Go to Periyar National Park and watch elephants, and tigers from close proximity in their natural habitat. Located in Thekkady, Periyar national park is set high in the Western Ghats in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills. At Periyar National Park you can not only enjoy the bountiful flora and fauna but also the serene environment. Built along a dam on Periyar river, there is a artificial lake in the center of the National Park acting as the lifeline for the Park. The dam and the artificial lake provide a splendid sight and are over hundred years old. This region has been hunting area for many rulers including Travancore kings, which was later turned into a Tiger and Elephant reserve by the Government of India. Visit Periyar National Park and lose yourself amidst the beauty of nature.
How to Reach Periyar national park
By Air: The nearest airports are Kochi 200 kms away and Madurai .
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kottayam 114 kms away. The route is filled with beautiful views of the teas estates and spice gardens.
By Road: Kumily is the nearest town to Periyar National Park and is well connected by motorable roads to Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Periyar National Park is from October to following June. The park stays open throughout the year. Although it is cooler in the winter months, if you want to spot elephants then, visiting during the summer months of March and April is a good idea. As the animals come out for water. Some tourists visit during the monsoons, to appreciate the greenery, but in those months it is hard to spot the animals.
Wildlife in Periyar National Park
At Periyar National Park you can not only catch glimpses of elephants frolicking in the water, but also a wide range of other animals. The count of tigers at Periyar National Park has increased to forty. Apart from them, you can also spot Wild Pigs, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Dole or Barking Deer and Indian Wild Dog. You will also find other species of primates here such as the rare lion-tailed macaque, Gee’s Golden Langur, Common Langur, the Nilgiri Langur and Bonnet Macaque.
In terms of flora, Periyar boasts of thickly covered tropical evergreen forest with long trees, which make it difficult for the sun rays to penetrate them. You will find Marshland vegetation near the lakes and water bodies. Apart from that, there are also semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests.
Want to get up close and personal with the wild animals in their own habitat? Worry not, as Periyar National Park provides you ample options for safari. You can opt for elephant safari. Here you can climb on an elephant and travel through the forest like the earlier kings. These elephant safari last for 30 minutes from 06.00 A.M. to 05.00 P.M. You can also take a typical jeep safari. Here you can opt for a Full day safari or a night safari. Apart from that, you can also go for boat cruise, boating along the lakes. You may spot a family of elephants, Wild Boar, or Sambar Deer by the water. Periyar National Park Safari is a unique experience.
Attractions near Periyar National Park:
At Periyar you can not only enjoy the wilderness and the animals, but there are also other attractions. Some of them are:
This is the closest town to Periyar National Park. A growing tourist spot, it is famous for its spice trade and Cardamom hills. Apart from the spices, Kumily is also known for its holy temples. If you are a religious person, then Kumily is must visit.
Mangla Devi Temple
This sacred temple was built 2000 years ago. Located in Thekkady, here you will find the temple built in Pandyan architecture. Located at a height of 1300 m, this temple has a mystical charm about it. Only once a year prayer is conducted in the temple on a full moon day between March and April. At that time, you will find that the temple is filled with pilgrims.
Pullumedu is another region, 43 kms away from Thekkady, well known for its green surrounding and wildlife sanctuaries. If you are religious then the proximity of Pullumedu from Shri Ayappa Temple and Makara Jyothi temple serves as a special attraction.
At Periyar National Park you can catch a glimpse of the wild Asiatic elephants playing in the water, tiger and other animals relaxing in their habitat. Enjoy the serene and thick forests, go boating on the Periyar lake, watch the spice trade from close or visit nearby sacred temples. Periyar has something to offer for everyone. So if you are thinking about a family vacation, then you know just where to go!