Periyar Tiger Reserve (Timings, Entry Fee, Safari Online Booking, How to Reach)
Situated in the state of Kerala, Periyar Tiger Reserve presents nothing less than a paradise for nature lovers. With lush greenery, endangered and exotic species of flora and fauna, the reserve is spread across an area of 777 sq. km and is the first and the only tiger reserve of Kerala. In Thekkady, the reserve is located on the borders of states- Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Periyar was declared as a Tiger Reserve in the year of 1978.
The reserve along with offering close interaction with wildlife also presents wide range of adventurous activities. Some of these are Nature Walks, Trekking, Camping, Border Hiking, Bamboo Rafting, Jungle Patrol, Shepherding the forests, etc.
Some of the places at Periyar present interesting sightseeing options as well. For instance, the Periyar Lake, an artificial lake which was built in 1895 makes for an amazing visit.
Flora @ Periyar Tiger Reserve
The main kinds of forests in the reserve are tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests. The area boasts of almost 50% of the flowering plants available in Kerala and almost 65 per cent of the orchids of the state. Close to 350 species of plants, trees and shrubs with medicinal importance have been found here.
Fauna @ Periyar Tiger Reserve
Along with tigers, the reserve has other animals that can be spotted such as Nilgiri langur, Lion-tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, Small travancore flying squirrel, Gaur, the Sambar, Wild pig, Elephant, Large flying squirrel, Fruit bat, Striped necked mongoose, Nilgiri marten, etc.
There are approximately 45 species of reptiles which includes 30 species of snakes, 13 species of lizards and two species of turtles. Some of the reptiles found here are King cobras, Russels viper, Krait, Flying lizard, Forest dwarf gecko, the Green calotes, etc.
With almost 264 birds, Periyar presents exceptional opportunities for bird watching. Some of these are Great Cormorants and Darters, for Osprey, Changeable Hawk Eagle and Woolly–necked Stork, Raptors, Water birds, Galliform birds, Pigeons, Woodpeckers, Passerines, etc. There are various kinds of butterflies as well such as Southern bird wing, Common rose, Malabar rose, Common Mormon, Bluebottle, Common albatross, Great eggfly, Evening brown, Jezebel, Clipper, Common palmfly, etc.
Best time to visit Periyar Tiger Reserve
The ideal time to visit the tiger reserve is during the months from September to May.
Reaching Periyar Tiger Reserve
- By Air: The nearest airport is at Madurai which is at a distance of about 140 km from the reserve. Another near-by airport is Cochin International Airport which is approximately 190 km away.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Kottayam which is close to 114 km away. The railway station of Changanassery is quite close to the reserve and is at a distance of just 120 km.
- By Road: There are direct buses, both KSTRC and private, running from Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Kottayam, Munnar and Madurai to Kumily and Thekkady. The reserve is well connected via road.
Accommodation @ Periyar Tiger Reserve
Tourists can opt to stay at either Thekkady or Kumily as both are very close to the reserve. One can choose from wide range of options varying from Hotel Ambadi Heritage Resort, Periyar House, Aranya Nivas, Bamboo Grove Eco-lodge, Cottage Tent which are inside the sanctuary to Club Mahindra Tusker Trails, Mickey Homestay, Jungle Palace Homestay, Coffee inn, etc.