Best MonthsSeptember - May
Traveller TypesFamilies, Couples
Rank2 out of 23 attractions in Thekkady
As we think about Kumily and Thekkady, the images and the beautiful scenes of spice and coffee plantations come to our minds. The lush greenery, rippling waterfalls and the scenes of wild animals, birds and reptiles run through our minds. The Periyar tiger Reserve and Wildlife sanctuary is one of the best forest sanctuaries of the country. The sanctuary is spread over the whole Idukki District and is a very popular tourist attraction. The tigers are the main animals found here and is also a part of the Project Tiger. On your visit to Kumily, a visit to this reserve is a must for everyone.
Places to stay near Periyar National Park
Reviews of Periyar National Park • 28
Located atop of Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills in the Idukki district of Kerala, Periyar National Park is spread across 777 sq km. There are 35 species of mammals in the park, including bisons, sambars, wild boars, langurs, elephants and tigers. It is also one among the 48 tiger reserves in India.
If you have only two days in hand, you can either opt for a jeep safari or visit the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.If you decide to go on a jeep safari, you can take either the Gavi route or visit the Kerala Tamil Nadu border. Each of these is a different experience which I have charted out in a different article. In the evening, stroll at the local market of Kumily/Thekkady. You can also go for a thrilling bamboo trekking in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which is offered by the forest department when the whole world is asleep, at 1 AM! You need to get your tickets booked in advance. They take at the most 50 people including 4 gun men. Now you can imagine the thrill?!If you have another day in hand, you can go for boating or bamboo rafting in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Go boating or bamboo rafting in the Periyar Lake. And if lucky enough, you can spot some animals and try your hands on wildlife photography!Day 6:
The next day started with our trek in phase two. We started at about 8 AM from our stay and reached the entry of phase two by 9 AM. There we were given some covers for protection against leeches in the area. After putting the protective clothing, we started our jungle walk with the two forest guards. One guard in the front guided our way into the jungle, while the one in the last made sure no one wandered off here and there. Although the trail is very well defined, there are still wild animals in the area which can attack without any warnings. That is the reason people always go in groups for the trek in jungle with 2 guards.
Day 5, we started early in the morning otherwise the queue for the boat increases. We skipped the part of trekking within the forest as the prices were high and there was no chances to be able to see tigers.
On day 5 we trekked 4 kms to reach Periyar Lake. We had collected our tickets from Periyar Information Centre (government centre) the previous day for bamboo rafting. It was a delightful trek that started at 7.30 am. We had 3 guides for a group of 6 people and a man with a gun who walked at the end of the human trail. After 1.5 hours of trek the view of the lake was heavenly. It was purely serene. After eating our breakfast in the jungle near the lake, we climbed on the raft. It sailed through the waters. It was undisturbed, away from human cacophony.
Situated right in the heart of the Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills of Southern Western Ghats, the Periyar National Park is a massive tiger reserve also known for a remarkably high and well-protected population of wild elephants.
BOAT RIDE @ PERIYAR WILDLIFE RESERVE
While we decided to spend the rest of our day at the resort relaxing, having good food, chit chatting and sleeping, we were quite sure the very next day would not be the same. And we were right! Just as we thought, our day started quite early at 5 am. An early morning misty ride to the Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Up the hill, down the road and all the way above! The safari jeep took us to the dense forest covered in early morning mist. The animals could be hiding anywhere, and we were right again! There Mr Fox was staring right at us, followed by Lion-tailed macaque hopping from one tree to the other. We waited patiently for the weather to clear up, drove a little further and stopped over for a cup of tea in a local's house. Continued our journey up again for the most stunning view of the place covered in dense forest.
