Thekkady is a small area within the Idukki district of Kerala and is known for the multiple places of tourist interest within the region. Periyar National Park and Periyar Tiger Reserve are one of the major tourist attractions in Thekkady. With a total area of over 770 square km, of which around 360 square kilometers are evergreen forest, Periyar National Park provides a lot of opportunities for exploration, nature rambling, and wildlife viewing. Some of the species that inhabit the area are elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur or Indian bison, langurs, and macaques. Apart from the reserve, there are other attractions close by such as the Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple, the Cardamom Hills, Chellar Kovil waterfalls and many others. Thekkady is close to the Western Ghats, and thus there are many picturesque areas around it which can be visited directly for basking in the beauty of the hills. It also provides great opportunities for treks and hikes through its many misty hills. The Periyar river flows through the park, and the Mullaperiyar Dam creates a reservoir on one end of it. This area, thus also provides excellent panoramic views of the river as well as of the tank.
Best Time to Visit Thekkady
As is the case with most places in India, the best time to visit Thekkady is during the winters as temperatures are amiable. Thus, this is the tourist season as well. The temperatures during the winters - from October to February - hover around 15 degrees Celsius on average with very little rain and humidity, which makes it very pleasant for sightseeing in Thekkady.
Weather Of Thekkady
Thekkady tends to have a warmer tropical climate compared to a lot of the other surrounding areas in the region. Thus the summer from March till May tends to be hot and humid with highs that go up to 36 degrees Celsius and lows that hover around 25-26 degrees Celsius. During the monsoon season, temperatures tend to become cooler but due to excessive rainfall, landslides and blocked roads may be a hindrance. However, the monsoons also promise spectacular views of the hills and the Periyar lake. Winters have the best weather in general as highs hover around 21 degrees Celsius while lows average around 15 degrees Celsius, and this is thus the peak tourist season.
How to Reach Thekkady?
By Air : The nearest airport from Thekkady is the Madurai Airport, which is at a distance of 114 km. Madurai is largely a regional airport and is connected with other Indian cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa and international destinations such as Colombo and Dubai. The larger international airport close to Thekkady is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of 145 km. The airport has more options of flights to domestic and international destinations. Cochin also has flights to Ahmedabad, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Vizag and other cities. Some of the airlines that ply on both these airports are Spicejet, Indigo, Qatar Airways, Go Air, Emirates, Air India, Jet Airways among others.
By Rail : Neither Kumily nor Thekkady has railway stations. The closest train station is the Kottayam train station, which has many trains on the Trivandrum-Ernakulum route. Thus, it can be easily reached from many major cities, not just in Kerala, but all over India. From this station, Thekkady is about 110 km to the east, and this distance will have to be covered either by car or bus.
By Road : Thekkady and its nearest town Kumily are very well connected by buses from Madurai in Tamil Nadu as the area is close to the border. The buses run from here are operated by the publicly-owned TNSTC or Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation. These buses are mostly non-AC buses and take around 4 to 5 hours to reach Thekkady from Madurai. However, for tourist services, there is coach service offered by a few companies such as Kallada Travels from Chennai to Thekkady. From Bangalore, there are many more services operated by companies such as Greenline Travel and Holidays, Atlas Travels, Kallada Travels, Royal Travels and SRS Travels. There are many KSRTC buses from Kottayam to Thekkady or Kumily as well which can be availed to commute from within Kerala.