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Experiencing A Day In Periyar National Park

Spending A Day In Periyar National Park

One of the best ways to enjoy nature in Kerala is by experiencing a day in Periyar National Park. This beauty of a place is situated in Thekkady, and it’s surrounded by hills and a plateau. Moreover, the two famous rivers of Pamba and Periyar also run through the national park. They are the major sources of water for the wildlife here. But what’s the amazing thing about Periyar National Park is that it has so many things to do.

So here’s all that you can do when you plan on experiencing a day in Periyar National Park!

Periyar National Park

How To Reach Periyar National Park?

Getting To Periyar National Park By Air

This is the best option for people who are coming from far off. The two nearest airports to the park are the Cochin International Airport (around 156 km) and Madurai Airport (around 160 km). From either of these airports, the best way to reach would be by road. Either get a bus or a cab.

Getting To Periyar National Park By Train

Taking a train means you’ll be getting down at Kottayam. It’s the closest railway station to Periyar National Park. This means that you will still have to cover around 97 km by road. But again, getting a bus from there shouldn’t be a problem.

Getting To Periyar National Park By Road

You could very well enjoy a road trip down to the national park if you have your own vehicle. There are many private and state transport bus services available to get here. You will have to get down at the nearby town called Kumily, which is just about 4 km away.

Also Read: Best National Parks To Visit In India This Summer

An elephant in Periyar National park

What To Do In Periyar National Park?

You’d be surprised at how many interesting experiences are there within the national park itself. Here’s a list of all the adventurous possibilities:

Camping At Periyar Tiger Reserve

Living in the wild is as exciting as it can get. There are numerous programs and activities planned around this. You get to live deep inside the jungle, next to the banks of the Periyar River. The wholesome experience also includes activities like trekking, birdwatching, and boating. You even get a chance to interact with the local Urali tribe. Spending a night in a tent deep inside the forest is hands down one of the best ways to be in touch with nature.

Bamboo Rafting

Another fun and peaceful experience you can enjoy is bamboo rafting. You can choose the activity for half a day or even the entire day. The full-day program goes on from 8 am to 5 pm. If you want to go for the half-day activity, you can choose between the 7:30 am to 12:30 pm or 9:30 am to 2:30 pm slots. You often get to spot wildlife like gaur, sambar, and elephants on the fringes of the lake. Also, it’s interesting how much insight you get from the guides.

The backdrop of the lush green hills simply adds to the charm of this experience. When it comes to safety, they got that covered too. There will be an armed guard with you at all times. We can’t stress enough on how relaxing it can be to just float in the lake and admire the scenic surroundings. The lake is also where you come across a variety of birds. And just the sounds of nature can be a kind of therapy of its own.


There’s no national park without a safari. Periyar National Park however has a lot of options under this category. You could experience a boat safari, a jeep safari, or even an elephant safari. Each of these is an interesting experience that lets you have a closer look at wildlife. Boat safaris might not be the best if you’re specifically looking to spot a lot of wildlife. These safaris also let you get a taste of the Cardamom Hills and the dense tropical rainforest of the park.

These safaris start from early morning to the evening. While the elephant safari is an interesting experience for some that you get for 30 minutes, we are not big fans of it. Purely because domesticating the elephants in a national park seems counterproductive to us. For jeep safaris, you have the options of half-day and full-day safaris. All in all, these safaris are definitely worth it to get a taste of nature and wildlife to some extent.

Night Trekking

Periyar National Park

There’s no doubt that this is a very intriguing way of witnessing wildlife and the wilderness in general. An experience in which you are accompanied by 2 tribal guides and an armed forest guard. This unique night safari in Periyar National Park lasts for 3-4 hours. Coming across the flying squirrel, civet, owls and other creatures become a lot more fascinating in the dark of the night. You get a very different perspective of the forest altogether under the moonlight.

There are also some other experiences and activities within the park, such as tiger trails, hiking, and just eco-lodges. Each of them is interesting in its own unique way.

Also read: Traveling To Kerala During Covid

Things To Know About Periyar National Park

Okay, one thing you should know is that the national park has a tiger reserve and an elephant reserve. But quite frankly, you should manage your expectations a little. People often have preconceived notions that they will spot a lot of wildlife. Or maybe they’ll see a tiger up close. However, that’s not happening here unless you are very lucky. Sure, you’ll come across some animals which are more common but spotting tigers are rare.

You have to understand what Periyar National Park is all about. You won’t be visiting the place specifically for a wildlife experience. Instead, you should be visiting this place for a forest experience. You will definitely come across some interesting birds and a few mammals. Even on your safaris, exotic wildlife sightings are not common. But there are unique programs designed for visitors to specifically experience the wildlife here.

Trust us though, with so many things to do, Periyar National Park is a great place to visit for nature lovers. It’s like an adventurous forest experience that you should definitely add to your bucket list.

Also Read: 5 National Parks In South India To Visit During Covid


Why Periyar National Park Is Famous?

Periyar National Park is famous for being the biggest tiger reserve in Kerala. That and its location in the scenic Western Ghats of Kerala also add to its charm.

Is Thekkady And Periyar Same?

Thekkady is a popular tourist town that’s just a stone’s throw from Periyar National Park. So if you’re visiting Thekkady, you’re sure to hop over to the national park and enjoy being amongst nature!

Which Is The Largest Bird Sanctuary In India?

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is the largest bird sanctuary in India. It’s spread over a wetland area of 121 sq km and has numerous bird species including ducks, geese, pelicans, and flamingos.

Which Is Better Munnar Or Thekkady?

Munnar and Thekkady both have their own charm. While Munnar is more about relaxing amongst the tea plantations and sightseeing, Thekkady offers a more wild experience, thanks to the Periyar National Park nearby.

Is Thekkady A Hill Station?

Yes! Thekkady is among one of the most popular hill stations in India. While it doesn’t get as cold as in Munnar, the winters in Thekkady are quite pleasant too!

Is Thekkady Worth Visiting?

Definitely! Thekkady is among the most sought-after places to visit in Kerala. If you’re more inclined towards a wildlife visit, the Periyar National Park is close by, so you can go on safaris and boat rides too! The hikes around Thekkady also offer quite the challenge and can keep you enthralled.

How Do I Book Safari In Periyar National Park?

You can book your safari in Periyar National Park online on the Periyar Eco Tourism website. This is the recommended method as you’ll get better rates and you won’t have to wait in long queues. If you didn’t book online, you can do so from the main entrance of Periyar National Park.

Which Is The Largest National Park In Kerala?

Eravikulam National Park between Idukki and Ernakulam districts is the biggest national park in Kerala. It is spread over an area of 97 sq km and is also home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr.

How Many Days Are Enough For Thekkady?

We recommend staying at least 3-4 days to experience Thekkady to its fullest. You can explore the town of Kumily and the Cardamom Hills in which it’s located. However, the major attraction of Thekkady is Periyar National Park, and chilling in the Periyar Lake can offer you tranquility.

Which Is The Smallest National Park In Kerala?

Pambadum Shola is the smallest national park in Kerala. It’s located near Munnar and covers a mere 1.32 sq km. However, it’s home to the rare shola forests and the endangered Nilgiri marten.

  • Region
    South India
  • Type Of Experience
    Wildlife Safari
  • Best Time To Visit
    September to April
  • How Much Will It Cost Me?
    INR 2500 for the safari INR 50 entry fee for Indians & INR 300 entry fee for foreigners
  • Exploring Periyar National Park
  • Visiting Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Safari At The Periyar National Park
  • National Parks In Kerala