Lake Periyar was created in 1895 after the construction of a dam to provide water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, and the region around the lake was established as a national park in 1934. It was designated a part of Project Tiger in 1973, but the area that visitors are allowed is limited and tiger sightings are extremely uncommon in this part of the park.
The park is famous for its elephants which can easily be spotted by the shores of the lake, and there is a variety of other wildlife to be seen including barking deer, wild boar and the Indian bison as well the Giant Malabar Squirrel.
The best way to see the wildlife is to take a boat trip on Lake Periyar. Boat trips operate throughout the day, but early morning and late afternoon are the best time to see the wildlife coming down to the lake shore. Private boat trips are not allowed on the lake and the boats are fairly large and can be busy, but this does not detract from the wildlife that can be seen. It is also possible to explore the National Park on foot with jungle treks led by naturalist guides. The trekking can be difficult and wildlife sighting are not guaranteed, but there is a good chance of seeing a herd of elephants in the wild.
At the entrance to Periyar National park lies Kumily Village which has several good hotels. There are many spice plantations around the region which you can visit and the shops in the village are a good place to buy spices.
Time: GMT +5½ hours
Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.
Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.
Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
There are no compulsory vaccinations.