Thekkady, A Paradise For Bird And Animal Watchers
Thekkady is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in India. It is located in Kerala state which is also proudly called as God's Own Country. Thekkady lies at an altitude of 700 m above sea level amidst formed parts of Western Ghats. It is also called as Periyar Tiger Reserve as there are more than 25 tigers have been preserved in this sanctuary. The sanctuary is lying around waters of Mullai Periyar Dam which was built about 100 years ago. Thekkady is noted for various green woods like Teak, Cedar, Rubber and Pine.
The Special Features of Thekkady
Being situated among Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats it has been the main attraction of the tourists from all over the world. It is the biggest Wildlife Sanctuary of India with an area of 777 sq. km. Asian Elephants, Bisons, Sambar Deers, Boars, Tigers, Leopards, Wild Squirrels and Lion tailed Monkeys are some of the wild life species found here. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation runs Ferry Boats to facilitate the tourists to enjoy the watching of various wildlife animals in their natural living conditions. They are charging Rs 50/- to Rs 100/- per head. It will be really a wonderful, unforgettable experience to watch the Elephants with their calfs feeding along the forests. We can enjoy them with Binaculars which are available for hiring at the Boating House of Thekkady. It will take more than 2 hours to travel in the ferry boats to complete a round in the lake. At the end point of travel we can see the wall of Mullai Periyar Dam. Before reaching Mullai Periyar Dam we will cross a forest Bangalow which lies admist in an island of Thekkady Reservoir. From there one can enjoy the watching of all wildlife animals in a 100 % peacful atmospheric condition. Apart from many hundred many varieties of wild life animals there are about 320 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and 27 species of amphibians are found in Thekkady.
Unlike other tourist places in India, Thekkady is providing very peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere. The chill climate because of considerable elevation from msl is the other speciality of Thekkady. Though many hundreds of people are visiting there daily,always we can enjoy the silence and Beauty of Mother Nature in and around Thekkady. The Forest Department is strictly prohibiting the housings in nearby forest areas of Thekkady. Kumily is one of the bigger towns of Kerala which is lying about 4 km away from Thekkady. We can enjoy the walking along the road which runs to Thekkady from Kumily. After crossing the town limits of Kumily we can really enjoy the Unique beauty of Kerala State with various types of housings nand shoppings. We can purhase our favorite goods like Handicrafts, Spices and Colths there. Besides the shoppings we can also find many Luxury Hotels and Cottages to stay there to enjoy Thekkady. Nearby Boating House there are many other Luxurious Hotels which costs some what higher than the other hotels in Kumily and around Kumily. If we feel that the cost of living there suits our economical condition we can enjoy the peacful atmosphere of Thekkady by staying there.
Elephant Ride and Trekking in Thekkady
Elephants rides are also available in Thekkady. About Rs.250/- is charged per head for one hour elephant riding. We can get interior to the forests to have a thrilling closer watch of various animals like Bisons, Sambar Deers and other Elephants. Trekking also brings some what more thrilling experience. But it is advisible to have forester's guidance to trek inside the forests. However it is good to avoid the risk of trekking in the forests of Thekkady with dangerous wildlifes.
Nearest Air ports to Thekkady are Madurai and Cochin. From Madurai we can get frequent bus services to reach here. Nearest Railway station is Madurai in Tamilnadu and Cochin in Kerala.