Thekkady, which is a border town of Kerala & Tamil Nadu is one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala. Thekkady is famous for nature & forest activities, Ayurvedic treatments & massage etc. Boating in the Periyar Lake is the most happening activity in Thekkady. Apart from all those activities in and around Thekkady, if you plan to stay more, you can try to go for short trips to other most popular places near to Thekkady.
Chellarkovil is a small, picturesque village with numerous waterfalls, lush green landscape, and scenic mountain views. The village gradually slopes down to the coconut groves of neighboring Tamil Nadu state. The main attractions here are the Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls and an old cave.
Another destination of interest here is a vast garden of vegetables and fruits with a refreshment stall managed by the Chellarkovil Unit Level Organisation. The ULO is an upcoming community-based outfit which provides services to tourists traveling to Chellarkovil and beyond. The organization provides training for women in food processing, protection to forests, and has plans for afforestation and an effective waste dumping management system. There is a treehouse in the ULO premises which provides a magnificent view of the entire area.
A beautiful hillock lying 2500 ft above the sea level, Panchalimedu is a lovely viewpoint in Idukki and an ideal trekking destination. Legend is that the Pandavas (of the great Indian epic Mahabharata) and their wife Panchali spent a short time here during their exile.
A pond is known as Panchalikulam and an enchanting set of hills are worth visiting here. During the monsoon season, the hills wear a brilliant canopy of green. Panchalimedu is one of the hidden beauty spots of Kerala and is an ideal location for trekking. A good place to stay is the Paradise Plantation Retreat about half a kilometer from here.
Parunthumpara or eagle rock is a vast stretch of rock spotted with lush green grass. It is called Parunthumpara or eagle rock because of a large area around which resembles an eagle. Parunthumpara is one of the fastest growing tourist locations in the region and offers a panoramic view of the high peaks and the valleys. It is a 360-degree view of the entire high ranges. Down the valley, there are deep forests which have tribal settlements and about a dozen waterfalls. Parunthumpara is a trekker’s paradise.
If you are experts, come with ropes and sliders to trek along the trenches to reach the forests down below. If you move further for about three kilometers you will reach the top of the mountain from where you can see deep gorges. Further is Sabarimala, the famous pilgrim center. The road to Parunthumpara is flanked by unending stretches of tea, cardamom, and coffee.
Spread across the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Gavi is a quiet, beautiful and pristine forest haven 3400 ft above sea level. These evergreen forests are abundant with magnificent wildlife including tiger, elephant, leopard, bear, Indian gaur, sambar, barking and mouse deer, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Marten and a lot more.
For the nature explorer, Gavi offers complete acquaintance with the flora in the whole Western Ghats! It is a destination for the bird lover as the forest around Gavi is home to over 320 species of birds including the great Indian hornbill, sunbird, woodpecker, kingfisher, myna, dongo, cuckoo and bulbul.
Gavi eco-tourism is a perfect spot for adventurous travelers which involve a close interaction with nature. Activities like trekking, wildlife watching, bird watching, stay atop tree hut, camping in forests, night safaris through jungle roads, visit paradise Cove at Ninnumulli, walks through spice gardens, visit a cardamom factory and climb a hilltop to view the Sabarimala temple. The trekking course passes through dense patches of forests were even at midday sunlight struggles to penetrate, where elephants roam free and where man meets nature truly in all its majesty and glory.
Comfortable accommodation with full board is available at “Green Mansions,” the forest lodge at the Eco Tourism Centre overlooking the Gavi Lake. A highlight of the Gavi eco project is the involvement of the local populace in its activities as guides, gardeners, and cooks. This provides a livelihood for the locals and also helps to create awareness on the conservation of nature.
More details can be had from the Kerala Forest Development Corporation at Kottayam
Tel: 0091 481 2581204