Are you tired of hearing about the same old historical figures? Ready to learn about someone new and exciting? Well, buckle up buttercup because we're about to dive into the world of Periyar!

Who is Periyar, you ask? Only one of the most influential social reformers in Indian history! He's a true legend - and not just because he looks like Gandalf's long-lost twin.

Periyar was born in Tamil Nadu in 1879 and spent his life fighting for the rights of marginalized groups. He was a staunch advocate for women's rights, education, and caste equality - all things that are still important today.

But don't let his serious work fool you - Periyar had a great sense of humor too. He once famously said, "If God is a man, then his wife must be suffering from perpetual menstrual cramps." (We can't confirm or deny if this is true)

His legacy lives on through the political party he founded, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), which still fights for social justice today. So if you're looking for some inspiration or just want to learn about an amazing person from history, stick around! We promise it'll be worth it.

Table of Contents

History and Culture of Periyar

Periyar is the name of a river in southern India, but it's also the name of a very important person in Indian history and culture. E.V. Ramasamy, also known as Periyar, was an Indian social activist and politician who lived from 1879 to 1973. He was a prominent figure in the Indian independence movement and fought for the rights of marginalized communities such as women, Dalits, and lower-caste people.

Periyar was particularly known for his advocacy of rationalism and atheism, which were controversial positions in India at the time. He believed that religion was used by upper-caste people to control lower-caste people, and he worked to promote scientific thinking instead.

Despite facing opposition from many quarters, Periyar's ideas had a profound impact on Indian society. Today, he is celebrated as a hero by many people across India, particularly in the southern states where he lived and worked.

In addition to his social activism, Periyar was also a writer and speaker who gave many memorable speeches throughout his life. He had a great sense of humor and often used satire and sarcasm to make his points. One of his most famous quotes is: "If you give me rice, I'll eat today; if you teach me how to farm, I'll never be hungry again."

Overall, Periyar's legacy is one of courage, compassion, and intellectual curiosity. He was a true pioneer who challenged the status quo and helped pave the way for a more just and equitable society in India.

How to Reach and getting around Periyar

Periyar is a popular tourist destination in Kerala, known for its picturesque beauty and wildlife sanctuary. If you are planning a trip to Periyar, here are some options on how to reach there.

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Periyar is the Cochin International Airport, located about 140 km away. From here, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Periyar.

  2. By Train: The nearest railway station to Periyar is Kottayam, which is about 114 km away. From here, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Periyar. Another option is to take the scenic Nilgiri Express from Chennai to Mettupalayam and then take a toy train from there that takes you through the beautiful hills of Ooty and Coonoor before reaching Coimbatore.

  3. By Road: You can also reach Periyar by road as it is well-connected with major cities in South India. The distance from Kochi to Periyar is about 130 km and takes around 4 hours by car. You can also hire a taxi or take a bus from nearby cities like Madurai or Trivandrum.

  4. By Water: If you want to experience something unique, you can also reach Periyar by waterways through Alleppey. There are regular boat services that ply between Alleppey and Kollam, which passes through the picturesque backwaters of Kerala before reaching Periyar.

No matter how you choose to travel, the journey itself will be an adventure as it takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of South India. So pack your bags and get ready for an exciting trip to Periyar!

Weather of Periyar

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Extreme Winters
Mild Winters
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Hot + Humid
Cool and Pleasant

Periyar, located in the Western Ghats of Kerala, experiences a tropical climate with high humidity throughout the year. The monsoons start in June and continue until September, bringing heavy rainfall. The winter season, from November to February, is cool and pleasant with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 21°C. March to May is the hot season with temperatures soaring as high as 36°C.

The best time to visit Periyar is during the winter months, between November and February when the weather is mild and comfortable for outdoor activities like jungle safaris, trekking and boating. During this time, the lush greenery of Periyar National Park is at its best and visitors can enjoy sightings of a wide variety of animals like elephants, tigers, leopards and deer.

In contrast, the monsoon season brings heavy rainfall which can make it difficult to indulge in outdoor activities. However, for nature enthusiasts who want to witness the lush greenery at its peak and enjoy scenic drives through misty hillsides or waterfalls overflowing with gushing water; monsoon months could be an ideal choice.

Overall, Periyar is a year-round destination that offers something unique in every season. However, for those seeking an enjoyable experience without any weather-related hindrances; November to February is undoubtedly the best time to visit Periyar.

