Stretching over an area of 777 sq. km, Thekkady is the most spectacular and largest wild life sanctuary in the country. The wooden forests of Thekkady house the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. A National Tiger Reserve, the sanctuary has been well protected and conserved from encroachments. A 4-hour long journey from Kumily by bus leads to Thekkady. Tourists can choose to stay at Lake Palace Hotel which offers excellent services in a unique ancient setting. Aranya Nivas is yet another lodging chosen by tourists who choose to explore the sanctuary for more than a day. Best choices available for observing the natural habitat are jeep safaris, elephant rides and boating. These services are available at nominal costs and the best time to visit the park is during the months of March and April. Perched in Western Ghats, Thekkady is also well known for producing export quality spices including clove, cardamom and cinnamon.