A pleasant place to escape from the madding crowds of the cities and towns, Periyar is a nice place to cruise on the lake, a place to enjoy a jungle walk with an opportunity to see the wild animals.
Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in Kerala, is the Periyar famous for its National Park and Tiger Reserve. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a perennial source of water for the local wildlife. Herds of elephant and sambar, gaur and wild pigs wander down to the lakeside and can be observed from the launches that cruise the lake.
In March and April, during the driest period here, the animals spend a lot of time near the lake and the elephants can be seen bathing and swimming in the reservoir. A glimpse may be had even of the tiger during this season, as it comes to the water. Periyar also harbors the leopard, wild dog, barking deer and mouse deer. On the rocky outcrops along the lake, monitor lizards can be seen basking in the sun. Visitors who trek into the Park often see a python and sometimes even a king cobra.
Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water. There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June.