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About Periyar National Park

This amazingly beautiful national park incredibly owes it's natural existence to nature as well as mankind. Nestling in the western ghats of the Idukki district in the southern state of Kerala, the main lake that makes up a majority of the park came into being after the construction of a dam on the river Periyar, way back in 1895. The resulting reservoir measured an area of 55 square kilometers. Although the creation of this reservoir resulted in the submerging of some of the prime forest area in the region, it also brought with it many positive points, including one of the most visually refreshing national parks in the country. The park is at it's picturesque best in the winter months, with the branches of the submerged trees rising out of the cold morning haze. However, the best time for animal sightings are the warmer months of summer when the animals are more concentrated around the water bodies. The park is open to visitors from October to April. Although not one of the first eight parks to be slated under the "Project Tiger" in 1972, it is now one of the 18, which do fall under it's umbrella. It has quite a healthy population of big cats but due to the topography, it's only the lucky few, who manage to get a sighting of one. It is possible to view some of the best wildlife across the river even without venturing out into the main park. The park covers an area of 777 square kilometers. The lake is situated at a height of 914 meters above sea level and the surrounding hills go up to 1830 meters. The human population in the area still consists of a couple of tribal sects. These are the Manans and the Ooralis. These tribal folk are some of the best guides that can be hired in the area.

Other Attractions in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary :-

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. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.

Cardamom Hills : Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills. Guide will approach you at offers of trips via jeep or taxi to the hills and if you can get a group together, these trips work out as a good travel value.

Boat Cruises : It is good to make advance reservation for the boat cruises & make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary. Today the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. To maximise you chances, take the 7.00 am boat. You can also consider renting your own boat.

Best Time to Visit Periyar : The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June.

How to Get there :

Air : Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at140-kms are the nearest airports from Periyar.

Rail : Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.

Road : Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

General Info / Tips

Note : After heavy rains, chances of good wildlife sightings are very slim as the animals only come to the lake, when water sources inside the forest have dried up.