UNESCO thinks the forests of Western Ghats are among the 8 hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world. The most pristine among them are the forests of Thekkady in the Periyar National Park. This is a forest where you are almost guaranteed to spot a herd of wild elephants, while it is also home to around 30 tigers. One of the most favoured things to do in Thekkady is to take the boat safari organized by the Forest Department. We however, recommend doing a hike organized by the Forest Department. For something totally unexpected in the middle of the forest region, we recommend a visit to watch the Kalaripayattu performance, Kerala’s traditional martial art show, at the Mudra Cultural Centre. You also get to sample some of the freshest and best spices ever to be found in the world, on the spice plantation tours. For the adrenaline seekers, we recommend taking some time off and go bamboo rafting on the white frothing Periyar River. We think Thekkady is one of the best wildlife destinations in India and a visit to Kerala is not complete without at least a night here.