Near Kumily, the Periyar National Park is known for hiking and trekking in the India state of Kerlala. It is a 350 square kilometer national park known for flying squirrels and nilgiri langur. The park is known as one of the most scenic wildlife parks worldwide. The terrain ranges from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the lakes. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type. There are some very friendly elephants and an increasing population of tigers.
Periyar National Park is located 4km from the town of Kumily. The Vandiperiyar-Moozhiyar-Kakki Road passes through the park.
The park is well connected by Thiruvananthapuram (271 km), as well as the cities of Cochin (200 km), Kottayam (117 km), and Madurai (140 km). The nearest major rail junction is Kottayam. The nearest national airports are Cochin (200 km) and Madurai (140 km).
The Periyar National Park is well connected by bus service to the state capital Thiruvananthapuram (271 km). To access the place from Cochin, take the NH49 to Thripunithara. From there, state highway 15 will take you to Ettumanur via Keecherry, Thalayolaparambu and Vaikom. Take the SH1 to Kottayam and finally NH220 to Thekkady via Kanjirappally, Peermade, Vandiperiyar and Kumily.
The only entry point to the park is through Thekkady village (4 km from Kumily). The starting point is the boathouse (2 km from entry gate), from where all treks begin.
Note: The best time to spot animals is during the dry months as after a shower the water resources fill up and the animals do not feel the need to come out in search of water.
Note: In any national park known to have lions or tigers, hikers need to exercise extreme caution. It is highly recommended to us a park-approved guide prior to hiking or trekking in these regions.
Overall, Periyar National Park is the 18th most popular hiking trail of all 42 hikes in India.