One of the best ways to explore the Periyar Tiger Reserve is by taking a boat ride through the Periyar Lake. It offers travelers the opportunity to view the natural beauty of the forest with its tall trees and resident wildlife.
Located in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the lake was formed by the construction of the dam across the Mullaperiyar River in the year 1895. The lake itself blends seamlessly into the landscape of the region and is a major part of the reserve’s eco system that harbors terrestrial, aquatic and subterranean life forms.. It serves as a major source of water for the wildlife and also comprises of several small islets along its course.
The lake is surrounded with a thick dense tree line on either shore. These trees are home to some of the resident avian species that are unique to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. If one is fortunate one can catch glimpses of rare species of birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. Also one can hear the welcome of the lion tailed monkey as it announces your arrival from the tree tops. During the summer months of March to May, one can have a better chance of viewing the wildlife as the other water sources in the reserve dry up and the animals come to the lake for water. Common sights of a herd of elephants and deer are seen during this period.
The duration of the boat ride is one and a half hours. Tickets are priced at Rs 225 per person and Rs 75 for children. To book tickets for boating experience in the Periyar you will either need to be in queue or need to do an advance booking. Advance booking charges are at Rs 500/-. There is also an entry fee to the reserve which is Rs 35 per person. Bookings can also be made online, through the website (http://www.periyarfoundation.online)
The timings are as follows:
7.30am / 9.30am / 11:15am / 1.45pm / 3.30pm
It is advisable to book an afternoon ride as the chances of spotting wildlife are high. So the next time you are in Thekkady, be sure to experience the boat ride in the Periyar Lake. It is definitely a ‘must do’ activity for all nature and wildlife enthusiasts.