Visit the Periyar National Park which boasts of a rich biodiversity and wondrous scenery. Enjoy views of the Western Ghats as well as surrounding river valleys and lakes. It is one of India’s 27 tiger reserves in addition to being an elephant reserve. There are 35 species of animals in the park, many of which are endangered. Take a guided trekking trip in the reserve and get to see it intimately.Also, visit a spice plantation if you can. There are a number of plantations within a 5 km radius of Thekaddy.Best rated places to stay at Thekkady1. Grand Exotica Villa - 2500 INR
The Periyar National Park is a massive tiger reserve that spreads across the districts of Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. Also known for a remarkably high and well-protected population of wild elephants, the Periyar National Park is making great efforts towards wildlife conservation in India. The park is also home to several other mammals, such as the Nilgiri Langur, Indian Giant Squirrel, Salim Ali's Fruit Bat and the Nilgiri Marten.
Thekkady is a wild life lover’s paradise which provides many adventurous activities such as bamboo rafting on the Periyar Lake, Nature Trail, Jungle Patrol, Elephant Rides etc. So if you are an adventurer, you might like to stay in one of the resorts available in the forest area inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve and go for these activities.Since the spices and Ayurvedic products of Thekkady are quite famous, we stopped by a supermarket on the way back to hotel to buy some spices as well as handmade soaps. Thekkady was unique for its beautiful hills, it's forests rich with wildlife and it's unending spice plantations and the beauty of Munnar-Thekkady road along with the Periyar Lake boat cruise made us proud of our decision of including Thekkady in our trip.This is the largest waterfall in Kerala present in the Sholyar forest range and known as the "Niagara of India".
Trusting on Google Maps, We reached Periyar Tiger Reserve early morning. There was a long long long line of impatient people to get on the boat that goes around Periyar. You'll spot nothing but birds. No tigers. As soon as we got out of Periyar, there were a variety of restaurants of every cuisine, no surprise since its a tourist spot. From Thekkady we left for my favourite, Munnar. Munnar is beautiful! I kid you not, People say its a lot like north east, but i havent been to north east so i cannot say so. Munnar is the kind of hill station i havent been to before, its beautiful! There's Old Munnar and New Munnar. I suggest stay in or around Old Munnar, since New munnar has nothing but expensive hotels. We got a room for 2000 bucks. Relaxing there for a while, we went out to roam the streets of the beautiful hill station. To my surprise unlike other hilly areas, Munnar shops and street vendors were open till 12 am. And oh my god. The food. Warning for people who cannot handle the spices. Its not just spicy, its crazy spicy. But the food is delicious, and extremely cheap. Returning to our room, We celebrated. Next morning was again going to be a long one, but that didn't stop us from staying awake late.
The Main tourist magnet of the Town was the The Kathakali Dance Performances teeming in every single hotel and inns and The Periyar Tiger Reserve Nearby.....! After taking a gentle nap, went to fill our part of Indian Dance Culture i.e Kathakali. Next day was reserved for the adventure part of our trip, Periyar Tiger Reserve, A Boat Ride In The Vast 600acre lake only to spot some Gaurs, Barking Deers, Malabar Squirrels and a whole bunch of wild hogs. No glimpses of any tiger that day! The evening was spent buying over priced spices and hand made chocolates.
It wasn’t long before I felt comfortable with the group members though. They were eager to share their knowledge, appreciated curiosity, and welcomed questions. After a tasty breakfast of appams and egg curry, we met TK.Sajeev, Nature Education Officer, at Periyar Tiger Reserve. He accompanied and guided us through a trek, the Periyar tiger trail, which to me will remain forever as one of my favorites.First halt on the trek was to enlighten us on Western ghats and Satpura hypothesis. That was a great start. He had all our attention. Then followed mind-boggling information on wild pigs, elephants, coral and chestnut trees, birds, praying mantis, spiders—our eyes grew only wider and wider.We watched a series of documentary movies later that day. The one on vulture specifically, I am sure, had an impact on all of us who were watching and the plenty images of ‘cordyceps’ on large screen gave me goosebumps!
