Thekkady Diaries, Xplro, Kerala

Thekkady: Special Adventures in Kerala’s Green Jewel

Cradled amidst the verdant embrace of Kerala’s Western Ghats, Thekkady is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Lush greenery unfolds as far as the eye can see, teeming with diverse wildlife and fragrant spice plantations. Here, tranquility awaits travelers seeking refuge in the arms of Mother Nature.

Thekkady’s charm unfolds as you navigate its verdant landscapes and untamed terrains. Glide on serene boat cruises across Periyar Lake, or embark on thrilling encounters with majestic elephants roaming free in their natural habitat. Every moment in Thekkady is an adventure waiting to be discovered.

How to reach:

Air Travel:

  • Madurai Airport (IXM): The closest airport (136 km away) in Tamil Nadu. Taxis and buses connect you to Thekkady from here.
  • Cochin International Airport (COK): Another option, though farther (190 km). Both airports offer domestic and international connections.

Train Travel:

  • Kottayam Railway Station: The nearest major station (114 km away). Taxis and buses bridge the gap to Thekkady.
  • Madurai Railway Station: Another possibility (136 km away) with good connections across India.

Road Travel:

  • Bus: State-run and private buses connect Thekkady to cities like Kochi, Kottayam, and Madurai.
  • Self-Drive/Rental: Enjoy a scenic road trip and explore at your own pace.
  • Taxi: Hire a taxi for a convenient arrival.

Local Commute:

  • Taxis & Auto-rickshaws: Navigate the town and nearby attractions.
  • Buses: Public buses offer another option for getting around.
  • Hotel Shuttles: Many hotels provide shuttle services for guest convenience.

Best time to visit:

Winters (October to February): Ideal weather reigns supreme. Crisp skies and comfortable temperatures make wildlife safaris, nature walks, and boat cruises on Periyar Lake delightful. This peak tourist season requires advanced booking for accommodation and activities.

Monsoon (June to September): While heavy rains may limit some outdoor activities, Thekkady transforms into a verdant paradise. Witness waterfalls cascading down hillsides, lush greenery blanketing the landscape, and spice plantations bursting with life – a photographer’s dream. This season offers a chance to experience Thekkady in its most pristine state.

Summers (March to May): Thekkady experiences warm to hot temperatures and humidity. This season attracts those seeking a quieter experience with fewer crowds. Early mornings and evenings offer comfortable exploration of wildlife sanctuaries before the heat intensifies.

Shoulder Seasons (March, April, September, October): These transitional months provide a sweet spot. March and April offer the tail-end of pleasant winters, while September and October usher in cooler temperatures. Enjoy comfortable exploration without the peak season rush.


Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady, Xplro

A jewel nestled within the Western Ghats, Periyar National Park spans 925 square kilometers, beckoning wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. This haven boasts breathtaking landscapes and a rich tapestry of flora and fauna. From majestic Asian elephants and elusive tigers to graceful sambar deer, playful langurs, and over 260 bird species, Periyar’s diverse ecosystem thrives. Unforgettable experiences abound – embark on guided jungle safaris with expert naturalists who unlock the park’s secrets and help you spot wildlife. Hike scenic nature trails, immersing yourself in the intricate ecosystems and observing the park’s vibrant plant and animal life. Glide silently on a bamboo raft across the tranquil waters of Periyar Lake, offering a unique perspective of wildlife drawn to the water’s edge. With its pristine wilderness and unparalleled beauty, Periyar National Park remains a treasured gem of Thekkady, an irresistible invitation to explore its untamed realms.

Periyar Lake:

periyar lake thekkady, Xplro, Kerala

Nestled within the verdant embrace of Periyar Tiger Reserve lies Periyar Lake, a tranquil oasis brimming with serenity and natural splendor. Formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam, this picturesque reservoir paints a breathtaking backdrop for leisurely boat cruises. As your vessel glides gently across the glassy surface, captivating views of lush forests and distant hills unfold.

