Kerala: Periyar and its Wildlife Sanctuary


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve

Periyar, the wonder land of Kerala, means Big River (Peri means Big and Yar means River). Thekkady, located adjacent to periyar, houses connecting bus stand, plenty of hotels and offices for the tourists of Periyar. Thekkady is an important connector which has a big importance for all the travelers who visit the nearby Periyar. Thekkady is also a well known place for the Indira Gandhi Hydro Electric Project.

Holiday makers who want to witness the charm of the compelling greeneries should visit Peermedu. Peermedu, on the way to Thekkady from Kottayam, is a city famous for salubrious climate. It’s a city which pulls the crowd for its lingering tea gardens, astonishing coffee groves and prolonged cardamom fields. The city, Peermedu, derives its name from the sufi saint, Pir Mohammad. The mausoleum of the saint is placed amidst the wonderful green manor of Peermedu.

About 32 km from Kumily, Peermed, located at an elevation of 915 meters, is hidden in the gloominess of the banana trees. Peermedu, the city which was once the capital of the Travancore kings, has now become a summer destination for many. To capitalize on the interest of the crowds, Government had decided to build a guest house. Apsara Plantation Resort, Thrsangu Heaven, Misty Mountain, Himaranee, High Valley Resort, Ashley Bungalow, Budhland, and Government Guest House are few noteworthy places where tourists can stay at.


Located at a height of 3000 feet, Kumily, at the border of Tamilnadu and Kerala, on the Kottayam- Madurai way, is renowned as gateway city which connects periyar by road. It is popularly known ofr its production of spices in huge quantities. The city market organizes an auction of spices like Cardamom, Black Pepper and Cinnamon. These spices directly come long way from Sahyadri hills. Plenty of shops, at the roadside, offer innumerable items in cheap price. Interested tourists can buy various spices for themselves at great rates.

About 18 km towards the eastern side of Kumily, on the elevated cardamom hills, Mangaladevi temple, is attracting plenty of spiritual people from faraway places. Although the temple, located in the middle of the fascinating natural milieu, is in ruins.

Mas Lake Queen Tourist Home, Rani Lodge, Nice Lodge, Mini Lodge, Kavitha Lodge, Italia Lodge, Everest Lodge, Muckumkal Tourist Home, Hotel Revathy International, Hotel Sreekumar and Holiday Home are the notable hotels and Guest Houses located in and around the city of Kumily. Check our hotel booking links below.

The territory of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the Sahyadri hills, is spread at an elevation of 900 meters to 2109 meters. A dam was installed in 1895 on the second largest River of Kerala, the Periyar. The dam is the sustenance of the adjoining area and is supplying water to the neighboring farmlands. To make the whole process easier a 46 meters deep Lake was excavated. The Lake is covering 26 square km of rambling area. The dam also helped to build a water power plant in the vicinity.

The green manor of the Periyar sanctuary is spread across 55 square km of lands around the beautiful Lake of Periyar. The awe inspiring sanctuary was built by the king of Travancore. The name of the sanctuary was given as Nelliyampathy sanctuary in 1934. The area of the entire sanctuary was increased to 777 square km in 1950. Along with that, the name of the sanctuary was again changed to Periyar Sanctuary which got the status of another tiger reserve forest of Indian in 1979. The core area of the sanctuary is spread across the uneven and sprawling land of 350 square km. According to the statistics of 1977, the number of tigers present in the reserve forest is 40. The core area of the Periyar tiger reserve forest had got the status of the National forest in 1982. Besides the tigers, the prime and most interesting enticement of the forest for the holiday makers and nature lovers are Makna elephants.

You can watch the vista around the Lake while enjoying a boat ride, organized by the forest authority. It’s an enticing experience to take pleasure in the boat ride. The journey starts from the Forest Rest House. The transparent water of the Lake, dark woods and soaring hills around, on the lap of the green nature would enthrall all of you. 140 species of orchids are dotted around in the close proximity. Innumerable homes, built on the slopes of the hills, look like a picture on the canvas. The best possible option is to ride on a boat from Thekkady. The 2 hours tour on the boat will offer you the mesmerizing sight of the strolling denizens around the Lake in the shadowy woodland. Interested nature lovers who want to see the spectacle can contact @ 222023 for any Information. You have to spend 75 rupees and 150 rupees for the lower and upper tier of the boat respectively. Enjoy the boat ride with all your family members and witness the fascinating environment around. The upper tier of the boat would definitely offer a better view to the tourists. The wildlife office is another boat starting point.

Thanikudi, about 38 km away from Periyar, the source where the Periyar Lake has originated from, can be accessed by motorboats as well. The fascinating way to Thanikudi would unfold plenty of mysteries of the nature. An elephant safari would fascinate the sizeable crowds who visit Priyar as well.

Trekking lovers would have a nice time along with a hired guide. 10 km long undulating lands on the hills, can be accessed by the trekkers. Even though the tourists flock to Periyar throughout the year but the best time to visit the place is during October- May. However, during February- May the nature looks astounding and greener. The temperature varies from 16 degree to 29 degree Celsius in summers whereas it varies in the range of 16 degree to 21 degree Celsius in winters. The plastic free territory of Periyar Sanctuary experiences 255 mm of rainfall all through the year.

Countless numbers of elephants congregate at the banks of the Lake. Sometimes they swim across the Lake; sometimes the group of elephants comes to quench their thirst. If holiday makers get that pleasant opportunity to witness this charming sight of the elephants then they can consider themselves among the lucky lot. Tourists can see the ambling turtles on the green manor of Periyar. Sambars visit the place at times to drink the water of the Lake. The Periyar Sanctuary also houses leopards, Bison, wild buffaloes, wild dogs, boars, deer and panthers. Apart from cobras and Russell's vipers, more than 36 different species of snakes are seen in the dark and deep Periyar forest. Langurs (monkeys) jump from one branch to the other in the astonishing hinterland. Macaque monkeys are the indigenous inhabitants which wander in and around the sanctuary territory. 49 different types of mammals, 160 species of butterflies, and 265 species of native and itinerant birds make the place even more colorful and captivating. Flying squirrels fly around after sunset. 

There are tribals too, in the area.

KTDC organizes spice valley tour and green valley tour from Periyar. Tourists who are interested can contact District Tourist Information Office, Thekkady Junction for these trips.

How to reach:
Tiger Project of Periyar can be accessed from Kumily by bus. Buses are available from Kumily bus stand in every one hour. A number of long distance buses connect the city of Kumily to Thekkady and Periyar. You can also hire a taxi, jeep or auto from Kumily to visit Periyar. Numerous people prefer to travel the entire distance of 4 km from Kumily to Periyar by taking a walk. Buses and other vehicles take tourists directly to the forest rest house which is situated in the deep woods. The nearest railway station of Periyar is Bodinayakanur, about 67 km from Periyar where as the nearest airport is Madurai, located at a distance of 140 km from Periyar.
Buses connect Kumily to many other south Indian cities like Chennai, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam and Kochi by bus. You can also take a bus from Kumily to Kottayam which is connected to Kochi and Ernakulam by railway. Check our related links to organize a tour.

Where to stay: Aranya Nivas Hotel, Lake Palace Hotel of KTDC and Edapalayam Rest House are the popular and noteworthy places where tourists can stay at. Book in advance.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.

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