A core 350 square kilometer area within the Districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala State of South India was established as the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve in the year 1982. Set high in the mountains of the Cardamom Hills in the Western Ghats near the border with Tamilnadu, it is often called as Thekkady.
Thekkady Town is located at a distance of 4 kilometers from Kumily, which is about 100 kilometers east of Allapuzha, 110 kilometers west of Madurai and 120 kilometers south-east from Kochi. This Park is bounded by high mountain ridges to the north and east, and expands towards the west into a 1200 meter high plateau. The Mullaperiyar Dam and the Periyar River meander around the contours of the wooded forests of this Park, perpetually providing a permanent source of water in the entire region. Almost three-fourths of the Park is covered by evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forests consisting of tall tropical trees reaching heights of 40 to 50 meters.
Over 62 different species of mammals have been recorded within the Periyar which include substantial numbers of the Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dholes, Mongoose, Foxes, Leopards and the elusive Nilgiri Tahr. Other primates within the Park are the rare Lion Tailed Macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, the Common Langur and the Bonnet Macaque. Over 45 different kinds of reptiles are here of which there are 30 types of Snakes, two Turtles and 13 Lizard species along with 27 species of amphibians. The water-bodies located here contain 38 species of fishes including Salmon and Trout. A remarkable variety of butterflies are seen here which is in fact home to over 160 species of insects.
Kochi (200 kilometers) and Madurai (140 kilometers) are the closest Airports to the west and east respectively. Kottayam is the nearest Rail-Head at a distance of 114 kilometers. Kumily is the closest town and access point to the Periyar National Park which is conveniently connected by road with most of this region.