Archive for the ‘5.Thekkady/Periyar Sanctuary’ Category

Thekkady – Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary

June 8, 2008

Thekkady – This is the one of best known wild life sanctuaries in India. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary, offers a fairly good chance of seeing the great Indian tiger in its natural habitat and wild elephants in virgin abodes.
How to reach. We had a long drive from Munnar to Thekady since munnar was our first destination in the Ghats. But those who are coming to Thekady without munnar, Thekady is well connected from Kottayam. There are excellent services to Kumily from Kottayam from both the KSRTC bus stand and the Nagampadom Private bus stand. The Periyar Sancturayjourney takes about 4 hours. Kumily is also accessible from Madurai. Thekkady is 4 km from Kumily. The forest department runs a bus service (Rs. 5) to the sanctuary from Kumily though the bus is not regular, one can reasonably expect it to make a trip once in 2 hours. Autorickshaw fare will be Rs. 40 from the Kumily bus station. Walking or cycling through the shady roads is also a good alternative.
It’s six in the evening when we reached Thekkady. Almost six hours by road from Munnar. The weather is cool and pleasant. Aranyanivas. My stay was at Aranya Nivas, Kerala State Tourism Development (KTDC) Hotel at Thekkady. Deep inside the dense, green woods, perched on the banks of the Periyar Lake is Aranya Nivas or the Sylvan Abode. This quaint structure in the colonial style, is the only property in India set in the heart of a game reserve. It is a ideal holiday retreat.
The last sightseeing boat had left for the evening trip long back. We decided to trek to thPeriyar Sanctuarye lake (26 sq. kms. in length and the hub of the sanctuary) to see whether we can sight any animals near it. There you are. A few sambar are standing by the lakeside leisurely enjoying the cool evening breeze. Some egrets, darters and woodpeckers are flying around almost making you believe that it’s a bird sanctuary you’re walking around in and not a famous tiger reserve. A lot of people are clustered around the lakeside waiting patiently for the unexpected to happen. Maybe come face to face with a tiger. Shiver! A chill is creeping in the air now. Time to return. We stroll back. Hush! What’s that? A rustle in the undergrowth! We peer through the bushes. A group of wild boar along with a baby boar is prowling around, but takes fright when we bring the camera to life.
It’s fun staying overnight within the sanctuary. You might come face to face with some unexpected nocturnal visitors. Eventhough we were not that lucky enough, We could hear the sounds of animals calling to each other in the jungle, most of the night.

Trip through the Periyar Lake
At Periyar, the first boat ride for sighting starts at daybreak – 7 in the morning. We were among the early risers for the first trip and sat on theupper deck shivering, as it was extremely cold on the lake. But we had a vantage view of the surroundings.
This 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.
As we cruised through the lake, we saw logs of dead tree trunks standing erect scatterd through out the lake. Our guide told that these are the trees which were there when the place was converted into a lake by construction of the dam. As we passed the forest mountain terrain bordering the lake, we caught sight of a number of bisons grazing on the high ranges. A couple of Nilgiri langurs swung from branch to branch as we tried to catch them on the lens. Cormorants and a variety of other birds nestled on the stumps of the trees in the lake and chirped merrily.
Before quite long, we were lucky to see a herd of wild elephants watering from the banks of the lake. Quite often touritsts wont be that lucky to see this sight. These elephants come for watering in the lake mostly in summer reason.
the boat ride lasted for two hours. Afterwards, we visited the spice gardens, coffee and cocoa plantations, 6 kms from Kumily. A small township, situated at a distance of 4 kms from the sanctuary, Kumily (or rather Kerala in totality) is famous for spices. In fact, the entire market here is overflowing with a rich variety of spices.

Next day morning we had a trekking through the wild reserve forest along the road. people aTiger Landre not allowed to goElephant into the forest. Lots of people were seen on morning walk along the stretch.  Various warnig boards were seen on the roadside, like ‘tiger Land’ etc.

In the pitcure, Blogger is posing near a concrete elephant on the roadside.
We saw some sambars and wild pigs running through the bush.