Saturday, December 14, 2013

Capture the elephants....I meant photographing them in their natural habitat

I was lucky to capture this heard of elephants (read it from a photographer's angle, not from a hunter's angle) at thekkady (periyar wild life sanctuary), during the boat journey within the water reservoir surrounded by forests. Apart from elephants we could spot some bisons as well. Since the cameras zoom lens was not very powerful I could not capture them. Seeing the elephants in their natural habitat itself was a marvellous site, and I rate it as the best moment of my road trip from kochi to thekkady.

Thekkady is located about 257 km from trivandrum, 185 km from Kochi international airport and 114 km from kottayam railway station. Thekkady is located near to Kerala-Tamilnadu border. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist forests and grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion tailed macaques and nilgiri langurs.

The Periyar wild life 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 attraction of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants that come down to drink in the lake. Sanctuary can be accessed through a trekking, boating or jeep safari.

Route from kochi

NH49 to thripunithura

SH15 to ettumanoor via keecherry, thalayolaparambu, vaikom MC road (SH1) to kottayam

NH220 to thekkady via kanjirappally, peerumedu, vandiperiyar and Kumali

When to go

September to march is the best time. Summer time is good for wild life spotting


Eco tourism centre, periyar tiger reserve, ambady junction, kumily. Tel 04869 224571 for spice plantation tours, tea factory visits, nature treks, periyar tiger trail tours, border trekking, bamboo rafting, sightseeing

Tourist information office, department of tourism, government of Kerala, behind private bus stand, kumily 04869 222620

Canon 550d, 55-250 canon lens

Inside the forest 
Aranya nivas by KTDC, tel 04869222023. If you are dialling from outside India, then dial 00914869222023. Good for bird watching inside the forest. Tariff is between Rs. 5000 to 8000/-

Lake palace, consists of six suites. Tariff between rupees 18,000 to 20,000. Can be accessed only by boat. Tel 04869211300, 04869 222024

KTDCs Periyar house tariff between 2000 to 5000
Tel 04869 222026, 222546

Claus garden tel  04869 211024, 222320. Tariff between 700 to 1000 

Around thekkady

Peermade 39 km
Kuttikanam 4 km

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