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Periyar National Park Exploring the Untamed Beauty of Kerala

Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park, also known as Thekkady, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Located in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, this renowned national park spreads over 925 square kilometers and offers an unforgettable experience in the lap of nature. From majestic elephants to elusive tigers, Periyar is a sanctuary to a rich array of wildlife species, making it one of the top wildlife destinations in India.

Here's a detailed exploration of the park's attractions and activities:

1. The Abundant Wildlife

The park is a treasure trove of wildlife, boasting a diverse range of species. While the spotlight is often on the majestic Indian elephants, you can also spot other fascinating creatures like tigers, leopards, sambar deer, gaur, and wild boar. Birdwatchers will be delighted with the variety of avian wonders, including the Malabar grey hornbill and the great pied hornbill.

2. Periyar Lake: The Heart of the Park

Periyar Lake lies at the center of the national park and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding forest. The boat safari on the lake is a popular activity, providing a unique opportunity to spot wildlife quenching their thirst by the water's edge. The tranquil ambiance of the lake, coupled with the sighting of animals, makes for a truly magical experience.

3. Bamboo Rafting Adventure

Embark on a thrilling bamboo rafting adventure across the Periyar Lake. The gentle sway of the raft amidst the lush greenery is a refreshing experience. While rafting, you can catch glimpses of animals wandering on the banks, making it a must-do activity for wildlife enthusiasts.

4. Nature Walks and Jungle Treks

Delve deeper into the wilderness with guided nature walks and jungle treks. Trained guides take you through the dense forest, explaining the unique ecosystem and pointing out different species of flora and fauna along the way. The early morning trek offers a chance to encounter animals at their most active time.

5. Tribal Village Visits

Explore the cultural aspect of Periyar National Park by visiting the tribal villages surrounding the reserve. Immerse yourself in their unique way of life, learn about their traditions, and discover how they coexist harmoniously with nature.

6. Spice Plantations Tour

Kerala is famous for its spices, and Periyar offers a chance to explore spice plantations. Take a guided tour to learn about the cultivation of various spices like cardamom, pepper, and cinnamon, and savor the aroma of the fresh produce.

7. Thekkady: Gateway to Periyar

Thekkady, a quaint town situated near the park, serves as the perfect base for visitors. It offers a range of accommodation options, eateries serving delicious Kerala cuisine, and opportunities for shopping traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.

8. Kumily: The Spice Hub

Kumily, an adjacent town to Periyar, is a bustling spice hub. Wander through the colorful local markets and purchase high-quality spices to take home with you.

9. The Green Paradise of Gavi

For a serene escape, visit Gavi, an eco-tourism destination near Periyar. Surrounded by tea plantations and lush forests, Gavi promises tranquility and sightings of rare bird species.

10. Border Hiking Expedition

If you are an adventure enthusiast, the border hiking expedition is tailor-made for you. Accompanied by forest guards, trek along the borders of the park, and enjoy the stunning views of the plains below.

11. Periyar Tiger Trail

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, join the Periyar Tiger Trail, which offers a two-day trek deep into the forest, giving you a chance to encounter the majestic tigers and other wild animals in their natural habitat.

12. Mangala Devi Temple Visit

Explore the spiritual side of Periyar by visiting the Mangala Devi Temple, situated within the park's boundaries. This ancient temple is open to the public only during the Chitra Pournami festival and attracts devotees and tourists alike.

13. Elephant Junction

Get up close and personal with gentle giants at the Elephant Junction, an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thekkady. Bathe, feed, and interact with the elephants while learning about their conservation.

14. The Ecotourism Initiatives

Periyar National Park is a pioneer in ecotourism practices. Discover how the park actively contributes to conservation efforts and sustains the delicate ecosystem through responsible tourism.

15. The Periyar Interpretation Centre

Enrich your understanding of the park's biodiversity, geography, and conservation initiatives at the Periyar Interpretation Centre. The exhibits and informative displays provide valuable insights into the park's ecological significance.

16. The Mystery of Pullumedu

Venture to the picturesque Pullumedu, a hill station surrounded by dense forests. The meandering streams and lush hills make it an ideal spot for a tranquil retreat.

17. Witness the Vallakadavu Green Tunnel

Experience nature's architectural wonder as you drive through the Vallakadavu Green Tunnel, an enchanting stretch of road adorned with a canopy of lush trees.

18. Anakkara: The Land of Spice Gardens

Explore Anakkara, a small village known for its exquisite spice gardens and picturesque landscapes.

19. Engage in Photography

For photography enthusiasts, Periyar offers an exceptional canvas of vibrant landscapes and captivating wildlife, providing ample opportunities to capture stunning shots.

20. Border Hike to Gavi

Take a border hike from Periyar to Gavi, a scenic trail that offers a chance to witness the park's diverse flora and fauna.

21. Explore the Cardamom Hills

The Cardamom Hills, adjacent to Periyar, are a natural treasure trove waiting to be explored. Venture into the heart of the hills to experience the raw beauty of nature.

22. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: A Conservation Success Story

Learn about the successful conservation initiatives that have helped protect and preserve the rich biodiversity of Periyar National Park.

23. The Flora of Periyar

Discover the remarkable diversity of flora in Periyar, from towering evergreen trees to rare orchids and medicinal plants.

24. The Fauna of Periyar

Get acquainted with the fascinating fauna of Periyar, including endangered species like the Nilgiri langur and lion-tailed macaque.

25. Periyar: An Evergreen Destination

Find out why Periyar remains a year-round destination, offering unique experiences in every season.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reach Periyar National Park?

Periyar National Park can be accessed by road from major cities like Kochi, Trivandrum, and Madurai. The nearest airport is Madurai International Airport, and the closest railway station is Kottayam.

What is the best time to visit Periyar National Park?
Can I spot tigers during my visit to Periyar National Park?
Are there any accommodation options within the park?
Is it safe to take part in the Periyar Tiger Trail?
Can I hire a local guide for nature walks and jungle treks?