Leisure cruise on the Periyar
Boat rides are offered by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and the Kerala Forest Department for sightseeing and spotting wildlife around the river. You can opt for a small or a big boat and pay accordingly. The surroundings of the serene river are guaranteed to give you the much needed peace and relaxation. This is a best alternate option to guided walks. If lucky you can also get the chance to see wildlife like Elephants, coming to drink the clear waters of the Periyar River.
These trips lasts for up to 90 minutes and the best time to visit is from October to March. This activity is suited for both families and groups.
Become the jungle guard for a night
For those who love adventure in life, they can opt to become jungle guard for a night with the forest authorities and forest guards accompanying you. The main highlight of this activity is the experience it gives mainly of the need of forest conservation.
This activity is mainly done from 7 pm to 4 am. The hikers are always on alert for any happenings in the forest. They get to know the jungle life first hand. This activity is greatly popular for its unexpectedness, for you never know when you may come across a fierce tiger! This activity is highly recommended for all the tourists who have an adventure bug in their hearts.
Enjoy the bullock cart ride
Take a break from the usual vehicular hustle bustle and travel back in time with a bullock cart ride.
Experience life in the simplest form and get to know the essence of ancient travel means. With this activity you get to go through the rustic village lanes at Thekkady and experience a slice of the village life.
Interact with the locals and get to know the place better. Get the feel of the natural air, the sounds of the wheels of the cart and the slightly bumpy ride and make your holidays a memorable one.
Follow the tiger
Get the golden chance to meet the ‘Kings of the Thekkady Forests’ with the help of the ex-poachers, who are now guides of Periyar National Park.
Their tailor-made Tiger Walks allow groups to venture into the whole forest till sunset. This activity is not only adventurous but is also educational as the need of environment conservation is made known to the tourists.
The group includes 5 visitors, 5 guides and 2 forest officials. Spot a Nilgiri Langur, meet an elephant and encounter the tiger and feel like a huntsman for a day! Do make sure not to miss this golden opportunity when in Thekkady.
Go range hiking from dawn to dusk
Have a day full of enjoyment from sunrise to sunset with the hiking and rafting programs of the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
One can come across the exotic species like Gaur, Elephants, Sloth Bear and many more.
These treks would take you to altitudes varying from 8000 meters to 1500 meters.
The hike would begin by 8 am in the morning. The trip includes 10 visitors and it is mandatory to take two guides and an armed forest guard. This activity is guaranteed to give you memories lasting a lifetime.
Visit the town of tea factories
The Vandiperiyar town near the Periyar River of Thekkady nurtures the famous plantations of tea.
Today the place has become a major trade center with a number of tea processing factories. The tourists get the chance to learn more about the tea making process.
They can get the chance to see the tea leaves plucking to the other processes and the final production. They also get the chance to taste the various flavours of the tea. Added to this the Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Gardens with a vast rose, orchids and anthuriam plantations, add to the beauty of the place. This place is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from Kottayam.
Learn about Kerala spice plantation
The fertile land of Kerala has an abundance of tea, coffee and spice plantation of various sizes. Thekkady is especially known for its cardamom, pepper, vanilla etc.
Other than seeing these crops, also get to learn about how it is cultivated, maintained and reaped.
Thekkady is also famous for its rubber plantations and hence also get to learn how to make natural rubber from latex oozing out of rubber trees. The history of spices in Kerala dates back to the ancient history. Kerala can be dubbed as one of the spice capitals in the world. Get to mingle with the local farmers and get to know more about the spices. You will also get to buy these spices and tea from the local shops.
Shop for spices
Thekkady is known for its large variety of tea, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and many more such flavorful spices.
There are number of shops selling organic garden fresh spices in this region at reasonable rates.These shops at the local market are indeed a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Along with this you can also get to get a little knowledge of the spices here on asking the local sellers and farmers.
Take back as much as you can; also choose small packets that can be used as souvenirs
Ride the majestic elephant
Elephant rides are very common and popular in Thekkady. They are available not only in the Periyar Tiger Reserve but also in the various spice, coffee and tea plantation compounds.
These rides bring in a touch of nostalgia as it takes one back to the olden ages of the kings. A large howdah is kept on top of the elephant and it is on this that the tourists sit. This howdah has the protection of an overhead umbrella and is accompanied by a trained guide. Usually this activity extends over to a period of 30 minutes and is an unusual experience. The tourists are taken through the amazing picturesque locations.
Be one with nature
Being surrounded by the beautiful cardamom hills and spice plantations, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady is a must visit place. Among the many programs arranged at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the Nature Walk is a trail that takes one through dense deciduous forests and swampy grasslands. A local tribal guide will accompany a group of 5 persons and venture into a perfect exploration.
These walks usually span over a time period of 3 hours, that is from 7 am to 10:30 pm and also from 2 pm. Get the chance to experience the nature as it is and also if lucky you also get to see the various species of wildlife like the Elephants, Wild Pigs, Malabar Flying Squirrel and many more such exotic animals.