Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the richest bio diversity spot in western ghats. It is home to tiger, panthers, elephants, bisons and other flora and fauna. One can enter the tiger reserve from Kumily town in Idukki and Pathanamitta districts of Kerala. Considering its importance, later it is converted to National Park. The area covers close to 1000 square kilometers. Two major rivers of Kerala – Pamba and Periyar originates here.
The entry gate for the reserve is around 4 kilometers from Kumily town. Near the gate, one will find souvenir shops, small eateries and other usual tourist shops. The climate around the place is pleasant and cool one, baring some rough days in winter.
The reserve has mountain ranges – Pachayarmala, Vellimala, Sunderamala, Chokkampetti mala and Karimala and they are thickly wooded.
It is a rich bio diversity land – has around 171 specie of grass, and 140 specie of orchards. A few meters walk into the reserve, one can view majestic trees of teak, jackfruit, sandalwoods, tamarinds, banyans will take your breath away.
Another major attraction is the Periyar lake, which has more than 40 species of fish. It is through the lake, the visitors take a boat ride to view animals from a distance.
The boat ride provides a slow theatre like display with the scene changing from drylands to elephants grazing, a kingfisher having lunch, if you are lucky – a wild chase of tiger or grazing deers.
There are varieties of boat ride, decker boats, rowing boats. It is available in fixed timings : 7.25 AM, 9.15 AM, 11.15 AM, 1.30 PM and 4.30 PM
Please note, you have to book early – eg. for early morning ride 7.25 AM, there will be queue from 6.00 AM in the main gate.
There is also night safari – 11.00 PM to 3.00 PM
There is also Elephant Safari every half an hour 6.00 AM to 5.00 PM. It costs INR 500/- per person.
There is also Bamboo Rafting : Full day INR 2400/- per person (for a group of minimum of four, maximum of six . For half-a-day : 1800/- per person (for a group of minimum of four, maximum of six
Please avoid holiday season – particularly 3 day holidays where the whole crowd from city will be here, ruining the fun for everyone..
There is also a guided trip into the forest – It costs INR 450/- per head. It will be a trek into the forest for 4-5 kilometers, with a guide who will interpret very bird, tree and other interesting places. The timing of this trek is 7am, 7.30am, 10am, 10.30am, 2pm, and 2.30pm Maximum 6 persons and Minimum 4 person in which 4 slots going at a time.