It becomes very obvious to ramble the best places to visit in Thekkady in Kerala after knowing that Lion’s Share of eco-tourism promotion in Kerala comes from this town near Periyar National Park. A visit to Thekkady in Kerala will help you encapsulate the whimsical wildlife encounters at its full throttle. This tempting hill town in the Idukki district is positioned at an elevation 900-1800 m (approx.) above sea level, and is famous for its iconic wildlife.
Thekkady in Kerala has salubrious climate throughout the year, which is a rewarding catch for couples, family tourists, and leisure travelers. On the brighter side, winter is pleasing, and greenery is covered in the mist. Summers are cooler because of the plantations sprawled across Thekkady. And the monsoon infuses glittering greenery all around.
10 Best Places to Visit in Thekkady That Paints Everything in Vibrant Shades of Green
Soothingly serene, overwhelmingly scenic, and amazingly drenched in the greenery are the traits of the 10 best places to visit in Thekkady. Have a look at them and thank us later!
- Periyar National Park – Capture the herds of Asian Elephants
- Kumily – Explore the cool brother of Munnar
- Cardamom Hills – Trek to the highest peak in Kerala
- Mangla Devi Temple – Inhale spirituality and wilderness together
- Murikkady – See the rustic side of Thekkady before it comes on the tourism radar
- Peermedu – Must visit for shutterbugs
- Pandikuzhi – The unexplored shutterbug’s delight
- Mullaperiyar Dam – Marvel the architectural marvel of the British India Company
- Abraham’s Spice Garden – Stock some authentic spices for your home
- Elephant Junction – Date With Jumbos
1. Periyar National Park
Best For: Family, kids, wildlife loving tourists
What’s Special: Camping is possible inside, but only if you book night jungle patrolling. Interact with Tribal Communities for 2 hours to gain insight by visiting Tribal Heritage Museum with kids.
The number one best place to visit in Thekkady on our list has to go to Periyar National Park. Lace up your boots to experience a jungle cruise at the Periyar National Park for epic wildlife encounters in their natural habitat. This place is flanked high in the Western Ghats Range and is enclosed by a huge artificial lake where bamboo rafting is performed.
Within its vicinity, trekking excursions are also conducted under the supervision of expert guides. Night walks inside the Periyar National Park are fun activities for the daredevils, conducted with 2 armed guides and dedicated guides for night patrolling. Between 7 PM – 4 AM (approx.).
Evergreen to deciduous forests graces the trails inside the national park and is home to some astonishing species of birds and animals, including Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri flycatcher, crimson-backed sunbird, black-necked stork, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, and Asian Elephants. People from Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore believe that Periyar National Park is one of the best places to visit in Thekkady with family.
- Safari Options in Periyar National Park: Boat, Jeep, Elephant
- Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM, all the week
- Entry Fee for Indians: ₹ 45 (approx.) for adults, ₹ 15 (approx.) for kids
- Entry Fee for Foreigners: ₹ 500 (approx.) for adults, ₹ 180 (approx.) for kids
- Gadget Charges: ₹ 38 (approx.) for still camera, ₹ 300 (approx.) for video camera
- Note: Boat safaris and trekking excursions (overnight also) has separate charges
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Best For: Couples, leisure travelers seeking rejuvenation
What’s Special: To experience revitalization in the cool brother of Munnar because Kumily is less explored, and couples can wake up with the soothing aromas of the tea and coffee plantations.
Relax your frayed nerves on a romantic getaway to Thekkady by planning an excursion to Kumily. This is a village and was once under the British rulers control because of its gorgeous plantations. The 880 m (approx.) elevation of Kumily is not staggering but enough to cool you down even in the blistering heat because you will be embraced with the coolness of the misty green landscape. Kumily is one of the romantic places to visit near Thekkady for couples and is indeed a picturesque hamlet.
A half-day excursion to Kumily from Thekkady is convenient and hassle-free because the distance is only 4 kilometers (approx.); pose for a couple of photoshoots in this verdant forestland while strolling the different plantations like cardamom, pepper, coffee, cinnamon. Embark on easy treks with your family, friends, or kids in the monsoon and get amazed with the luscious greenery! Camping is also a suggested adventure sport in Kumily. Do bring some spices back to your home from Kumily.
- Road Trips Near Kumily: Kollam, Kochi, Chennai, Ooty, Coimbatore, Bangalore
- Popular Things to Do in Kumily: Trekking, photography, spice shopping
3. Cardamom Hills
Best For: Avid Trekkers, adventure-loving tourists
What’s Special: Cardamom Hills are under the umbrella of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and it might get crowned as a World Heritage Site. Scroll on to read the evaluated reason for this acknowledgment.