Places to Visit in Periyar

  • Periyar National Park: This is the most famous tourist destination in Periyar. It is a protected area known for its dense forests, grasslands and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride on the Periyar Lake to spot animals like elephants, tigers, and birds.
  • Murikkady: This is a small village located near Thekkady in Periyar. It is known for its spice plantations where visitors can take a guided tour to learn about various spices grown here such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves.
  • Mangala Devi Temple: This ancient temple is located atop a hill in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the few temples in Kerala that is open to visitors of all faiths.
  • Chellarkovil: This scenic waterfall is located close to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the waterfalls cascading down from a height of 1,300 feet while trekking through the dense forest.
  • Abraham's Spice Garden: This garden is another popular destination for tourists as it offers an insight into Kerala's rich agricultural heritage. Visitors can take a guided tour of the garden where they can see different types of spices like vanilla, nutmeg, and turmeric.
  • Kadathanadan Kalari Centre: This martial arts center offers visitors an opportunity to witness live performances of Kalaripayattu - an ancient martial art form that originated in Kerala.
  • Elephant Junction: Visitors can interact with elephants here and even bathe them in the river under the guidance of trained professionals.
  • Vandanmedu: Known as the largest producer of cardamom in India; this town has sprawling cardamom plantations that are worth visiting.
  • Kumily: A small town situated near Thekkady; it has many shops selling different varieties of tea, spices and handicrafts made by local artisans.
  • Pandikuzhi: A picturesque picnic spot surrounded by rolling hills and greenery; it has cascading waterfalls that attract tourists during monsoons.

Periyar National Park is undoubtedly one of India's best wildlife sanctuaries with its verdant forest cover and diverse flora and fauna species making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers who want to experience the wilderness up close.

Murikkady's spice plantations are equally famous among tourists who want to learn about how some of their favorite spices are grown while enjoying stunning views.

Other destinations like Mangala Devi Temple offer spiritual solace to visitors seeking blessings from above.

Chellarkovil waterfall provides awe-inspiring views while trekking through thick forests.

Abraham's Spice Garden showcases Kerala's rich agricultural heritage with its diverse range of spices which include vanilla, nutmeg and turmeric.

Kadathanadan Kalari Centre gives visitors an opportunity to witness Kalaripayattu - an ancient martial art form unique to Kerala.

Elephant Junction allows visitors to interact with these magnificent creatures while bathing them under professional guidance.

Vandanmedu town showcases sprawling cardamom plantations which are worth visiting if you're interested in seeing how this spice grows in its natural habitat.

Kumily town provides opportunities for shopping at local markets selling tea, spices and handmade crafts made by local artisans.

Finally, Pandikuzhi's cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery make it the perfect picnic spot for families looking for fun activities outdoors during monsoons or any other season throughout the year!

Religious Shrines
  • Madurai
  • Thiruparankundram
  • Alagar Koyil
  • Heritage Places
  • Meenakshi- Sundareswarar
  • Gandhi Memorial Museum
  • Thiruparankundram
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Periyar

    Periyar is famous for its authentic South Indian cuisine that boasts a rich blend of spices and flavors. Some of the must-try dishes include Appam, a pancake made with fermented rice and coconut milk, and served with vegetable stew or meat curry. Puttu is another popular dish, made with steamed rice flour and grated coconut, typically served with spicy fish curry. For vegetarians, there's Avial, a mixed vegetable dish cooked in coconut gravy and seasoned with curry leaves, mustard seeds, and coconut oil. Fish Molly, a creamy fish curry made with coconut milk and spices, is also highly recommended.

    About dining options:

    Periyar has an abundance of dining options to cater to all tastes and budgets.

    1. Grandma's Cafe: A cozy cafe that serves delicious homemade food ranging from Indian to Continental cuisine.
    2. Pepper Vine Restaurant: A fine dining restaurant that offers traditional Kerala dishes as well as international cuisine options.
    3. Thekkady Cafe: A popular restaurant known for its seafood delicacies, including the famous Fish Molly. They also offer vegetarian options.

    Best areas for accommodation in Periyar

    Periyar, also known as Thekkady, is a popular tourist destination in Kerala known for its wildlife sanctuary and spice plantations. If you're planning a trip to Periyar, it's important to choose the right area for accommodation. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Periyar:

    1. Kumily: This is the main town near Periyar and has many budget-friendly accommodation options. It's also a great place to try local food and do some shopping.
    2. Thekkady: This area is closer to the wildlife sanctuary and has many mid-range hotels and resorts. It's a great place to stay if you want to be close to nature.
    3. Murikkady: This area is known for its beautiful tea plantations and has many luxury resorts. It's perfect if you want a luxurious getaway with stunning views.

