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Periyar National Park | Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala

With astounding diversity of flora and fauna, wildlife safaris in India  is one of the top 10 reasons why people visit this country.

Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve in Kerala is one the most sought after national parks in South India and a popular wildlife tour destination.

It is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India with main draw being bird watching, remarkable variety of butterflies, elephants and tigers.

Elephants at Periyar National Park
Elephants are the dominant mammals at the Periyar National Park

An introduction of Periyar National Park

A total of over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 160 varieties of butterflies and 45 species or reptiles have been recorded in Periyar National Park making it an important wildlife tour destination in India.

Periyar is located in Thekkedy in the ranges of Western Ghats and is just 2.5 miles away from Kumili in the Idukki district of central Kerala.

The park is spread over 777 sq. km. with an artificial lake spread over 26 kms which was created by building dam on the Periyar River by British in 1895.

Periyar National Park is renowned as the most exotic wildlife sanctuary in India housing a large variety of flora and fauna.

The varied topography of Periyar is covered with steep and rolling hills and marshy grasslands.Periyar offers motor launches, boat riding and a 30 minute elephant rides through the forests.

Climate of Periyar National Park

The temperature of Periyar depends on the altitude and is 15 degree Celsius in the month of December and 31 degree Celsius in April-May. The national park receives an annual precipitation in between 2000-3000 mm.

Wildlife in Periyar National Park


Periyar National Park is a home to a large number of elephants along with barking deer, tigers, wild dogs, wild pigs, teh leopard, sambar, mouse deer, porcupines, wild boars and gaur.

Four species of langur such as bonnet macaque, the Nilgiri langur, asteh rare lion-tailed macaque and common langur can also be found in Periyar National Park. As per records, 40 tigers also reside in this wildlife sanctuary.


Periyar National Park is also home to large variety of bird species. A total of over 320 bird species have been recorded in Periyar making it one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for birdwatching.

Some of the commonly seen birds that can be viewed in Periyar include herons, wood pigeons, black crested, darters, cormorants, Indian griffon mynas, kites, kestrel, blue winged parakeets and more.

Butterflies & Insects

Periyar National Park is also known for its significant variety of butterflies. If you have time enough to devote, you could spot around 160 different kinds of butterflies in this park, some of whom are poisonous enough to make you seriously ill through their bite.


Over 45 species of reptiles including turtles, snales and lizards could be found in Periyar National Park. The most notable reptiles are monitor lizard, python and King Cobra.

Wildlife Safaris inside Periyar National Park

Boat Rides are considered as one of the popular ways to go on a jungle Safari inside the Periyar.

The boat rides offer a beautiful view of the surroundings and tourists can easily spot some of the most interesting animal species drinking water or roaming around freely in their natural surroundings.

The timings of the boat ride are 7 AM, 9 AM 11 AM in the first half and 2 PM & 4 PM in the second half.

Entry Fees at the Periyar National Park

The entry fee is Rs 25 for Indians and Rs 300 for foreigners. Separate prices are charged for vehicle entry and boat ride safari.

Visiting Periyar during the Monsoon

Periyar National Park is open during the monsoon season and is often considered one of the best wildlife destinations for monsoon holidays in India. The boat rides are also operated during the monsoon season.

How to Reach Periyar National Park

By Air 

Periyar is accessible from Madurai and Kochi airports. Daily flights are operated by Indian Airlines that includes Chennai-Cochin, Delhi-Cochin, Bangalore-Cochin and Mumbai-Cochin flights.

By Rail

Kottyam is the closest rail station to the Periyar National Park.

By Road

Kumily is the closest town from Periyar that is also well connected with Kottyam. There are many taxis and buses available from Thiruvananthapuram (271 kms), Madurai (140 kms), Ernakulam and Kottyam (114 kms).

Packing Tips

  • Bring warm clothing and carry raincoats/umbrella as it often rains
  • Carry mosquito repellants as the forest in dense deciduous
  • Carry water bottles for drinking water
  • Wear clothes with neutral colors which gels well with the natural surroundings in order not to disturb the wildlife
Looking for more national parks in India? Here's a rough guide to some of the top National Parks in India

Bonus Tips: Here's how you can explore Gujarat wild side.

Last updated on 27th-Nov-2014 by


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