Synonymous with elephants, misty hills and plantations, Thekkady in Idukki District captures the essence of all that is wild and wonderful. The most prestigious region on the high ranges of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located on the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady. Sprawled majestically across 777 sq km, Periyar Sanctuary, declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger Scheme, attracts travellers from all over.
An environmental hotspot, Periyar Sanctuary is noted for its geomorphology, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscape. Encompassing a 26 sq km artificial lake, the rich jungles of Periyar is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. The lake which serves as a watering hole for the animals during summer, harbours within itself a unique aquatic ecosystem. A cruise along it is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the Reserve. Exciting trekking trails and other adventure activities like tracking the tiger, jungle patrolling etc. await the tourists at this enchanting Sanctuary.
Ecotourism Activities
      Evergreen, grassland and moist deciduous forests are found here with various species of flora in each type of forestland. The Periyar Reserve shelters over 1800 flowering plants including 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids. The only South Indian conifer, Podocarpus wallichiana grows here. A host of ecotourism activities have been developed for nature lovers in this unique spot.
Nature Walk 
(7 am to 10.30 am, 2 pm to 5 pm)
This involves trekking through select nature trails accompanied by trained tribal trackers cum guides. A three-hour interpretative programme, it takes one through interspersed evergreen and moist deciduous forests, providing incredible opportunities for close observation of birds, butterflies and wildlife.
Tiger Trail
This is a protection-oriented trekking and camping activity with reformed poachers as tourist guides. The most significant aspect of this package is the focus on prevention and detection of illicit activities within the forest. There are two programmes organised twice a week that visitors can choose from.
a) One night and two days; max. 5 persons in a group; reporting time: 9 am.
b) Two nights and three days; max. 5 persons in a group; reporting time: 9 am.
Border Hiking 
(8 am to 5 pm)
A conservation-oriented, hard trek along the boundary of the Tiger Reserve gives you a glimpse of the rich flora and fauna. Two guides and an armed forest guard accompany trekkers on this full-day programme that accommodates minimum 2 persons to maximum 10 persons in two groups each.
Bamboo Grove
Typical tribal huts, tents and tree houses made exclusively of natural materials and located in a vast bamboo grove in the middle of Anavachal, functions as eco-lodges for visitors. There is also a thatched seminar hall where nature lovers can avail of experiential learning and nature sensitization camps conducted by the forest department.
Bamboo Rafting 
(8 am to 5 pm)
The programme involves dawn to dusk trekking and rafting across some of the most luxuriant forest tracts of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Package involves two hours of trekking, one and a half hours of rafting and then, after a lunch break, a journey back in the same manner. An armed guard and four guides accompany a maximum of 10 persons for this full-day programme.
Jungle Camp
Apart from camping in tents located on the banks of Periyar River at Vallakkadavu inside the Reserve, the package includes optional activities like visits to the Vanchivayal tribal colony and the historical Mullaperiyar Dam, trekking in the forests, tea factory and spice garden visits, vehicle safari, rafting, boating in the Periyar Lake, boating/angling at Vallakkadavu etc. Two to maximum thirty persons can partake in this camp.
Jungle Patrol 
(7 pm to 10 pm, 10 pm to 1 am, 1 am to 4 pm)
Visitors will be accompanied by two watchers and armed forest guards in this night patrolling programme which also helps the forest department in protecting the Reserve. Only upto 24 persons - ie, 4 persons each in two groups on three time slots - will be allowed per day.

Night Camping
(4 pm to 7 am)

Trek for an hour from the forest check post and camp at the jungle inn at Kokkara. Visitors can watch the jungle come alive with avian splendour and at night, experience its silence. They'll also be treated to the enchanting sight of wild animals roaming in the nearby grasslands.

Bullock Cart Discoveries
(6 am and 2.30 pm)

Visit to the farmlands of a tiny hamlet beyond the mountains of Periyar where guides enlighten tourists on the different traditional ways of farming. An optional coracle ride is also included in the package. This three-hour package will have minimum 2 persons and maximum 9 persons.

Tribal Heritage
(8 am to 12 am, 2 pm to 4 pm)

Visit to the tribal heritage museum inside the Mannan settlement that showcases various attractions of the tribal culture. The tour also involves a trek through the tribal hamlet within the periphery of the Reserve, accompanied by a tribal guide.
In and Around
Peermedu, 39 km from Periyar is a scenic hill town covered with aromatic spice gardens including coffee and vanilla as well as tea, rubber and various other crops.
Thekkady has a wide range of options including a stay atop the watchtower to stays at motels and luxury resorts like the Muthoot Cardamom County, Shalimar Spice Garden, Jungle Village etc. There are also a few retreats set right inside the Reserve - Bamboo Grove Lodge, Taj Garden Retreat and the Spice Village. Tented accommodation is also available at Vallakkadavu, run by the eco-development committee of the Reserve.
Location: Situated on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Periyar Tiger Reserve is about 4 km from Kumily town.
Altitude: 900 to 2,019 m above sea level
Timing: 6 am to 6 pm
Air: The entry point to the Reserve is Thekkady, which is accessible by road from the airports of Madurai (145 km),
Kochi (190 km) and Thiruvananthapuram (272 km).
Rail: The nearest railhead is Kottayam (114 km).
Road: Thekkady is just 5 km from Kumily on NH 220. Kumily's KSRTC Bus Stand has regular connections with all the major cities in Kerala. Thekkady is on SH 19, connecting Munnar to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
For enquiries and bookings, contact:
Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady Ph: 04869-222027
Periyar Ecotourism Centre Ph: 04869 - 224571
District Tourist Promotion Council, Idukki Ph: 04869-222620

