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Home >> Bird Watching >> Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Area Covered
Elephant, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary777 sq. kms

Periyar boasts of a pleasant climate, summers are comfortable and winters are not too cold. The temperature during summers (April-June) varies between 31°C and 21°C, and during winters (November to April) the temperature ranges from 15°C and 21°C. The monsoon brings heavy rainfall during the months of July and August.

Best Time to Visit
Best season to visit the wildlife sanctuary is October to April. From February onwards the climate starts getting warmer, so its is easiest to spot animals around the lake and waterholes.

About the Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in India. Situated amidst the picturesque ranges of Western Ghats, Periyar Wild Sanctuary is both a National Park and a Tiger Reserve. In 1934 the Periyar was declared a sanctuary and in 1978 it became the only Project Tiger Reserve in Kerela. Periyar became a national park in the year 1982. Though designated as Tiger Reserve, Periyar is originally known for its wild elephants. The Sanctuary spreads over an area of 777 sq. kms is home to variety of aviafauna, flora and fauna. There are more than 700 elephants in the park and around 40 Tigers. In the heart of the park is the 100 year old artificial lake, which was created to provide water to the local wildlife. On the bank of the lake herds of elephants and other animals can be spotted bathing and swimming. There is also good chance of spotting a tiger in the peaceful part of the forest. The vegetation is moist deciduous type and mainly composed of marshy grasslands. The forests of the sanctuary are a mixture of fire-resistant low-growth vegetation, semi-evergreens and tropical evergreens.

Tiger, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife Attractions
Periyar is mainly known for elephants and tigers. Apart from this, several other animal and avian species can be seen in the sanctuary.
» Avian Species : Around 260 avian species are found in the sanctuary including Grey Herons, Ibises, Darters, Cormorants, Great Malabar Hornbill, Grey Hornbill, Ospreys, Kites, Kingfishers, Orioles, Parakeets, Blue Winged Paraket, Fly Catchers, Hill Mynas, Racket Tailed Drongos etc.

» Fauna : Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animal species that include Leopards, Nilgiri Langoor, Common Langur, The rare Lion-tailed Macaque, Bonnet Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Bison, Deer, Antelope, Wild Pigs, Gaur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild Dog, Monitor lizards and a variety of snakes.

Other Attractions
» Kumily : Kumily a small town just 4 kms away from Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The town is convenient base to visit the sanctuary, as there are excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.

» Cradomom Hills : The picturesque hill are located close to Periyar and Kumily. Tourists can reach to the hills by jeep or taxi.

» Boating at Periyar : Periyar lake is the fine boating spot for tourists visiting the sanctuary. Boat cruise is the best option to see the wild animals. While on the boat cruise you can spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar or many other animals. Boat rides can be taken into large sized public boats or a small private boat.

Tea Garden, Kumily» Jeep and Elephant Safari : Jeep Safari and Elephant Safari are also good options for wildlife viewing. Early morning and the evening are the best time for watching wildlife.

Where to Stay
There are plenty of accommodation facilities both inside and outside the park. The accommodation options range from luxury to budget suit the budget of tourists. Within the park one can stay in the 'Machaan' or observation tower, which provides a good chance of game spotting. The rest houses inside the park are also best to stay. The nearby town of Kumily has several hotels which offer comfortable stay.

» Air : Nearest airport is located at Madurai (140 kms) in the state of Tamil Nadu, however in Kerala the nearest airport is Kochi airport (200 kms). Flights from these airports are available to major cities of India.

» Rail : Kottayam railway station (114 kms) is the nearest railhead. From Kottayam one has to reach Periyar by bus.

