The once Jim Corbett favorite haunt, Indian jungles host world’s rarest wildlife including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asiatic Lion, the one-horned Rhino and many more...
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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary



Here Big Cats aren't the only lords
Location :
In Kerala's Western Ghats, South India
Go there for :
Elephants, Tigers, Gaur
Area :
778 sq km
Climate :
21°-24°C (Sum); 15°-20°C (Win)
Best Sightings :
Sep-Mar
Park Closed :
Open year-round
STD Code :
+91 - 4869
Sketched out on God's Own Country, Kerala, is this project Tiger nature reserve - Periyar, locally called Thekkady. Periyar or the Big River, gets its name from the long lake that waters the moist deciduous hills providing a perennial source of survival for the local wildlife. An ancient lore goes that when a mighty tusker got killed at the hands of a Britisher, the erstwhile king of Travancore was so saddened that he immediately extended protection to the denizens of the forest. In 1982, the core area was declared a National Park and recently, in 2004, conservation efforts were further cemented with the formation of the Periyar Foundation - a joint crusade of the park administration and the locals.


Attractions
Wildlife Attractions: During the dry periods, generally in March and April, group of wild elephants frolic in the waters of the Periyar Lake. Sights of sambar, gaur and wild pigs alongside make a truly refreshening vista. And if you suddenly find the air reverberate with the raucous call of the langur and the peafowl, indications are that a Big Cat is somewhere close-by and a quiet wait will be worthwhile.
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Indian Elephant
However, spotting the tigers and the Nilgiri tahrs (a kind of a wild goat) are a rarity that demands lot of luck and excellent timing. Periyar also nestles sloth bear, Nilgiri langur (a primate), gaur (Indian bison), wild dog, sambhar, wild boar, the leopard, porcupines, barking deer and mouse deer, bonnet macaque and squirrels. Monitor lizards lie around in the sun on the rocky projection of the lake. Visitors can view a python frequently here and sometimes a king cobra also in the park. Among the unusual species found at Periyar in Kerala are the flying lizard and the flying snake. With wings of orange or yellow, the flying lizard is a rare sight, as it glides from one tree to the other. The flying snake is also brilliantly colored in yellow and black with a pattern of red rosettes.

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Mangala Devi temple (12 km): At the reserve's northern boundary is the ancient stone temple of Mangla Devi.

Kumily (4 km): Tea, cardamom, pepper and coffee plantations surround the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Kumily is a famed spice-trade center. The Kerala Tourism Information Center located near the main entrance of the Park organizes tours to the Connemara Tea Factory (15 km) and to other spice plantations - something which is a must-check-out once before you leave Thekkady. The ones to buy are cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and pepper.

Cardamom Hills: Kerala's picturesque and beautiful Cardamom hills can be easily accessed from Periyar and Kumily.


Active Pursuits:
Eco-tourism Programmes
Nature Walk: Guided day trek (3 hr/Rs. 100) held at 7am and 2 pm daily

Periyar Tiger Trail (1N/2D and 2N/3D): Scales 20-35 km and armed guards accompanying a group of 5 visitors with five guides.

Bamboo Rafting (3 hr/ Rs 1,000): The guide takes you into the forest and then back into your raft to sail back in the evening.

Interested?? Send Online Query.

Jungle Patrol (Rs. 500): You can be a part of the jungle patrol group at night.

Tribal Heritage (Rs. 100): Includes a visit to the Tribal Heritage Museum (Open 9am-5pm) and a sneak peek into the lives of the tribals, Mannans, who have lived in the forest for years. Hair-raising tales await!

Overnight stay in jungle cottage at Kokkara (Rs. 2,000 per cottage for two).

Bamboo Grove (Rs. 2,000/cottage for two): Ecolodge and nature sensitization camps.

Border Hiking(8 am-5 pm/Rs. 750): Trails through 900-1300 m high hills, where exciting sightings of Gaur and elephant, guaranteed.

Village Tour(Rs. 500): Explore the vicinity of the forest on bullock carts.

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Safaris
At Periyar you have the option of an elephant safari, a jeep safari or a boat cruise. The Forest Department, Thekkady offers facilities for elephant rides through the jungle. The elephants traverse slowly on their path providing you to watch the animals for a long time. The jeeps are quicker options and can get deep into the park.

The most preferred safari is a boating cruise through the park. You can travel by boat to the source of artificial lake at the river Periyar with a special permission. This is a restricted area and entry is not permitted for the tourists generally, but this is a preferred place of the sloth bear. This place is comparatively silent in Periyar National Park and if you are really lucky, a tiger can be spotted here occasionally. Herds of elephant, deer and wild boars coming near the lake to quench their thirst are a common sight at the lakeside.
Elephant Safari

Travel Info
¤ The only entry point to the park is through Thekkady village (4 km from Kumily). The starting point is the boathouse (2 km from entry gate), from where all treks, boat rides and walks begin. The tourists can register for trekking and other activities at the Eco-tourism center, near the boat house.

¤ Park charges Entry Fee : Rs. 25 (Indians) & Rs. 300 (foreigners), Cameras : Rs. 25 (still) & Rs. 200 (video), Vehicle entry : Rs. 50, Boat ride : KTDC Rs. 110 (upper deck), Rs. 55 (lower deck), Rs. 350/trip for a small 2 seater boat. We will complete all the formalities so you get to experience a hassle free and enjoyable holiday.

¤ Park timings are 6 AM to 6 PM.

¤ The best time to spot animals is during the dry months as after a shower the water resources fill up and the animals do not feel the need to come out in search of water.

Interested?? Send Online Query.

Getaways
Chellarkovil (15 km from Kumily): This sleepy little village with its breathtaking view of the plains and cascading waterfalls is a feast for the eyes. The village slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Cumbum in neighboring Tamil Nadu.

Vandiperiyar (18 km from Thekkady): The River Periyar flowing through the center of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade center, Vandiperiyar is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm and Flower Garden have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and anthuria.

Vandanmedu (25 km from Kumily): This is one of the world's largest auction centers for cardamom. A walk through the sprawling cardamom plantations of Vandanmedu is a heady experience.


Hop next to: Kochi (192 km), Alappuzha (155 km), Kottayam (119 km)


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