       Thenmala (തെന്‍മല ) ,is a tourist place near Punalur town, Kollam district in Kerala. Thenmala is the first planned eco-tourism destination in India. The Thenmala dam was built across Kallada River. Thenmala is famous for being the shooting location in Malayalam and Tamil movies. Thenmala attracts foreign and domestic tourists with a host of attractions. Boating on the lake, a rope bridge, trekking, mountaineering, biking and a musical fountain. Thenmala is approachable both from Trivandrum and Punalur by road. The waterfall called Palaruvi is a prime attraction nearby. Also nearby is a deer rehabilitation center where visitors can see deer in a forest setting and have a peep into a traditional tree house used by forest dwellers to escape harm from wild animals. Other places near Thenmala are Kulathupuzha, Anchal, Punalur, Kamukumchery and Shenkottah in Tirunelveli district(Tamil Nadu). Themala is 72 km from Thiruvanathapuram and 16 km from Palaruvi Falls. Once much sought-after for its honey believed to have medicinal properties,thenmala is today home to India's first planned eco-tourism project. The nerve-centre of a chain of ten satellite eco-tourism destinations scattered across the hill ranges of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts, Thenmala is spread over acres of evergreen forest.
       A natural habitat of diverse flora and fauna, this unique eco-tourism habitat lies 500 m above sea level. The rugged terrain of this land harbouring a fragile ecosystem packs plenty of adventure activities. Nature trails dotted with delightful waterfalls and enchanting picnic spots attract naturalists, conservationists and adventure seekers. With its forests, rubber estates and tea plantations, Thenmala provides the perfect background for leisure activities.
Ecotourism Activities
    The principles of zoning in ecotourism have been adopted here to create various zones, featuring specific familiarisation activities for nature enthusiasts. The Thenmala Ecotourism Facilitation Centre has enough activities to entertain both adults and children.
Culture Zone
  • Amphitheatre - For local art forms and other cultural performances.
  • Shop Court - Managed by local women self-help groups for selling local forest products, souvenirs, local handicrafts etc.
  • Musical Dancing Fountain - A rhythmic ballet of water, sound and light in a natural ambience.
Adventure Zone 
(9 am to 5.30 pm on all days)
  • Nature Trail - Winding trail through various elevations in the zone.
  • Canopy Walkway - Elevated path through a canopy of trees that helps explore the ecosystem and the level changes of the area.
  • Lotus Pond - A water body that exhibits various forms of aquatic plants.
  • Mountain Biking - A 2 m wide, 1000 m long bike path facilitates mountain biking with various levels of difficulty.
  • Recreational Rock Climbing & Rappelling - Rocks of different heights and sizes are equipped with pegs and ropes to facilitate rock climbing and rappelling.
  • River Crossing - Ropes are tied at a height across the river for adventurous river crossing activities.
  • Hill Thrills - Valley crossing, spider net, shot range, trust fall, pedal boating etc.
  • Resting Points - Quiet spots in the wilderness to take a break.
Leisure Zone 
(8.30 am to 6.30 pm)
  • Pathways - Winding trails leading tourists to various sites.
  • Boardwalk - 250 m riverfront built of wooden planks that gives the visitor a close view of the stream below.
  • Sway Bridge - An unsupported bridge, made of wooden planks and hung from ropes across the river.
  • Sculpture Garden - Based on the theme 'Man and Nature', this garden depicts the relationship between the two in the serene backdrop of the forest.
  • Resting Points - Quiet spots in the wilderness to take a break.
  • Deep Woods - Soft trekking and biking programme to explore the two patches of Niptica swamp forest (2 to 4 hrs).
  • Boating at the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary: Battery-operated vehicles to the boat landing from where begins an exciting boat cruise. Watch wildlife at close quarters and be prepared for surprises.
Deer Rehabilitation Centre
      An opportunity to befriend a deer and understand their delicate ecosystem. The deer that stray out from the forest are rehabilitated here. Spotted deer and the sambar are the main inhabitants. The Centre also has a children's eco-park with treetop huts, swings etc.
Other Attractions
    One to three-day guided trekking tours and bird watching trails in the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.

