|Nature Walk, Border Hiking, Bamboo Rafting, Jungle Patrol, Tribal Heritage, Jungle Inn, The Bamboo Grove, Green Mansions and Bullock cart ride are the other eco-tourism programmes at the Reserve.
A know the terrain programme consisting of a trek of about 5 km through dense woods. Bird-butterfly watching is an important part. There is restriction in the number of participants.
Border Hiking, envisaged as a conservation-oriented trek, covers undulating terrains and altitudes ranging from 900m to 1300m. The trek starts at 8 o’ clock in the morning and ends in the evening. The trekking route is through the habitats of elephant, sloth bear, gaur, birds and butterflies. Guides and armed forest guards will accompany the group. There is restriction in the number of participants.
Rafting along the Periyar River would be a memorable experience for travellers. The Eco-tourism Committee offers rafting on bamboo craft. The rafting is through one of the scenic courses of the river and spotting of wild animals on the banks makes the travel thrilling. A small trek is also part of the programme.
Want to do your bit to save the tiger kingdom? Then, this programme is for you. The jungle patrol is a programme for travellers to join the night patrolling in the sanctuary. An armed forest guard and two protection watchers are part of a team and travellers in small groups are allowed to join them.
Tribal Heritage introduces to you an indigenous community which had been living in the inner forests of Periyar from time immemorial. The tribal community is called Mannan and it made its living from hunting, fishing and agriculture. Members of the community still live inside the sanctuary in a settlement and a heritage museum has been set up in the settlement. The museum has various artefacts related to the history and culture of the community. The weapons, vessels, medicinal plants, bamboo craft and dresses on display at the museum are interesting pointers to the rich past of the ‘sons of the soil’. A trained member of the tribal community will be your guide.
Want to watch the jungle coming alive around you? The forest cottage at Kokkara, which can accommodate two persons, is in the midst of woods where travellers can have a fascinating experience of the wild in the safety of a cottage. You can check into the cottage in the afternoon and leave at 9 a.m. next morning. Food is provided.
An eco-lodging is offered at the sanctuary in a bamboo grove on islets. The bamboo cottages here host nature sensitization camps and related programmes.
‘Green Mansions’ in Gavi is a retreat in the wild. The eco-tourism programmes at Gavi have earned worldwide reputation. ‘Alistair International’ had listed Gavi as one of the leading eco-tourism centres and a must-visit destination in the country.
Green hills covered in tall trees, deep valleys, waterfalls are all part of the refreshing experience in Gavi. Besides the forests, travellers can also visit the large cardamom plantations nearby.
Accommodation is offered in the Green Mansions, a well-equipped modern-day cottage, which offers a scenic view of the greenery. There are also tree-top huts and tented accommodation for avid nature-lovers.
Trekking is also offered and the trips to the forests which are home to a variety of flora and fauna will be accompanied by local people.
Canoeing in the calm waters of the lake is sure to relax your mind. The greenery on the banks, animals peeping out of the woods, hovering birds, butterflies and much else would make your ride memorable. Evenings are more ideal to go canoeing when the lake radiates in the orange glow of the setting sun.