The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is entirely known for its rich scenic beauty and the growth in biodiversity. The Periyar National Park is believed to be one of the most protected areas for wildlife, especially for tigers and elephants. The Periyar is considered to be one of the most well known national parks in South India. The wildlife protected area is widespread over an area of 925 sq km and 350 sq km is the core zone of the declared Periyar National Park which was done in the year 1982. The Periyar National Park also submerges with a 100-year-old lake which meets the basic needs of the wildlife in Periyar especially the Elephants present here.
The Periyar consists of Tropical Evergreen Forests which contains thick tree covers and there is hardly any room for sun rays to be penetrated. The trees also have an amazing height of 130-140 feet. Some of the areas in the Periyar are also covered with marshy grasslands near any water bodies in this Park. There is also some semi-evergreen forest which is considered shelter for many of the wild animals residing over the Periyar National Park.
Why to Visit Periyar National Park
The wildlife present here in the Periyar is the main attraction and as such tourists from many parts of India and abroad come here to witness the wildlife attractions of the Periyar. Wild Elephants are the main attractions of the Periyar National Park. The Sanctuary also consists of wild pigs, sambar, gaur, mouse deer, barking deer or the dole, tigers and wild dogs. There are almost 40 tigers which are recorded to be present in the Periyar National Park.
The Periyar National Park also marks the presence of the Nilgiri langur, the rare lion-tailed macaque, gee’s golden langur, common langur and bonnet macaque. The Periyar National Park is also considered as the habitat of the amazing Nilgiri Tahr which is one of the most beautiful species in the entire wildlife zone of the Periyar National Park.
Apart from this the Periyar National Park also marks the presence of 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. These are some of the major attractions of Periyar excluding the Jungle Safari.
The Periyar National Park can be connected via Airways, Railways as well as Roadways.
By Air: Cochin is 200 km from Periyar and Tamil Nadu is 140 km from the Airports present here.
By Railways: Kottayam is the nearest railway station covering 114 km.
By roadways: Kumily is the nearest town from the Periyar and is well served by private buses and state government bus services from Kottayam, Ernakulam, and Madurai located in Tamil Nadu.
Best time to visit Periyar National Park
The best time to visit the Periyar National Park is in the months of October to June.
Opening and closing hours of Park and Safari Timing
6 am in the morning is the park opening time and 6 pm in the evening is the park closing time. The Safari involved in the Periyar National Park is of two types:
Boat Cruise in the jungle for half an hour and the timings are 7.25 am, 9.15 am, 11.15 am, 1.30 am and 4 pm.
Jeep Safari is divided into two different variants:
Night Safari which is scheduled from 11 pm to 3 am.
Full Day Safari which is scheduled till 3 pm in the evening.
Charges of Safari and Other Fee
The entry fees for Indian Citizens at Periyar National Park is Rs 50 whereas for the Foreign Tourists it costs around Rs 500. Jeep Safari costs around Rs 2500 for Indian Citizens and Rs 4000 for Foreign Tourists.
Essential Tips for the Visitors
Follow the rules and regulations laid by the Kerela Tourist Department Corporation and the Forest Department of India.
Follow your guide and make useful moves directed by the expert guide.Do take keen advice from the guide who actually knows the forest better than anyone else.
Medical approval is mandatory for a person with health issues and carrying ID cards such as Passport/Aadhar Card/Driving Licence or Voter ID is a must.
Be calm and cool when you spot wild animals. Any type of mischievous activity will not be tolerated by the Authority. Photography and Video recordings are permitted inside the Park.
Nearby other Attraction of Periyar National Park
The Periyar Lake: The Periyar Lake is located at the sanctuary and the reserve is also named after this beautiful lake. Boat Safari is permitted on this lake and tourists can enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake.
Kumily: Kumily is a small town located near Thekkady and Periyar which is also well known for the cardamom hills. It is located in the Idukki district of Kerela. The presence of some beautiful holy temples Kumily attracts most of the nature lovers and also the spiritual people.
Mangla Devi Temple: The Mangla Devi Temple is located at a distance of 15 km from Thekkady region. The temple marks the presence of ancient Pandian type architecture and is located at a height of 1337 meters on the Kerala- Tamil Nadu border. The temple attracts most of the pilgrims visiting the Periyar National Park. It is believed that prayers are conducted in this 2000-year-old temple only once a year which is on the full moon day between the months of Aril and May.
Pullumedu: Pullumedu is an area which is famous for wildlife sanctuaries and nature. Pullumedu is located at a distance of 43 km from Thekkady. Some of the other major attractions of this region also include the Shri Ayappa Temple and the Makara Jyothi Temple which are also considered to be holy and spiritual.