Monday, October 27, 2008

Magnificent Periyar Forest

Amazing Periyar

Though it is possible to see Periyar tagged with other parts of Kerala like Madurai, Kodaikanal, Munnar, Kochi etc. but we, this time decided to see only the forest and one of the famous in India, Periyar in Kerala. For that we reached Madurai without any booking of hotels in the month of October. After reaching Madurai we hired a car from the station for Periyar. It was 4 hours drive to Kumili, the last town in Tamilnadu, after which Thekaddy is adjacent to this is in Kerala.

Didn't like Thekaddy much! There are many hotels around the bus stand. The palce is very crowded much like a very ordinary small town of India. We wanted to stay at or near the jungle so proceeded further. On the way was inquiring about the tariffs of the hotels. Closer we were to the forest more were the tariffs. This time our budget was low so we were getting depressed. ultimately a local boy helped. He said with the collaboration of Kerala Government the local people are giving home stay facility at very reasonable price. Hearing this we started to search the lanes and saw many sign boards at the local homes there. Even tariffs are displayed at places. We chose a home there @ INR 400! per day. It was a three story building and we were accommodated at the second floor. The main house of the owner is few feet away from the guest house. The room was nicely decorated with a small TV, flower pot. The Bathroom was clean. The lady of the house also provides foods on request. That was great. We could taste the local food.

The gate of the forest is 5 to 7 minutes from the house we stayed. Without wasting time we entered the forest. Just to mention don't carry any food items in your hand, the chance of being snatched by the monkeys are very high.


The Lake is 77 Sq. Km and the area of the forest is 777 Sq. Km. One of the best place to stay here is KTDC Periyar House INR 1000 - 2000 is within the forest compound. We reached the ticket counter for the launch ride in the lake. KTDC charge INR 110 for each for one hour ride.

Almost through out the lake there are stems of very old dead plants standing. Many kind of different birds made their nests in them. They are so used to the tourists and the boats, we could snap to our heart's content.

Great Cormorant

Fishing Kite

It was amazing to see the great cormorants are busy with drying their wings or the snake bird and fishing kite is patiently waiting for her pray.

The lake is like an 'U'. The launch route is straight at first then turns right. After some time take the turn and return to the jetty. After a while we saw a family of elephants with kid. At one place seen one bathing by spraying water from its trunk.


The Indian bisons (Gaur), Deers of different variety were also grazing fearlessly on the banks.
One hour is so little time! Suddenly our sailing ended on the jetty. No one of was satisfied.

This time we hired a boat. The advantage of boat is you are at your control and it is easy to come near the bank with the boat. The disadvantage is for taking the photos. The boat was never stable in the water.

Periyar is really a paradise for the photographers. Click here to see the other photos of Periyar.

The best time to see Periyar is September to March. Forest department claims there are 70 tigers in this forest but could be seen only rarely as a ver small part of the forest is open for tourism. At least 63 kinds of mammals, 320 kind of birds, 27 kind of aquatic animals and 45 kinds of snakes including king cobra.

Kerala Forest department also has arrangements for professionally guided trekking in the forest. Even trekking is arranged at nights with the armed guard. The rate for each for this trek is 500 INR per head. They have flat type of boat made of bamboo, on which one can float on the lake @ INR 1000. For more enthusiasts they have cottage at Kokkara 5 Km inside the forest @ INR 2000.

This time our budget was low and could not avail all these .........but surely next time.


lala said...

Wow, you really have so lovely photos.

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