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“A bit expensive.. but was really amazing”

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A bit expensive.. but was really amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

I went along with 2 other friends of mine in the month of Sep' 13. Reading the previous reviews, I had booked it well in advance.. (Didnt have to pay anything beforehand but got a confirmation over the phone).

We were given the 'Tented Niche' for the stay. It was beautiful (a midst the forest). Here are some take aways:
1. Indians are charged 6000 for one tent (2 persons). We had one extra person so we paid 1500 extra making it 7500 for one night!
2. This included breakfast, lunch and dinner (mind you the food was sumptuous).
3. We were welcomed with a drink (lemon juice), briefed about the reserve, taken for a safari (was okay we spotted boar, pig, deer etc)
4. The boating we did on bamboo raft was amazing given the weather was brilliant and the surrounding hills has all the clouds making the view breathtaking.
5. Tribal dance (nothing great to offer..)
6. Dusk safari (probably the best part- you get to spot the animals after dark.. many would be crossing the road while you drive down in the bus)
7. Food (the best part- authentic Kerala cuisine.. As a non vegetarian I was offered fish curry and fish fry for lunch and chicken in the night.. yummy :)
8. Morning trek- The authorities were more than welcoming and offered us two trekking paths.. the Evergreen forest path was good.. though you wont see any animals in this trail but the forest itself is beautiful to keep you occupied for the entire 4 kms..

Pros:
1. Food
2. The stay itself.. middle of the forest!
3. Dusk safari, Bamboo raft and morning trek

Cons:
1. Pricey.. though almost worth it.
2. If the guides can speak a bit more English fluently then it would have given us more details about the place. Currently it was restricted to mostly at Tamil and Malayalam so having proficiency in Hindi and English didn't help me much :(

Best part: The service. The people from Parambikulam were really helping and that really impressed me. Since there are no mobile network inside the forest (Except for BSNL) we were out of touch from the outside world (which was a good thing for a day ;)) but in case if one need to make a call or two they were really willing to lend the cell for the same.

Please note: Alcohol is not allowed inside the forest. We had it and couldnt throw it away, (though there was no intention to consume it inside the forest as we had plans for other cities as well so it was kept in our car), somehow we managed to sneak in , but had that been caught, there was a hefty fine of Rs 5000. Please avoid taking alcoholic beverages inside.

Room Tip: Tented Niche- Good stay. 6000 for a couple per night (Indians)
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Shashswat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Palakkad, India
Level Contributor
77 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

This in palakkad district , you have drive around 4hours from Pollachi , through Anamali . You can visit 3 dams here , Thoonakadavu, peruvaripallam and Parambikulam ! Tree hut in thoonakadavu is the main atraction ! Its really worth for a stay here .in the night you can see the wild animals down to your cottage , may kids will get scared .even though it is enjoyable and memorable for ever !

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Shanth111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai, India
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

Gang of 8 friends in 2 cars set of a journey from Chennai into the wild. No one knew about this place - All we got was a booking for a night stay in a jungle cottage [Telikal Nights].

It was raining cats and dogs as we made this trip in Sep 2012. We went there and found that its a non smoking and non alcoholic zone - strictly no littering. we took 2 forest guards for our safety.

Reached a Dam site - it was such a beautiful place, the best part was we were the only people there. We had to walk 6 km into the jungle to reach the cottage. Wow what a journey that was - we had to walk fast as the sun was dipping behind the mountains. It was almost dark and we reached the Jungle Cottage. There was no power - no mobile signal.

A small pond opposite to the cottage - looked awesome. While approaching the cottage we going there was a pit dug for 8 feet deep and 5 feet wide,this pit was the only wall between the wild animals and us inside the cottage.

The guards said that this was recently dug to keep wild elephants away. Amazing dinner was cooked by the guards - Roti + Chicken curry.

In the morning we walked a few meters and found a stream which was on so chill. spent there till noon and walked through the jungle back to our cars.

Way back we were drenched in rain - Wow what an experience. Must visit for nature lovers.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Location
Helpful?
3 Thank TheResponsible
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
48 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

Though this is a government run property, it is managed well by the rangers here. The tented niche is excellent place to stay and has enough space inside with a huge bathroom. the space in the front is good for the kids to play around. The cost was 5000 per night for us with breakfast, lunch, dinner, the safari and the trekking included. No extra cost.
The ranger assigned was knowledgeable, courteous and was interested in showing things. The food was very good with options for veg and non-veg.
If you love nature, this is a place to stay, Though we couldn't see the big cats, we could locate some pug marks during the trek and the birds and the Gaur are in plenty.
Best time to enjoy is to wake up at 4AM and sit outside in the verandah and just enjoy the sounds of the jungle.

