Thekkady, ‘the land of the tigers’ is reckoned as a leading tourist’s destination on the map of Kerala Tourism. Mountains enveloped with lush greenery, sloppy hills carpeted with tea plantations, verdant landscapes, glittering water of lakes, meandering rivers, spice estates scenting the air and rich wildlife in the Periyar Reserve attract myriads of tourists to this testimony of beauty incarnated.
The tribals of this area still reside in the premises of Periyar Reservoir in their natural habitat. Several villages around Thekkady are particularly inhabited by native tribes. Though they do celebrate their tribal festivals with much zest and enthusiasm, those festivals are secluded and people don’t much know about them. Majority of citizens that grab attention here include those who play part in developing Thekkady as a tourism hamlet. They are shop keepers, guides, boatmen, dancers, artists and those who provide Ayurvedic treatments.
Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English are the chief languages spoken here. Appam, Kappa, Karimeen and seafood like Shrimp, Prawn, Crab and Squid are the famous cuisine one must relish in Thekkady. Thekkady is very famous for its Tea, Coffee, Saffron, Vanilla, Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, Fenugreek, Cinnamon, Nut Maze, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Honey, Ayurvedic Oils and home made Chocolates, Banana Chips fried in coconut oil, T shirts and Souvenirs with elephant and tiger motifs. You can buy these Kerala special items from here and take them home as remembrance of your tour.
Apart from spotting wildlife in their natural habitat in the Periyar Reservoir, Thekkady offers adventure sports like Trekking, Nature Walk, the Periyar Tiger Trail, Bamboo Rafting, Boating, Elephant Rides, Border Hiking, and Plantation Tours one must enjoy. Kalaripayattu, the oldest martial arts is preserved by the people here. You can witness the awe – inspiring performance of Kalaripayattu in Thekkady. Moreover, Kathakali; the classical dance of Kerala is also practiced in this region. Here you can enjoy the graceful Kathakali dance performance too. Ayurvedic Massages have become a part and parcel of Kerala tourism. Thekkady also houses numerous outlets where one can enjoy the refreshing and rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages and Panchakarma Treatments.
Onam, the most important festival of Kerala is celebrated here with much enthusiasm and pomp. At this time Pookkalam (flower bed) competitions are organized in Thekkady and traditional Kerala Feast called ‘Sadya’ is celebrated here.