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Altitude: 900-1800 m above sea level
Rainfall: 2500 mm

The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns that hold great opportunities for treks and mountain walks.


There are frequent buses from Kumily (4 km away) to various tourist centres.

Distances of a few major towns from Thekkady

Kumily: 4 km (15 mts) Sabarimala via
Pullumedu: 50 km (2 hrs)
Idukki: 65 km (2 1/2 hrs)
Munnar: 106 km (4 hrs)
Kumarakom: 128 km (4 hrs) Sabarimala via
Erumeli: 134 km (4 hrs)
Kodaikanal: 149 km (5 hrs)
Alappuzha: 164 km (5 hrs)
Kollam: 220 km (6 hrs)
Ooty: 390 km (11 hrs)

Bus timings from Kumily:

Thekkady: 0930, 1045, 1130, 1200, 1230, 1330, 1530 hrs
Kumarakom: 0700 hrs
Munnar: 0600, 0945, 1330 hrs
Ernakulam (Kochi) : 0700, 1330, 1515, 1630,1715, 1930 hrs
Thiruvananthapuram (from Kumily): 0840, 1530, 1615 hrs; (from Thekkady): 0820, 1515 hrs
Kottayam: Frequent buses
Alappuzha:1115 hrs
Cherthala: 1415 hrs
Idukki:Frequent buses
Chennai: 1630, 1900 hrs
Pondicherry: 1630 hrs
Madurai: 0115, 0515, 0525, 0645, 0716, 0720, 0730, 0755, 0835, 0940, 1030, 1045, 1120, 1155, 1300, 1315, 1320, 1420, 1515, 1540, 1550, 1650, 1705, 1800, 1840, 1905, 2045 hrs
Dindigal: Frequent buses
Kodaikanal: There is no direct bus from Kumily to Kodaikanal. The Dindigal bus takes you to Pathalakundu from where there are frequent buses to Kodaikanal (149 km)
Trichy: 0855, 1045, 1925 hrs Palani: 0930, 1135, 1830, 1850 hrs.


Over 1965 flowering plants including 171 grass species 143 species of orchids. The only south Indian conifer Podocarpus wallichianus grows in the forests of Periyar Tiger Reserve.


Mammals: Thirty five species which include the Asian elephant, Indian bison, sambar deer, Indian wild dog, Barking deer, Smooth-coated otter which can be sighted during a boat cruise in the Periyar Lake. The Nilgiri tahr is confined to the higher rocky areas whereas the endangered lion tailed macaque can be found in the interior evergreen forests. Both the bonnet macaques and Nilgiri langur can be seen foraging from the trees near the boat landing. Malabar giant squirrel is omnipresent.

Birds: 265 species including migrants. The Malabar grey hornbill, The Indian pied hornbill, Whitebellied Treepie, many species of drongos, woodpeckers, flycatchers, babblers, the spectacular Malabar trogon, etc can be seen near the boat landing.

Reptiles: Cobra, viper, krait, a number of non-poisonous snakes, and the Indian monitor lizard.

Amphibians: Frogs like the colorful Malabar gliding frog, fungoid frog, bicolored frog, many species of toads, and limbless caecilians.

Pisces (fish): The Periyar lake and streams have several species of fish including the masheer, the famous and endangered game fish of India. The Smooth-coated otter can be frequently spotted from the boat.

Plantations: Tea, cardamom, pepper and coffee plantations abound in the areas adjoining the Tiger Reserve.

Watch Towers: There are a few watch towers inside Periyar Tiger Reserve which are excellent for viewing wildlife. Reservations can be made at the Forest Information Centre, Thekkady. Ph: 322028.

Permitting authority: The Wildlife Preservation Officer, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady.

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Reader's comments(1)
1: A must watch places if you visit India.
Posted by: Acharya - 18 Jun, 2014