Room Tip: Loved the tented niches. Chose it if the budget permits.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Muthuprakash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013

As said by others you need to be persistent to get here. I tried to call and email them - the calls either failed to go through or connected to non or poorly English speaking personnel, the emails were never answered.
The first almost successful call resulted in the offer for tree huts at 3500 INR a night. Finally our receptionist called and got us booked in a tented niche, which turned out to be very nice. The tree huts where not available - due to rats. When we finally got there, the night was 4000 INR. She also told us that "they do not do email"...

We took a driver from Coimbatore, but one should be able to take a bus to Pollachi and a cab from there. If you are the only guests (as we were initially), they expect you to pay full price but you have to arrange for the car for the safari! After some discussions they agreed to do the safari, and before we left a second adventurous couple arrived.

The program is rather limited, the surroundings are sensational. The most impressive moment was waking up to the sounds of wilderness. In March the animals are hiding - even when rafting we did not see any animals.

On the jeep safari we saw peacocks, deer, and boars - not much more exciting than at home ;). However - on the way back from the jeep safari we saw a leopard, which made up for all the others we did not see.

The next morning we went on a bird walk, which was nice, but our guide clearly just did want to get home.

Overall it was a mixed experience, but a great place. On the way you have to pay several entrance fees for areas and cameras and cars, but the effort is worth it. We hope to come back one day after the rain season.

Room Tip: Do not go in March - after the fact we learned that June would be good.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Maritian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

Those who wish to stay in the real wilderness area one can opt for Thellikkal Nights. This accommodation is deep inside the forest and has to trek on 8 km to reach this spot. The surrounding ambience is dark woods with beautiful grassland and waterhole where one can meet the real tranquility of mother nature.

We had booked a stay at the Thellikkal Inspection Bungalow, which is 8 km deep inside the forest. We had to trek through dense teak plantations to reach this bungalow. A forest tribal guide, and an armed guard accompanied us in our 8 km walk inside the forest. The walk to the bungalow is a treat in itself, with animals like Nilgiri Langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Ruddy Mongoose, and herds of deers and gaur, magically appearing on the trees and amidst the bushes. Birds like the Wayanad Whistling thrush and Racket tailed drongo, which are a rarity elsewhere, can be spotted without much fuss in Parambikulam. In front of the Thellikkal bungalow is a huge marshy vayal (open grassland), which attracts herds of Indian gaur, chital and sambar. The presence of the herbivores naturally makes the vayal a favorite hunting ground for the big cats – especially the great and elusive – Royal Bengal Tiger.
That night and the following morning, we could listen to the music of a variety of songbirds.
Parambikulam was an enriching experience. The sanctuary is maintained by efficient and passionate staff who really care about the rainforest ecology and wildlife conservation. The stories told by our tribal guides were plinthed on their love for the animals of their forest.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank ganeshkarthe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin, ireland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

My wife and I spent a day and 2 nights in a tree house in Parambikulam. When you arrive there you rejoice that you are in such an amazing and beautiful place. But again this is ruined by humans as you find out the next day you are also prisoners while you are there. You have zero freedom and you are basically spied on and shackled with a 'guide' ( = prison guard) wherever you go.

The place should be a paradise for hiking. However the guided hike is a joke - there you are in a beautiful forest and they take you on a simple 2 hour walk along an old paved road to a reservoir and then the concrete monstrosity of a dam! You cannot take a step independently without being forced to return to your ‘prison’ by the wardens. It was a horrible experience. But by the time we realised this we had to endure it for that evening before we could leave the next morning on the bus.

They take your money (and it is a robbery for what you get) and basically do their utmost to make you feel like prisoners and keep you away from the animals you have come to see. They know very well the likely areas the elephants and other larger mammals are but completely keep you away from them.

The bamboo rafting was an embarrassing joke. This poor guy rows you from side of the reservoir to the other then back for a grand total of 30 minutes. Why do they do this? You feel ridiculous.

So I would advise avoiding this place at all costs and going somewhere else where you are wanted and not treated as a prisoner.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bru234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Property: Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: Parabikulam Wildlife Sanctuary | Pollachi, Palakkad 678 661, India
Location: India > Kerala > Palakkad
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Palakkad
Also Known As:
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala, India - Palakkad

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