The view of the shola forests, the lovely greens and the vast hills is not the only thing that one gets to see during a cruise at the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
In addition, the jungle loving tourist gets to see a lot of wildlife in its best forms.
The Periyar Tiger Reserve is known for its elephants and tigers. But, sighting a tiger from a boat is very difficult unless it comes down to the river to quench its thirst.
And, I was just plain unlucky not to see the pachyderms. However, I was able to sight huge herds of the gaur. Gaurs are the largest bovine animal and are highly muscular in nature. Their white socks are a very pretty sight.
I was also lucky enough to sight huge groups of the wild boar who were busy grazing in the far away grasslands.
Overall, my best sightings were of the fish-loving cormorant and darter birds that were sunning themselves on the dead tree trunks. One could see these ultra flexible birds from a very close range.
I was able to sight other birds including kingfishers. But, the surprise package came in the form of a fresh water tortoise that had crept up a small rock and was soaking in the sun.