Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, spread across 777 Sq. Kms out of which 360 Sq. Kms is thick forest, is one of the best places for viewing wild elephants. There is a 26 Sq. Km. artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river. A boat cruise on the lake is a great way to watch the wildlife.
Wild animals like the Elephant, Gaur, Sambar Deer and wild boar, which can be easily seen from close quarters during the serene boat ride. Other Mammals like the Nilgiri Thar, the lion tailed macaque, the bonnet macaque, the Malabar giant Squirrel, the flying Squirrel, the Tiger, the jungle cat and the sloth bear are seen only once in a while. Around 265 different species of birds like the Hornbill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter etc. can also be seen.
Idukki has about 1500 sq.km of reserved forest with high ranges of mountains having an altitude ranging from 2500 feet above sea level. The famous Idukkai Arch Dam, is built across the Periyar river and its tributaries Thodupuzha and Pamba are the important rivers in the district.
It is situated just above the famous Idukki Reservoir, which has around the sanctuary. Sambar and herds of elephants are seen in the sanctuary.
One of the best in the country, the sanctuary has an area of 750 sq.km. It lies at an elevation from 900 to 1800 metres above sea level. The vast artificial man-made lake across the Periyar river, surrounded by the lush green tropical forest is the natural habituate of elephant, tiger, bison and sambar etc. A cruise in the lake by boat is a thrilling experience as one can see herds of elephants drinking, bathing or frolicking in the water along with their young ones. There is a Lake palace on a small island in the lake which can be reached by boat.
This tiny cool hill station is full of rubber, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations and also known for its waterfalls. It also serves as a lovely halt on the way to Thekkady which is 43 km away.
The area of this bird sanctuary is 25 sq.km and it lies between the branches of periyar river. There are more than 200 varieties of birds, the most prominent birds are large falcon, jungle fowl etc.
Timing: From 07:00 hrs to 11:00 hrs
From 14:00 hrs. to 16:00hrs.
Trekking is another wonderful way to view the wildlife from close quarters. Early morning trekking to the jungles can be arranged. It will be good if you can carry your trekking boots and gear. 4 days trekking into the Periyar jungles with overnight tent camping can also be arranged.
Spices are found in abundance in Periyar. A guided Plantation tour to familiarize you with different spices and plantations like cardamom, pepper, tea, coffee, cloves, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin seed, garlic etc. is a main attraction of Thekkady.
Air: The nearest airport is at Kochi
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kottayam.
Road: Idukki can be reached by motorable roads.