Also known as Thekkady, the Periyar Tiger Reserve, set high in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala, is one of the oldest protected regions in the country. Right in the middle lies the beautiful Periyar Lake, the permanent watering hole of the Reserve. The Reserve is the entry point for travellers coming into Kerala from Madurai after a Tamil Nadu heritage itinerary. Sprawled over 925 sq. km, the Reserve has rich bio-diversity, and rare flora and fauna. What make it truly stand out are its deep commitment to eco-tourism along with intense conservation practices. The best way to see the Reserve is to take a boat ride on the Periyar Lake. While you can easily spot wild elephants, wild boar, gaur, sambar etc., tigers are rare. Inside, a nature walk covering 4 to 5 km on different routes offers opportunities to spot birds, butterflies, and if you’re lucky, the Malabar Giant Squirrel and the Nilgiri Langur.
Enjoy the majestic beauty of Kerala’s wild elephants with a full-day elephant experience programme – a truly unforgettable pleasure. The Tribal Heritage Programme here will take you to see a tribal hamlet, introduce you to tribal communities, and to also visit the Tribal Heritage Museum. There are full day programmes offered by forest that involves a bit of trekking, boating, bamboo rafting, taking travellers deep inside core area of the forest. Wild Elephant and Gaur (Indian Bison) sightings are common on this trek.
Periyar is renowned for its spice plantations (cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, nutmeg etc.); you can visit one of the spice gardens to find out how the world came to Kerala nearly 3,000 years ago. Periyar has lovely homestays, luxury resorts, plantation retreats/bungalows etc. which are great for experiential or offbeat travellers as well as holiday-makers.
Holxo Tours in Thekkady