Situated in the land of ‘God’s Own Country’, Periyar National Park is a delight to the eyes and a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Located in Thekkady in Kerala, the park is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world and the best-protected reserve area one can find in India. Endowed with and known for its exquisite topography comprising of greenery, tranquility, and a stunning landscape, the park is home to a varied variety of wildlife species such as the Royal Tigers and Elephants, apart from the reptiles, birds, and fishes.
The construction of the famous Mullaperiyar Dam in the 12th century resulted in the formation of the Periyar lake reserve. This artificial water body gave life and nourishment to numerous flora and fauna species which came into the observation of the Maharaja of Travancore, Balarama Varma, and he declared the area to be a private game reserve to avoid encroachment of tea plantations and wildlife. After 1950, the sanctuary was given a status of a Wildlife Sanctuary, and later in 1978, the sanctuary was declared as a Tiger Reserve. It was after four years in 1982 that the reserve was recognized as a National Park.
Periyar National Park is a place with an enchanting confluence of nature, beauty, and adventure which offers you the peace and serenity you desire and some time out from the hustle-bustle of life. Visit the park for beautiful sights and sounds and to mingle with nature along with spotting some vibrant wildlife and flora. Spreading in an area of over 257sq. kilometers, the park has Rivers Pamba and Periyar flowing through it which makes the park and the wildlife flourish and grow. The park attracts a horde of visitors throughout the year who enjoy their trip through boat cruises, jungle safaris in the form of jeep safaris and elephant safaris, and the delightful eco-tourism activities that the Periyar National Park is popularly known for. These eco-tourism activities are made to safeguard the environment along with making people aware of the need for protection of the wildlife and flora. The activities consist of Jungle Patrol, border hiking, bamboo grove, bamboo rafting, Periyar Tiger trail, jungle inn, jungle camp, and bullock cart discoveries. The park has other attractions too that the visitors can enjoy and activities such as boating at the lake, trekking through the dense forests, or simply sitting under the shade of a tree with binoculars to spot an animal or two.
The park consists of tropical evergrren, semi-evergreen, and moist deciduous forests. The dominant species of trees found here are Teak, Mangoes, Rosewood, tamarind, Bamboos, Sacred Fig, Sandalwood, Jacarandas, Indian Conifer
Mammals: Royal Tigers, Elephants, White Tigers, Wild Pigs, Flying Squirrel, Fruit Bats, Sloth Bears, Jungle Cats, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Indian Wild Dog, Lion Tailed Macaque, Gee’s Golden Langur, Nilgiri Langur, etc.
Birds: Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Sunbird, Great Hornbill, Black Necked Stork, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon.
The climate in Periyar National Park is tropical with average temperature ranging from 21 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius during summers and 19 degrees Celsius to 21 degrees Celsius during winters. Winter season lasts from October to March and has a pleasant weather with heavy rainfall during the monsoons.
The best time to visit the Periyar National Park is during the winter season from November to February when the weather is enjoyable and pleasant. You can also spot many migratory birds during this time and the rafting and boat cruises also become thrilling due to the fresh rains.
Nearest Train Station: The closest railhead is in Kottayam which is 114km away from the park. You can hire a cab from the station to reach Thekkady directly.
Nearest Airport: There are two airports near the Periyar National Park which are in Madurai and Cochin at a distance of 136km and 190km respectively. You can hail a cab or a bus from the airport to Kumily village
Road Accessibility : Kumily village is well-connected by public and private buses to all the major cities of Kerala.
The Periyar National Park has many beautiful attractions in its premises apart from the lustrous wildlife and flora. These are:
Other places to visit nearby are: