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Periyar National Park Kerala: Ride an elephant, keep an eye for the tiger

Periyar National Park India is the best wildlife offering by the state of Kerala. The state enjoys a high popularity amongst tourists and honeymooners. So, Periyar does receive its fair share of footfalls. However, in terms of fauna, the park is not as great as some of its north Indian counterparts. It is not that the park does not house enough animals. But amidst the thick foliage of greenery, it can be a tad challenging to spot animals. Nevertheless, the elephants are omnipresent and a half-an-hour ride on these giant tuskers can really inject you with a fresh lease of life.
Major attractions of Periyar: Periyar National Park enjoys a mammoth number of elephants. In fact, the symbolic animal of the state is the tusker. So, its presence is quite natural. But other than this huge mammal, you can also spot deer, dog, sambar, hogs and boars. The park is also home to around 30-40 tigers but you would be the luckiest person on Earth if you can catch them.

The bird lovers too can expect a memorable time. From the kingfishers to the drongoes to the Malabar hornbill to the darters, the vivid mix of colorful birds is just fascinating. Hence, it is always advisable to carry equipments like camera and field glasses to get a great shot.

Trekking is a popular activity in this green region. And it shouldn't be a surprise if your eyes catch the sight of snakes. It is in Periyar that you can spot cobras, vipers and pythons. South India, in fact, is home to King Cobras. If you spot one, then you should really bless your stars. The wildlife photographers and enthusiasts hunt the forest for many days just to catch one!
How to reach Periyar: Periyar National Park Kerala is situated in Thekkady. The nearest airport is in Madurai, Tamil Nadu (around 140 km away) or at Cochin (around 200 km away). The nearest railway station is at Kottayam (around 115 km away). From these points, you will need to take a cab, car or bus to directly reach Periyar.

When to visit Periyar: Though the forest is open from October till June, it is advisable that you visit during the winter time or the spring season. One can also visit during the summer months when the dry weather pulls animals out of their hidings towards the streams. In fact, if you really wanted to see a tiger from close range, then you should plan a trip during April-June!

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