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Thrilling Things to do in Thekkady – a Weekend Itinerary

Close your eyes for a minute and think of a sparkling lake with the Western Ghats in its backdrop, elephants thronging to the banks to drink water, antelopes grazing around, exotic avian sitting on the dry branches peeking from the waters. Think of a tiger spotting safari at night, nature-walk in the morning and bamboo rafting at noon. There, you just saw Thekkady in your mind’s eye. Not satisfied with the sneak-peek? Let me tell you more about the things to do in Thekkady on a 2 days trip. Ofcourse, the more the merrier when it comes to the number of days you need to spend in this paradise. But let me give you the best Thekkady itinerary for a weekend getaway.

Thekkady is located in Idukki, the most beautiful district of Kerala. Did you know that the famous Sabarimala Temple (yes that one that broke into national news) is located at a hill-top in Periyar forest? In fact the trek to Sabarimala on foot begins from a temple here. It is one of the biggest Hindu pilgrimage and has a great deal restrictions on all those who want to visit it. On that note, let’s begin the tour.


Periyar Tiger Reserve

The first thing you need to do as soon as you reach Thekkady is to head to the Periyar National Park, also called the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Most of your trip activities in your Thekkady trip will be centered around here, so go to the reception and get your brochure. The forest department will give you the timing of various activities that they organize for tourists. These include jeep safari to the tea and spice plantations as well as a notable temple, nature-walks, lake cruise and even night safari deep inside the jungle.

Night Safari

Few decades back poachers came to the forests regularly to hunt wild animals for money. But not any more. In fact most of them have got rehabilitated. The administration has employed them as guides. They can sense the beasts, know how to follow the silence and the sound , and how to find the elusive carnivores of Periyar forests.

Sambars grazing near the Periyar Lake (c) Backpack & Explore

Periyar lake cruise

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This is the most touristy thing to do here, but it’s worth it. You may have to queue up for your turn in the weekends but throughout your waiting time you will be accompanied by monkeys. Not just monkeys, you will find several exotic varieties of primates like lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, Hanuman monkey and Nilgiri Langur.

Bamboo Rafting in Thekkady

Besides the big boat cruises you can also opt for bamboo rafting in the river or speedboats in the lake.

Plantation tours

Wake up early in the morning and go for a nature walk. Club that with a jeep safari to the tea plantation at higher altitudes. The jeep safari will also include a trip to Ottakathalamedu. This is a tall tower at the hill-top from where Kerala Police observes the forests for illegal activities. You can see the famed Mangaladevi temple from here.

Shopping and cultural evenings at Kumily

If you visit Thekkady, Kumily is the place you are likely to stay. You can stay in a jungle resort in the Periyar reserve too, and that will be awesome. But Kumily is where most of the hotels are. This is also where you can find the markets. The best thing to buy here are the spices which are locally produced and procured. Besides that you can also buy Kerala cotton sarees. The ones you find here are much cheaper than places outside Kerala and have a superior quality.

Representative Photo from Pixabay

Other than that you can attend a cultural evening of dance and music at Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. Here you can see artists perform Kathakali, one of the eight classical dance forms in India. You can also watch Kalari, which is an age-old martial arts form originating from Kerala. Your Rs.200 entry fee will be totally worth it.

On a leisurely walk you can find various restaurants, cute cafes and beautiful churches. Unity in diversity shines in this small place.

Trek to Spring Valley Mountain

Known locally as Kurisumala, Spring Valley Mountain is a hillock which overlooks the Periyar National Park. It is an amazing vantage point which offers one with enchanting panoramic views.

Visit the Mangala Devi Temple

This temple is more than a thousand years old. Seeped in history and folklore, this shrine is a must-visit place. It’s in a ruined state now, but the ruins and the hilly surrounding is what lends an unique charm to this place.

If you stay here for longer than a couple of days (which you definitely should), here are some day trips I recommend for you.

