Periyar Tiger Reserve – Thekkady

Photo credits : Unni P

Photo credit: Unni P.

Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady is one of  27 tiger reserves in India. The reserve’s diverse environment includes tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grass lands and lakes. Although Periyar is a tiger reserve, there are many more animals than just tigers to be seen in the region: elephants, bison, Sambar deer, leopards, and wild boars also share the grounds. Continue reading

Wild Gaur – Periyar

Photo Credits : Roji Anthony

Photo Credits: Roji Anthony

The Periyar Tiger Reserve is home to an estimated 500-1000 Wild Gaur, popularly known as “Indian Bison”. They are ferocious looking but shy bovines, and some of the largest in the world. The male bison can weight up to 1000 kg, grows to 6 feet in height and has very dark brown skin. Female gaur are smaller in size and are a lighter brownish black, and the calves are even lighter still. Continue reading

The Best Memories

Sighting Of The Day

Sighting Of The Day

Cardamom County receives guests of all ages who are enthusiastic about trekking, hiking and bamboo rafting as well as others who just like to relax in the beautiful ambiance of our property. Our privileged location across the street from the Periyar Tiger Reserve means a lot of overlap of fauna such as birds, butterflies and even monkeys between us, although obviously we don’t have any tigers on property! Continue reading

Periyar Trekking – Border Hike

semi evergreen forest

semi evergreen forest

Recent guests from Austria staying at Cardamom County shared photos of their Border Hike experience with us.  The Periyar Tiger Reserve extends over 925 sq kilometers and this particular trek covers a minimum of 18km of the peripheral zone. It’s difficult not to get lost and even more difficult to spot animals in the rich flora of the reserve, hence the importance of the professionally trained forest guides. Continue reading

Community Based Ecotourism: Periyar Model

Bamboo Rafting

Bamboo Rafting

Community based Ecotourism programs are the hallmark of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programs are conducted by the local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. Taking tourists along, valuable revenue is generated for community welfare at the same time forest conservation is taking place.  Continue reading

Into the Periyar Tiger Reserve

Tree in the Periyar Tiger Reserve

A couple of days ago, I had my first trekking experience in the Periyar Tiger Reserve and because of its name, I had a flawed perception of what was to come.  I expected to see many animals, perhaps even a tiger. However, I did not. In fact, during the few hours I was there, I only saw a couple sambar (a species of Indian deer), an Indian Gaur (the largest living bovine), and a handful of birds. My experience in the Periyar Tiger Reserve was the antithesis of going to a zoo, and this actually made it much more enjoyable. Continue reading

Solitary togetherness : a walk into Periyar Tiger Reserve

Traveling in a pack, or you might say a group, is not something I do on holidays. I’m a lone wolf kind of traveler. See what I mean? Then I took the opportunity to escort a group coming to Cardamom County for a bird photography workshop into Periyar Tiger Reserve, and all my preconceptions disappeared. Although my companions came from all parts of India to take wildlife pictures and I arrived on day 1 with just an iphone, I quickly felt like I belonged. Continue reading

Biodiversity At Our Doorstep

Between the Western Ghats’ recent World Heritage Site designation and Periyar Tiger Reserve’s U.N. accolades reported here, awareness of our neighborhood is most certainly on the rise.

We’ve commented on PTR’s enlightened leadership previously, but it’s always encouraging to hear additional applause.

The Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) has won the coveted U.N.-India Biodiversity Governance award instituted by the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the best managed protected area of the country.

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A Great Finale To Our Kerala Experience

Photo: Milo Inman

Our time at Cardamom County in Thekaddy, Kerala was way too short.  After returning from a wonderful trip with River Escapes in the backwaters of Kerala we headed for the state’s iconic hill stations in the Western Ghats.  I suggested to my husband Dave that we take a taxi, but being a former backpacker, he urged me to give the bus a chance.  I stood my ground, insisting the trip would take several hours and I could bet the buses wouldn’t pass an inspection. But Dave was persistent and persuasive – I acquiesced and don’t regret that decision for one moment.  It was a wild ride.

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Many Stripes. Many Tales. Few Tigers.

When I decided to come to Kerala this summer for my internship, I got most excited not entirely about my work, but really about seeing a tiger. I can’t even remember the last time I went to a zoo, but I know deep in my closet I have a dusty photo of me and a tamed tiger from Thailand. At this time, seeing a wild tiger was actually more of a WILD idea. Since I’m working next to the Periyar Tiger Reserve, a home to approximately 40 tigers and many other animals, I’m practically neighbors with them and awaiting a miraculous moment to see a tiger before my trip to Delhi.

As a Korean descendent, I must introduce you all to some Korean culture and explain why I’m writing a blog post that is dedicated just to tigers. I’m sure a lot of my Korean folks will agree that tigers and Koreans go way back. My relationship with tigers started when I was 3 years old when my grandmother told me a story about a tiger that smoked using bamboo pipes.  My reaction was: “Really? Tigers smoke, too?”

Source & Credit: Picture of a Tiger at SamChunSa (삼천사) at BookHanSan (북한산)

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Periyar Trek and Bamboo Rafting

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.  -John Muir, 1913

A trek into a tiger reserve might most readily evoke ideas of adventure and intrepid exploration. Bamboo rafting suggests a similar air of gallant expedition in an untamed wilderness. But when asked about my experience on the bamboo rafting and trekking tour through the Periyar Tiger Reserve, ‘peaceful’ was the word that came to mind. While all those notions of rough and rugged adventure are accurate, ‘peaceful’ is the expression that best describes that day, as well as the feeling I get when reflecting upon it.

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