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 pm
- Animal sightings are matter of chance. Be patient.
- Total silence and discipline enhances chances of animal sightings
- Traveling alone is prohibited especially in the Elephant Reserves
- Do not wears colorful clothes or perfumes. Khakis, browns and greens are best suited for forests
- Always carry drinking water
Where to rest?Periyar National Park offers a variety of stay options as well.