A haven for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, Thekkady is usually a short stay for most tourists in Kerala. However, even during this short stay, you will be spoilt for choices. There is a wide range of activities and things to do in Thekkady that offer great fun for couples, families, and kids.
Besides trekking and mountain walks, a boat ride in the Periyar Lake and a safari in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary are popular activities. You can even catch the famous boat races, which are just as popular as the boat races of Alappuzha. Covering so many exciting activities may not possible if your travel agent gives you only a day at Thekkady. Based on your interest, you can set your priority of the best things to do in Thekkady.
1. Thekkady Boating Tours
Boating in the Periyar Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Thekkady. The lake, which lies at the heart of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, is the place where animals of the sanctuary can be seen bathing, drinking, resting, or searching for food. The lucky ones may even spot elephants playing with their babies. The two-hour boat service is provided 5 times daily by KTDC and the forest department.
Timings: 7 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm
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2. Bamboo Rafting & Hiking in Thekkady
Akin to the boating tours, the bamboo rafting programme takes place in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. What makes it different is that it takes you through the richest forest tracts of the dense forest. The tour begins with a hike into the forest where one can spot several species of animals and birds. It is followed by three hours of ride on bamboo rafts. Among the major adventure activities in Thekkady, the bamboo rafting tour caters to 10 tourists at a time. An armed guard and 4 guides accompany each group.
Timings: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; daily
3. Border Hiking
Border hiking is another one among the best things to do in Thekkady. Daily two groups of 10 hikers each are taken through long wildlife conservation treks. Each group is accompanied by 2 guides and an armed forest guard. Trekking to altitudes of 900 m – 1300 m, the trekkers can glimpse the lofty slopes bordering the park and the vast plains. The hikers can spot several species of birds and animals during their trek.
Timings: 8:00 am – Late evenings; daily
4. Jungle Night Patrol
Jungle Night Patrol is one of the popular activities in Thekkady that people opt for, provided they are aware of it. As a part of the patrol, you go for a late night walk inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Each night, a maximum of two teams of 5 – 8 patrollers are allowed. Each team is accompanied by 2 guides and an armed forest guard.
Timings: 10:00 pm – 4:00 am; daily
5. Nature Walks in Thekkady
Nature Walking through the diverse habitats is next on our list of things to do in Thekkady. The daily guided nature treks are 4 km – 5 km and offer excellent opportunities to explore the flora and fauna – birds, butterflies, animal species, and more. A maximum of 5 persons and an additional tribal guide can be a part of one group.
Timings: 7:00 am – 10:00 am, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm; daily
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6. Tribal Walks
The Tribal Heritage Walk is another unique activity and obviously very few people want to try it. For most Indian tourists, it is least preferred among the gamut of things to do in Thekkady. The programme involves trekking through a tribal village in the vicinity of Periyar Tiger Park accompanied by a tribal guide. Though the key attraction is the tribal heritage museum that features artifacts related to ancient agricultural practices, marriage ceremonies, cultural events, rituals, and ceremonies. One will find on display fishing gear, hunting weaponry, bamboo furniture, indigenous medicines, and more.
Timings: 8:00 am – 10:00 am, 10:00 am – 12 noon, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm; daily
7. Spice Plantations and Elephant Rides in Periyar Tiger Park
One Hour with Elephant is a pilot programme offered by the Periyar Tiger Park and spice plantations in Thekkady. One of the most popular activities in Thekkady, the programme includes elephant rides, elephant bath, photo sessions, elephant shower, and elephant feeding.
Timings: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; 30 minutes for each ride; daily
8. Jeep Safari in Thekkady
A popular off-the-track activity in Thekkady, the Jeep Safari to Gavi covers the dense forests, waterfalls, spice plantations, and green vegetation. For those who do not wish to explore the beauty of the quaint lands, jeep safari is a perfect substitute to hiking tours.
Timings: 6:00 am – 5:00 pm; daily
9. Follow The Tiger with ex-poachers
The uniqueness of the ‘Follow the Tiger’ programme has made it one of the popular things to do in Thekkady. The ex-poachers of Periyar National Park share their experience and organize guided tours that involve following the trails of Nilgiri Langurs, elephants, and even tigers.
10. Thekkady Sightseeing Tours
The sightseeing tours in Thekkady offer a chance to explore the quaint hill towns, hill slopes, spice and tea plantations, and wildlife sanctuaries. The Periyar Lake and Tiger Park, the temple of Mangla Devi, the waterfalls at Chellarkovil, and various spice plantations are some of the popular places to visit in Thekkady.
So which of these activities in Thekkady do you plan to do on your next trip to the wildlife haven?
Further Read: The Ultimate Guide to Top Tourist Places in Kerala
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