PERIYAR - Periyar National Park is situated in the hills of the Western Ghats. The centerpiece of Periyar National park is the 5,500-hectare Periyar lake formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar river in 1895. The dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. Along the fringes of the lake are marshy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, as it provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses. Periyar is a veritable paradise of elephants. Herds of playful wild elephants can be seen near the Periyar lake, their favorite haunt for frolicking in the water.
FAMOUS TOURIST PLACES OF PERIYAR
- Bamboo Rafting
This is a dawn to dusk range hiking and rafting program through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve. Starting at 8 am from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be traversed before the party gets into rafts made of bamboos.
The forests are rich in birdlife and arboreal animals like giant squirrel and Nilgiri langur. The rafting is for about three hours and one gets a panoramic view of forest-clad hills reflected on the lake. Animals like elephant, gaur, and sambar are sighted keeping close to the edges of the lake.
The team hitchhikes back to the boat landing by about 5 pm. An armed guard and 04 guides will accompany a maximum of 10 tourists. Tea, snacks and packed lunch will be served en route.
Boat ride in Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady. It is an example of nature's bounty, with great scenic charm, rich biodiversity, and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 777 sq .km., Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India.
Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar, and Lamb.
Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary. Today the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. 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. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat.
Different nature trails traversing diverse habitats form the trekking routes, generally 4 to 5 km. in length. This is an interpretive program offering an excellent opportunity to watch birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. The trails often pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands. The Nature walk is the right program to feel nature, hear her whispers, and smell her flowers.
The program is offered between 7.00 am. and 10.30 am. and between 2.00 pm. and 3.00 pm. and lasts for about 3 hours. A maximum of 5 persons can go for trekking at a time along each nature trail, accompanied by a trained tribal guide. The Nature walk is the right program to feel nature, hear her whispers, and smell her flowers.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
It holds the repute of one of the best-maintained wildlife sanctuaries in the country. Spread over an area of 777 sq km, dotted with thick evergreen forest, it was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. It is also a treasure trove of some of the rare species of flora and fauna that are native of Kerala. The flora includes over 1965 flowering plants, 171 grass species, 143 species of orchids, and the only South Indian conifer. Apart from the tigers, the park has diverse wildlife including wild elephant, gaur, wild boar, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, and Malabar giant squirrel among others. Today enjoy a Boat cruise in the park, which is the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary.
Spice Plantation Tour
Enjoy a fascinating and informative visit to several neighboring spice plantations as well as smaller-scale spice gardens whose owners are proud of their adaptation of organic farming methods, including the use of methane gas produced from cow dung to provide energy for their household needs. This visit enables you to get an understanding of how the spice used in everyday cooking throughout the world is grown, harvested, and processed before they find their way to your local supermarket. The visit also provides you with a firsthand idea of the wonderful world of spices and its history, cultivation, medicinal values, economics, etc.