The Periyar Lake formed by the construction of the dam across the Mullaperiyar River in 1895, the lake harbors within itself a unique aquatic ecosystem. The numerous little islets in the lake are witness to the intricate inherent interrelationship among the terrestrial aquatic and subterranean life forms. A boat cruise on the Lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve.
For trekkers, Thekkady offers some great trails. The main trekking areas are Kurudumala near Kumily (4km from The Elephant Court), Pullumedu (19km), Ottakathalamedu (10km) and Grampi near Vandiperiyar (16km). Another option is the trekking programmes organised by the State Tourism Department,like nature walk, green walk,jungle scout, border hiking,bamboo rafting.
Elephant ride is the most exciting among Thekkady activities. There are a host of private programme operators in and around Kumily.
Jeep Safaris are conducted by the wildlife reserve authorities and professional wildlife guides. The open jeep has seating arrangements for almost 4 persons per trip, and generally goes up forest range. The duration is three to four hours and timings are during early morning and afternoon till sunset. The jeep dashing inside a dense jungle is a thrill in itself. You are on a jeep safari!!
As you take a walk along the streets of Kumily or the winding pathways among the plantations, the thing that strikes you first is the lingering aroma in the air. The scent may be of cloves, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon or cardamom and sometimes a fragrance that combines the scents of two or more spices. The geographical and climatic peculiarities of Kumily such as the cool climate and its elevation from the sea level make it ideal for spice cultivation.
Kumily, on the outskirts of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, is a plantation town closely associated with Thekkady. While Thekkady is a sleepy, picturesque place garbed in greenery, Kumily is a busy town with its spice street, where tourists can buy original spices from the gardens of Idukki,especially cardamom and pepper.