Thekkady / Periyar
The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. It is also known as Periyar because of thePeriyar Wild Life Sanctuary.
Thekkady has a lot to offer you in sightseeing. The name Thekkady, for those who have already visited this place, brings to mind images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations. Moreover, the flora and fauna of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary is absolutely thrilling. The wildlife sanctuary here is the natural habitat of a wide variety of animal species. The Periyar Lake is a paradise for the nature lovers. It gives you an opportunity to observe the wild animals roaming in the jungle. The lake is also a birdwatcherâ€™s delight. The greatest attraction of Periyar Lake, however, is the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Moreover, the Sanctuary Watch Tower situated in the forest interior gives you a panoramic view of the park .
Tourist Sports in Thekkady
Mangala Devi Temple
Mangala devi temple, the ancient temple is located 15 kms from Thekkady. It lies hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level.
This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is in Kumily.
Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations.
This picturesque place is cradled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border is a popular picnic spot. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer’s delight.
The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu, which can be accessed from a jeep.
This is one of the world’s largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantaions of Vandanmedu is a pleasent experience
The river Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthurium.
Located 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is Extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains in Kerala. This is one of the best tourist spots in Kerala. The Silent Valley National Park has an area of 90 sq km is located in the north eastern corner of the district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad in the south. The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is theSilent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills, an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, and traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through the deep forest. The river Kunthi never turns brown and is always crystal clear, perennial and wild.
The evapo-transpiration from these forests is much higher than from any other surfaces. This cools the atmosphere, helps easy condensation of water vapour and thus causes the summer rains. Though smaller in size in comparison to the other national parks in , what makes it unique is the sylvan environment the region has along with its high altitude peaks and several rivers that run through it.
Located 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests, totally undisturbed, lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains during June- July in Kerala.
The local name for the park is Sairandhrivanam (the forest in the valley) which is also the last representative of tropical evergreen forests in . The park which is remote has difficult terrain and is surrounded with Attappadi Reserve Forests in the east, and vested forests of the Palghat and Nilambur divisions in the west and south. In the North, the park is an extension of the Nilgiri Forests. The park which has never had human habitation is in the core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The fauna here includes around 100 species of butterflies, 400 species of moths, Ceylon Frogmouth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, the giant Malabar squirrel, Nilgiri langur, the lion-tailed Macaque, elephant, tiger, leopard, wild bear, nilgai, sambar, pit viper etc. The parks best known primates, the Nilgiri Langur and Lion- tailed macaque are both listed in IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Animals. A valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs including around 966 flowering and over 100 orchids plants are found along with the wide range of animals and birds. This park consist of 10 sq.kms of evergreen forests, 15 sq.kms of semi evergreen forests and 40 sq.kms of leaf shedding forests with a large variety of trees. There are very old trees in the park including a huge hollow tree which can hide at least 12 people in it.
Top Slip – Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Topslip, a part of Westernghats, is located above 300 meters from the sea level on the Anamalai mountain ranges(Hills of elephants). It is an important tourist centre in Indra Gandhi National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (sanctuary covers 958 sq.kms) in the Coimbatore District of Tamilnadu at the southern part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. BUT there is a pass (Palaghat pass) between Nilgiris and Anamalai ranges. Further Topslip is the only entry point to Parambikulam Wild Life Reserve Forest which comes under the state of Kerala. The nearest access point to Topslip would be Pollachi in Tamilnadu (Pollachi-Topslip about 35Kms).
At about 4Kms from Topslip, Sandwiched between the Annamalai ranges of Tamilnadu and the Nellampathy ranges of kerala on the Westernghats is the Parmabikulam Wildlife Sanctuary at height of about 300 meters extending up to 800meters.This Valley would be the literal and graphical representation of the phrase ‘Heaven on Earth’. Prepare yourself to be mesmerized for place provide a whole new dimension to the color Green. The greenery of the area ranges from dark, light, lush, dry, yellow and various other forms which could only be understood through eyes rather than words.