    Here are three properties for accommodation in Periyar:

    1. Spice Village Resort: This luxury resort is located in Kumily and offers beautiful cottages inspired by traditional tribal architecture. The resort also has an Ayurvedic spa, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
    2. Green Leaf Homestay: This budget-friendly homestay is located in Thekkady and offers comfortable rooms with basic amenities. The homestay also offers activities like trekking, bird watching, and plantation tours.
    3. Hostel World: This hostel is located in Kumily and offers dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms. It's perfect for backpackers on a budget who want to meet other travelers.

    No matter where you choose to stay in Periyar, you're sure to have a memorable experience surrounded by nature and wildlife.

    Shopping in Periyar

    Periyar is a beautiful town located in the hills of Kerala, India. The town offers a unique shopping experience with its bustling markets and variety of traditional handicrafts. In this article, we will explore four things to buy, three markets to visit, and four things to avoid when shopping in Periyar.

    Things to buy

    1. Spices: Periyar is known for its spices, especially black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon.
    2. Handicrafts: The town offers a range of handmade items such as wooden carvings, bamboo products, and textiles.
    3. Tea: The region is famous for its tea plantations that produce high-quality tea leaves.
    4. Ayurvedic products: Periyar has several Ayurvedic stores that sell natural medicines and cosmetics made from local herbs.

    Markets to visit

    1. Kumily Main Market: This is the main market in the town where you can find everything from fresh produce to souvenirs.
    2. Spice Market: Located near the Kumily Main Market, this market specializes in selling different varieties of spices.
    3. Government Handicraft Emporium: This store is run by the government and sells authentic handicrafts made by local artisans.

    What to avoid

    1. Elephant rides: Although it may seem like an exciting experience, it is not ethical to ride elephants as they are often mistreated and abused.
    2. Plastic products: To promote sustainable tourism, it is best to avoid buying plastic products that harm the environment.
    3. Fake handicrafts: Some vendors may sell fake handicrafts made using machines instead of traditional methods. It's best to buy from trusted stores or government emporiums.
    4. Bargaining too much: While bargaining is common practice in India, it's important not to bargain too much as it can be disrespectful towards the vendors who rely on their sales for their livelihood.

    In conclusion, shopping in Periyar offers a unique experience with its variety of traditional handicrafts and spices. However, visitors should be mindful of what they buy and where they buy it from to promote sustainable tourism practices.

    Nightlife in Periyar

    Periyar is a beautiful town located in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is famous for its natural beauty, wildlife sanctuary, and spice plantations. The town is also known for its vibrant nightlife that attracts tourists from all over the world.

    There are many places to spend the night in Periyar that offer a range of activities to suit different interests. Here are three suggestions:

    1. Periyar Jungle Inn: This resort offers a unique experience of staying in treehouses surrounded by lush greenery. You can go on a guided trekking tour, watch traditional dance performances, or just relax by the campfire.

    2. Thekkady Spice Village: This eco-resort is set amidst a spice plantation and offers cozy cottages with all modern amenities. You can take a tour of the plantation, learn about local spices, or enjoy an Ayurvedic massage.

    3. Greenwoods Resort: This luxurious resort has everything you need for a comfortable stay. You can swim in the pool, play indoor games, or go on an elephant safari.

    Apart from these places, there are many bars and restaurants that come alive at night in Periyar. You can try traditional Kerala cuisine or sip on some cocktails while enjoying live music performances.

    Overall, Periyar offers a perfect blend of nature and nightlife that makes it an ideal destination for travelers looking for adventure and relaxation.

    Outdoor Activities in Periyar

    Periyar, also known as Thekkady, is a beautiful hill station located in the Western Ghats of Kerala. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India, especially for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Apart from its vibrant nightlife, Periyar offers a plethora of outdoor activities that keep tourists engaged throughout their stay.

    One of the most popular outdoor activities in Periyar is jungle trekking. The region is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, and trekking through the dense forests gives visitors a chance to observe the local flora and fauna up close. Another exciting activity is bamboo rafting on the Periyar Lake. The calm waters of the lake make for a peaceful and relaxing experience while surrounded by nature.

    For those seeking more adventure, rock climbing and rappelling are also popular activities in Periyar. Several adventure companies offer these activities in safe environments with experienced guides.

    In conclusion, Periyar offers an array of outdoor activities that cater to all types of tourists. From leisurely bamboo rafting to thrilling rock climbing, there is something for everyone to enjoy amidst the natural beauty of this hill station.

