who has heard of the God's very own Kerala must also have heard of its
wildlife riches. And the best option to explore the wild side is to make a
trip to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a wildlife refuge replete with
exotic and pristine flora and fauna. The expanse of the blue cardamom hills,
the picturesque Periyar Lake and the elephants frolicking by the lake prove
to be a big draw for tourists from across the globe. The park claims a total
area of 777 sq km out of which 350 sq km constitutes the core area.
Besides, being a much visited wildlife haven for various animal species,
the park also serves as a base to visit the surrounding cardamom hills, tea
and spice plantations and the important pilgrimage centre of Sabarimala. The
park is located close to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and therefore one can
also make trips to places that lie between Madurai and the coast.
Go There For
Though elephants are the prime attractions of the park, Periyar Wildlife
Sanctuary harbours a number of wildlife species including mammals, birds and
reptiles. Tigers can also be spotted as you penetrate deeper into the park.
The last count of tigers in the park came around 40. Other animal species of
the sanctuary include sambar, gaur, wild pig, Barking deer, Mouse deer,
India Wild dog etc. Nilgiri Tahrs or Mountain goats are another big draw for
wildlife fanciers here. You can also spot four species of primates including
lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Common langur and Bonnet macaque.
An excellent birdlife also inhabits the forests at Periyar. Darters,
cormorants, kingfishers, racket-tailed drongoes, Laughing thrushes,
blue-winged parakeet, flycatcher and Malabar hornbills are common sightings
inside the park. Among reptiles, Monitor lizards can be seen along the lake
shores. Python and King cobra are the other reptile species that can be
observed here. The moist deciduous forests of the park set forth a pristine
atmosphere and serenity that adds much to the excitement of wildlife
Safaris & Other Attractions
boat safari along the Periyar Lake is a nice option to spot the wild animals
of the park. To penetrate deeper into the jungle confines, you can also hire
an open jeep or canter. Specialised guides are also available to assist and
acquaint you of the essentials all the way long.
The cardamom hills have greatly contributed to the overall natural beauty
of Kerala. While at Periyar, you can choose to plan a cardamom hill tour.
Taxis and jeeps are available at Periyar and Kumily. There are travel guides
who you accompany you throughout the trip.
The beautiful town of Kumily is 4 km from Periyar. The town is fast
emerging as an important tourist spot. You can make a trip to the spice and
tea plantations of the town. Besides, the town also offers fine options of
stay at its hotels and eco-friendly resorts.
Reaching The Park
The Periyar National Park is easily accessible from all the key
destinations of India. Madurai (Tamil Nadu) at a distance of 140 km is the
closest airport. Kottayam Railway Station is 114 km from Periyar. Kumily is
the closest town from Pariyar. The town has regular state transport and
private buses connecting to places like Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in