Another salubrious tourist place to visit near Thekkady on our list is Cardamom Hills. It is one of the best road trip destinations in Thekkady, where you can voyage on the hairpin bends at an elevation of 2,695 m (approx.) sea level. The lush green aura of this mountain range is the best experience when you embark on a moderate to tough level trek with avid trekkers.
The Western Ghats is the parent range of Cardamom Hills, and as the name suggests, these mountains are known for cardamom production across Southern India. Bamboo, tea, coffee, teak are the other productions that are famous at Cardamom Hills. Cardamom Hills are under the umbrella of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee because these hills account for the lion’s share of Cardamom production in the entire world, and thus, UNESCO could affirm it as a Heritage Site in the future.
- Things to Do in Cardamom Hills: Trekking to Anamudi Peak
- Trekking Difficulty: Moderate to hard
- Elevation: 2,695 m (approx.)
- Trekking Duration: 4-6 hours (approx.)
Must Visit: Short Trip to Wayanad
4. Mangla Devi Temple
Best For: Spiritual buffs, international travelers
What’s Special: The setting of Mangla Devi Temple astonishes international tourism in Periyar Tiger Reserve. And who minds enjoying the wildlife and spirituality together on a family holiday?
Mangla Devi Temple is a famous religious place to visit in Thekkady inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve. This hillock temple is easy to reach through a jeep safari after obtaining a special permit from the forest department. Positioned on the Northern boundary of Periyar National Park, your effort to reach Mangla Devi Temple will take you through dense forests of the sanctuary while passing through grasslands.
The Pandya Architecture dating back to 1,000 years (approx.) attracts international tourism to Mangla Devi Temple. Although Periyar National Park remains open throughout the year, Mangla Devi Temple is accessible only at the special Chitra Pournami Festival, celebrated with full fervor and attended fondly by tourists from Tamil Nadu and the whole countryside of Kerala. When you embark on a short trek to the temple, peel your eyes to the lush greenery around you!
- The deity at the Mangla Devi Temple: Mangladevi
- Temple Opening Months: April – May
- How to Reach: Jeep safari
- Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours (approx.)
Note: Special Permit is required from the forest department to enter along with the jeep safari charges. The temple remains open only between April-May.
Best For: Couples, friends on a road trip, responsible travelers
What’s Special: Murikkady is one of the best eco-tourism spots of Kerala and is close to the Vagamon (49 kilometers), the paragliding capital of Kerala.
Murikkady is a romantic viewpoint near Thekkady within 5 kilometers (approx.) which will wow lush greenery lovers with its meadows. Here you will find cardamom, coffee, pepper plantations, and workers doing the cultivation work. Imagine you wake up early at Thekkady accommodation and self-driving a hired car, and the pragmatic aromas are greeting you, followed by the splendid views.
From the lens of the Responsible Travelers, Murikkady will show you the side of Kerala that existed before Thekkady became part of the Kerala Tourism itinerary. Ensure to stop by the roadside chai (tea) pit stops. Murikkaddy is a gorgeous place at sunset, and the crowd pull is very low! If you want to capture yourself, your family members, or your spouse in the orange-pink-hued background, this tourist place near Thekkady should not be missed!
- Availability of Guides: Yes!
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- How to Reach from Thekkady: Via car, or bicycle expedition
- Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours (approx.)
6. Peermedu (Peermade)
Best For: Couples, family, friends
What’s Special: Peermedu is an unexplored shutterbug’s paradise of Kerala.
The meandering Periyar River decorates the setting of this lesser-explored hill town in Thekkady. Peermedu, aka Peermade, is one of the gorgeous places to visit in Thekkady for 1 day to enjoy the bamboo raft cruising in the Periyar River. A half-day excursion to Peermade includes trekking the green meadows, rolling hills.
Peemedu has cardamom, rubber, tea, coffee plantations sprawled within its vicinity. The elevation of Peermade is 915 m (approx.) which makes it salubrious to visit throughout the year. This hill town of Thekkady is suitable for honeymooners, road trip lovers, and photographers because of the unblemished greenery!
- Ideal Duration: 1-2 days (approx.)
