My Travel Experience to Thekkady

Bamboo Rafting Thekkady

To provide a virtual tour to all the major tourist places in Kerala for my guests, I have decided to travel to these places purposefully and write travel dairies of what I experienced. This is the first in the series and I hope it will be helpful, for all on tour to Thekkady.

I have been to Thekkady recently with this purpose in mind. Thekkady is also called Periyar and sometimes known as Kumily too. Kumily is the place where we normally stay and Thekkady is where Wildlife Sanctuary is located; both are just 2 -3 km apart.

Thekkady is situated 170 kms from Cochin and it takes approximately 5 hours to reach there. For most of the package trips, we go to Thekkady after Munnar which is 110km away or from Alleppey which is about 140km away. The route is a combination of hills as well as normal roads.

Thekkady is famous for the wildlife sanctuary located here. There is boating facility at Thekkady where the boat will take you around the Wildlife Sanctuary through the Periyar Lake. One can see wild animals during this boat ride but need to be very quiet. Mullapperiyar dam can also be seen during this boat ride. Note that, Mullapperiyar dam and Periyar wildlife sanctuary can be seen only during this boating and cannot be accessed by road.

For a guest who opts for one night accommodation, try to reach Thekkady as early as possible and get tickets for boating in lake. Ticket availability depends on the rush on that particular day. Advance booking is possible through KTDC where they charge Rs. 500/- instead of 150/- which is the cost for for normal booking. To do advance booking for boating at Thekkady, you may contact KTDC Lake Palace on 04869 222014 or send an email to lakepalacethekkady@ktdc.com. They will respond back with their bank account details and you can proceed with booking. To take normal ticket, you need to be in queue and need to produce ID card and your personal details.

Boat Timings and ChargesBoat timings and charges are as given above. Try to reach Thekkady as per this timing.

image2Entrance to Periyar Tiger reserve

This is the place where you enter the Periyar Tiger Reserve and need to take ticket for yourself as well as for your vehicle.

Entrance fee chart to Periyar Tiger ReserveEntrance fee chart to Periyar Tiger Reserve

Once you enter into Tiger reserve, you can see a temple and moving forward will take you to the boating area. This travel is through lot of greenery.

There are three hotels inside this reserve; KTDC Lake Palace, KTDC Aranya Nivas and a budget hotel KTDC Periyar House. If your stay is in any of these hotels, make sure you reach hotel before 5PM as entrance will be closed after this.

Once you reach boating area, if you do not have pre-booked ticket, be in the queue and purchase tickets for boating.

We recently found a website where you can do online booking for boating at Periyar. We have not tried this ourselves but one of our guest did it themselves. They said it saved them lot of time!

You can visit www.periyarfoundation.org to do the online booking. The current rates are Rs 248 for adult and Rs 75 for student.

Waiting in the queue

You can wait in the waiting area after getting tickets.

Boat Jetty - Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Boat Jetty at  Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Me and my family at Periyar Reserve boating areaMe and my family at Thekkady Boating Area

 Once boating is finished, leave the Tiger Reserve; myriad of extra activities awaits you at Thekkady. Before going for shows in the evening, you can go for an elephant ride, give elephant bath or even get an elephant shower which is quite thrilling!

Elephant RideElephant Ride

Give Elephant Bath Give Elephant Bath

Elephant showerAll soaked after a drenching elephant shower!

 Click here to watch video of Elephant Shower

Rate chart for elephant activitiesRate chart for elephant activities

 You can go for an Ayurvedic massage from any of the massage centers at Thekkady.

Ayurvedic Massage CenterAyurvedic Massage Center

Do purchase some spices and home made chocolates before you leave Thekkady

I had the chance to eat fried ice cream from Thekkady. Here Ice cream is roasted and is hot. When you are visit Thekkady, don’t forget to taste this from Hotel Silver Crest. Fried Icecream at Hotel Silver Crest

Depending on your interest, you can watch any of the shows listed below. This rate and timings is as on January 2013.

