Periyar tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty, with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 777 Sq .km., Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba.
People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programmes are conducted by local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. By taking tourists along, they are involved in the conservation of the forests of Periyar and some valuable revenue is generated for community welfare. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through these programmes. Hence, as a visitor, when you join them in any of these programmes, you are directly contributing towards forest conservation and community welfare.
Just 15 km from Kumily, the small village of Chellarkovil is famous for its beautiful views of the cascading waterfalls and lush green plains that slope down into the Cumbum coconut groves. The natural picturesque scenic views amidst unspoiled nature are a treat to city dwellers. Kumily Located within the Cardamom Hills, is Kumily. It is a prominent destination due to its proximity to Periyar Tiger Reserve and is an important hub of spice trading. The lingering aroma of spices is bewitching and numerous tourists visit this exotic town to enjoy the picturesque views, stay in the hotels and visit the Tiger reserve. Tours to spice plantations are arranged for tourists to view how spices are cultivated.
The ancient Mangala Devi temple is perched atop a thickly wooded hill and affords a panoramic view of the scenic surroundings. The temple is located 15 km from Thekkady.Built in the Pandian style of Kerala architecture, this quaint temple stands in the dense forest at the top of a peak 1337 m above sea level and is on the fringe of the Tamil Nadu-Kerala boundary.The 2000 year old temple is dedicated to the brave Mangaladevi or Kannagi, the protagonist of the Tamil epic Sillapadhikaram. A distraught Kannagi is said to have burnt down Madurai after her husband was wrongly accused of being a thief and killed.Prayers are conducted in this temple only once in a year on Chithra Purnima, the full moon day in the month of April-May. On this holy day, the temple hums with activity as devotees flock here in large numbers.