Neither had I spoken to anybody nor anybody to me. We traveled in silence the entire night and reached Thekkady, early the next morning. I had seen a newspaper headline, ‘Two days nature camp at Thekkady,’ organized by Environment Conservation Group, Coimbatore and had enrolled myself for the study tour.On reaching Bamboo groove, an Eco-lodge and experiential learning center run by Kerala Government, the accompanying, unfamiliar faces rushed to their allotted bamboo huts, only to be out in a moment carrying arms like I have never seen before. Yes, they had cannon like lenses attached to cameras, the tripods, the monopods, the binoculars, the questions, the rush…And I, without a camera and a little knowledge on wildlife stood blinking and wondering—what an amateur like me doing here?
The Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is probably the best thing that could happen to Kerala other than its backwaters. Nestled comfortably in the mountains of the Western Ghats, the national park has a wide variety of flora and fauna. It will give you the peace and quiet you seek away from your city life, and serve as one of the best offbeat, off-season destinations in India to go to. It is just the beginning of the monsoon, so you will be able to see the jungle in full bloom!The nearest airport is in Cochin (150 km) and the nearest railway station is in Kottayam which is 114 km away.Off-Season In June
It was the ‘Periyar Tiger Reserve’ that made our heart pound faster with excitement. There were ample options for us to explore but one program which we surely decided to go for was the ‘Clouds Walk’ program, which was a 3 hour trek in the dense jungle. Enrolling only for one program didn’t satisfy our appetite for adventure. Hence, we enrolled for the subsequent one as well, which was ‘Night Scouting’. The mere imagination of wandering in the jungle at night took us a moment to realize the magnitude of risk we were endeavoring. Being the month of August, the path was assumed to be slippery and even worse, being a victim of the uninvited attention of wild animals. To navigate for an animal and to stumble upon one while scouting in the dark are both completely different things. We infused courage into each other, and finally enrolled for the program.We nervously waited for the next move when two police guards and one forest army personnel made a promising entry. My thrill and fear made me very inquisitive to know about the possible risks of the program we’d enrolled for. The only relief factor was the 2 guns carried by the policemen escorting us. It imbibed some confidence in us to venture into this crazy stunt. I asked one of the guards if he’d used his gun before, and he very bluntly replied, “No… we actually don’t have the permission to fire on animals”! I was stunned! A guard smiled seeing our disappointment and assured us that nothing will happen to us. We were provided with a knee-length jacket and a pant, both made of polyester. Each person was to carry a torch for obvious reasons. We commenced our scouting and in a moment found ourselves in a complete absence of vision. We switched on our torches and were instructed to follow the footsteps of our accompanists. We started adjusting to this new habitat, while also constantly praying to get a glimpse of a wild breed from a safe distance. We stumbled upon few wild deer, which got terrified by our constant murmuring, or rather hissing. Suddenly, our guardian asked us to shut our mouths; else we would miss a potential glimpse of a rare one. That moment was terrifying! There was a battle amongst the rest of us as to who would spot the identity of the animal first. Creative thoughts coupled with fear and excitement even makes one think of a nugget to resemble a cannibal. What we spotted was a Rhinoceros from a safe distance. All the gleaming torch lights made us see this huge animal with shining eyes, leaving us stunned. Our expedition in the bush continued for a while. I felt some itching all over my body. I was shocked to see my hands and legs bleeding due to multiple leech attacks. We rested at a guest house nearby, busy cleaning our shoes and jackets. We moved ahead and saw an owl at a stone’s throw away distance. What a way to end the trip. For me, this journey had already become very fascinating. It was horribly silent at 1 a.m, while I sat in the cab peacefully every incident since the time we started flashed across my mind. I couldn’t believe what we’d had done. I smiled to myself. Mixed emotions of passion, compassion, fear and thrill got instilled in me. I patted Pravin and uttered, “Dude, it was worth a shot”.
