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a walk on the wild side

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala

Location Kerala
Speciality Elephant
Airport Mdurai, Cochin, Trivamdrum
Railhead Mdurai, Kattayam, Bodinayakanur
Accomodation Choice of several near by Hotels
Best Time To Visit February to May

Large scenic park formed by the watershed of a reservoir developed around a large, arificial lake. It is famous for the large elephant population which can easily be seen as you travel by boat on the lake.

Other wildlife sometimes seen from the boat are the gaur, Indian wild dog and nilgiri langur, as well as otter, large tortoises, and a rich birdlife, including flights of hornbills. Along the water's edge you may see the flashing, brilliant hues of several kinds of kingfisher, perhaps even a fishing owl. The best time is from February to May.

It is 160 kms. from Mdurai Airport , 208 kms. from Cochin Airport and 258 kms. from Trivandrum Airport. It is 110 kms from Madurai Railway station, 110 kms. from Kattayam Railway station, 67 kms. from Bodinayakanur Railway station.

One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Tekkadi wildlife sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted here. There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June.

Spread over 777 of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from Madurai. Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group.

Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water.Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flyings Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.

The park opens from February to May. The nearest domestic airports and railway station are at Madurai and Trivandrum. Hotels catering to every budget are available.

The sanctuary is well connected only by road. Thekkady is linked by road with some of the major cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are direct bus services from Kochi, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and Madurai. The main bus stand is at Kumily (3 Km. from Thekkady Sanctuary) from where there are buses to various places.

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