Periyar is a protected area, and a nature reserve in the South Indian State of Kerala, set high in the mountains of the Western Ghats at the border to Tamil Nadu. It lies in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta. The protected area covers an area of 777 km², out of which a 350 km² part of the core zone was made into the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve, sometimes dubbed the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Before the core area was made into a National Park it was a wildlife sanctuary.
Flora and fauna
Periyar is home to one of India's largest tiger populations. There are also gaur (Indian bison) and wild boar. Please note you will be need to be very lucky to see a tiger.
Since it is at a high altitude the climate is cooler than at the shore.
The only way to the tourism zone is through the gate at Thekkady, a few kilometers from Kumily. Kumily on the Tamil Nadu border is well connected to Kodaikanal, Madurai, Theni in Tamil Nadu and Kottayam in Kerala.
Private vehicles are not permitted in the park. Visitors must catch a bus from the ticket booth in Kumily (price included in entry fee). Buses depart every 10 minutes or so and drop you off at the boat ramp.
Fees and permits
Entrance to the park is ₹475 for foreigners which includes the bus to the boat ramp.
- Periyar Tiger National Park : Periyar tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty, with great scenic charm, rich biodiversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Spread over an area of 777 km², Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India.
- Nature walk: The guided day trek
- The Periyar Tiger Trail: Adventure trekking and camping
- Border hiking: Protection-oriented range hiking
- Bamboo rafting: Dawn to dusk range hiking
- Jungle patrol: Shepherding the jungle
- Tribal heritage: A peep into the past
- Jungle inn: Jungle in the night
- The Bamboo Grove: Eco-lodge & centre for experiential learning
- Green Mansions: Far from the madding crowds
Periyar is near a pepper-growing region. Try an omelette (or anything you can find) with crushed fresh peppercorns - nothing to beat it!
The best way to experience Periyar is to stay in the treehouse. The ranger will escort you there around 10AM and come to collect you at the same time next day. It is just a wooden box, so bring your own bedding, candles, food etc. The treehouse is situated at the end of a tongue of grassy land with forest on either side. As the sun sets the animals all come out to graze (not the tigers though), and in the morning they are there again as the mist lifts. In between you can kick back, admire the view, listen to the orchestra of insects and birds, and amuse yourself with the graffiti collection.
At the Bamboo Grove (it's an accommodation provided by the Kerala Forest Division).
Leeches are likely to attach themselves to your leg if you go on a bushwalk with one of the guides. Special canvas 'shoe covers' are available. Do not wander in the woods alone.
- Mickey's Cottage  [dead link]
- List of hotels  [dead link] on Periyar National Park website
- Taj Garden Retreat, Thekkady 
- Highlights of Kerala  yoga and cooking classes.
- Lake Palace Hotel. Six rooms and used to be a hunting lodge for the Maharaja