The drive to Thekkady is enchanting as the road winds through tranquill countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. The sanctuary, 60 km from Idukki, 190 km from Cochin and 114 kms away from Kottayam is open throughout the year, but the best season for a visit is from September to March. The sanctuary is centered on the large (24 sq km) artificial lake formed by a dam across the Periyar River. The main attraction is a boat trip over this man-made lake of Thekkady. The forest department arranges elephant rides and trekking inside the sanctuary.
Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in India, spread across 777 Sq. Kms out of which 360 Sq. Kms is thick forest, is one of the best places for viewing wild elephants. There is a 26 Sq. Km. artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. A boat cruise on the lake is a great way to watch the wildlife.
Wild animals like the Elephant, Gaur, Sambar Deer and wild boar, which can be easily seen from close quarters during the serene boat ride and also are the big part of Thekkady photos
. Other Mammals like the Nilgiri Thar, the lion tailed macaque, the bonnet macaque, the Malabar giant Squirrel, the flying Squirrel, the Tiger, the jungle cat and the sloth bear are seen only once in a while. Around 265 different species of birds like the Hornbill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, cormorant, grackle, darter etc. can also be seen.
The nearest airport is Cochin, which is 192 kms [5 hrs drive] away. Nearest Rail head is Kottayam which is approx. 120 kms away. Periyar is well connected by road.
National Park is open from morning 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs daily. Boating is the only way to view the wildlife in Periyar National Park. Trekking is another wonderful way to view the wildlife from close quarters. Early morning trekking to the jungles can be arranged. It will be good if you can carry your trekking boots and gear. 4 days trekking into the Periyar jungles with overnight tent camping can also be arranged. Spices are found in abundance in Periyar. A guided Plantation tour to familiarize you with different spices and plantations like cardamom, pepper, tea, coffee, cloves, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin seed, garlic etc. is a main attraction of Thekkady.