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Misty view of Thekkady
Written by Buvaneshwari Gopinath on July 3, 2020 Share on

Explore the insides of Periyar Lake at Periyar National Park, Kerala

Periyar Lake is one of the famous lakes in the state of Kerala. The lake is located in the district of Thekkady and is also fondly called as the Thekkady Lake by the locals. Though being an artificial lake, this lake was created unintentionally while the construction of Mullaperiyar Dam began. This artificial lake is located inside a beautiful sanctuary governed by the Kerala Government. The name of the Sanctuary is the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to many different species of animals, birds and reptiles, making it one of the best places to experience wildlife in India. Read on to know more about this beautiful lake which is one of the top places to visit in Thekkady.

Lake in Kerala
Image Source: Unsplash

How to reach Periyar Lake?

The Periyar Lake is located inside the Periyar National Park. The only way to get inside is by walking. However, there are different modes to reach Thekkady.

By Air

To reach Thekkady located in Kerala, the most convenient and closest airport would be the Madurai Airport. Madurai Airport is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, the neighbouring state of Kerala. The distance between from Madurai to Thekkady is 150 kilometres. It takes roughly about 4 hours drive to reach Thekkady via car if taken the shortest route.

By Road

People down south love to travel via car. No matter which state you are from, you must try your hands on self-driving. If you are travelling from the north, it might get a little expensive and time-consuming, but the place is worth it all. The highways to Kerala are some of the most scenic routes covered green lands and mighty mountains.

Road to Thekkady
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Not just cars, there are several interstate and intrastate buses that have the town of Thekkady as their destination. Reaching in a car can be a little expensive considering the amount spent on fuel, food, night halts etc. So try riding the overnight buses that consume less time and reach Thekkady, relaxed and in comfort.

By Train

Air travel can be a little expensive and can leave a hole in your pocket. The next best option would be to take a train. For all those people who wish to get the maximum out of the vacation, choose the train. Cheapest and the second-fastest option, travelling in coach with an air conditioner can look easy on the pockets. Book your tickets till Kottayam, the closest train station to Periyar Sanctuary. From Kottayam station, its about 3 hours / 100-kilometre drive which can be covered via car.

The best way to reach Periyar lake would be to reach Kerala via bus, train or flight and then hire a cab. It would be the cheapest and convenient way to travel if you are visiting from other parts of India.

Things to do at Periyar Lake

Hiking inside the national park
Image Source: Unsplash
  1. Periyar Lake is famous for boat rides. The fun-filled ride starts at 9:30 AM in the morning, and let me tell you, the tickets get sold as soon as they are open. Be sure to hurry while collecting the ticket and enjoy the boat ride which is one of the best things to do in Thekkady.
  2. While on the boat ride, find a number of elephants coming off the sanctuary to quench their thirst by drinking water from the lake.
  3. Try Bamboo rafting at Periyar Lake. The tour starts from a hike through the thick forest. Once that is done, you trek down, by the mode of rafting on a boat made out of Bamboo. This guided tour takes only 10 people at once and the entire tour is secured with armed guards and guides.
  4. Bird spotting can be done on the mornings to spot different types of bird that fly to park as part of the migration. Not just birds, if you are lucky, you might also spot some of the harmless wild animals at the natural habitat.

Places to visit near Periyar Lake

1. Chellarkovil 

Located near to the Periyar river is Thekkady is a small town called Chellarkovil. The place has got a charming waterfall and a pleasant view of the plains. The town of Chellarkovil is a mist village where the mountains reach for the cloud. Chellarkovil gets many tourists throughout the year and is one of the most visited places in Kerala.

2. Spring Valley Mountain

Also known as the Kurisumala. Spring Valley Mountain provides a different experience at every climb. Known for good hiking trails, the view of the Periyar Tiger Reserve is absolutely magnificent. The mount also happens to have a church at the pinnacle. Make sure to visit the lovely Kurisumala that has got a great climate and one heck of a view.

3. Parunthumpara Viewpoint

Located in the district of Idduki in Kerala is the Parunthumpara hills. Reach the top of the hill via car or a bike and enjoy the lovely views of the valleys, mountains and the wonderful waterfalls. The place is extremely eye-capturing during the monsoon when the entire green surrounding is bathed in rain. Enjoy the monsoon by munching some hot spicy snacks sold by many handcarts.

Kerala in South India
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Open Hours

The Periyar National Park & Sanctuary is open to the public on all days of the week between 6 AM and 7 PM. But, the boat ride inside the Periyar Park adheres to different timings. The boat operates only 5 times for the entire day and the schedule is – 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM & 3:30 PM. The boats operate every once in two hours and the tickets to the boat are very limited per slot. We suggest you hurry and buy your tickets if you wish to go on the boat ride.

Entry Fee

One has to go through the Periyar Park to access the lake. Though it is the same entrance for Periyar Park and Periyar Lake, one must have to buy two different entry tickets to enter both places and strictly adhere to both timings.

The Entry fees to Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary for Indian Nationals are Rs 45 and Rs 15 for adults and kids respectively. And, the entry fees for any foreign national are Rs 500 for an adult and Rs 180 for kids. Additional fee/charges are applicable for cameras and video cameras. You can also rent out Binoculars for Rs 50 by paying security deposit of Rs 100.

The tickets to Periyar Lake has to be purchased separately. The charges for Periyar Lake boat ride is Rs 225 for adults and Rs 75 for kids irrespective of the nationals.

Thekkady is a beautiful place to visit for all those people who love to indulge in nature’s beauty. Get a chance to experience true nature by getting a Thekkady package available with Pickyourtrail. Not to sure of what is what, leave us a Whatsapp message and we’ll get back to you. Unlock safe travel with Pickyourtrail.

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