Periyar lake Thekkady- Kerala
186 km south east of Kochi is a small village by the
name of Thekkady. Nevertheless its size, it attracts a whole lot of
visitors. The reason for this being that this small village is the
only gateway to the most famous wildlife sanctuary of the south - the
Periyar Wildlife Sanctaury. To some this might sound strange since not
long back, this was a place known for its elephant poaching. However,
today, things have changed and the poachers have turned into
protectors of animals. What more you also get to interact with the
tribals who still stay within the park premises. With such an awesome
combination of nature and culture, it is hardly surprising that
Periyar boasts of a distinctive place in the hearts of people. For
someone visiting Kerala on a holiday, it is quiet unlikely that a trip
to this sanctuary is missed.
Apart from the sanctuary, there are plenty of tea and spice plantations that spread their aroma and draw you like a magnet. The tea and spices grown in these plantations also make for a good buy and just don't think of leaving Thakkady before you have picked up few packets.
The resorts of the area are also a huge attraction since they are set amidst natural environment and seem more like a part of nature. Stay in these resorts and let the feeling of oneness sink in deep in your soul.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
With a plenty of area under tea and spice plantation,
Thekkady is a paradise for those who wish to shop endlessly for these
items. Spices on sale include fenugreek, nutmeg, black, white and
green pepper, rolls of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and cloves.
Other good buys in this part of Kerala include banana chips and T Shirts with exclusive Periyar Tiger Resrve motifs of tigers and elephants.
Orientation & Tourist Information
Kumily, 4 km from the sanctuary and the closest town,
is a great place to buy spics and handicrafts. Thekkady is the centre
inside the park with the KTDC hotels and the boat jetty. There`s a
Wildlife Information Centre in Thekkady ;the IDTIO (Iddiki District
Tourist Information Office) and the TTDC (Thekkady Tourist Development
Council). DC Books has a wide selection of books and cassettes and the
Nature Shop sells WWF merchandise. You can change money at Mukkadans
Money Exchange, have massage at the Ayurvedic Hospital or visit a
spice garden.with a guide at the periyar.
The post office is near the park entrance and there are numerous STD/ISD kiosks. Faxes within the country are possible, but not overseas. Rissas Internet has email.
The closest airport to Thekkady is the Cochin International Airport which is around 190 km away. Pre paid taxis are available from the airport that can bring you to Thekkady.
Nearest Railhead from Thekkady lies at a distance of 119 km in Kottayam. Taxis are available to transfer you to Thekkady.
All buses originating or terminating at Periyar start
and finish at Aranya Nivas, but they halt at the Kumily bus stand, at
the eastern edge of town.
At least 10 buses daily operate between Ernakulam and Kumily (six hours) and buses leave every half hour for the 114 km trip to Kottayam (four hours).
At least two direct buses daily make the eight hour trip to Thiruvananthapuram. Another goes to Kovalam (nine hours), and another to Kodaikanal, in Tamil Nadu (6½ hours). Only private buses go to Munnar (4½ hours). They all leave Kumily in the morning (from 6 to 9.45 am).
|Kerala - God's Own Country - By Monica Chaturvedi|
These provide the perfect feeling of peace and tranquility with their 'motherly shelter'....
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