Heritage Hotels in Thekkady
Hotel Spice Village Thekkady
High up in the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats, Periyar is one of the shining stars of Kerala tourism. The park was developed around an artificial lake engineered by the British at the end of the 19 the century.
The entire protected area spreads out over 777 sq km, just under half of which has been designated national park, with a sizeable area open to the public. Although it is sometimes referred to as Periyar Tiger Reserve you'd have to be incredibly fortunate to spot a stripy big cat prowling around, as they number in the low double figures.
Elephant sightings are much more likely, however, Indian bison, sambar and wild boar may also show their faces. Birds, reptiles, fish, insects and amphibians are in plentiful supply.
There isn't much real heritage hotels in Thekkady. Government owned KTDC hotels in Thekkady can be include in the list of heritage hotels in Thekkady.
There are resorts made in the form of local tribal huts and traditional Kerala style. Many resorts in the region gives heritage experience of tradtional spice plantations.
Inside the Sanctuary
KTDC's Lake Palace
Tel: 04869 223888
Located on an island in tile middle of the Periyar Lake, this is tile best value of the government hotels inside the park. It is a stunningly restored old palace that has six charismatic rooms, all decorated with flair using antique furnishings and a selection of modern conveniences (like flat-screen TVs). Staying in the midst of tile sanctuary gives you the best chance of seeing wildlife, from your private terrace. Transport is by boat across the lake.
KTDC's Aranya Nivas
Tel: 04869 222023
Aranya Nivas by the side of the placid Periyar Lake is a veritable destination for wildlife enthusiasts and eco-tourists. Located inside the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, this is an authentic jungle lodge. This was opened by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
KTDC's Periyar House
Tel: 04869 222026
Periyar House is located midway between the main entrance and the boat house. You will get a feel of the jungle if you stay here, plus there is a restaurant and beer bar, boating, trekking and plantation visits.
Thekkady and Kumily
Tel: 0484 3011711(Kochi)
This place has captivating, spacious cottages that are smart yet cosily rustic, in pristinely kept grounds. Its restaurant does lavish lunch and dinner buffets and you can find the wildlife interpretation Centre (7.30am- 9.30pm) here, which has a resident naturalist showing slides and answering questions about the park.
Tel: 04869 223363
On the Mangaladevi Rd, Jungle Village has 51 rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool, trekking, boating and Ayurveda centre.
Tel: 04869 222193
Wood and red bricks dominate the architecture of this hotel. It offers three categories of rooms, all excellent value and with lots of Kerala character. Best are the "duplexes", which have beds on mezzanine floors and balconies sporting old-style pillars overlooking woodland. The location is busy during the day, but quiet in the evenings.
Paradisa Plantation Retreat
Kottayam Kumily Road
En route to Thekkady
Tel: 0469 2701311
Paradisa Plantation Retreat is in Murinjapuzha, 37km from Thekkady. The cottages here are designed like tharavads. Every inch of the resort, from the entrance to the restaurant that offers a jaw-dropping view of the hills, has been carefully designed. There is much to do here. Ayurveda, yoga and acupressure for those who need rejuvenation, tours of Periyar Sanctuary and Murinjapuzh Falls.
Tel: 04868 270252, 270272
Things to See and Do
Various boat trips are offered in the area-an expedient way of spotting wildlife as all animals have to drink. Visitors can also trek, from brief sallies to hardcore days-long hikes complete with camping. The less adventurous or energetically inclined can see Periyar in a four- wheel drive, and stay in one of the many lodges.
Abraham's Spice Garden
Tel: 04869 222919 6.30am-7pm
Once you've had your fill of the Periyar area's wildlife, turn your attention to its plant life. There are few things more essentially Indian than spices, and Kumily, close to the sanctuary, offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in spice world.
Tours of Abraham's Spice Garden, which has been operating for 60 years, includes insights into crops from cocoa to cardamom, and also takes in the Ayurveda garden. 3km due south of Kumily
Taking a Break
If you're on a long trek, food is normally provided by the tour company; otherwise, there are some places to eat close to the park entrance.
Useful Information Centres
DTPC Office (District Tourism Promotion Council)
Tel: 04869 222620
10am-5pm Mon-Sat, closed Sun
Tel: 04869 224571
Tel: 04869 222028