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Tour the Periyar Tiger Reserve

Kumily, India


Added by Tara Stamnes

Explore the splendour of this National Reserve. Beautiful scenery, lush jungle, and, if you're lucky, untouched wildlife!

Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 Sq .km., Periyar is one of the 48 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba.

With 35 mammal species inhabiting this treasure of a park, keep your eyes peeled for four-legged friends such as bengal tires, Indian elephants, sambars, sloth bears, etc. Of course along with these you also have the chance of spotting any of the 250+ bird species, 45 reptile species, and many other critters. 

The ecotourism business in this area is booming, and includes guided trekking and safari-like jeep tours which will take you deep into this huge park. Protection and conservation has been deemed a priority for locals due to historical degredation, and people who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors. They earn livelihoods through such programs, and joining them means giving back to community welfare along with ecological preservation. 

Eco-friendly and guided treks/hikes can be booked through the park or in person in the town of Thekkady. Click here for more details. Access is easiest coming from Munnar to Thekkady, as public transport is a cheap option via bus this way. 

While you can visit year-round, the best time to visit is from September - May. The months of March and April constitute the driest part of the year, and the animals spend a lot of time near the lake in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, making for good spotting. That being said, June, July, and August bring Monsoon season where you can enjoy some serious greenery and refreshing rains. 

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