Budget Hotels in Periyar
Economy Hotels in Periyar
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was established by the Travancore state in 1934 and became part of 'Project Tiger' in 1973. Although Periyar is a tiger reserve, it is more famous for its elephants, which can be seen from the tourist launches that operate two-hour trips on the lake.
Elephants come to the lake to drink and to feed on the marshy grasslands. Gaur (Indian bison), sambar deer, wild boar and Nilgiri langurs are common here, and lucky visitors may also see sloth bears, wild dogs, otters and the endangered lion-tailed macaque. This is a good spot for birdwatching.
Guided nature treks depart from the information centre and last about three hours. On these treks you are likely to see barking deer, Malabar giant squirrels, monkeys such as langurs and bonnet macaques, great and grey hornbills, grey jungle fowl, mynahs, orioles, racket-tailed drongos and monitor lizards. Some tourists come face to face with elephant herds, and watchtowers and viewing platforms can also be used, for a fee.
More serious treks, such as the Tiger Tails (an eco-development project), are also possible and include camping and staying at watchtowers in the forests. These treks cover habitats like the grasslands, where the mega-herbivores are usually seen, the moist deciduous forests and the semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Tiger and panther sightings are rare, but visitors can see a number of other mammals, as well as an interesting variety of birds and butterflies.
Budget Hotels in Periyar
Tel: 04869 224603
Simple en-suite rooms (with sitouts and balconies) in an impeccably clean modern block, with a larger family "cottage". Rock bottom rates, but good bedding and quiet location. Owner Bobby speaks excellent English.
Tel: 04869 211015
One of Kumily's most popular homestays, in a newish house just off the Thekkady Road. Offers 17 differently priced rooms, from basic options with bucket hot water to large en-suite ones equipped with solar-heated showers and balconies looking across the valley to Kurisumala mountain. A lovely rear garden attracts lots of wild birds. If it is full, try the identically priced Rose Garden next door. Tel: 04869 223146
On the eastern edge of town
Tel: 04869 223582
The best-value budget homestay in Kumily, a 10 min plod (or a short autoricksahw ride) from the bus stand-literally on the Tamil Naud- Kerala border. The clean, bright, attached bedrooms all comfortably furnished; those on the upper storey are larger, opening onto a deep, marble-floored veranda just metres away from jungle. Nocturnal wildlife-spotting walks into the adjacent forest are offered for free by welcoming host, Mr Ramachandran.
Tel: 04869 224604
Outstanding attractive homestay in a fusion building that blends traditional and modern styles, with gabled roofs, and wooden railings wrapped around the airy first-floor terrace. Its en-suite rooms are well furnished for the price.
Tel: 04869 222196
One of the oldest guesthouses in Kumily, whose smiling owner, Sujatha, offers a range of rooms and cottages, all with balconies or sitouts littered with relaxing cane furniture. The more expensive are larger and come with more outside space.
Tel: 04869 223317
Philip and Mariyamma Mundakal's budget travellers' homestay, up a side lane off Bypass Rd, comprises six squeaky-clean rooms in a peaceful spot well away from the bustle of the bazaar, the best of them inside a newish block fitted with comfy wooden beds, quality mattresses and tiled floors.
Tel: 04869 223269
Sunny south-facing budget rooms, or shadier, more snugly furnished "deluxe" one with wooden ceilings, in modern house on the edge of the forest. Comforts include piped hot water and cane swings for lounging.
Tel: 04869 222987
A mixed but good-value bag of bamboo huts, treehouses and rooms, handily placed for the owner Mrs Lily Joseph. The best are her two rear-side doubles, whose balconies have lovely green views into the sanctuary.
Leela Pankaj Resort
Tel: 04869 222392
It is a long-established trusted budget hotel with 6 cottages and 2 restaurants.
Tel: 04869 223163
Wildside Villa is on Amalambika Convent Road has a treehouse as well as rooms.
Tel: 0484 2092280 (Kochi)
Bamboo Grove is adjacent to the periyar forests. It offers 7 cottages and 8 tents, Kerala meals, boating, rafting and trekking.