Top 15 places to visit in Thekkady – Adventure, Cultural & Sightseeing

Visiting Thekkady? Get ready for adventure, culture, and amazing sights! This beautiful hill station in Kerala isn’t just about nature. We’ve got 15 top picks for you, whether you love animals, history, or just relaxing. So pick your favorites and get planning your trip to Thekkady!

Updated 2 May 2024

6 mins read


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Boat cruising in Periyar lake
Boating in Periyar lake

Periyar Lake offers scenic boat cruises that are a great way to experience the lake’s beauty and wildlife. The cruises last for 1.5 hours and provide opportunities to spot various animals in their natural habitat. Commonly sighted animals include elephant herds, sambar deer, wild boar, and Indian gaur.

⬖ Secure your Periyar boat tour in advance! Online booking (KTDC or Periyar Tiger Reserve websites) is recommended due to limited on-site availability.

Local tip

Book well in advance as Boating is the most sought after activity in Thekkady.

Bamboo rafting

An eco-friendly and distinctive way to discover the Periyar Tiger Reserve is by bamboo rafting. There are half-day and full-day alternatives for this excursion, which combines hiking and rafting. This enables encounters with wildlife and a full absorption in the region’s varied flora and fauna. Recall that the half-day and full-day bamboo rafting tours offered by Periyar have different starting points.

⬖ You can secure your Bamboo rafting tickets from the Periyar Tiger Reserve official website.

Local tip

Bring just the essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle & a hat as hiking heavy can be cumbersome.

Trekking in Periyar

The Periyar Tiger Reserve has treks for everyone. Explore diverse landscapes on trails led by expert guides. Whether you want a short hike or a multi-day adventure deep in the forest, spot incredible wildlife and beautiful plants along the way.

Short Hikes: Nature walk & Green walk
Multi-day: Periyar Tiger Trail – 1 Night & 2 Nights

⬖ You can secure your Hiking tickets from the Periyar Tiger Reserve official website.

Local tip

The mornings are cooler and offer the best chance of spotting wildlife before they retreat from the midday sun.

Sathram Jeep Safari

Sathram, meaning “resting place” in Malayalam, offers stunning views between Vandiperiyar and Gavi. The uneven terrain and diverse wildlife within the Periyar Tiger Reserve make it ideal for off-road jeep safaris with breathtaking viewpoints. If you are lucky enough, you can spot elephants & Indian Gaurs grazing through the meadows & drinking from the streams. 

⬖ Avadale can help you book a Sathram Jeep Safari with a trusted local partner.

Local tip

Binoculars will come in handy for spotting wildlife from a distance.

Elephant Camp

Elephant Junction encourages visitors to spend as much time as they can getting to know those lovely animals during their stay because they believe that direct contact between the elephants and humans is beneficial to all. Elephant junction offers a range of programs like Elephant Ride, Elephant Bathing & Timber Hauling.  A host will accompany you explaining the lifestyle of an average elephant.

⬖ You can secure your Elephant junction tickets from their website.

Local tip

Be sure to pack spare clothes & towel if opting for Elephant bathing.



Witness the magic of Kathakali in Thekkady! This vibrant dance-drama unfolds through expressive movements, symbolic makeup, and colorful costumes. Accompanied by rhythmic drumming and captivating music, Kathakali brings Kerala’s myths and legends to life.

⬖ You can witness this at Kadathanadan Kalari & Navarasa Katakali centre and book tickets from the official website.

Local tip

Don’t forget to stick around after the show! The performers would love to take photos with you.


In Thekkady, see the cool moves of Kalaripayattu! This old fighting style from Kerala comes to life with drums beating. Watch performers twist and turn, showing amazing skills with sticks, swords, and even daggers! They act out a fight in a fast and exciting way. It’s a fun show that shows Kerala’s brave history!

⬖ You can witness this at Kadathanadan Kalari & Navarasa Katakali centre and book tickets from the official website.

Local tip

After the Kalaripayattu performance, try to chat with the performers. They are often passionate about sharing their knowledge & might even give you a quick demo of some basic moves!


Mlamla Waterfall

Mlamala Waterfalls, a scenic wonder 19 kilometers from Thekkady, Kerala, offers a refreshing escape for nature enthusiasts. A moderate trek through a natural trail leads to the 60-meter cascade, where visitors can soak in the beauty of the cascading water and lush surroundings. The pool at the base allows for swimming in safe conditions, making it a perfect spot to cool down and reconnect with nature.

⬖ Avadale can help you book a drive to Mlamla waterfall with a trusted local partner.

Local tip

To avoid crowds, aim to reach early in the morning.


Paruthumpara, offers stunning eagle-eye views of lush forests from its 3800-foot peak. Reach the top via a scenic but challenging climb on a narrow road. This offbeat destination, featured in Malayalam films like Nazrani and Bramaram, boasts unique rock formations, including one resembling poet Rabindranath Tagore.

⬖ Avadale can help you book a drive to Parunthumpara with a trusted local partner.

Local tip

 Parunthumpara can get misty and visibility can be reduced, especially during the winter months. Check the weather forecast before you go to avoid disappointment.

Chellarcovil Viewpoint & Waterfall

While the viewpoint itself steals the show, Chellarkovil has another gem – the Aruvikuzhi Waterfall. This cascading waterfall is especially mesmerizing during the monsoon season (typically June to September) when the landscape is lush and the falls are at their fullest.

⬖ Avadale can help you book a drive to Chellarcovil with a trusted local partner.

Local tip

Bring binoculars: Birdwatching enthusiasts can use binoculars to spot a variety of birds soaring through the hills.

Abraham’s Spice Garden

Established in 1952, this family-run farm is a haven for spice enthusiasts and anyone curious about the origins of the ingredients that flavor our food. The one-hour guided tours wind through 12 hectares of organically cultivated land. You’ll be surrounded by vibrant spice plants like cardamom, pepper, vanilla, and cinnamon.

⬖ You can book a tour by calling the number provided in their profile.

Local tip

Make sure to carry a notebook to note all the secret recipes & health benefits that the guides have to share.

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