The true magic unfolds when you spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Elephants, deer, gaurs, and a mesmerizing array of bird species may grace your presence, creating an unforgettable spectacle against the tranquil lake. Whether it’s the soothing ambiance, the captivating vistas, or the thrill of wildlife encounters, a boat cruise on Periyar Lake is an experience that encapsulates the very essence of Thekkady’s natural beauty – a must-do for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Spice Plantations:

Spice Plantations, thekkady, Xplro, Kerala

Thriving on fertile soil and a favorable climate, Thekkady has become a haven for spice cultivation. Lush plantations paint the region with intoxicating aromas of cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Guided tours unveil the fascinating world of spices, from seed to shelf. Immerse yourself in the verdant haven, shaded by towering trees and vibrant spice bushes. Knowledgeable guides will weave tales of each spice’s growth cycle and traditional harvesting techniques. Engage your senses – touch the rough peppercorns, smell the heady cardamom, and savor the warm bite of freshly cracked nutmeg. Learn about their medicinal properties and how they have become an indispensable part of Kerala’s cuisine. A visit to Thekkady’s spice plantations is a sensory adventure, leaving a lasting impression on your mind and taste buds.

Mangala Devi Temple:

Mangala Devi Temple, thekkady, Xplro,           kerala

Cloaked in myth and mystique, Mangala Devi Temple sits atop a verdant hill in Thekkady’s dense embrace. Dedicated to the Goddess Mangala Devi, this ancient shrine holds deep religious significance, drawing devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace. The temple’s serenity and scenic location create a haven for both spiritual seekers and nature lovers.

Reaching the temple is an adventure in itself. A trek through the lush forest unveils panoramic vistas of the surrounding hills and valleys, building anticipation for the sacred site. Open to devotees only during the Chithra Pournami festival, typically held between April and May, the temple comes alive with chants, vibrant rituals, and fervent devotion. A visit to Mangala Devi Temple transcends a religious pilgrimage, offering a soul-stirring experience that connects visitors to the divine and the breathtaking natural world.

Kadathanadan Kalari Centre:

Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, thekkady, Xplro, Kerala

Witness the power and grace of Kalaripayattu at the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. This ancient martial art form, hailing from Kerala over 3,000 years ago, comes alive through mesmerizing performances. Skilled practitioners showcase the art’s athleticism and artistry – dynamic movements, intricate footwork, and weapon-wielding techniques leave audiences in awe. Witness graceful maneuvers transform into awe-inspiring sword fights, all accompanied by rhythmic music and chants. The experience transports viewers to a bygone era of martial prowess.

But the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre isn’t just for spectators. Training programs are available for those who yearn to delve deeper into Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. Learn the fundamentals of Kalaripayattu and gain a unique understanding of this traditional combat technique.

Elephant Junction:

Elephant Junction, Xplro, Kerala

At Elephant Junction, a haven dedicated to ethical elephant interactions, encounter the gentle giants of the jungle firsthand. Here, a variety of activities offer unique insights into the lives and behaviors of these magnificent creatures.

Embark on an unforgettable elephant ride through lush forests, experiencing the world from a pachyderm’s perspective. Later, cool off with the elephants themselves during a delightful bathing session in a refreshing river or pond. For a heartwarming encounter, participate in feeding sessions where you can offer them treats and learn about their dietary needs.

Chellarkovil Viewpoint:

Chellarkovil Viewpoint, thekkady, Xplro, Kerala

Unveiling breathtaking panoramas, Chellarkovil Viewpoint stands amidst Thekkady’s dramatic landscapes. This vantage point, roughly 15 kilometers from town, is reached through a scenic drive, winding past verdant forests. As you arrive, a tapestry of rolling green valleys, cascading waterfalls, and distant mountain ranges unfolds before you. Witness the Western Ghats in all their glory, stretching as far as the eye can see.

For photographers, sunset paints a particularly magical scene. The descending sun bathes the landscape in a warm glow, creating a mesmerizing backdrop. Whether seeking solitude amidst nature’s embrace or a quiet escape from the city’s clamor, Chellarkovil Viewpoint offers a tranquil haven. Here, you can unwind, reflect, and reconnect with the wonders of the natural world.

Vandiperiyar, Thekkady:

Vandiperiyar, thekkady, Kerala, Xplro

Unveiling a different side of Thekkady, the charming town of Vandiperiyar beckons. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this countryside escape offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Picture yourself strolling through bustling markets overflowing with fresh produce, fragrant spices, and colorful handicrafts – a captivating glimpse into the local way of life.

A must-visit is the Vandiperiyar Pineapple Plantation, where sprawling pineapple orchards sprawl across the landscape. Learn about the cultivation and harvesting of this tropical fruit, and perhaps even enjoy a taste of its juicy sweetness.