  1. Kathakali                              –              200/Head            –              1hr  (5 to 7PM)
  2. Martial Arts                        –              200/Head            –              1hr (6 to 7.15PM)
  3. Tribal dance                        –              300/Head            –              1hr (6 to 7PM)
  4. Musical fountain              –              150/-Head           –              30min (7 to 7.30PM & 8 to 8.30PM)
  5. Magic show                        –              200/Head            –              1hr (12Noon to 1Pm & 5PM to 6PM)

 Kathakali show

Signboard to different showsTribal art performance

Street at Thekkady

Street at Thekkady

Once you are done with the activities of interest, go back to your hotel and relax. Most of the hotels in Thekkady are in Town area and only a few require travelling. Make sure this is as per your preference at the time of booking itself. Some resorts at Thekkady have Tree house and have lot of land area. You can roam around inside the resort itself.

If you could not go for boating on the first day, then start out early for boating on the second day. And if you plan on moving to the next destination that day, opt for the first boating which is at 7.30am. You might need to be in the queue by 5.30am depending on seasonal rush. You might reach your next destination little late but try to have this boating experience once you are at Thekkady.

If your next destination is Alleppey/Kumarakom Houseboat (resort), then leave Thekkady as early as possible after the boat ride so that you can reach your houseboat by 12Noon.

If you are staying at Thekkady for more than two night you have lot to do here…

You have the option of going for a full day Gavi tour. This tour includes trekking, boating and visiting viewpoints at Gavi. Make sure you book this on the day of arrival at Thekkady itself.

Kerala forest development CorporationJungle safari to GaviConducted ecotourism tours

Ticket charges for Gavi tour are as below. Vehicle charges will be extra.

GAVI ECO-TOURISM

KERALA FOREST DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Ltd. (A Govt. of Kerala Undertaking)
GAVI DIVISION. GAVI P.O.
(Via) VANDIPERIYAR
Ph: 04869 223270, 9947492399
Website:
www.gaviecotourism.com
eMail: gavi@kfdcecotourism.com

PROGRAMME DETAILS

1. Day Package

  • 8.00- 8.30 AM- registration
  • Trekking through Forest under trained Guide after breakfast
  • Return by 12.30pm, have South Indian vegetarian lunch and there after boating in Gavi Lake (row boat), visit to cardamom plantations, Curing house, Sabarimala view point and Museum of Skelton of Animals.
  • Leave the place after evening tea by 4.30pm.

Tariff: -Rs.1000/- per pax (Full board)

2. Stay at Green Mansion Jungle Lodge

Check in time- preferably after noon by 2 PM.

Check out – after 24 hrs. or 2 PM next day whichever is earlier.

Events: – A trained Guide will be attached to your group throughout the package. Trekking through Forest, Boating in Gavi Lake (row Boat), visit of Cardamom Plantations and curing house, Museum of Skelton of Animals and early morning jeep safari through forest road for 2 ½ hrs.

Tariff: – Rs.2200/- per pax per day (full board)

3. SWISS COTTAGE TENTS:

Stay in permanently pitched Cottage Tents in Forest with attached bath room. All events and conditions are same as in “JUNGLE LODGE”

Tariff: – Rs.2500/- per pax per day (full board)

4. JUNGLE CAMPING

Night stay in portable small tents in deep forest. Guides and helpers will be staying there along with you. Dinner will be prepared and served there itself. All events and conditions are the same as in “JUNGLE LODGE” except Jeep Safari. Not desirable for ladies and kids.

Tarrif: – Rs.10000/- full board. (Minimum rate – 4 persons can be entertained; Rs.2500/- each for extra persons.)

Children up to the age of 6 year have free entry and for those between 6 and 12, it is half of the tariff mentioned earlier.

Gavi is situated deep inside forest in the “Poonkavanam of Lord Ayyappa” near Ponnambalamedu. You have to travel 20 kms through forest road to reach Gavi. Any vehicles can be used for your journey, but the number of your vehicle should be intimated to us well in advance to arrange permit.

Confirmation of the overnight stay programme is done only after remittance of total amount in advance before two days, after ascertaining availability. The amount should be remitted to A/c. No.362801010021042 of Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd, in Vandiperiyar Branch of Union Bank of India (IFSCode:UBIN0536288).