- Accommodation Options: Homestays, plantation stays
Best For: Couples, family, and backpackers
What’s Special: Pandikuzhi is one of the favorite destinations for tourists holidaying near Periyar Valley. A short bike ride from will take you here,
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Thekkady in 2 days, Pandikuzhi is located within 5 kilometers (approx.) from main Thekkady and is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. If you want to spot the exotic flora and fauna, this tourist attraction of Thekkady is a must-visit because of its lesser-explored factor by mass tourism. Pandikuzhi is a shutterbug’s delight, a honeymooner’s nirvana, and a perfect family-friendly year-round picnic destination.
It has ample viewpoints where you can gaze at the lush green mountains of the Western Ghats Range. When in Pandikuzhi, spend some time amidst the cascading waterfalls and capture them in your frame. Those who want to feel alive with the virgin environs would retreat because easy to moderate level trekking options are available here. Don’t forget to snap varieties of great Instagrammable photos of the lush greenery in the backdrops.
8. Mullaperiyar Dam
Entry Fee: ₹ 25 (approx.) per head for Indians, and ₹ 300 (approx.) per head for foreigners
Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM, every day
Switch off your mundane life in Thekkady in summer or winter at Mullaperiyar Dam, another famous tourist spot in Kerala. It is located on the confluence of Mullayar and Periyar River. Mullaperiyar San is one of the best places to visit in Thekkady with kids as there is a lush green garden, and a boating facility in the reservoir is also available. The Mullaperiyar Dam is an epic architectural wonder of Kerala and dates back to the British India Company, whose construction started in 1887 till 1895.
Take your kids to Mullaperiyar Dam except for the monsoon as the water flow is strong to enjoy the boating excursion while coming across migratory birds and Asian Elephants, bison. The unique setting of Mullaperiyar Dam is icing on the cake because this finest attraction in Thekkady is nestled on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats.
If you are staying in Kumily, wake up the next day to enjoy the astonishing sight of the waters ripping down from the staggering 155 ft (approx.) height. When you are here, get bestowed with enticing views of the Tiger Reserve and the Periyar Lake.
9. Abraham’s Spice Garden
Best For: Nature lovers, shutterbugs, and botany enthusiasts
What’s Special: It is one of the oldest and biggest spice gardens in the Thekkady in Periyar dating back to 1952 and is featured in Lonely Planet.
Introduce yourself or your family or spouse to the unique spice culture in Kerala by visiting Abraham’s Spice Garden in Thekkady. This place to visit in Thekkady is a famous subject for photographers, and this is why the BBC has documented Abraham’s Spice Garden. Compared to other plantations around Thekkady and Kumily, Abraham’s Spice Garden charges a nominal price for the spice grown in their gardens. While you return home from this place, buy and taste real spices from the farm-fresh spice shops. Irrespective of the season, this spice garden is a year-round attraction of Thekkady.
This lush green manicured spice garden is positioned on the Thekkady-Kottayam route. A visit to Abraham’s Spice Garden is a soul-stirring experience because of the knowledge you get regarding organic spice and their medicinal value. Embark on a few hours spice garden tour with a guide to familiarize yourself with the spice gardening process. From the Malayalam language to Hindi, English, French, and Italian, you can gain first-hand knowledge upon interacting with spice cultivators.
- Ideal Duration: 2.5 hours (approx.)
- Timings: 7 AM – 6 PM, every day
- Entry Fee: ₹ 100 (approx.) per person
- Tour Fee: 200 INR (approx.) per person
10. Elephant Junction
Best For: Family, toddlers, responsible tourists
What’s Special: Watch the animals take full care of their bathing, feeding, and posing a selfie with the jumbo giants.
Elephant Junction is one of the best places to visit Thekkady for kids at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where little tourists can indulge in petting and playing at the jumbo giants. This place offers the chance to interact, feed, and bathe friendly elephants. Elephant Junction sprawls over 16 hectares of Periyar Forest, and the establishment there offers different programs with distinct time slots, including 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 120 minutes with elephants. We suggest you not ride on the elephants as it is not an act of Responsible Tourism. Instead, feed them, fancy a selfie with them and understand their way of living on a guided excursion.
- Ideal Duration: Half-day, full-day
- Timings: 8 AM – 6 PM
- Program Charges: ₹ 400 (0.5 Hours), ₹ 1000 (1 Hour), ₹ 1250 (1.5 hours), ₹ 1500 (2 hours), ₹ 3000 (Half day), ₹ 6000 (Full day)
What Else Is Enticing About Thekkady Tourism
Local people in Kerala and so does in Thekkady are heartwarming and always in the mood to help tourists smile on their faces. Communication is not a barrier because even locals speak and understand fluent English.