Local Experiences:

1. Delve into Tribal Heritage: Explore nearby villages inhabited by indigenous communities like the Mannans, Oorali, and Malampandaram. Engage with villagers, learn about their customs and way of life, and participate in pottery making, bamboo weaving, or witness traditional cooking demonstrations – a window into age-old traditions and craftsmanship.

2. Unmask the World of Spices: Embark on guided tours through spice plantations. Witness the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of fragrant cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Interact with farmers, learn generational spice cultivation techniques, and savor the flavors and aromas during spice tasting sessions. Take home authentic spices as souvenirs or culinary treasures.

3. Embrace Local Warmth: Immerse yourself in Thekkady’s hospitality with a homestay experience. Stay with local families in traditional homes or eco-friendly cottages, experiencing Kerala’s warmth and rural simplicity. Engage with your hosts, participate in cooking lessons, traditional music and dance performances, or village walks. Gain insights into the local way of life and forge meaningful connections.

4. Glide on Bamboo Rafts: Embark on an adventurous bamboo rafting expedition on the tranquil waters of Periyar Lake, surrounded by lush greenery. Navigate serene backwaters with trained guides who will share the region’s rich tapestry of flora, fauna, and tribal folklore. Keep an eye out for elephants, gaurs, deer, and a variety of birds – thrilling encounters amidst nature’s bounty.

5. Immerse Yourself in Cultural Grandeur: Witness captivating performances of Kerala’s classical art forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, and Kalaripayattu at venues like the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. Be mesmerized by the beauty, grace, and dynamism of these art forms. Experience the rhythmic beats of traditional percussion instruments like Chenda and Maddalam, transporting you to a world of rhythm, melody, and storytelling.

6. Embark on a Culinary Voyage: Indulge in Kerala’s rich and flavorful cuisine. Participate in cooking classes or culinary tours to learn how to prepare authentic dishes like appam, puttu, fish curries, and avial using fresh local ingredients. Visit local eateries, street food stalls, and spice markets to tantalize your palate with a symphony of flavors and aromas – from spicy curries to sweet treats and refreshing beverages.

7. Explore Nature’s Wonders: Embark on guided nature walks and birdwatching excursions with experienced naturalists. Traverse scenic trails and forested pathways, observing diverse flora and fauna – from towering trees to elusive mammals and colorful birds. Spot endemic and migratory bird species amidst the verdant landscapes.

8. Be an Agent of Change: Get involved in eco-friendly initiatives and community projects. Volunteer with organizations working on wildlife conservation, forest restoration, and eco-tourism development. Participate in tree planting drives, clean-up campaigns, and awareness programs, contributing to the well-being of local communities and ecosystems while preserving the region’s natural beauty.

Travel tips:

Packing Smart: Thekkady’s weather changes with the seasons. Pack breathable fabrics for summer warmth and consider layers for cooler winters, especially for early mornings and evenings.

Hydration is Key: Thekkady’s climate can be warm and humid, especially in summer. Carry a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the day, particularly during outdoor activities.

Beat the Buzz: Dense forests and water bodies mean mosquitoes. Pack insect repellent, especially for evenings and the monsoon season, to avoid bites and minimize the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.

Book Ahead, Relax on Arrival: Thekkady is a popular destination, especially during peak season (October to February). Booking accommodation well in advance ensures availability and secures the best rates, particularly during holidays or festivals.

Plan Your Adventures: From wildlife safaris and boat cruises to spice plantation tours and cultural shows, Thekkady offers something for everyone. Research and plan your activities beforehand to maximize your time. Consider booking guided tours or activities to enhance your experience.

Respect the Wild: Thekkady is a haven for diverse wildlife, including endangered species. Maintain a safe distance from animals, avoid feeding or approaching them, and follow park regulations to ensure your safety and the well-being of the wildlife.

Travel Responsibly: Thekkady prioritizes sustainable tourism. Respect local customs, traditions, and cultural norms. Support eco-friendly initiatives and community projects. Minimize your environmental impact by avoiding single-use plastics and littering. Choose businesses that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.

Embrace the Monsoon: The monsoon season (June to September) brings heavy rains. Pack waterproof clothing, an umbrella, and sturdy footwear. Plan indoor activities or leisurely pursuits during periods of heavy rain.

Stay COVID-Safe: Due to the pandemic, stay informed about travel restrictions, safety protocols, and health guidelines set by local authorities and health organizations. Follow recommended precautions like wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hand hygiene to protect yourself and others.

Travel Insurance: Consider travel insurance for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance can offer peace of mind and financial protection during your Thekkady adventure.


Craft your dream Thekkady escape with, your one-stop travel planning companion! Our essential tips ensure a smooth and enriching experience. Pack breathable fabrics for warm weather and layers for cooler mornings. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during outdoor adventures. Don’t forget insect repellent, particularly for evenings and the monsoon season. Booking your accommodation well in advance is key, especially during peak season (October to February). Explore a variety of stay options on to find the perfect fit for your needs. Thekkady offers a thrilling array of activities, from wildlife safaris and boat cruises to spice plantation tours and cultural shows. Browse [link to activities booking on] to discover tours and experiences that pique your interest. Remember, responsible tourism is essential. Respect the wildlife and local customs, and support sustainable practices whenever possible.


1. What distinguishes Thekkady as a destination?

  • Thekkady stands out for its remarkable biodiversity, highlighted by the renowned Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, scenic Periyar Lake, and extensive spice plantations, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

2. What is the distance between Kochi and Thekkady, and how long does the journey take?

  • Thekkady is approximately 150 kilometers from Kochi, with a travel time of around 4-5 hours by road. This journey offers picturesque views of Kerala’s countryside and is accessible via well-maintained highways.

3. What are some popular activities to enjoy in Thekkady?

  • Visitors can indulge in a variety of activities in Thekkady, including thrilling jungle safaris, serene boat cruises on Periyar Lake, immersive spice plantation tours, bamboo rafting adventures, captivating cultural performances, and insightful nature walks.

4. When is the optimal time to plan a trip to Thekkady?

  • Thekkady’s charm beckons travelers year-round, but the optimal time to visit is during the winter months from October to February, offering pleasant weather and excellent conditions for outdoor exploration. Alternatively, the monsoon season (June to September) presents lush greenery and a unique ambiance for nature lovers.

5. How can one travel from Madurai to Thekkady?

  • Traveling from Madurai to Thekkady, approximately 140 kilometers apart, is best done via NH183 by car or bus, with a travel duration of about 3-4 hours. This route showcases the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats and rural landscapes.

6. Are there entrance fees for accessing Periyar National Park?

  • Yes, Periyar National Park charges entry fees for Indian and foreign visitors, which also cover activities like boat cruises, jungle safaris, and guided nature walks. These fees contribute to the conservation efforts and maintenance of the park.

7. What wildlife can visitors expect to encounter in Periyar National Park?

  • Periyar National Park boasts a diverse array of wildlife, including majestic elephants, elusive tigers, imposing gaurs, graceful sambar deer, playful langurs, and a plethora of avian species, providing memorable sightings for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

8. Is trekking a viable option for exploring Thekkady’s natural beauty?

  • Certainly! Trekking is a popular activity in Thekkady, offering various trails that traverse the region’s pristine forests, verdant hills, and captivating waterfalls, providing adventurers with unparalleled vistas and unforgettable experiences.

9. What guidelines govern interactions with elephants in Thekkady?

  • Thekkady has stringent regulations in place to ensure responsible and ethical elephant interactions, with trained mahouts supervising activities such as elephant rides, bathing, and feeding, fostering a safe and respectful environment for both elephants and visitors.

10. What souvenirs are recommended for purchase in Thekkady?

  • Travelers can procure a variety of unique souvenirs from Thekkady, including aromatic spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, as well as locally crafted artifacts, textiles, tea, coffee, and other mementos that capture the essence of Kerala’s rich heritage.

11. Is it safe to visit Thekkady amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?

  • While travel advisories and safety protocols may vary, Thekkady has implemented stringent measures to ensure the health and well-being of visitors, with guidelines addressing hygiene, social distancing, and other precautionary measures. It’s advisable to stay updated on the latest travel advisories and guidelines before planning your visit.

12. Are accommodations available in Thekkady to suit diverse budgets?

  • Yes, Thekkady offers a wide range of accommodations catering to various budgets, including luxury resorts, boutique hotels, cozy homestays, guesthouses, and budget-friendly lodges, ensuring that every traveler finds suitable accommodation options for their preferences and requirements.

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