Bird Watching Trail: Two-day programme in the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pilgrimage Tourism:
    An eco-pilgrimage connecting the three surrounding Ayyappa shrines at Kulathupuzha, Aryankavu and Achankovil can also be arranged from Thenmala.Environment Education Centre: 
     This Centre facilitates various activities inside the forest area, using the potential features of the site to educate the visitors.
One-day Ecotourism at Palaruvi:
     The eco-trip to the 300 ft waterfall is managed by the local community.
Ecotourism programmes are also available at the ten satellite spots that fall under a 50 km radius of Thenmala.
In and AroundHanging Bridge, Punalur (22 km) is en route to Thenmala from Kottarakkara. Achankovil is one of the major temples of Lord Ayyappa and along the way lies the Manalar Falls, a tiny strip of cascading water that is usually visible only after the rains. A little further is the Kumbavurutty Falls, to get to which you need to trek for half a kilometre. This is a nature interaction centre and it even has tree houses for children.
    Tented and dormitory accommodation by Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society, Green Valley and the Lake View Ayurvedic Resort offers excellent accommodation facilities.
Altitude 1,640 ft above sea level.
Snuggled in the foothills of the Western Ghats in east Kollam District, adjacent to the Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary, Thenmala is 72 km north of Thiruvananthapuram. A short distance from Courtallam Falls in Tamil Nadu, this ecotourism destination lies on the northernmost end of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
Air: The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 80 km away.
Rail: Thenmala runs on metre gauge. The nearest broad gauge station is Kollam, about 66 km away.
Road: Equidistant from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, Thenmala is a two-hour drive from both cities. There are regular buses from Kollam, Kottarakkara and Punalur.
For enquiries and bookings, contact:
Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society, Ph: 0475-2344800, 0471-2329770 
District Tourist Promotion Council Office, Kollam, Ph: 0474-2750170

    Thommankuthu (തൊമ്മന്‍കുത്ത്) is a very scenic waterfall near Thodupuzha, in the southern state of Kerala, India and is named after the great hunter, Mr. Thommachen Kuruvinakunnel, who let the world know of this beautiful waterfall in the jungle in the late 1920s. Thommachen also played a big part in the discovery of the site for the Idukki Dam. This panchayat, belonging to Thodupuzha Thaluk in Idukki District, is one of the major eco-tourism centres in Kerala. A song of the Malayalam movie Chattakaari was shot here. falls is about 20 km from Thodupuzha in Idukki district, and 74 km from Kochi, the mesmerizing Thommankuthu or Ezhunilakuthu is a series of 12 falls spread over a distance of 5 km. The seven-step falls are surrounded by a number of mysterious caves. At each step, there is a cascade and a pool beneath. Falling from a height of 1,500 m, the difference between the first and last fall is about 500 m. Named after Thomban, a tribal leader who was washed away near the waterfall while crossing a river, Thommankuthu is in the Kaliyar Forest Range. The wild beauty of the scenic waterfall and the pristine surroundings attract hordes of tourists.
      If you are a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Thommankuthu is just the right place in Kerala. this site draws the attention of several tourists. The exhilarating beauty of Thommankuthu waterfalls captures the heart and soul of every traveler. Thommankuthu waterfall is a beautiful seven-step waterfall offering salubrious weather. Amidst verdure foliage, this shimmering waterfall is a perfect place to spend time in the lap of nature. Thommankuthu waterfall tours will allow tourist to savor the wild beauty of forest and stream. Tours to Thommankuthu Waterfalls in Kerala with Kerala Travel Tourism truly has something for everyone. If you are looking for an adventurous vacation, Thommankuthu waterfall tours offer all the adventure you can handle. This exotic place is congenial for trekking or mountain climbing. Tourists looking for adventure can trek the mountain, which is around 12 km of climbing. Since there are no accommodation facilities available at this site, tourists can enjoy only one-day tours. Tourists can also enjoy boating on the lake. Fishing and horse riding are other options available in this pleasant valley. If you are interested in visiting this amazing Kerala highlight, you can board a bus from Thodupuzha, 18 km from Thommankuthu. For lodging, there are many hotels, rest houses and restaurants at Thadupuzha. The nearest railway station is Nedumbassery Airport, which is 80km away. The nearest railway stations are at a distance of 60 km away at Kochi and Kottayam.
Ecotourism Activities
   The best way to enjoy this much-loved picnic spot is to undertake a 12 km trek that will take visitors to the top of the mountain. The less adventurous can have an equally good time frolicking in the shallow pools below. Trekking, night camping, boating and bird watching are some of the major recreations here.

How To Get There: 
Lot of private buses direct to thommankuthu are available from Thodupuzha. the water falls located 2km away from thommankuthu town. autorickshaws are available from there.

Situated in Idukki District, Thommankuthu is 17 km from Thodupuzha and 74 km from Kochi.
Altitude: 810 m above sea level.
DistanceAir: 70 km from Cochin International Airport (via Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha).
Rail: 70 km from Aluva Station near Ernakulam (via Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha).
Road: KSRTC Bus Station is 20 km from Thodupuzha.

For enquiries and bookings, contact:
District Tourism Promotion Council Office, Idukki Ph: 0486-2232248
Divisional Forest Office, Kothamangalam Ph: 0485-2822317

   A variety of accommodation options are available in and around the city of Thodupuzha.