    Festivals and Events in Periyar

    Periyar is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional festivals that attract tourists from all over the world. These festivals showcase the vibrant culture, customs and traditions of the region. Some of the major festivals celebrated in Periyar are:

    1. Onam (August/September): Onam is one of the most important festivals in Kerala and is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Periyar. It marks the homecoming of King Mahabali, a mythical ruler who is believed to have ruled Kerala in ancient times.
    2. Makaravilakku (January): Makaravilakku is a famous festival celebrated at Sabarimala temple, which is located near Periyar. This festival marks the end of the pilgrimage season to Sabarimala and attracts thousands of devotees.
    3. Vishu (April): Vishu is another major festival celebrated in Kerala and is observed as the New Year day by Malayalis. The festival signifies new beginnings, prosperity and good luck.
    4. Navratri (September/October): Navratri is a nine-day long festival celebrated across India to worship Goddess Durga. In Periyar, this festival brings together people from different communities to participate in cultural events and rituals.

    Apart from these festivals, there are several other events that take place throughout the year in Periyar:

    1. Periyar Tiger Trail: This event organized by Kerala Forest Department offers an opportunity for tourists to explore the wildlife sanctuary on foot.
    2. Kalaripayattu show: Kalaripayattu is a traditional martial art form that originated in Kerala. Several cultural centers in Periyar organize shows to showcase this ancient art form.
    3. Plantation visits: Visitors can take tours of various plantations like tea, coffee, cardamom etc., which are located around Periyar.

    In conclusion, festivals and events play a significant role in promoting tourism in Periyar by providing travelers with an opportunity to experience its rich cultural heritage and traditions.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Periyar

    1. Pack light: As Periyar is a wildlife sanctuary, it's essential to travel light. Carry only necessary items, such as comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, and insect repellent. Avoid bringing any plastic or non-biodegradable items to reduce your impact on the environment.
    2. Plan ahead: Research the best time to visit Periyar based on your interests and the events happening in the area. Make sure to book accommodations and activities in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Consider hiring a local guide or joining a group tour for a more immersive experience.
    3. Respect the wildlife: While exploring the sanctuary, it's crucial to respect the animals and their habitats. Keep a safe distance from them and avoid feeding or touching them. Follow all park rules and regulations to ensure you don't disturb their natural habitat or endanger their lives.
    4. Be mindful of cultural norms: Periyar is home to various indigenous tribes with unique cultures and traditions. Be respectful of their customs, such as dressing modestly and seeking permission before taking photographs. Learn about their way of life by interacting with locals or attending cultural events like dance performances and festivals.
    5. Contribute to conservation efforts: As a responsible traveler, you can contribute towards preserving Periyar's fragile ecosystem by supporting local conservation initiatives. Consider volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center or donating funds towards environmental programs that protect endangered species.

    In summary, traveling to Periyar requires an eco-conscious mindset that prioritizes sustainability, respect for wildlife, cultural sensitivity, and community involvement. By following these tips, you can have an unforgettable trip while also making a positive impact on the environment and local communities.


    What is Periyar's full name?

    Periyar's full name is Erode Venkata Ramasamy.

    What was Periyar's role in the Indian independence movement?

    Periyar played an active role in the Indian independence movement, organizing protests and rallies against British colonial rule. He was also a vocal advocate for social justice and equality in India.

    What are some of Periyar's most famous quotes?

    Some of Periyar's most famous quotes include "A religion which does not teach its followers to respect the rights of others cannot be a true religion" and "The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different."

    What were Periyar's views on caste discrimination?

    Periyar was a staunch critic of caste discrimination and worked tirelessly to promote social equality in India. He believed that caste-based hierarchies were unjust and perpetuated inequality, and advocated for inter-caste marriages as a means of breaking down these barriers.

    How did Periyar contribute to the Dravidian movement?

    Periyar was one of the key figures in the Dravidian movement, which sought to promote Tamil culture and identity in South India. He founded several organizations dedicated to this cause, including the Self-Respect Movement and the Dravidar Kazhagam.

    What is the significance of Periyar's statue being vandalized in 2018?

    The vandalism of Periyar's statue in 2018 sparked widespread outrage among his supporters, who saw it as an attack on his legacy and on Tamil identity more broadly. The incident also highlighted ongoing tensions around issues of caste, religion, and regional identity in India.

    How is Periyar remembered today?

    Periyar is remembered as a pioneering social reformer who dedicated his life to promoting equality, justice, and human rights in India. His ideas continue to inspire generations of activists fighting for social change across South Asia.

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