Commonly referred to as the Periyar National Park, the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the most famous tourist attraction in Thekkady. Ranging from jungle safari to the boat rides, there is a wide range of tourist activities that this place offers, allowing you to experience wildlife on a whole new level. So, if you love wildlife, then this place is the best for you to enjoy the beauty of these ferocious animals on their natural habitats!
Nestled in the lap of the protected forests of Thekkady in Kerala, the Periyar National Park is one of the most prestigious wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Address: Periyar National Park, Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta, Kerala.
Hours: 6 am to 7 pm every day.
The park is open from 6 am to 7 pm every day, generally. However the boat safaris are from 7:30 am to 9 pm, 9:30 am to 11 pm, 11:15 am to 12:45 pm, 1:45 pm to 3:15 pm, and finally 3:30 pm to 5 pm. The natural walks in the park are from 7 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 5 pm. Besides, there is both bamboo rafting, and border hike experiences from 8 am to 5 pm.
There is a wide range of flora and fauna that you can spot in the Periyar National Park, covering a total area of about 925 square km. Due to the ideal location within the Cardamom Hills, it is a beautiful place surrounded by rivers that make it perfect for many species of both flora and fauna.
Coming to the flora, you can always spot various species of rosewood, tamarind, jamun, and sandalwood along with various other plantations. There is also scope for agricultural vegetation like cardamom, tea, and coffee that fills the air with aroma. Besides, the Periyar National Park is also rich in the Royal Bengal Tigers that are a pride to the country. Other than these tigers, you can also spot various kinds of animals like the Nilgiri Langoors, Nilgiri Tahrs, Elephants, and Wild Pigs. Apart from this, the Periyar National Park is also famous for its rare birds. The park is renowned for being an ideal place for the bird watchers due to various birds that are present within it. Ranging from the Malabar grey hornbill to the Sri Lankan frogmouth, there is a wide range of birds in the park, which attracts bird lovers from across the country.
The Periyar National Park is recommended to all the wildlife enthusiasts and photographers who wish to get a closer look at the animals. Nevertheless, people from all age groups can enjoy the rides in the national park.
By Air: The Cochin International Airport is the closest to Periyar National Park. After landing at Cochin, you can take either cabs or the public buses to reach the Periyar National Park. Apart from that, you can also go to the Madurai Airport which is pretty close to the destination. Both Cochin and Madurai airports are around 150 and 159 km respectively away from the park.
By Rail: The Kottayam Railway head is the closest to the Periyar Forest, located at a distance of approximately 96-97 km away from the park. The Kottayam head is one of the important railway heads of Kerala and is well-connected to most of the important cities in the state and outside.
By Road: The town of Kumily is the closest to the Periyar National Park. It has some well-connected roads on which several buses ply from the other neighbouring towns like Ernakulam and Kottayam.
This being said, the best way to travel to the Periyar national park is by road, as you can enjoy the scenic beauty that Kerala has to offer along the way.
Located in the beautiful Thekkady, the Periyar National Park is a famous spot among the tourists to go on wildlife expeditions. Mostly taming the Indian Elephants and the Royal Bengal Tigers, this park attracts a lot of crowd from across the country. Lying in the lap of the aromatic cardamom hills, the borders of the park are surrounded by the mountains, leaving a plateau on one side. The highest peak among these being the Kottamalai, the Periyar National Park is rich in the diverse lands which are formed due to the perennial rivers. The park is also equipped with a reservoir that supplies year-round water for the wildlife residing within the place.
The temperature in the park ranges between 15 to 31 degrees Celsius, the highest being recorded during the months of April and May and the lowest in the months of December. There is average rainfall during the monsoons, with moderately mild rainfall during the end of monsoon. October to March is the best time to visit Thekkady due to the best temperatures, and the filled up water bodies to explore each and everything about the park’s highlights. There would also be many blooming plants that can be spotted during the winter; making it the best time to visit the Periyar National Park.