A visit to the best places to visit in Thekkady in Kerala will help you encounter the diverse wildlife. This tempting hill town in the Idukki district is positioned at an elevation 900-1800 m (approx.) above sea level, enticing travelers especially wildlife enthusiasts for decades.
The best places in Thekkady remain salubrious all around the year. Therefore, couples, family tourists, and leisure travelers can plan a Thekkady trip.
10 Best Places to Visit in Thekkady You Can Explore
- 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 with family on our list has to go to Periyar National Park. 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.
Here, trekking excursions are conducted under the supervision of expert guides. Night walks inside the Periyar National Park are fun, conducted with 2 armed guides and dedicated guides for night patrolling. Between 7 PM – 4 AM (approx.).
Evergreen to deciduous forests can be seen inside the national park, housing 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.
- 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) have separate charges
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Best For: Couples, leisure travelers seeking rejuvenation
What’s Special: Kumily is less explored and couples can wake up with the soothing aromas of the tea and coffee plantations.
Plan a romantic getaway to Thekkady in Kumily. It is now of the best Thekkady places you can visit for relaxation. This is a village that was once under British rule because of its gorgeous plantations. It is located at an elevation of around 880 m and offers relief from the heat. Kumily is one of the romantic places to visit near Thekkady for couples and is indeed a picturesque hamlet.
Pose for a couple of photoshoots in this verdant forestland while strolling the different plantations like cardamom, pepper, coffee, and cinnamon. Embark on easy treks with your family, friends, or kids in the monsoon and get amazed by the luscious greenery! You can also enjoy camping 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.
Another salubrious tourist place to visit near Thekkady 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 sea level. The lush green surroundings of this mountain range are 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, and teak are the other productions famous at Cardamom Hills. Cardamom Hills are under the UNESCO World Heritage Committee umbrella because these hills account for the lion’s share of Cardamom production in the entire world. 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.)
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 the 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.
- 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 in Kerala and is close to the Vagamon, the paragliding capital of Kerala.
Murikkady is a romantic viewpoint near Thekkady within 5 km (approx.). It will surprise you with its scenic beauty comprising lush green meadows. Here you will find cardamom, coffee, pepper plantations, and workers doing the cultivation work. Wake up early at Thekkady accommodation and self-drive a hired car to enjoy the splendid views of the town.
From the lens of 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!
- 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 photographer paradise in Kerala.
The meandering Periyar River decorates the setting of this lesser-explored hill town in Thekkady. Peermedu, aka Peermade, is one of the best 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, and rolling hills.
Peemedu has cardamom, rubber, tea, and coffee plantations sprawled within its vicinity. The elevation of Peermade is 915 m, making it pleasant to visit throughout the year.
- Ideal Duration: 1-2 days (approx.)
- Accommodation Options: Homestays, plantation stays
Best For: Couples, family, and backpackers
What’s Special: Enjoy a road trip here on your bike for an experience of a lifetime.
One of the best tourist places in Thekkady, Pandikuzhi is located within 5 km from the main Thekkady and is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border. If you want to spot exotic flora and fauna, Pandikuzhi is a must-visit. It is also less visited, so you are guaranteed tranquility. Also, this location 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 time at the cascading waterfalls. Easy to moderate is also available here.
8. Mullaperiyar Dam
Best For: Family picnics, shutterbugs, and couples
What’s Special: Capture the beauty of this place on your camera, sit and enjoy the cool breeze, and indulge in boating activities.
Take a break from work and visit Thekkady in summer or winter to see Mullaperiyar Dam, another famous tourist spot in Kerala. It is located at the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar Rivers. Mullaperiyar Dam is one of the best places to explore in Thekkady 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, and bison. The unique setting of Mullaperiyar Dam is icing on the cake because this finest attraction in Thekkady is nestled in the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats.
- Entry Fee: ₹ 25 (approx.) per head for Indians, and ₹ 300 (approx.) per head for foreigners
- Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM, every day
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 to the unique spice culture in Kerala by visiting Abraham’s Spice Garden in Thekkady. It is one of the best Thekkady places, 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. 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 manicured spice garden is located 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 of 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
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10. Elephant Junction
Best For: Family, toddlers, responsible tourists
What’s Special: Watch the animals take full care of their bathing, feeding, and posing for a selfie with the jumbo giants.
Elephant Junction is one of the best places to visit Thekkady for kids. It is located at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where 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, and 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)
Now that you have the list of top places to visit in Thekkady, it’s time to book a tour package. Indian Holiday offer customizable Thekkady tour packages you can modify as per your needs and budget. With us, get a chance to explore the waterfalls, aromatic & lush coffee/tea plantations, and spot the diverse wild animals/birds. Whether you are with kids or a spouse, Thekkady offers a varied experience to every type of holidaymaker.
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
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, and 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, and 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), and Parunthumpara (25 km) are a handful of the best offbeat places near Thekkady within 20 kilometers.