» Road : Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by roads with towns and cities of Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. The State and Private buses ply to Periyar from Kottayam, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Kovalam, Munnar, Kodaikanal and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Duration: 10 Days/ 9 Nights

Destination Covered: Cochin > Munnar > Madurai > Periyar > Kumarakom > Kovalam > Trivandrum Days 01: Cochin
Arrival at Cochin Airport. Transfer to Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Cochin
Cochin is one of the most interesting towns in South India. A trading port since Roman times, it was on the main trade route between Europe and China. Fort Cochin occupies the South promontory on the seaward side of the Bay. Cochin is also known as the commercial capital of Kerala. After breakfast full day tour of Cochin. Overnight Hotel.

Day 03: Cochin to Munnar (150 km 4 hrs)
After breakfast ,journey to the most beautiful hill station of Kerala where the tea plantations spread like a green carpet. Munnar is still very much a British Tea Plantation town, set in a landscape of rolling hills, tea, coffee and rubber plantations, misty valleys and forest. Overnight at Hotel.

Days 04: Munnar
Sightseeing of Munnar and the surrounding area. There are several options for walks depending on the weather and changing restrictions. After breakfast drive to the Silent Valley Estate of the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations. You may ascend through forestry and tea plantations. The forests shelter a wealth of birds so look out for Grey-breasted Laughing Thrush, Yellow-throated Bulbul, Streak-throated Woodpecker and Scaly Thrush. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: Munnar to Madurai (2 hours)
After breakfast drive to Madurai (2 hours) in Tamil Nadu and check-in to hotel. After lunch njoy sightseeing of this fascinating city. Madurai is one of India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. Madurai’s main attraction is the famous Sri Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old town. Covered from top to bottom with a multicoloured profusion of mythical figures, gods, goddesses and animals, its many shrines attract pilgrims from all over the world. Overnight hotel.

Day 6: Madurai to Periyar (Thekkady) (5 hours)
After breakfast drive southwards, through coffee plantations and cardamom hills to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in South India. Periyar is situated on the banks of an artificial lake, formed with the construction of an irrigation dam in 1895. The actual reservoir is 21 square miles (55 sq km) with the sanctuary covering 300 square miles (777 sq km). Now declared a Tiger Reserve, this sanctuary is one of the best places to see wild elephants, gaur (Indian bison), wild dog, Sambar, barking deer and mouse deer. The last Nilgiri Thar in the area inhabits some of the high hillcrests within Periyar. The rare and endangered lion-tailed macaque is found here along with the Nilgiri Langur, the common Langur and bonnet macaque. Around 250 species of birds and 112 species of butterfly have been recorded in Periyar. Surrounding the sanctuary are many spice plantations and we will spend time at one, discovering the many exotic spices that are grown here. In the afternoon we will take a 2-hour boat ride in an artificial lake formed during the construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam in 1895 – that explains the dead tree branches sticking out of the water. These trees were submerged in the waters of the dam. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the few places where the chances are pretty high that you will spot an elephant in the wild at close quarters and from the safe confines of a boat. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 7: Periyar (Thekkady)
After breakfast you will go for a full day walk and rafting in Periyar wildlife sanctuary. A maximum of 5 persons are allowed per raft and 2 rafts are functioning. The day involves a 2-hour trek into the core area of the park, 3 hours rafting and 2-hours return trek. There will be one-armed guard and 2 tribal trackers along with each raft. A simple vegetarian lunch will be served as well as snacks and tea or coffee. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8: Thekkady to Kumarakom (140km 3 hours) / Houseboat
breakfast drive to Kumarakom. It is a pleasant drive along country roads, through rubber, banana, tapioca and coffee plantations. Here you board our houseboat and sail through scenic backwaters, passing through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. The boat will pass through picturesque stretches of the backwaters allowing a glimpse of village life and to experience a way of life unique to this region. In the evening we anchor our houseboat. Overnight Houseboat.

Day 9: Kovalam
After breakfast leave the boat and now drive to Kovalam, India’s most spectacular beach. Here the miles of fine white sandy beaches with their Coconut Palms are washed by the surf of the boundless blue Arabian Sea.Overnight at Hotel.

Day 10: Depart Trivandrum
Transfer to the international airport at Trivandrum for your onward destination.


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