The pride of Kerala and a testimony to nature's splendour and human innovation, 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 (KTDC) Hotels & Resorts.
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 114 km
Nearest airport: Madurai (Tamilnadu) about 140 km; Kochi International Airport, about 190 km