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the area of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala – God’s own country. It is South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary spreading across a 777 sq km; encompasses a 29 sq km artificial lake – Periyar lake, existing since 1895. The Periyar Lake lies at the heart of the sanctuary. Periyar National Park also known as Thekkady, is the oldest among the 27 wildlife sanctuaries in India. Known for its magnificent Indian elephants, there are many more animals to look out for like Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and Tiger. Good news for tiger aficionados is that there are now an estimated 50 tigers in the Periyar national Park which increases the chances to spot one (having luck on your side off course)!Be there on the right time!The best time to visit Periyar is in between the month of October to June.How to get there?By Air: One can reach here either by air with Cochin as the nearest international airport, which is around 140 km from here. Several international and domestic airlines connect the city of Kochi to major cities in India and abroad.By Train: Kottayam (110 km) serves as the nearest rail head for Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Kottayam is well linked with various express as well as local trains across the country.By Road: Kumily is the nearest town from Periyar which is well connected by road.Go by the rules!There are some expectations from the visitors otherwise Reserve rules which have to be followed by all means to have the best visit. They are simple and in the best interest of animals as well as tourists. Some of these are stated below..Follow the gate timing strictly ie; 7am -6 pmAnimal sightings are matter of chance. Be patient.Total silence and discipline enhances chances of animal sightingsTraveling alone is prohibited especially in the Elephant ReservesDo not wears colorful clothes or perfumes. Khakis, browns and greens are best suited for forestsAlways carry drinking waterWhere to rest?Periyar National Park offers a variety of stay options as well.
Tigers, elephants, snakes, bison and birds. That's what mostly roams the grounds of the Periyar National Park. With almost 1.000 square kilometers in size, it is an obligated visit in the Western Gaths when looking for an adventure away from tar roads.
A wilderness experience like never before- such is the thrill and excitement that engulfs you as you set out for the night patrolling trail in Periyar Tiger Reserve. Periyar is a part of Project Tiger and its dense jungles boast of a variety of wild species, especially the Nilgiri Langur and the Malabar Squirrel which are endemic to this region. Experience the life of guardians of our forests- the forest guards as you accompany them on foot during their night patrol duties for 3 hours. The experience is sure to leave you feeling proud for having participated in a forest conservation initiative!
It was an awesome day with nature at it's best
Boating trip in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Gleaming boat ride in the periyar lake with a slight drizzle on was magical although never saw any tiger. it was worth it.
I was so thrilled to be at Periyar Tiger Reserve. You need to get to this place as early as possible [I’m talking as early as 6-6.30 am :)] to buy tickets. If you’re going in some vacation time, don’t be surprised to find yourself waiting in never ending queue. They have option to book ticket online. But it’s a little expensive. https://onlinebooking.periyarfoundation.org/PTR/ConfirmOrder?Name=Boating-Online Stuck in queue ? Don’t worry. Our monkey friends will give you company ! :) There are many of them. There are jungle lodges present here. You could try one of them. Apart from the river safari, there are many activities like tiger trail and nature walk. Check out the below website for more details. http://www.periyartigerreserve.org/ecotourism_activities.php At Periyar Tiger Reserve, we get to see animals on either sides of the river. Chances of spotting animals are really high in the morning slot. Variety of birds, deer, gaur, elephants can be spotted. You’re lucky if you can spot a tiger ! :) Thekkady is also famous for spice gardens. What you’re seeing in this pic is Cocoa. There would be a guided tour of the spice garden. The guide tells you about variety of spices, their health benefits and also gives some for you to taste as well ! Each of these spice gardens will have their own Ayurveda shops from where you can shop.
DAY 07 MUNNAR - PERIYAR After breakfast you drive southwards to the 777square kms/485 square miles of Southern India’s best known Nature Reserve, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Cardamom Hills. Avoiding the busier, more touristy areas of Periyar, you’ll stay in Mayapott Plantation Bungalow for 02 nights, Set amidst 100 acres of cardamom plantation. In the evening enjoy a walk in the plantations. DAY 08 PERIYAR Today enjoy a day long rafting cum trekking program through some of the richest forest tracks of Periyar Tiger Reserve. This offers a memorable navigating experience across the famous Periyar Lake. Apart from the rafting experience, one can travel through a mosaic of pristine habitats. Overnight at the plantation bungalow.