Periyar, located in central Kerala, is a popular hill station and a
wildlife centre. This town, which is an important plantation centre,
conjures up images of elephants, unending chains of hills and spice scented
In the Periyar Forest is one of the finest wildlife reserves of India and
spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns
that hold immense opportunities for treks and mountain walks. The Periyar
Wildlife Sanctuary offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian
tiger in its natural habitat.
Unique Attractions of Periyar
Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady
is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is
thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger
Reserve in 1978.
Noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty,
the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. The splendid
artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river adds
to the charm of the park.
This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique
experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat
on the lake. The greatest attraction of Periyar remains the large herds of
wild elephants that come down to the lake's edge.
This plantation town, closely associated with Thekkady, is situated on the
outskirts of the Periyar Sanctuary. It is an important shopping centre and
spice trade centre, the main bus station and most of the medium range
accommodation in the Periyar region is in Kumily.
The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a
stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns,
rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu, which can be accessed
from a jeep.
The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Joythi
illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Since it is part of the
restricted forest zone, special permission to visit Pullumedu has to be
obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady or The Range
Mangala Devi Temple
This ancient temple is hidden in the dense woods at the top of a peak 1337
m above sea level. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala Style of
Architecture. Visitors are allowed here only on the Chithra Pournami
festival day. The peak commands a panoramic view of the other side of the
ghats and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu. Permission to visit the area can be
obtained from the Wildlife Warden at Thekkady.
Washed in fresh spice scented air, Murikkady is a panorama of cardamom,
coffee and pepper plantations.
Attractions of Periyar
The river Periyar flowing through the centre of this town nourishes its
vast tea, coffee and pepper plantations. A major trade centre, Vandiperiyar
is also home to a number of tea factories. The Government Agriculture Farm
and Flower Gardens have a delightful array of rose plants, orchids and
This sleepy little village with its spectacular view of the plains and
cascading waterfalls during the monsoons is a feast to the eyes. The village
slopes down to the famous coconut groves of Kumbam in neighbouring Tamil
This is one of the world's largest auction centres for Cardamom. A walk
through the sprawling cardamom plantaions of Vandanmedu is a pleasent
Peerumedu, the famous plantation town, takes its name from Peer Mohammed, a
Sufi saint and close associate of the erstwhile royal family of Travancore.
Wide vistas of tea, cardamom, rubber and coffee plantations interspersed
with silver cascades, sculptural rocks, meadows and mist-cloaked hilltops
make Peermede an unforgettable experience.
The most delightful trekking trails complement the panoramic landscape.
Monuments like the Summer Palace and Summer Residence of the royal family
add to the splendour of the land. The Summer Residence, now converted into a
government guesthouse under the Department of Tourism, offers comfortable