Location of Periyar National Park: - On the eastern border of Kerala is located the famous Periyar national park, this is the area of Eastern Ghats known for its signature weather.
By Road -Very good highways connect this known tiger reserve with cities of kerala. Cochin is around 200 kms from the Periyar national park the road is smooth though its not a four lane highway but sure you will reach the sanctuary in around 4-5 hours.. Madurai a city of Tamilnadu is around 140 kms.
By Train- The nearest railways station to the Periyar national park is the Kottyam railway station around 114 kms from the wild life park. Ernakulam is also around 200 kms from the Periyar national park.
By Flight- International airport at Cochin is 200 kms from the periyar national park. Cochin is also very well connected with major cities of India. Madurai airport is also quite accessible from the Periyar national park. Madurai airport is 140kms from the Periyar national park.
The name Periyar comes from the Periyar river flowing through the forest area. This river originates from the western ghats, another river Pamba also flows through the periyar national park, these rivers get the feed from the catchment areas of the rich cardamom hills. The periyar lake is a manmade lake which came into existence in the nineteenth century when Mulla periyar dam was constructed The periyar lake covers an area of around 30 square kilometers. The most known fauna of the periyar national park are its royal Bengal tigers which number around 40, elephants are also in abundance, around 600 in number. The periyar lake and the adjoining forest area present a natural habitat for the hundreds of species of animals and plant varieties Apart from the boat ride at the periyar lake other activities like bamboo rafting, night walk, tiger trail, hiking etc are quite famous with the travelers The entire area before being declared wild life sanctuary were the favorite hunting ground of the Travancore kings, in 1950 this area was declared a wild life sanctuary. Later in 1978 this area was included in the project tiger and was declared a Tiger reserve.
Royal Bengal tiger is the most famous mammalian specie of the periyar national park, elephants are also star attraction at the periyar national park. Nilgiri Tahr a very shy goat is another endangered species of the periyar national park, the wild boar, wild dogs, lion tailed macaque, the black faced monkeys called langur, Indian bison,there are many varieties of deer present in the national park. Apart from these mammalian species the park has a rich treasure trove of 45 reptilian species, 266 birds hundreds of butterflies abound in the periyar national park.
The periyar national park is based on the western ghats with a typical weather and flora which is wet tropical deciduous grassland. The trees like teak, rosewood tamarind, bamboo, sandalwood grow a plenty. The park is also very well known for the exotic orchid varieties only growing in the periyar national park. The Periyar national park is also very well known for its coffee and spice plantations The tourists can visit these spice plantations.
The periyar lake has the double deck boats safari operating entire day at two hours interval the lake is quite huge and the boats present an enormous view of the jungle surrounding the lake, the best view is enjoyed from the upper deck of the boat. The tourist are not allowed to stand up or move around the boat while the boat is in motion. The morning boat safari does provide enormous view as the wilderness goes to the lake for drinking water. The elephants, the deer sure can be seen easily if lucky the king of the forest Royal Bengal tigers can be sighted. Apart from these boats you can also hire bamboo barges for silently faring upon the periyar lake. Night safari walk can be availed at the periyar national park, this walk is organized by the park authorities and its lead by a naturalist ably guarded by the forest guards. The night walk is an amazing experience as you get to experience the jungle with its creatures and their howls. The first boat cruise starts at 7 :25 am then subsequently every two hour till 3:30pm the time of last boat.
The entry to the periyar national park is charged by the forest department, the gates of the national park are open for the tourists from 5:30 am in the morning till 5:30 pm in the evening. Indians are charged 45 INR for entering the national park. Boat safari Charges- Indian -155 .Foreigners- 450
The boat safari is of 1:30 minutes duration, the first boat sails at 7:00 am then at consecutive 2 hours there is a boat available for safari, the last boat sails at 3:30 om and gets back at 6 pm.
The night safari tickets are sold at the entrances gate forest office. The safari is a 3 hours walk in the periyar national park. Every party is guarded by two forest guards. A green walk inside the periyar national park for 2-2.5 hours along with the services of a trained naturalist guide. The walk goes across the core forest area unrevealing the best of periyar national park remember the entire jungle is a package, sighting just tigers should not be the prime objective of a nature trail in any forest area. Periyar boasts of a community based conservation programs which were started in the 1990’s these include those affected by the forest displacement to be provided employment based in the forest tourism activities. So tourists products here are designed to fulfill the social directions.and obligations. The tribals are allowed to fish in the shallow waters of periyar lake, this is a special privilege to the tribal’s of this national park. Even the guides /naturalist are mostly former poachers they have now been provided alternative employment. The park provides enough occasions of enjoying the sight of the large pachyderms quite in abundance at the park, you can enjoy their bathing at the periyar lake infact usually they are accompanied by entire families including small infants.