"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf" ~ Tagore


Kerala: Thekaddy/Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Many people describe Thekaddy (also known as Periyar Sanctuary) as the most beautiful wildlife sanctuary in India. It is definitely the best if you want to see the elephant in the wild. Covering an area of 780-sq. km. it encompasses a lake that has been created by constructing a dam on the place where the Periyar River flowed.

The best way to try and spot the animals is perhaps to book one of the forest bungalows, which require you to be isolated in the night after hiking into the forest. You can also book one of the observation towers. But reservations have to be done well in advance. The Forest Dept. also organises nature walks in the park.

More about Kerala

Kerala Boat Race

The other, and popular, way is to hire your own boat or to take a tour on the passenger ferries that move around the lake. Even though they make enough noise to scare away most animals, it is still well worth the trip, as you get a chance to see the wild elephants, birds, monkeys, turtles and otters.

The best time to view the elephants on the lake is early morning. However, in summer months they can be spotted at the lake more often.

Where to stay
Forest lodges are available but have to be booked well in advance. The Govt. Corporation has three properties in the sanctuary. These include the Aranya Niwas. From the Aranya Niwas jetty one can take a boat to the Lake Palace hotel. The Periyar House offers budget accommodation. For further details contact Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. Phone 04869-22023/22026. Fax 04869-22282. A number of people stay outside the sanctuary at the privately owned property, the Spice Village. Phone 0484-668221/668421. Fax 0484-668001.

When to visit
The sanctuary can be visited the year round, but it is recommended that one avoid the monsoon months of July and August. The hot months, March to June, bring more animals to the lake.

How to get there

Buses: Take a bus to Kumily which is the town bordering the park. Buses are available from neighbouring places such as Madurai.. Taxis can be hired from most towns.

Air: The nearest airports are Madurai (140 km) and Kochi/Cochin (200 km).

Rail: The railhead at Kottayam is 120 km away and those at Madurai and Kochi (Cochin) as above

Information: Courtesy Government of India   

Home | Back | Top | Feedback

Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.