Gavi tours

You have other options of staying at Bamboo grooves, Jungle camp etc. at Thekkady.

other options at Thekkady

Do’s and Don’ts at Periyar Tiger Reserve

Do’s and Don’ts at Periyar Tiger Reserve

Visit Eco-tourism Information Center for booking activities listed below:

Information center

Bamboo Rafting

Bamboo rafting can be booked at Eco tourism center in advance

  • Cost for Full day Bamboo rafting – Timing: 8Am to 5PM – Rs. 1500/- per person (Min 2 pax) where rafting for 3hrs and 5 – 6hrs trekking
  • Half day Bamboo rafting – 7.30Am to 12.30PM and 9.30AM to 2.30PM – 1200/- per people (Min 2 pax) where rafting for 1.5hrs and 3.5hrs trekking

Food is included for both option and advance booking can be done by calling Eco tourism centre, Thekkady at 04869 224571 and payment should be made in advance.

Eco-tourism Information Center

Spice Garden visitYou can visit spice plantations at Thekkady.

Spice walk and other activitiesYou can go for spice walk, boating, fishing etc.

Tea TrailTea Trail : You can even have a visit to Tea factory at Thekkady and purchase some fresh Tea power from here.

Tea Factory at Thekkady

Tea plantations at Thakkedy

Tea plantations at Thakkedy

Church at ThekkadyChurch at Thekkady

Hope by now, you have got an idea about all the activities you can do at Thekkady. Depending on your interest, decide on the number of days to stay there and enjoy to the fullest.

While returning home, don’t forget to purchase spices, tea, homemade chocolates from Thekkady.

  • Distance from Thekkady to Kumily – 4km
  • Distance from Thekkady to Munnar – 110km
  • Distance from Thekkady to Kumarakom – 138km
  • Distance from Thekkady to Cochin – 170km
  • Distance from Thekkady to Kodaikkanal – 120km

Some scanned copies of brochures from Thekkady:

CCI03042013_0002 CCI03042013_0004

CCI03042013_0005 CCI03042013_0013

CCI03042013_0007CCI03042013_0009

CCI03042013_0010 CCI03042013_0011 CCI03042013_0014

CCI03042013_0017 CCI03042013_0019 CCI03042013_0023 CCI03042013_0024

CCI03042013_0025 CCI03042013_0027 CCI03042013_0028 bamboo-rafting-thekkady

By Ratheesh R.Nath

Managing director at Paradise Holidays Cochin

87 comments

  1. Excellent Article. feels like visiting Kerala again and again. Cant believe its been one year I visited Kerala. I still remember those beautiful scenes around kerala. You they bounced back once again at once after reading your artcile. Thanks for the Article Ratheesh.

  2. Realy very helpful article with all the details. Have you any of like this for all the kerala tour ?
    we will be there in kerala on 10 august 2013.

  3. Excellent, well written and methodically presented article.

    Thanks a lot for your efforts and it is well appreciated!

  4. Thank you for a very detailed and informative post with photos to back the description. I can see you are committed to provide an excellent experience to tourist using your ‘Pack-N-Go’ set up. As we are planning a trip by the 3rd week of August, want to ensure that your package offers a vehicle (4-wheeler, I believe, is a must as the terrain is hilly) with a driver – cum – coach (decent, good habits, non-drinking, familiar with route and places to visit, polite and good to talk to). I will keep in touch with your Chennai office shortly. Please provide contact person’s phone number (to my mail ID). Thanks again, – R. J.

    1. My apologies for mixing up your organization ‘Paradise-Kerala holidays’ with some other name. – R. J.

  5. Really nice blog. I havent seen such a detailed blog like this, really useful, I have a query, How this place to be visited in mid of May ?

  6. Very informative article. I have the following queries –

    1. I am planning to leave out the Peiyar boat ride due to the rush and crowd, but instead go for a full day bamboo rafting trip to experience the wildlife in a quieter manner. Will I miss out on anything terribly if I don’t do the boat ride?

    2. Is it possible to book the bamboo rafting in advance through netbanking? I have heard that it gets sold out fast.

    3. Is there a fee for the tea plantation tour that you have mentioned?

    4. Are all the spice plantation tours chargeable or are there are some plantation tours which are free? If no, then what are the usual charges? I am trying not to get ripped off.

    We have booked our holiday through your organisation scheduled in November and look forward to a happy journey.

    1. Hi, I am planning a holiday to kerala this november and came across your review, you had planned a trip to0 to kerala in november, did you go by paradise holiday package? and how was your experience. Looking forward for your reply it would be helpful.

