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How to Reach Periyar

How to Reach Periyar by Air

Nestled in the cluster of Cardamom Hills, Periyar is located nearly 204 Km from Kochi International Airport, a bustling transit centre in Nedumbassery. The airport is hardly 27 Km from the port city Kochi and receives flights from all major cities of the world. It has an international and domestic terminal catering to Air India, Jet Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air Asia. The arrivals have a range of services offered at counters lined along the periphery. Some can arrange cabs while others can assist you with bus reservations. These facilities are largely secure and guaranteed by the airport authorities.

Periyar can be reached by cabs, buses and coaches. Cabs found at Kochi Airport are either prepaid or private. Prepaid cabs can be hired at the CIAL counters present at the terminals. Here, the staff will help you to take your pick from an array of suggested options. If you’re looking to save on some precious time, this is your best bet. Alternatively, you can walk out of the exit, towards the taxi ranks and make the best of your bargaining skills to strike the right deal for a private cab.

Needless to say, cabs can burn a hole through the pockets if not rip your budget off completely. Therefore, you can always resort to buses for cheaper transfers. There are no direct buses to Periyar but you can board one of the KSRTC buses to the Angamaly Terminal which is served by a fleet of express buses heading to Kottayam. At Kottayam, the KSRTC terminal and Nagampadom Private bus stand are frequented by deluxe and local buses that consume four hours to steer through to Kumily, situated at a distance of 4 Km from Periyar (Thekkady). Kumily is plied to Periyar by a handful of autos and mini buses.

Alternatively, you can touchdown at Madurai Airport, the closest air link at 150 Km from Thekkady. Prepaid cabs are most convenient and you may as well stick with them due to a limited number of transport options.

How to Reach Periyar by Rail

Periyar does not have a railway station. The nearest railhead is situated in Kottayam at a distance of 110 Km. Well connected to cities in Kerala and other parts of India, the station receives trains from as far as Delhi.

A long haul train journey from Delhi is least likely comfortable, yet for those on a shoestring budget, they’re viable. At Delhi, travellers can take a look at the timings for the Kerala Express that leaves for Trivandrum Central from New Delhi Railway Station. This long haul train makes a quick stop at Kottayam and takes about 48 hrs to cover the distance. At Mumbai, Kanyakumari Express and CAPE – CSTM Express arriving at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus serve Kottayam before heading for Trivandrum.

Trains bound for Kottayam arrive at Tamil Nadu’s Chennai Central as well. A value for money service amongst these is Trivandrum Mail, which runs throughout the week.

How to Reach Periyar by Bus

The sanctuary is well connected by by bus to many towns in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu including Ernakulam(6 hours), Kottayam (4 hours), Thiruvananthpuram (8 hours), Kovalam (9 hours), Munnar (4 1/2 hours) and Kodaikanal (6 hours).

Getting Around Periyar

Jeep and elephant safaris are a good perch from where to view the animal world. For visitors staying outside the park, a rented bike or local bus will be sufficient to reach the park's entrance. Most visitors tour the park on the two-hour boat rides around Periyar Lake. Rather than larger sized public boats, which proportionately dim one's chances of seeing the game, it's advisable to go for a smaller private boat, which would correspondingly tilt the odds in your favour of seeing any wildlife.

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