Kerala is the leading spice-producing Indian state, and Thekkady is considered to produce Lion’s Share of spices production.
Is Thekkady Worth Visiting?
Yes! A visit to Thekkady in any season will reward you with multiple folds of greenery whether you are in search of a dollop of romance, or wildlife, or adventure. Thekkady is sandwiched between Kerala and Tamil Nadu border and identical to its sister town, Munnar, when it comes to roaring waterfalls, aromatic coffee, spice, tea, cardamom plantations. Thekkady is best to visit with family or kids on a South India trip. But that is not just the only reason to visit this lesser-explored paradise of Kerala. Check out a few more reasons to visit Thekkady:
With Kids: Many plantations of spice, clove, black pepper, and cinnamon are scattered in and around the Thekkady. Let your kids learn the importance of the spices, which Britishers were also fond of! Enjoy the first-hand experience of the bullock cart ride in Thekkady.
With Family: The 60 species of animals and 25 species of birds inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve is your answer to enjoy the half-day jeep safari with your family. Moreover, inside the sanctuary, you will find a temple and tribal heritage museum, which provides a sneak peek into the life of the tribal people.
For Couples: Thekkady is close to Munnar, and thus, it is surrounded by verdant tea plantations where in the middle of the tea estates, couples can stay in a treehouse or a private bungalow. Moreover, the wildlife of Thekkady is the epic highlight if you are planning a honeymoon in Thekkady.
Best Accommodations in Thekkady
|Best Honeymoon Resorts in Thekkady||Best Family Resorts in Thekkady|
|Forest Canopy||The Elephant Court|
|Greenwoods Resort||Poetree Sarovar Portico, Thekkady|
Best Restaurants in Thekkady
|Best Restaurants in Thekkady||Must Try Food of Thekkady|
|Bamboo Cafe||Grilled fish and fish tikka|
|Chrissie’s Hotel and Cafe||Idli, Dosa, and other South Indian dishes|
There is no airport in Thekkady, but it is well connected with nearby districts, which have international and domestic airports and railway stations. Have a look at the options to reach Thekkady from metro towns of India:
|Nearest Airport With Distance (approx.)||Nearest Railway Station With Distance|
|Cochin International Airport (147 km/5 hours)||Kottayam Junction (107 km/3 hours)|
|Madurai Airport (155 km/3.5 hours)||Ernakulam Railway Station (153 km/4.5 hours)|
Best Season, Climate, and Weather in Thekkady
|Season||Months||Avg Min Temp||Avg Max Temp|
|Summer||March to July||26°C||36°C|
|Monsoon||July to September||19°C||25°C|
|Winter||October to February||15°C||21°C|
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Questions People Ask For Thekkady Tourism, And It’s Places To Visit
Q. What are the top 5 places to visit in Thekkady?
Ans: According to seasoned travelers, Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurisumala, Murikkady, Pullumedu, Mangala Devi Temple are the top 5 places to visit in Thekkady with your near or dear ones.
Q. How many days are enough for the Thekkady trip?
Ans: Ideally, 2-3 days (approx.) will give you the best of Thekkady tourism. However, you can add a few more buffer days in Thekkady if you want to discover the stunning villages located in and around its vicinity.
Q. How is the nightlife in Thekkady?
Ans: The nightlife in Thekkady is good! You can watch local dance performances at the cultural center or go on the overnight forest patrolling with the dedicated forest armed guard with rifles and the tourist guide.
Q. Is shopping in Thekkady a good idea?
Ans: Yes! Shopping in Thekkady is one of the best things to do! Handcraft souvenirs, Periyar Woods, and spices are the best items to shop on the Thekkady tour.
Q. Does Thekkady have an airport?
Ans: No! Thekkady does not have its own airport. But a nearby district like Ernakulam has an international airport, while the domestic airport is in Madurai.
Q. Which is the most beautiful place to visit in Thekkady in 2 days?
Ans: Pandikuzhi is the most famous place to visit in Thekkady in 2 days near Periyar.
Q. What are some top unexplored attractions in Thekkady which are lesser-known by tourists?
Ans: Green Park Ayurvedic & Spices Plantation, Gavi Forest, Kadathanadan Kalari Center, Chellarkovil are a few unexplored attractions in Thekkady which are not on the touristy radar.
Q. What are some best offbeat places near Thekkady within 20 kilometers?
Ans: Murikkady ( 5 km), Chellarkovil (15 km), Anakkara (14 km), Parunthumpara (25 km) are a handful of best offbeat places near Thekkady within 20 kilometers.