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Periyar Travel Guide

Periyar, also known as Thekkady, is a popular tourist destination located in the Idukki district of Kerala, India. It is renowned for the Periyar National Park, which is one of the prominent wildlife sanctuaries in South India and a Tiger Reserve.

Periyar National Park is nestled in the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and covers an area of approximately 925 square kilometers (357 square miles). The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, picturesque landscapes, and the Periyar Lake, which is the central attraction of the park. The lake offers boat cruises that allow visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty and spot wildlife such as elephants, sambar deer, gaur (Indian bison), and a variety of bird species.

One of the unique features of Periyar National Park is the opportunity to engage in a wildlife safari called "Thekkady Bamboo Rafting." During this adventure, visitors can trek through the dense forests and sail on bamboo rafts in the Periyar Lake, accompanied by trained guides. It offers a close encounter with the wildlife and an immersive experience in the natural surroundings.

Periyar is also known for its spice plantations, especially cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Visitors can explore the spice gardens, learn about the cultivation and processing of spices, and even purchase fresh spices.

The region around Periyar is characterized by rolling hills, tea and coffee plantations, and picturesque villages. Nature walks, trekking, and hiking are popular activities, offering opportunities to explore the verdant landscapes and appreciate the rich biodiversity.

Cultural experiences can be found in the nearby towns and villages, where visitors can witness traditional art forms, such as Kathakali (a classical dance-drama), Kalaripayattu (a martial art form), and traditional music performances.

Periyar is well-connected by road from various cities in Kerala and neighboring states. The nearest airports are Madurai in Tamil Nadu (140 kilometers away) and Kochi in Kerala (190 kilometers away). The nearest railway station is Kottayam (114 kilometers away).