All Periyar Tiger Reserve inquiries should be made through the Divisional Forest Office, Thekkady (tel. 04869/22-2027; Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, closed second Sat of the month). Note that entry to the park costs Rs 300 and is only open between 6am and 6pm. Easiest by far is to ask your hotel to make arrangements; all the resorts will book and transfer you to the KTDC-arranged excursions.
In Munnar, the Tourist Information Centre (tel. 04865/23-1516; www.munnar.com; Mon-Sat 9am-7pm) in Old Munnar is relatively helpful.
From Kochi -- Periyar/Thekaddy is a 4-hour drive east of Kochi, a long but (once you're beyond the city limits) enjoyable drive that traverses mountain roads ascending 900m (2,952 ft.) above sea level. Munnar is about 5 hours from Kochi (and a 2- to 3-hr. drive north of Periyar), and another beautiful drive; you'll pass tea plantations and spice-growing embankments and drive through lovely sections of forest. Do the drive in the monsoon season and you'll witness some spectacular waterfalls, too.
From Madurai, Tamil Nadu -- Both Munnar and Thekkady lie around 4 hours away from Madurai; if you're really in a hurry, Munnar will shave a few minutes off.
Note: Traveling by bus is arduous and time consuming, at worst hair-raising, but if you want to save money, this is the way to go.
You can pick up a ride on a auto-rickshaw or taxi almost anywhere in the Periyar area, with hordes of vehicles waiting at the bus stand. Overcharging foreigners is common; try to ascertain from your hotel what the going rate for a particular route is, and bargain upfront. Taxicabs and auto-rickshaws are readily available in and around Munnar, or you can arrange a car and driver through your hotel.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.