  • An excursion to Ramakkalmedu
  • A trip to Chinnakanal (near Munnar in Kerala)
  • Day trip to Gavi – an eco-toursm spot. Mangala Devi Temple is actually located close to Gavi
  • Trip to Vagamon 
  • Trip to Kodaikanal and stay over for a night or two there

Yeah, there ends my virtual tour. If you want to see more, visit Thekkady after the lockdown is lifted. It’s the perfect getaway for families as well as adventure-enthusiasts.

Yours truly,


Blogger’s Notes:

This is an introduction to the photographer’s paradise – Thekkady. We visited the place in February 2019. Unfortunately I dropped my hard disk and lost all data including photos from our trip. Thankfully some of them were saved on online platforms, so I could use them here. This post is a part of the series “Postcards from India”, written for A2Z Blogging Challenge by Blogchatter for April 2020. I am writing about offbeat destinations in India, which you can visit once the lockdown is over. 

Sinjana Ghosh

Sinjana Ghosh is a full-time business professional with a penchant for writing and travel planning. Backpack & Explore is a journal of her travel stories and tips she collected from her experience. She is the author of the travel book “Postcards from India” which is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com

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  1. Jyoti Jha April 23, 2020

    This seems so much fun and exciting! Would so love to explore this place some day. Thank you for sharing the information about this lovely place. Loved the beautiful pictures.

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 23, 2020

      Thanks Jyoti! Glad you like it.

  2. Swarnali Nath April 23, 2020

    I had read about Thekkady in a story book earlier. I imagined a lake and lavish greenery then. Today I am awestruck to see the heavenly greenery of Thekkady. Beautiful indeed!

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 23, 2020

      Thanks Swarnali for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Jayanthi April 23, 2020

    We visited Thekkady in 2019 and took the boat ride. We couldn’t catch up on the other attractions but hope to some day! 🙂

  4. Durga Prasad Dash April 23, 2020

    I have missed this place. Will try after the world becomes normal.

  5. Noor Anand Chawla April 23, 2020

    I only knew about Thekaddy as a Tiger Reserve. I didn’t know there was so much else one could do there!

  6. Sonia Chatterjee April 23, 2020

    Yaay, I was hoping it would be Thekkady today. We visited Munnar, Thekkady, Periyar in a single trip though we had already visited Munnar once during our honeymoon. My laptop has crashed day before yesterday but once it starts working, I will revisit N the mutiple Kerala trips for the much-needed dose of nostalgia.

  7. Sonia Dogra April 23, 2020

    What a visual treat! I visited Kerala some years ago but missed this part. I guess the north and the south are different so…

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 23, 2020

      Thanks Sonia. Kerala is indeed a gem.

  8. Shubhra Rastogi April 23, 2020

    This is another beautiful place.

  9. Pradeep April 26, 2020

    I went to Thekkadi many many years ago. A beautiful place!

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 26, 2020

      Thanks Pradeep for stopping by.

  10. Madhu April 29, 2020

    Thekkady is really beautiful. We visited it years back and I cannot wait to go back again. Beautiful pictures.

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 29, 2020

      Thanks a lot ma’am

  11. Anjalie Sharma April 30, 2020

    What a wonderful place it is. Beautiful pictures and description. I visited last year and wrote T for Thekkady too 🙂

    1. Sinjana Ghosh April 30, 2020

      O that’s a lovely coincidence

  12. MacKenzie August 22, 2020

    I’d LOVE to visit the National Park! I’m so so sorry you lost all your photos but very glad we got to see these few that were saved.

    1. Sinjana Ghosh September 8, 2020

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. Yeah, thank God I had these

  13. ANUKRATI DOSI May 15, 2021

    Thekkady has always been amongst my list of top places to visit in India. Thanks for sharing this post.

  14. mohana and aninda May 15, 2021

    We were planning a trip to Kerala when Covid hit 🙁 Thekady looks lovely…it’d be lovely to join a boat cruise and see a Kathakali performance.

  15. Alison May 16, 2021

    This looks so magical. I’ve been to India 4 times, but not to Kerala, and I’ve heard such good things about it! When the world opens up again I’ll go. I hope your are safe. I know it’s pretty rough in India at the moment. Also I’ve pinned and tweeted for you.


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