Periyar National Park located in Thekkady, is open throughout the year unlike many other parks in India and is good for Elephant sighting; the large reservoir attracts all kinds of creatures to its shores.
Come abode to unending chain of hills, elephants and spice-scented plantations that create this heavenly town. Lying close to these plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Take a boat ride on Lake Periyar and see the wildlife around the lake as you cruise along its banks. Apart from elephants, bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, otter and flying squirrel are common. There are also 246 species of birds and 112 species of butterfly. Apart from its diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, this is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on her lake. This picturesque town holds great opportunities for treks and mountain walks. Also, don't miss out on the Spice Plantation tour that cover cardamom, pepper, coffee and tea plantations, tea factories, tribal settlements and the surrounding hill regions.
The walk takes you through the diverse habitats of Thekkady, providing opportunities to spot different species of birds, identify wildlife that roam the jungles of Thekkady and click great pictures of the opulent surroundings.
Enjoy a pleasant walk through the magic of woods. Nature Walk is an interpretive programme offering excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. The experience lasts for about 3 hours. A maximum of 5 persons can go for trekking at a time along each nature trail, accompanied by a trained tribal guide.
Enjoy boating along the scenic Periyar Lake and experience its vast calmness .The stark, skeletal remains of the trees that protrude from its waters give the area a primeval look. The mists that swirl ethereally over the water in the early morning heighten this impression. The scenic Periyar Lake in the middle of the sanctuary is a great place for boating and watching the elephants frolic.
A boat cruise on the Lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve. Tourists may be able to spot herds of Gaur, Sambar and wild boars in the grasslands adjacent to the shores. A variety of avian fauna such as darters, egrets and kingfishers can be seen resting on dead tree trunks that stick out over the lake. More than 30 species of fish are found in the lake. River Otter, the only mammal in the lake, can very often be seen along a ride.
Enjoy an exciting bamboo rafting through some of the dense forests of Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Bamboo Rafting is an eco-friendly experience in Periyar Tiger Reserve. This primitive and age old method of rafting is very unique and adventurous. The rafts are made of huge bamboo sticks bound together. On the way, the rafters get to see a beauty of nature in its full bloom through the bird life as well as arboreal animals, along with panoramic views of lush green hills with elephants, sambar and gaur.
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Adopt an Elephant
Try this unforgettable experience of adopting an elephant.
Try this experience of adopting an elephant in Periyar.
Five elephants live in this farm, under the attentive care of their Mahouts. A very particular relationship is here created between these wonderful pachyderms and you. Take this opportunity to spend a rare and special moment with them. Located just outside of the city, nestled within the cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations, the surrounding itself is already very peaceful. During this activity, feed your new friend, do a walk within the plantations and then give him his bath.
Visit to a Spice Plantation with Lunch
Enjoy spice plantation visit with lunch.
Rendezvous with the owner of a Spice Plantation followed by lunch.
The plantation tour is an opportunity to meander through cardamom, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and many other varieties of spices and medicinal plants and gives you an insight into how these are grown, harvested and processed.
Valley Zest – Cycling Tour
Cycle through the countryside.
This is a great choice for clients with 2 nights in Thekkady. This tour is a tribute to John Pennycuick; the British Engineer who built the 175-feet high Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala in 1895. This engineering marvel by Pennycuick which took 8 years to complete made the bordering plains of Tamil Nadu forever fertile and changed the lives of the farmers here. These are the same plains that your clients will traverse during their journey from Madurai to Thekkady.
Part done by car and part on bicycles.
Cycling for 15kms through the countryside.
Insight into lowland farming in the plains of Tamil Nadu watered by the Mullaperiyar Dam built by John Pennycuick. Learn about the cycle of crops, yield, market for the produce et al.
Tea in a Local Tea shop.
A Farmer's Fair Trade Vegetable Market.
Bullock cart Ride.
Enroute Thekkady and Backwaters – Rubber Contours Tour with Lunch
Explore the rubber growing destination of Kerala with home cooked lunch with a local family.
This Rubber Contours Tour takes us to a pretty rubber growing destination of Kerala that most itinerary planners give it a miss – the Koottickal valley that lies in the foothill of the Western Ghats and between Thekkady and the Backwaters. George Abraham, a fourth generation rubber planter and our friend will facilitate this tour. George is a walking, talking encyclopaedia on the plantation history of South India and has authored a book – "A Path to the Hills" on the same subject.
In this tour the clients will get to see the entire process of rubber production – from tapping (which involves making a cut in the bark of a rubber tree in a particular angle so that the sap drips into a container) to how the sap is filtered, treated and finally pressed into sheets in a factory once owned and started by AD Vincent, one of the pioneers of the Rubber Plantation industry in Kerala. Lunch at George's home, cooked by his wife Anju is included in the tour.
Manayath Spice Garden with Lunch
Explore the spice planation, suitably located on the Kerala-Tamilnadu state's border, with typical Kerala cuisine.
Mayanath Spice Garden is situated in the village of Chellarkovil through which the official state boundary of Kerala and Tamil Nadu runs. The place offers sweeping bird's eye view of the plains of Tamil Nadu. Thomas, the owner, will take your clients around for a leisurely walk. Once you had your fill of the breath-taking views, he will walk your clients back to Kerala and on a tour of his Spice Garden where pepper, cardamom, clove, vanilla, coffee, tropical fruits et al are grown. The tour ends with a home cooked lunch – nothing fancy, but simple delicious Kerala food.