Places To See

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary is situated at Thekkady. It has an area of 750sq.km that is situated at an elevation of 900m to 1,800m above the sea level, on the hills of the Western Ghats. Thekkady is on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. The sanctuary has elephants, deer and monkeys in abundance, and the elusive but occasionally spotted species, tigers. One can see the elephants in the natural habitat along with their young ones. Elephant rides are also an attraction.

Pandikuzhi

It is a five-km drive from Kumily. It falls between the Tamil Nadu border and Chellarkovil. There are small streams and rivulets for the nature-lovers. Also, trekking is an option here.

Mangaladevi Temple

The temple dedicated to Goddess Mangala or Kannagi is surrounded by the Periyar Reserve. Kannagi is the protagonist of the epic Sil[padikaram. It has a lot of importance in Tamil culture. Chitra Pournami, the full moon day in April, is celebrated every year here and the temple is open only during this time of the year. The temple is situated in thick forest and is 13km from Kumily. You can only reach the temple in a jeep or a four-wheel drive.

Tribal Heritage Museum

The area around Thekkady was populated by Mannans, a tribal people, for a very long time. Now, they have been reduced in number. This museum stands within their earliest settlement. You can see how the tribals lived, ate, married and organised other events in their lives. There are exhibits of their agricultural equipment, utensils, clothes, weapons and traces of medicine used by them.

Gavi

It is 40km from Kumily. The ride to Gavi is very interesting – on either side of the roads you’ll find tea and spices plantations. The Pamba Reservoir is located enroute. Known for its awesome scenic beauty, Gavi is ideal for the average adventurer – full of trekking routes, lakes, waterfalls and tropical forests. Also visit Chenthamara Kokka here, a gorge that has a beautiful view. You can spot elephant, bear, Nilgiri tahr, leopard, Indian gaur, tiger, sambar, mouse deer, lion-tailed macaque and Nilgiri Marten in the area.

This place is good for trekking and jungle safaris. It is also good for bird-watching. There are more than 300 species of birds – great Indian hornbill, kingfishers, sunbirds, cuckoos and more. You can spot a number of birds and animals near the Gavi Lake, where you can go boating, too. There are tourist guesthouses that arrange bird-watching and animal-spotting tours and rents out trekking gear.

The Gavi Eco-tourism Programme sponsored by The Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd offers tents and stays in tree houses. Visit the forest museum and library on the premises, too.

Vandiperiyar

Decked with tea and pepper plantations, Vandiperiyar is 18km from Thekkady. The Periyar River flows through the center of the town.

Chellarkovil

It isn’t bigger than a village. Tucked away 15km from Thekkady, it has waterfalls and forests. It is very close to Theni and Kambam in Tamil Nadu. Ramakalmedu, another mountain spot, is to its north.

Peermade

This is a small hill station on the way to Thekkady. It stands at an altitude of 914m. Peermade is rich in coffee, rubber, tea, pepper and cardamom plantations. Waterfalls and open grasslands add to the beauty of this place.

Grampi

Also known as ‘Parunthupara’, meaning eagle rock, Grampi is 5km from Peermade and 10km from Vandiperiyar. Its peaks render a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape lying below.

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