Periyar Sanctuary Travel Guide

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
    Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
    by Robert_Hun
    by pravdr
    by pravdr

Periyar Sanctuary Things to Do

  • Tea plantations

    Travelling from Kottayam to Kumily, the landscape starts to change, with steeper winding roads, tea plantations appear as you near Kumily.Although Munnar, about 4.30 hours away, is the commercial centre of some of the worlds highest tea growing estates, with the TATA company (the largest tea producer in the world)owning most of the land. It isn't...

  • Spice Plantations/Gardens

    On the outskirts of Kumily are to be found Spice plantations and gardens.We first visited a plantation, where we saw peppers, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, jackfruit, mimosa flowers and coffee beans all growing in their natural habitat.The Kallumakal (Abraham) spice garden was well worth a visit. Owned by the Abraham family, the rambling...

  • Kumily

    The nearby town of Kumily is worth a visit, either to see some local life or to do some shopping.Most of the craft shops are Kashmiri owned, and have an assortment of goods on sale. (see my intro and shopping tips)The market and assorted food shops have a wide selection of dry and fresh goods, for snacking on. I was lucky enough to witness a parade...

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - Elephants

    Although there are estimated to be over 750 elephants living in the park, you aren't guaranteed a sighting.We nearly missed seeing these creatures, as our boat was heading back to the shore. Luckily, the boats captain spotted movement in the nearby trees, and pulled the boat up in time for us to witness a family group, lumber down to the waters...

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - wildlife

    During our boat trip we spotted these wild boar, grazing by the lakeside.It may be possible to spot bison, antelope, monkeys, sambar, elephants and very rarely, tigers.

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - Python

    Near the entrance to the wildlife park, we were alerted to a group of people looking excitedly up a tree. Curled up in the branches was a large python! We thought that we had had a rare sighting, but on chatting to others later, it would appear to be a more or less permanant fixture.It was quite an awesome sight though.


Periyar Sanctuary Restaurants

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Spice Village: Spice and more!

    by suvanki Updated Jun 24, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Non residents can eat in the restaurant.

    The buffet offers a wide selection of dishes, both hot and cold. Vegetarian/ non-vegetarian,Western and local foods provide a variety of tastes.

    Tribal dishes are a speciality, and there's also a grill area as well as licensed bar.

    During the meal you may be entertained by traditional Keralan or Tamil musicians, singers and/ or dancers.

    Tables and chairs are situated either inside or on the terrace overlooking the attractive gardens.

    Favorite Dish: I couldn't really pick a favourite dish, I enjoyed trying a variety of foods during my 2 night stay.

    However, I really enjoyed my breakfast after the early morning boat ride around Periyar!

    Again theres an excellent buffet spread with choice from full English/Continental Western style with freshly baked breads and pastries/ fruit/ yogurt etc to Keralan fare of pancakes (aappams and dosas) and cakes (idlis) served with spicy sauces.

    The New Years Eve buffet was a feast for the eyes, with carved fruit and veg imaginatively displayed.

    New Years Eve buffet
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Luxury Travel

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Periyar Sanctuary Nightlife

  • Spend the night with the wildlife!

    Although I didn't try this, it is possible to stay overnight in the park itself. There are 3 hotels, which include meals and boat trips/treks. The Lake Palace is reached by boat, and was once the maharajas game lodge.Resthouses are available, staff cook the food you provide. enquire at the Wildlife info centre.For the best chance of seeing animals,...

  • Bats!!

    As dusk falls, about 18.30hrs when we were there in January, the skyline darkens as hundreds of flying foxes leave their trees and encircle the area around the car park.I'd just picked this moment to leave my hotel room to return to Kumily for shopping!!, and although I'm not very brave when these creatures are circling overhead, it was quite an...

  • Periyar Sanctuary Hotels

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Periyar Sanctuary Transportation

  • Getting to/ from Periyar

    Although I was on an organised tour, for the independant traveller, buses travel to Kumily from most of the major towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.Ernakulam ( near Cochin) 6 hour journey 10 buses daily ( 3 are express)Trivandrum 8 hour journey 2 dailyKovalam 9 hours 2 dailyMunnar 5 hours 5 dailyKottayam 4 hours 7 daily (express)From Kumily to Periyar...

  • Busses to and from Kumily

    To get to the sanctuary you'll have to go to a town called Kumily. From there you can walk or take a rikshaw to the sanctuary.I took the bus from Kottayam to Kumily. (42 roepies). The road is very curly, and it is a pretty rough drive for 4 hours. But at the end the scenery is very beautiful.From kumily I took a bus to Cochin (Ernakulam)(96...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Periyar Sanctuary Shopping

  • Spices!

    A wide range of organic spices, most grown locally. The owner is friendly and knowledgeable about the spices he sells.A wonderful aroma! Cardamom..The Queen of Spices!Saffron...grown in N India, but cheaper than bought in UK...The Real Thing too..not marigold heads as sometimes sold as saffron!Vanilla podsAniseedMasalasCinnamon bark...for cooking...

  • I only wanted post cards!!

