Periyar: Land of the King Cobra
Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats of Kerala. After a dam was built in 1895, a picturesque reservoir was formed. Now called the Periyar Lake, it meanders around the contours of the wooded hills of the sanctuary, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife.
Thekkady is the sanctuary centre with the KTDC hotels and boat jetty. Boat cruises are an enjoyable (maybe a bit too manicured) way to spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water’s edge. Make sure you take the 7.00 am ride and attempt being on the upper deck to maximise your experience of the cruise.
Situated just 4-kms from Thekkady, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fast catching up. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.
Though it’s a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants frolicking by the Periyar Lake. If you trek into the Periyar national park you might be rewarded with a rare sighting of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr or even a King Cobra.
The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives you a chance to recharge your juices for the next lap of your journey. You will long to return for more.