Periyar is a boast of a rich bird life, animal life and plant life. It is also famous for its National Park and Tiger Reserve. It is spread in a tropical forest area, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen and characterized by tall trees, and a closed canopy. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a perennial source of water for the local wildlife. Periyar also harbors the leopard, wild dog, barking deer and mouse deer.
Herds of elephant and sambar, gaur and wild pigs wander down to the lakeside and can be observed from the launches that cruise the lake. You may even get a glimpse of the tiger during this. A summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancore, set along the lake, is a hotel and a fine place to stay. Spice gardens and plantation estates surround the national park. There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake.
Out of the 27 tiger reserves in India, this is an important destination for its scenic beauty and wildlife resource. Apart from the big cat, you can find many interesting species in this region.
On your tour to Periyar you can visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. The region proffers a refuge to many mammals, reptiles and amphibians and around 320 avian species. Periyar has a few Nilgiri Tahr, good numbers of which may also be seen on a day excursion to nearby Eravikulam National Park near Munnar.
It is situated on the outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. Kumily is also one of the main attractions at Periyar, a spice plantation town closely associated with Thekkady. It is also an important shopping center and spice trade center, the main bus station and most of the medium range accommodation in the Periyar region is found in Kumily.
The panoramic picnic spot, Murikkady is also another important place of visit is Murikkady which is a panorama of cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations. It is just 5 km from Thekkady close to Periyar Tiger Reserve. Lush greenery, balmy air and picturesque views have made this an ideal destination to visit.
It is located between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu State border and 5 km from Kumily. It is one of the most famous picnic spots of Periyar. Pandikuzhi offers great opportunities for trekking and is a photographer’s delight. Tourists can also immerse themselves in adventurous endeavors like mountain climbing and many other activities.
The Periyar Lake offers an excellent boating spot for tourists. Boat cruises make the best bet to explore the wilds of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. 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.
Cradomom hills offer you an extremely splendid scenario to watch. Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills.To reach the hills you can take jeeps and taxis which are easily available.
Top animals to spot are Tiger, Nilgiri Langur, wild pigs, barking deer, gaur, elephant and other.
Top birds to spot are Malabar grey hornbill, black baza, eagle owl, brahminy kite, Nilgiri thrush, Sri Lanka frogmouth, black necked stork, litter spider hunter, great hornbill, Eurasian woodcock, paddy field warbler and others.
Top reptiles to spot are Malabar pit viper, king cobra, striped snake, turtles and a few lizards Apart from these, you can spot different types of fishes, butterflies and others. South India’s largest butterfly, Southern birdwing is found in this park.
Very close to the park, you can find many resorts and lodges that provide boat safari or jeep safari from the hotel. Cardamom hills is the best spot for luxury resorts near the park.