The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Thekkady, is one of the oldest protected areas
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Thekkady, is one of the oldest protected areasin the country. The Mulla Periyar Irrigation Dam, constructed in 1895, inundated a large tract of forest land and created a 26sq km lake, which is the main watering hole of the reserve today.
Entry Indians ₹25; Foreigners ₹300 Timings 6.00am–5.00pm Photography Free Videography ₹250 Vehicle Entry ₹50–200
Tip Binoculars are available on hire but are generally in a very poor condition
Things to See & Do
The hills around the lake provide food for elephants, gaur and sambar, so the boat rides provide the best views.
Boating fee KTDC ₹150; Forest Dept ₹150 Timings 7.30am, 9.30am, 11.15am, 1.45pm & 3.30pm
Walk in the Wild
This educational nature walk covers 4–5km and lasts three hours.
Fee ₹300 per person Timings 7.00am, 7.30am, 10.00am, 10.30am, 2.00pm & 2.30pm
There is regular patrolling of the fringe areas of the forest, and this programme lets you be part of the patrol groups.
Fee ₹1,000 per person Timings 7.00–10.00pm, 10.00pm–1.00am & 1.00–4.00am
This full-day programme involves trekking and rafting through different habitats,. The guides take you inside the forest for a trek and then back to your raft to sail back in the evening.
Fee ₹2,000 per person (inclusive of food and entry fee) Timings 8.00am–5.00pm
This is a full-day hard trek oriented towards conservation. The trail passes through altitudes of 900–1,300m, offering the tourist several breathtaking and gorgeous views.
Fee ₹1,500 per person (includes refreshments) Timings 8.00am–5.00pm
Periyar Tiger Trail
The programme covers 20–35km of area, depending on the route chosen, which passes through hills and valleys, giving tourists a great chance to spot wildlife. For a 1N/ 2D trek, the charges are ₹5,000 per person; for a 2N/ 3D trek, the cost is ₹7,000 per person. Armed guards accompany the groups.
Tip The two programmes can only be undertaken by the medically fit and those in the age group of 15–65
When to go Visit between September and March to enjoy birdwatching and summer is good for spotting wildlife
Wildlife/ Forest Dept offices
Deputy Director (Project Tiger), Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, Tel: 04869-222027, 23750, Tourist Information Office, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Behind Private Bus Stand
Kumily. Tel: 222620, keralatourism.org
Eco-tourism Centre, Ambady Junction, Kumily, Tel: 224571, Cell: 08547603066, STD code 04869
Air Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery (190km/ 4hrs). Taxis to Thekkady cost ₹4,370–4,860
Rail Nearest Railhead: Kottayam (110km/ 3.5hrs). Taxis to Thekkady will cost ₹1,681–2,281
Road Thekkady is 5km from Kumily on NH220, which links Kollam to Theni in Tamil Nadu via Kottayam, Peermade and Vandiperiyar. Thekkady lies on SH19, which runs from Munnar to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Bus The KSRTC Bus Stand at Kumily (Tel: 04869-224242) is connected with many places in Kerala