The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake - an artificial lake, at Thekkady. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs.
In addition to elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangaladevi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest; this sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters.
Lake Palace and Aranya Nivas are two idyllic accommodation options set in the sylvan lake side background. The romantic Lake Palace, formerly a summer retreat of the Maharaja of Travancore, is built on a small island accessible only by boat. Aranya Nivas (Jungle Retreat) a stone lodge with rubble masonry and colonial style of architecture at the head of the lake is a premium property of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
The lush green forest of Periyar has a beautiful lake right at the center, which meanders along the contours of the wooded slopes, serving as a perennial source of water for the wildlife population. Teeming with wild elephants, Periyar is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world, where you can witness herds of playful elephants roaming freely or bathing and swimming at the Periyar Lake.
The perfect way to explore the tourist attractions in Periyar is through motorboat cruises on the lake or from watchtowers. One can even enjoy a ride on the elephant back and watch the enchanting wildlife from close quarters.
Your tour to Periyar can also feature visits to the nearby spice gardens. These gardens are botanical treasure troves whose biodiversity and wealth are unparalleled.