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    Thekkady Tourist Attractions

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    The rich tropical forests of Kerala are home to endless varieties of wildlife. No travel itinerary of Kerala is complete without a visit to the state’s wildlife sanctuaries. Thekkady, nestled in the lush and rough terrains of Kerala’s jungle district Idukki tops the list. The Periyar Tiger Reserve and National Park at Thekkady, 192 kilometres south east of Kochi, is one among the 18 Project Tiger Reserves in the country and one of the most fascinating and famous tourist spots in India. The artificial lake that runs across the dense evergreen forests offers a boating experience perhaps unmatched by anything in the country as it enables one to observe wild animals especially elephants at close quarters. The sanctuary is also home to sloth bears, sambar deer, wild boar, flying squirrels and the lion-tailed macaque, another species battling extinction.

    Thekkady is the habitat of another endangered predator – the Otter – making the place endearing for the real hard-core wildlife enthusiasts. For the more daring, there are elephant rides, safe, high-octane, nevertheless. Trekking trails are aplenty in the dense jungles all around. Thekkady is also famous for its spice plantations. The Mangaladevi Temple, inside the Periyar sanctuary, at a height of 1337 metres above sea level was long ago part of a large fortress built to keep Tamil invaders away. Vandanmedu and Vandiperiyar, both within 25 kilmetre radius from Kumily, the nearest town, are quiet, laid-back plantation hillsides, ideal for a day trip from Thekkady. For a touch of thrill, head for Pullumedu aka Uppupara, an undulating grassland bordering the Periyar, which are accessible through tricky trails by jeep or by a long trek from Vandiperiyar. Since Thekkady has been a tourist destination for decades, it abounds in tourist facilities, hotels and resorts, including some niche, exotic ones built around the spice theme, that cater to all categories of holidayers. Magical in its richness and mysterious in its denseness, Thekkadyis one place you would not want to miss.

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