The very sound of the word Thekkady conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Spreads across the entire district are the picturesque plantations and hill towns that nestle beautiful trails for treks and mountain walks.
The only south Indian conifer, scientifically known as Podocarpus Wallichianus, grows in the forests of the Periyar Tiger Reserve.The Nilgiri Tahr is confined to the higher rocky areas whereas the endangered Lion Tailed Macaque can be found in the interior evergreen forests. The Malabar Grey Hornbill, The Indian Pied Hornbill, Whitebellied Treepie, many species of Drongos, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Babblers, the spectacular Malabar Trogon, etc. can be seen near where the boat lands.Both the Bonnet Macaques and Nilgiri Langur can be seen foraging from the trees near where the boat lands.
Tea, cardamom, pepper and coffee plantations abound in the areas adjoining the Tiger Reserve. There are a few watch towers inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve which are excellent for viewing wildlife.