What is the first image that conjures up in your mind when thinking about Kerala? Is it the coconut trees, backwaters or the Kettuvallams? Though, the wildlife in Kerala is less explored, Kerala Tourism is incomplete without experiencing it.
Mirror-still lagoons, verdant hills and grassy plains together create the dreamscape of Periyar. Ensconced amidst the rolling Cardamom and Pandalam hills of southern Western Ghats, Periyar is the most popular wildlife destination in Kerala. It is about 27km away from Trivandrum- the capital city.
Periyar covers an area of 777 sq km, of which 350 sq km was declared as Periyar National Park in 1982. The site is rich in flora and fauna. The beautiful artificial lake sitting in the middle of the park adds up to its beauty.
Following are the main tourist attractions of Periyar
Periyar National Park
Wildlife buffs! Periyar National Park is a fabulous destination to visit. It is one of the finest wildlife reserves in India and boasts of a unique fauna family. More than 35 species of mammals including barking deer, foxes, gaurs, lion-tailed macaque and leopards inhabit the park.
Bird watchers can have a good time sighting different varieties of birds like darters, kingfishers, hornbills and cormorants. Periyar Tiger Reserve is known for its tiger and elephant population. About 40 tigers live in the park with most of them preferring to stay in the interiors of the forests. Watch the herd of Asiatic elephants ambling in the park.
This artificial lake rests in the heart of the Periyar Sanctuary. It was formed when the Mullaperiyar Dam was built in 1895 by the Britishers. It is a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. The lake inhabits a unique aquatic life in itself. Perhaps a boat ride in the lake will help you observe them closely.
Don’t bat an eyelid as you are boating. After all, you might spot animals like deer, boar or an elephant drinking water from the lake. The sight is unarguably sweet and magical.
It is a picturesque village in Kerala covered with greenery, located on the outskirts of the sanctuary. Tourists visiting the Periyar National Park make sure to visit this town. The flourishing tea plantations and the bustling spice trading activities have made it a major tourist hotspot in Kerala.
Kumily serves as an important bus-station and a major shopping centre in this region. The site is famous for its aromatic spices. You can also find affordable accommodations in this town.
Kadathanadan Kalari Centre
Art lovers will love watching Kalaripayattu-a traditional martial art which originated in Kerala. It is the oldest of all martial arts. An hour long presentation of this classical fight is staged in this centre every evening. A well-designed gallery has been built so that the audience can view it from a safe distance.
Excursions from Periyar
Murikkady (5km), Pandikuzhi (9km), Chellarkovil(18km), Mangaladevi Temple (15 km) and Peermade(40 Km) are some of the nearby destinations to explore during your trip to Periyar.
Shopping in Periyar
Shoppers can purchase spiced-chocolates, jute and bamboo products, crisp banana chips and traditional pickles. You can also buy stunning hand-loom fabrics, kitchen-ware and antique items.
How to Reach
Air: Cochin International Airport (190km) is the nearest aerodrome to the destination.
Rail: Tourists can get down at Kottayam railway station (114km) and book a cab to reach the site.
Road: Direct buses are available from Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Munnar.
Kerala is a lot more than just backwaters and beaches! So, do book for Periyar Wildlife Tour to experience the thrilling facet of this unique destination.
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