    There are quite a number of similar establishments in Kumily, but this was the only one that I went intoAlthough I was only intending to buy postcards, I soon succumbed to the salesmans patter and the array of goods on sale. The dimly lit shop was full of local and Kashmiri goods ( the majority of souvenir / craft shops in Kumily are run by...

  • Interesting Old Things

    This is a smallish shop away from the bulk of the handicrafts stores. The proprietor is a collector himself (coins) and runs the shop as a sideline, so he isn’t interested in making deals, and didn’t seem particularly concerned in whether I bought anything. That said, he has some very interesting things for sale – not cheap, but unusual in one way...


Periyar Sanctuary Local Customs


    by pravdr Updated Apr 20, 2007

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    lourdes church at thekkady is one of the many found all over kerala.similarly temples and mosques too abound.

    kerala is a land of it in nature sea montains and rivers beaches and hill stations.

    pluralism in faiths jews christians hindus and muslims.

    proximity to the sea brought many a people to this gods own country and religions spread especially in the last 4 centuries. surprisingly christianity was the last to arrive.

    old jewish settlements and synagogue in kochi bear testament to the times gone by.

    tolerance and peaceful coexistence is the hallmark of the people of virtue of this and hard work people of kerala have done exceedingly well in other parts of country as all over the world.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

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Periyar Sanctuary Warnings and Dangers

  • Photographs

    Although I didn't experience any problems, one of our party was made to feel uneasy taking photos in Kumily. Earlier he'd been hassled for money, and anticipated the same happening here.There happened to be a parade/visit from a tourism dignitary at the time. As there were TV cameras filming the events, I decided it would be OK to take pics from a...

  • Kumily shops: Make sure you don't pay...

    After finally deciding a price for a statue in one of the Kumily shops, it then took almost an hour to pay. Going from shop to shop (the shopkeepers all seem to be related or otherwise connected.), we tried various credit card machines without (apparent) success. On returning to the UK, however, I found that I had in fact paid twice. Luckily my...

  • Monkeys and food

    The monkeys at the lunchspot at the sanctuary are good thiefs. Always keep an eye on your food. The smallest change they get they wil go for it.


Periyar Sanctuary Tourist Traps

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    Wildlife sanctuary...... may not see...

    by suvanki Updated Jun 24, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Periyar is South Indias most popular Wildlife sanctuary.

    Promoted as home to tigers and elephants etc.

    Please be aware that sightings of the tigers are extremally rare, and there is a good chance that you won't see any wildlife.

    Also, an admission ticket to the park doesn't guarantee a place on the boat trip.

    As part of an organised tour, we missed out on our "allotted" boat, but did get places on another one after a short wait, and some hustling by our guide!

    Charter boats are available for small groups.

    You need to buy an extra ticket from the Wildlife Info Centre, if you're using a video camera, apparently this is strictly monitored, so even if you've taken your place on the boat, you will be sent back to pay!

    Unique Suggestions: Be prepared to enjoy the 2 hour boat ride, and the surrounding scenery as a relaxing experience, if you see animals it's a bonus!

    It may be possible to book in advance for a boat seat for the afternoon trip, by booking in the morning.

    Boat jetty Periyar
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park

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Periyar Sanctuary What to Pack

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    Don't forget your camera!

    by suvanki Updated Jun 24, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Small knapsack/camera case

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A lightweight jacket/ fleece it can be a bit chilly on the water early morning.
    Sunglasses. hat etc, as the sun breaks through it soon gets hot.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: sun protection
    insect repellent

    Photo Equipment: lots of film! batteries etc....IF you do spot a tiger, it would be a shame for your film/battery to run out! Spare SD card
    Wide angle/ long range lens.

    However we were lucky enough to be close enough to the elephants to get decent pics with a basic disposable camera!

    Miscellaneous: Binoculars, although I think these can be hired at the entrance.

    Drinks in 'Sigg' bottle or similar - plastic bottles are discouraged - just look for the piles of these strewn in most beauty spots around Kerala

    Snacks, organised trips usually set out before breakfast.

    Cormorant Periyar
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Periyar Sanctuary Off The Beaten Path

  • Murikkady

    It is a small town located in Idukki District of Kerala about 5 km from Thekkady. Washed in fresh spice-scented air, Murikkady is panorama of cardomom , coffee and pepper plantations.Murikkady attracts thousands of Tourist towards it due to its serene beauty and environment . Murikkady hills have vast plantations of coffee, cardamom and pepper...

  • Pullumedu

    The winding journey to this hil town, along the Periyar River, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora amd fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu which can be assessed only by jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the makara jyothi illuminatin at the shrine are visible from here....

  • Vandiperiyar

    The Periyar River flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its vast tea, coffeee and perpper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar is a also home to a number of tea factories. The Govt Agricultural farm and flower Garden have a delightlful array of roses, orchids and anthuria. Situated 18 km from Thekkady.


Periyar Sanctuary Favorites



  • Thekkady Tourism Development Council

    We stumbled into here late at night when our homestay turned out not to be booked, and it was fortuitous. The TTDC has in its service a Mr. Sha, who is knowledgeable about the area and has ecotourism leanings and personal connections to several homestays in Thekkady, so he turned out to be a great find. He arranged everything we did in Thekkady...

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