June 2010
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Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary-Thekkady – in the lap of nature, watch herds of wild elephants

General Information:

Best time to visit : October to April
Accommodation : Forest Rest Houses, Aranya Niwas Hotel, Edapalayam Lake Palace, Periyar House.
Nearest Town : Kumily (4 km)
Major Attractions : Elephants, Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur.
Area Covered : 777 sq-km.
State : Kerala, in the southern part of India.
Climate : It enjoys a tropical climate varies between 10 degree centigrade – 26 degree centigrade.
Rainfall : The Annual rainfall ranges from 2000 mm to 3000 mm.

How to get there

How to get there : Rail-Kottayam (114 km) Air-Cochin (200 km) or Madurai (TN) (140.km).
International Airport : Chennai International Airport.
Airport : Kochi (Cochin) at 200 km or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at 140 km.
Railways : Kottayam (114 km).
Road : Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

Location of Periyar wildlife sanctuary on google maps:

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The pride of Kerela and a testimony to nature’s splendour and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar lake – an artificial lake with an area of 26 sq. km, at Thekkady. The high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands.
The Periyar National Park was slated under the Project Tiger in the year 1972. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar, however are the herds of wild elephants that come down to the play in the lake. The main prey base of the tiger is sambar. The other prey animals of the tiger are the Indian bison and the wild boar.
The Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. One can swim in the lake or get permits for angling that are easily available from the Forest Officer in Thekkady.

Flora & Fauna in the Periyar National Park

The deeper valleys contain tropical evergreen forest with extremely thick tree cover that even bright sunlight finds hard to penetrate. The flora here is composed mainly of marshy grasslands. The forests are a mixture of grasslands, fire-resistant low-growth vegetation, deciduous forests, semi-evergreens, and tropical evergreens. It is good to be cautious of the blood-sucking leeches that are found in plenty here.
The animals that you will find here are elephants, tigers, gaur, wild pigs, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, dole or Indian wild dog. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers in the Periyar national Park. Four species of primates found at Periyar are – the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes.

Special Attractions in Periyar National Park

– Periyar Lake: The Periyar Lake attracts grey heron, ibis, the great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbill.
– Kumily : Situated just 4-kms from Periyar, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fastly catching up just like the spice trade, the major occupation of this small town.
– Cradomom Hills : Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala’s beautiful Cardamom hills.
– Nature Walk : Nature tours cover habitats of various species of birds and animals and are usually 4 to 5 kilometers in length. Pass through lush green woods of evergreen and moist deciduous forests.
– Tribal Heritage : Inside the Mannan settlement, a tribal heritage museum was built. The museum features artifacts related to Mannan marriage ceremonies, agricultural practices, dress code, cultural events, rituals and death ceremonies.
– Boat Cruises : Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary, as the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists.

Places to stay in Periyar National Park

– Spice Village Hotel : Four star hotel. Hotel Spice Village, Periyar, Kumily Town, Thekkady, Kerala.
– Taj Garden Retreat : Five star hotel. Amalambika Road, Via Kumily, Thekkady – 685 536, Kerala, India, Tel No.: (91-4869) 222401 to 222406 / 222273, Fax : (91-4869) 222106.
– Lake Palace Hotel. Lake Palace Thekkady, Idukki, Kerala-685536, India, Phone:++91-486-9222023.
– Hotel Ambadi heritage resort : Hotel Ambadi is on the edge of Periyar wildlife sanctuary giving you the best chance to explore Thekkady.
– Muthoot Kardamom County. Address : Thekkady Road, Thekkady 685 536, Kerala

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