We are just back from a four day trip to Thekkady a small holiday destination in Kerala.
The place easily accessible from Madurai i.e around 125 KM. We took a bus to the place one can hire a car also from Madurai. The going rate for a Indica is around Rs 5 to 6/KM depending how you can negotiate.
Thekady is a small hill town with a very meagre population of about a 25K. The major attraction for us was the elephant rides and the water boat ride in the Periyar lake. The others are Nature walk and spice tours and one major attraction is a Water fall in Tamil Nadu
Elephant rides: The elephant rides are undertaken by private party's. The cost per ride per person ranges from Rs 300 to 350/- for a thirty min ride.It actually is a 20 min ride and a 10 min photo session with the elephant. The mahout who accomapny's is well versed in handling digi cams and handy cams if ur interested in taking photographs on the moving elephant. They also offer elephant shovers i.e the big animal giving you a shower the kids love it. It is advisable to go in the morning for the ride and also if possible book the ride the proevious day.
Periyar Lake Boating: This is a unique experience where in one can see a forest from a lake. There are four rides of two hrs each and the last one of 1 hr 45 min. The rides are 7,9,11,2 and 4. If one is lucky one can see elephants coming to the lake for bathing else one can see Indian bison, deers, bisons, water dogs etc. It is advisable to carry a binoculars if ur going to Thekkady. For the baoting u have a upper deck for Rs 150/- and Rs 75/ for the lower deck. Take the lower deck we could not find any big benefit of paying 100% extra for the upper deck except that it is more crowded.
Nature Walk : This is a walk in the jungle offered by the govt.. but one cannot take children below 12 yrs of age
Spice tours: Take this only if ur interested in knowing the spices of Kerala it is not a shopping of spices. These are prvate farms that is thrown open to public for a hefty fee of Rs 200/- person. The duration of the tour is 0ne Hr ( but gets over in 35 to 40 min)
Dinning; There are lot of restaurants available offering all kinds of varieties at ecenomical rates
The place is good for taking long stawlls and also to jsut relax and unwind from the hectic lves we live in Mumbai.
Local Travel: There are plenty of autos available for one to move around if u dont have a vehicle of ur own the the auto rickshaw fellow also serves as a guide
Water fall in Tamil Nadu
35 KM from Thekkady is a water fall by Name Surli falls. It 14 KM from Cumbum that is the last big district before you enter Kerala. It is easily accessible by road from Thekkady. If ur going from Madurai u might as well take a break there and then move forwards