On the rocky out crops along the lake, monitor lizards can be seen basking in the sun. Visitors who trek into the Park often see a python and sometimes even a king cobra. Among the unusual species found at Periyar are the flying lizard and the flying snake. With wings of Nilgiri tahr orange or yellow, the flying lizard is seen as it glides from one tree to the other. The flying snake is also brilliantly coloured in yellow and black with a pattern of red rosettes. The lake attracts birds like the darter, cormorant, grey heron and ibis and they are seen perched on the snags of dead wood that dot the lake. The great Malabar hornbill and grey hornbill are often seen flapping their ponderous way between trees. There are kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket tailed drongos, parakeets, including the unusual blue winged parakeet and fly catchers.
The liquid notes of the Malabar whistling thrush and the loud call of the hornbills are distinctive amid the normal sounds of the jungle. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, common langur and bonnet macaque. Though this is also the habitat of the Nilgiri tahr, this elusive goat is rarely seen. The animals are viewed from motor launches on the lake and from watch towers. A summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancore, set along the lake, is a hotel and a fine place to stay.
Best time to visit
October to April
Forest Rest Houses, Aranya Niwas Hotel, Edapalayam Lake Palace, Periyar House.
Kumily (4 km)
How to get there :
Rail-Kottayam (114 km) Air-Cochin (200 km) or Madurai (TN) (140.km).