Touristic and off-the-beaten-track at the same time, Thekkady is a green delight you wouldn’t want to skip if you are down in the southwestern county of India. From wildlife to lush green vegetation from spices and herbs to Ayurvedic treatments there is simply an abundant list of activities you can immerse yourself in during your stay out there.
Tip before you start exploring:
Get a guide/driver and shape out a tailor-made package to your interest.
Overlooking a stunningly green banana plantation Jungle Bells Homestay offers clean and neat rooms in the heart of happenings at an affordable rate. Shops, restaurants, supermarkets, Ayurveda center, beauty parlour are all within walking distance. The owner of the property is always there to help you out with your travel arrangements in and around Thekkady.
Banana plantation as far as the eye can see – view from Jungle Bells Homestay
- Cram yourself in a boat at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
This must be Thekkady’s number one attraction based on the amount of visitors who do not hesitate to get up and running at painfully early hours. The crowd and the ear-splitting noise of the numerous boats kicking-off with herds of tourists aboard at the same time make it rather hard to spot any valuable wildlife but people still like the place and tickets are sold out pretty fast. If you are ready to join the circus, make sure you are early for the tickets to avoid getting stuck for hours in the queue.
Off-the-beaten-track tip: take the full-day wildlife spotting trek in a small group to get closer to nature.
Soaking up the sun – Periyar Wildlife Reserve
- Unwind with Ayurveda
Within Jungle Bells’ boundaries there is a small Ayurvedic center offering a wide range of massage treatments for tired travelers. If you bear the pain take the traditional one-hour Marma massage followed by a steam bath and you will be rewarded with a completely rejuvenated body from head to toe. The price includes a consultation with the doctor before the treatment.
- Get a spiced-up training at Highrange Spices
An authentic herbal garden run by an elderly couple with a vast varieties of Ayurvedic herbs and spices grown on 4 hectares of land. Sniff-out the different spices around from cinnamon to cardamom to nutmeg and make a wild guess on herbs spotted during your walk.
Organic honey at its best – Highrange Spices herbal garden
- Tea o’clock
Take a break at one of the many vibrantly green tea plantations and get navigated between velvety looking tea trees. Let your guide share some fascinating tidbits with you from growing to processing, from leaf to liquid. If you would like to get first hand information about tea-processing head to Connemara Tea Factory to see how leaves are getting ready for our good consumption.
Well-kept and organized – ‘velvety’ tea plantations, Thekkady
- Extra: Top it off with Tamil Nadu
Take a detour through winding forest roads and cross the county border to Tamil Nadu to experience a whole different lifestyle just a stone’s throw away from Thekkady. Push through crammed little villages, stop at a roadside temple, walk under(!) a surprisingly well-kept vineyard and see colorfully dressed women doing their laundry at the edge of watery paddy fields.
From cooking to resting to chatting, activities are out in the streets of Tamil Nadu
- Get a few bags of the freshest caffeine kick right from the tiny coffee factory in Kumily road.
- Where else in the world you get spicier spices than Kerala? Do a selection according to your taste at the Responsible Tourism Community Development NHG Society.
Kerala off the beaten track:
- Discover Quilon – Kerala’s hidden gem
- Take an authentic Ayurveda consultation in Trivandrum
- Visit Varkala’s secret beach Where mysterious backwaters join the open sea
- Admire Athirapally waterfalls, the Niagara of India
- See how Munnar reflects fifty shades of green
- Relax in Kovalam – an almost forgotten place by the sea
- Spend the night on Kerala’s waterways
- Try the tastiest fish in banana leaf in always bustling Cochin
- See Cochin on the move
- Or if time is up, race against it in Kerala