Due east of Kumarakom and Kottayam, this cool mountain town sits at 3,000 feet above sea level in the Cardamom Hills, midway between Cochin and the temple city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. (This will make a difference in your room, since you don’t need air-conditioning here. Thekkady is the population center nearest the Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of India’s best animal parks for spotting elephants, bisons, wild boar, oxen, deer, and many species of birds. The best viewing period is October through May.
Lake Periyar, its many fingers winding around low-lying hills, is the heart of the 300 square mi sanctuary. Forget exhausting treks or long safaris; here, you lounge in a motor launch as it drifts around bends and comes upon animals drinking at the shores. In dry season. When forest watering holes are empty, leopards and tigers also pad up to the water. A few words of advice: Indian children ( and adults) love to scream and shout at wildlife sightings. On a quiet trip, elephants hardly notice the intrusion, although younger pachyderms will peer at you out of curiosity and then run squealing back to their elders when your boat comes too close. If you’re brave hearted, you can spend a night in a jungle lodge. (If you go on a forest trek, look out for leeches); if you’re less adventurous you can commune with nature from the safety of a moated watchtower. Halt-hour elephant rides are also available.
Driving directions - Cochin to Thekkady
Road Way : 202Km | Aprox. time- 5 hrs