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Introducing Periyar

Best time to visit : September to March
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One of the most significant attractions in Kerala, the Periyar National Park, is nestled in the banks of the fabricated Lake of Periyar and verdant forest area of Western Ghats. It covers total land area of about 777 sq. km out of which approximately 360 sq. km has deep evergreen forest, embracing the most prominent wildlife sanctuaries in South India. However, it is acclaimed as the tiger reservation forestland but it is heart wrenching to find less than 50 tigers remaining in the forest due to serious poaching issues. The Park is enclosed with luxuriant grasslands and dense flora and fauna, which includes Nilgiri langoors, bison, deer, antelope and more than 500 wild elephants, which will make your trip adventurous!

Facts

Walking trails is most commonly used to move around within the park and there are trained tribal tourist guides, who take you for trekking trails in the jungle area. You can easily get all the tourist information from the sanctuary. You can also explore the wildlife park on bamboo rafts; an inimitable and daring way to traverse the length of the Periyar Lake. This man-made lake was created when the Mullaperiyar Dam was constructed. The two-hour boat trails can be arranged on the lake, which is the best bet to view the animals that turn up to the lake for drinking water. It is indeed a paradise for all nature lovers and wildlife aficionado. However, the best part of the park is the playful, adorable elephants, which will irrefutably grab all your attention!

There are numerous options for eating out in Periyar. The restaurants here dole out a variety of local cuisines, international and north Indian cuisines that are exotic and spicy. Savour the delectable cuisines at some of the prominent eateries like Falling Leaf Restaurant, Ambadi, Periyar Café, Aranya Nivas, Taj Garden Retreat and Sree Krishna Restaurant.

The place has restricted shopping avenues; nevertheless, the town’s spice souk is prominent in the country. The exotic, authentic spice available in the local towns includes green cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, aromatic nutmeg, mace and star anise. There are also small hand crafted items sold in the markets, beside few bookstores and specialty shops selling natural, eco-friendly and organic products.

Nearby Places:
The green stretch of Cardamom Hills makes an incredible backdrop of the journey to Periyar, completely in the lap of nature, peace and tranquility. The spice markets flourish amidst the plantations that lend a picturesque sight of the place. Tourist places worth visiting near Periyar include:
  • Madurai: This temple town is the land of rituals and idols and landmark town in the cultural history of the country. Madurai is located at a distance of about 150 km. from Periyar. The Meenkshi-Sundareswar Temple is the city’s finest establishment, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.
  • Vandiperiyar: This is the big town situated at a distance of around 18 km from the Thekkady, on the banks of the River Periyar. There are few tea plantations and factories, which makes it one of the major agricultural hubs of Kerala. Recreational boating and fishing activities can be enjoyed in this town.   



     

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