I have already blogged about how to get to the Kochi airport and how to use your miles to get to India. Getting from the airport to the sanctuary is economical and very easy. As you come out, you will notice a kiosk for prepaid taxis. They are safe and reliable. The one thing you may want to do is get directions from your accommodation in Malayalam as it is easy to get lost getting to the lodges. To get back to the airport, your lodge manager will be able to arrange another taxi. The region is pretty spread out and you will need transport to get to the birding areas so you may want to consider hiring the driver for a few days. This can be negotiated at the kiosk. Otherwise, the lodge manager will organize a driver for you.
You can also get to Thattekkad by train. The nearest station is Aluva which is close to the airport or Ernakalum if you are coming from the south. You can see the relative distances on this map. “A” is the airport and “B” is the train station. If you can’t get a prepaid taxi from the train station you can always take a taxi to the airport and use the prepaid taxi kiosk.
You can’t book Indian trains if you don’t have an Indian mobile phone and credit card, however Clear Trip makes it very simple. This is how I booked the trains for our trip in 2011. Most people will book AC 2 Tier which gets you a bunk in an Airconditioned carriage. Of the trains between Bangalore and Aluva, the Kanyakumari or the Ernakulam Exp both offer AC 2 Tier and have convenient departure and arrival times.
All you need to do now is set up an account, book your tickets and pay online! Trains are fun to travel on and you will find the local Indians very friendly and happy to chat.