      Thanks

  7. Superb article..I got whatever info i am searching for..for the last few days. thanks for your open heart & sharing.

  8. Visiting Thekkady in March with my and trying to get an itinerary. Thanks for the information and photos, I now have all the info I need. Excellent blog.

  9. What a perfect, most useful article. The all detail information with photographs. Nice job. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for the efforts you have taken in sharing all the information for all travellers.

  10. Very well written. Very informative. I was planning my first holiday in Kerala and this was very helpful.

    Thank you.

  11. superb presentation for travelling to Kerala .Thanks for providing maximum details.This will help me when i am visiting there in Diwali.

  12. Thank you for the wonderful information .I have traveled all over the world planning and charting out my tours as i don’t like the the way we see places with tour operators .The way you have given the details is amazing and so practical with time distance must see places and options and rates of the activities is truly appreciable .I am sure my trip will be easy and relaxed with this info on my mobile itself .you have the gift to know exactly what a tourist wants and explain things in very simple practical way
    regards
    kirti

  13. Eco-tourism in Kerala can be developed more to attract foriegners as well as domestic tourist. Foreigneers are distrurbed by locals in most of the tourist destinations in Kerala.Of course , it is affecting domestic tourists also. world class style of facilities can be arranged. Thank you.

  14. Excellent Article. Really enjoyed reading it and gave a lot of info…We are planning to travel to Thekkady and all I know is the boating..I didn’t know there is so much to see there. Thanks.

  15. Nice Blog by Mr. Ratheesh…Shall try to use the information provided in the blog for my travel plans in near future !!

  16. Excellent blog. Thanks for putting all the critical helpful info to other tourists like rates, timings etc.
    Hats off to you 🙂

  17. Visiting Kerala in First week of Oct – Me and my wife are senior and Thekkady is also included in our Tour Package – Just for search on first hand information I found your Blog, it is quite interesting, informative and knowledgeable – Thanks for your efforts – God Bless.

  18. Hi, This is an excellent article, very informative! I wanted to know this: I am a solo woman travelling planning to go to thekkady especially for the forest hiking. Could you please tell me if its safe?

  19. Very excellent article. Tempting me to visit as soon as possible because of your very wonderful work which shows photos and gives as much information as possible.

  20. A nice virtual tour of thekkady. Wish to do the same trip as soon as possible . I would also like to know if this place can be covered without staying overnight .

  21. Thank you for such wonderful information ! I was pleasantly surprised at such descriptive details . Thank you.

  22. Hi Ratheesh

    Excellent info presented in a professional and lucid way. Very helpful for travellers like me who are planning to visit in Feb 2017.

    Thanks once again

  23. Very informative article. We are visiting now, planned with paradise holidays. Hope what I am seeing now in picture will enjoy the same next week. I will come back again with feedback after the trip.

  24. Hi Ratheesh,
    That was a wonderful blog and I really enjoyed reading through. I had been to Thekkady for a one day trip recently and things have changed a lot. I couldn’t even take my car inside (as per the new rules). The worst part was missing out the boat ride. Being a holiday, the place was damn crowded.
    Reading your blog, I feel I could have tried elephant rides but when I saw the crowd I left Thekkady and Kumily from my itinerary and went further to Cumbum. The vineyards of Cumbum was really outstanding.

  25. This information is really nice and helpful. I have planned my trip accordingly. Thank you!

    One quick thing… how far is Elephant ride and bathing from Periyar lake? Can you please tell the distance?

  26. I have also been to Thekkady and personally, I feel that this place is one of the most enchanting travel destinations in Idukki.. There are a lot of things that are worth exploring and the author has really projected the beauty of Thekkady with some good natural photos…

  27. Hi, I’m Ashish. Planning to visit Thekkady on 10th Aug. Pls, advice is it good time to visit as is monsoon season.

  28. Thank you very much for your very informative article. Screenshots of the brochures gives a good idea of the rates and timings and relevant information about the item.Good job!

  29. Amazing ! What a nice blog. You gave every detail information about your experience. Brilliant idea to take pictures of information like timing and cost. It is so helpful for people like me who want to visit in Thekkady. Thank you so much.

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