Hi, We are planning to go and see periyar in the middle of July 2005.
From the lonelyplanet guide, and googling, i settled with this: 1. Booked a room in Periyar House 2. Want to see if the rest houses are available.
My question is has anyone been to those RESTHOUSES inside Priyar.
If so, can you please give me some info on: 1. Is it really inside the forest, or just one of those tourist traps 2. If it is inside the forest, can we see wild life from the house?. 3. Safety, i heard one has to trek 2 kms to reach those rest houses, so please what if, if there is an emergency.
1. there are couple of hotels inside the Periyar boundary, Periyar House one of them 2.If u r lucky 3. the park gates closes at 6PM every evening and u r not allowed to travel to or out of the resthouse after that. in case of emergency, the staff is available. its not a trek to get thre , u can drive/walk, as proper roads are there.
hi, I have a reservation in Periyar House. But it seems there are what is called "resthouses", with some very rudimentary facilities, where one has to supply their own food etc.,: It seems they are much better to enjoy the nature.
Hi, Have been to the Periyar Reserve forest twice. Rate it as very good to be in. Of the three KTDC joints inside the Forest the best is the Lake Palace and also thje most expensive. I had stayed in both Periyar House and Aranya Nivas and of the two my vote goes to Aranya Nivas.
There are some Rest Houses deep inside the forest and I had been to one of the Tree House inside the forest. There was so much of wildlife noise coming from close quarters that we couldnt stay for the second night. Were chased by a wild boar family for inadvertently stepping into their resting area. The elephant calls in the night from very close was well exciting and frightening too.
There was a tree mouse constantly nibbling on the food sack we brought. The views from the Tree House was fascinating. The way through the dense elephant grass was equally enchanting since you do not know what was coming your way. These grasses are nearly twice your height.
If you are worried about living 'inside' the forest, well you can stay a hotel or resort or something like that near the reserve. Then opt for one of those 'nature walk' , a sort of organised treak into the reserves.
Never keep a high hope to spot a tiger. It's one of the biggest mood spoiler in any jungle safari. You can see heards of elephants though....
I've been in Arany Niwas few years ago. We were almost alone in the Hotel and in my opinion price is too high for the quality they offer. The park is closed at 06.00 pm and nothing to do/see overthere . Next time I'll stay in town.
We spent two nights in the rest house at Manakavala, now known as Bison Camp. To reach it you must get on one of the tour boats and get off after about 20 minutes then walk about 4 km across open grassland and a bit of forest. The resthouse has two bedrooms with attached bathrooms (basic) plus a central room to sit / eat in and a kitchen.
You have to carry food in and you'll be accompanied by a cook / guide. The house is in a small clearing in the forest set back about 100 metres from the lake edge and up a steep rise. It has no running water; that has to be fetched from the lake. There's a small bathing site too.
The house is surrounded by an elephant proof ditch with just a small wooden bridge to cross it. From reading the comments of previous visitors in the guestbook elephants are regularly seen from the house. We weren't that lucky, although a wild boar nearly gave me a heart attack when I disturbed it from its sleep close to the path outside the camp. It jumped out of a bush snorting loudly. This was at about 6:30am when we were going for a walk on our own.
We saw nilgiri langur (black monkeys related to the normal hanuman langur but bigger and restricted to the better south Indian forests) just round the back and found tiger prints (see my photo gallery) a short way from the house. Also saw sloth bear across the lake and walked past lots of boar on the way back to the boat. Lots of birds - hill mynahs all around the house.
If you have never spent a night in the forest before you should go for it. It is a fantastic experience as the day slips into night and the wildlife changes shift. Quite magical.
The beds are OK, although sleep can be disturbed by the rats running around in the roof space or, in one case, over my feet! You do want to see wildlife don't you?
You WILL need to book in advance. The resthouse is very popular and seems to be occupied most nights. Arrive in plenty of time, preferably n the morning, so that you can go shopping in Kumily before getting the boat. Your cook will tell you what you need. If you then get a boat around 2pm you'll arrive about 4 and have time to settle in before it gets dark. We left around 10am as we had a long journey and it avoided walking out in the hottest part of the day. I booked by phone from England but should have collected a confirmation from the office, which was shut as it was Sunday. Ah well, it wouldn't be India if everything went according to plan, would it?
Vikki is not a camper or keen on roughing it but she was quite happy here (much better than the night we spent in a completely bare hide in Malaysia). Our cook Vijayan was wonderful and a delight to spend time with. We will definiitely go back when we return to that part of India.
Oh yes, the tree house that Caster referred to seemd to have been demolished by elephants - Vijayan showed us where they had apparently pushed over one of the supports! [shock]
Well now; looking back through piles of paper (good thing I didn't throw them out, eh Nick ;) ) I have a phone number for the Wildlife Preservation Office - though I think it may now be the office of the Deputy Director.
Anyway, there are a couple of alternatives - India seems to be constantly reorganising its phone numbers - so try the following, whichever is current:
+91-(0)4863-22027 or +91-(0)4869- 222027
You should be able to book direct on this number; I did, from the UK. In theory there are two other resthouses further into the forest at Mullakudy and Edappalayam.
We only used water from the lake to wash with and make tea / coffee. We took bottled water with us for drinking, but the lake is clean and there is no-one living within miles, so the risk of pollution should be pretty low. Certainly boiling should be OK, as should iodine treatment.
Don't forget - the most danger is from the elephants not the tigers. I read in the visitors book about people being unable to get out of the compound because of the elephants! Seriously though, do go - it's a great spot.
brilliant post, mike! makes me want to drop everything and head off to the place... the last time i was in periyar was around 20 years ago. we stayed in periyar house which was nice. Your post may just push me to plan a trip :)