watch wild life is to reserve one of the observation towers. (one has to book well ahead) costing Rs. 50 / night plus the boat service charges. You have to bring your own food. There are elephant rides in the park costing Rs. 30 / ½ hour for 2 people.

Getting to Thekkady is as sublime as the destination itself. A scenic journey past mist-capped mountains, spice plantations and open grasslands lined with spectacular water-falls and delightful trekking trails forms the access to your hideway here. Perched amidst dense greenery in the outskirts of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Throwing up pleasant surprises like wild boars scuttling across the road in front, as you near the sanctuary. Which, sprawling across 777 sq. kms, is one of the largest in India.

On arrival, you can settle into the summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancorre – now renovated into the Lake Palace Hotel – which has changed little since the days of royal ownership. Satisfying the most dedicated romantic. Set alluringly on a small island within the picturesque Periyar Lake, the hotel has six imperial rooms with black wooden furniture and spacious verandahs forming an ideal base for game – viewing.

Or you can choose from the 30 rooms offered at Aranya Nivas, the gracious old stone structure serving as the main sanctuary lodge at the head of the lake.

The more adventurous can even opt for accommodation designed along the lines of a jungle lodge with cottages built on eleven – foot stilts like the Indian ‘machans,’ offering fascinating tree – top views of the beautiful surroundings.

Orientation & Information

Thekkady, is the centre inside the park where KTDC hotels and boat jetty are located. The Wildlife Information Centre is located near the boat jetty in Thekkady.

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