About 190kms away from Kochi, this grand hill station is very much rich in natural, cultural and traditional wealth. Thekkady has the one of the most fascinating wildlife sancturies and is noted for its geomorphology, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscape. A boat cruise on the Periyar lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve, which includes 35 species- the wild elephant, panther, sambhar, deer, wild gaur, tiger, Nilgiri tahr, Malabar giant squirrel and the flying squirrel. The visitor can also watch 265different species of birds like hornbills, stork, woodpecker, raptor, kingfisher, Cormorant, grackle, darter etc.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 km2 (300 sq mi), of which 360 km2 (140 sq mi) is thick evergreen forest. The Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attractions of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants, deers, bisons that come down to drink in the lake. Sanctuary can be accessed through a trekking, boating or jeep safari.