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“A good destination for nature lovers”
Review of Thekkady

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Mumbai
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 helpful votes
“A good destination for nature lovers”
Reviewed November 9, 2008

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

Helpful?
Thank knp10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes
“Kerala South India "Gods own Country"”
Reviewed March 10, 2008

South India Kerala Feb 1 ‘08

We recently traveled to Singapore and South India departing Vancouver BC Canada Jan 12 ‘08 and returning Feb 9 '08. We are baby boomers 60 plus rather creature comfort people certainly not trekkers. Our idea of a winter holiday is getting away into the glorious sunshine and out of the grey gloom of Vancouver’s winter. This information covers the Kerala portion of our trip.

Arriving at Kochi (Cochin) Airport at 6pm we were met by a pre-arranged tour guide/guest house proprietor named Meena. I had talked with her on the phone and she had come highly recommended by friends in Goa to show us around Kerala. Meena along with her driver drove us to her beautiful home Villa Prakriti in Kumily just outside of Thekkady.

We arrived late that night after stopping along the way for dinner. The distance was only 135 km but the roads are quite rough through the mountain passes. The next morning Meena prepared a wonderful breakfast with an India flair. We then headed out to a local spice garden “Aroma Spices Garden” fully organic spices and Ayurvedic plants. The gardens are owned and managed by a man named Shaybu M Sebastian also locally known as Baby. He took such pride in showing us his home and gardens, it was a great experience.

Meena and her German husband Bibi were wonderful hosts for the two days we had in their comfortable spacious home. They are an interesting couple Bibi (former antique dealer) a German with sort of a 60s rock star look to him; a very personable and gracious fellow to talk too. Meena is all Indian (Tamil) and has a wealth of knowledge and opinions about her country. Her knowledge, vivacious personality and can do attitude make her exceptional as a tour guide. She also hosts cooking classes and is an established painter. Unfortunately we didn't make time for the other big attraction in Kumily, Thekkady the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Kumarakom, Kerala Feb 3 ‘08

We left Kumily Sunday morning with Meena as our guide and a driver named Binu and headed out for the 4 hour drive to Kumarakom. We traveled through many small towns and mountain passes along the way a fabulous journey through the South Indian country side. Meena had prearranged our accommodations in Kumarakom for 2 nights. We stayed in this jungle paradise beside a small stream our small cottage with a/c and full bathroom facilities was more than comfortable it was paradise. Check it out www.sylvaniaenclave.com We took a small paddle boat complete with operator upstream to a local resort for some our meals. We hired a tour boat and cruised lake Vembanad for 3 hours and marveled at the birds and water plants. We shopped antique, craft stores and visited a local bird sanctuary. As evening crept in the three of us sat on the porch of our cottage listening to the jungle sounds of nature while enjoying a few shots of brandy.

Fort Kochi, Kerala Feb 5 ‘08

Arriving in Fort Kochi we stayed at the Fort Cottages on the water front. The location was part of the busy port city. We had meals over looking the water, very special in the evening the fresh fish was especially good. We shopped in town and the personality of the port city was fun to be part of. We did take in the local culture by attending a classical dance and music concert just down the street from our hotel. Kathakali a traditional art form of Kerala where Kathakali and other dance forms of Kerala are demonstrated in traditional style. www.kathakallcentre.com I marveled at the ancient Chinese fishing nets utilizing wood beams and large rocks to form a balance for raising and lowering the nets into the water.

Kochin Airport, Kerala Feb 7

We headed out early in the morning to catch our 9am flight back to Bangalore. The airport is only 1 hour from Fort Kochi. We said our goodbyes to Meena and our driver Binu and felt sad to be leaving such wonderful helpful people in a beautiful part of India also known as “God’s own Country”. Would I return? Most definitely!

So if you are considering touring the Kerala area make sure to hook up with Meena you won’t be disappointed. Her insight and knowledge of the area made our time with her far more enjoyable than it would have been on our own.

Our costs were: Approximately in US funds

Meena’s Home “VILLA PRAKRITI” www.villa-prakriti.de $40 per night including breakfast.

Kumarakom and Fort Kochi: Approximately $50 per night for four nights accommodation.

Meena’s services as a travel guide for four days including her meals $35 per day

Meena’s accommodation per night $40 for four nights

Car & driver expenses to Meena’s home for two nights then on to Kumarakom, Fort Kochi and then back to the Cochin airport were $300. Having the car and driver available anytime greatly enhanced our travel. We stopped when we wanted for as long as we wanted. We covered approximately 550 km. Driving in India is totally different from the west, not something I would consider. The roads are quite rough making a journey of 150 km almost four hours.

Helpful?
6 Thank BobbyVancouverCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
60 helpful votes
“tacky souvernir shops; there is no there there--except for Spice Village”
Reviewed November 29, 2005

The only reason to go to Thekkady is to go and see animals in the Periyar Reserve. If you are like me, seeing an elephant strolling down the street in India is much better that sighting them through binoculars in the bush. But, chacon a son gout--Thekkady is a pretty tawdry souvenir shop place--but Spice Village has a tasteful shop (where did they get their merchandise?) and the best fish I ever ate in my life.

Helpful?
2 Thank Brett K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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