Situated in Kerala, close to the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border town – Kumily, it is located about 257 km (160 mi) from Trivandrum, 114 km from Madurai City and Madurai International Airport, 185 km from Cochin International Airport and 114 km from Kottayam railway station. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 km2 (300 sq mi), of which 360 km2 (140 sq mi) is thick evergreen forest. The Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. The greatest attraction of Periyar are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake. Sanctuary can be accessed through a nature walk, boating or jeep safari.
Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove.