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Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Review
In the vicinity of Thekkady, the Lake Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of India's best animal parks for spotting elephants, bison, wild boar, oxen, deer, and many species of birds. The best viewing period is October through May.
Lake Periyar, its many fingers winding around low-lying hills, is the heart of the 300-square-mile sanctuary. Forget exhausting treks or long safaris: here, you lounge in a motor launch as it drifts around bends and comes upon animals drinking at the shores. In dry season, when forest watering holes are empty, leopards and tigers also pad up to the water. Be prepared: Indian children (and adults) love to scream and shout at wildlife sightings. On a quiet trip, elephants hardly notice the intrusion, although younger pachyderms will peer at you out of curiosity and then run squealing back to their elders when your boat comes too close. If you're brave-hearted, you can spend a night in a jungle lodge (if you go on a forest trek, look out for leeches on the ground, especially during the monsoon); if you're less adventurous you can commune with nature from the safety of a moated watchtower. Half-hour elephant rides are also available. For information about treks and the park, contact the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC; Shanmugham Rd., Ernakulam, Kochi; 484/235–3234).
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