Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Kerala
Main Wildlife Attractions: Indian Elephants, Leopard , Malabar Giant Squirrel , Sambar deer, Tiger, Nilgiri tahr, Starred tortoise
Coverage Area: 925-sq-kms
Established: 1950 as Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, 1978 as Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR), 1982 as Periyar National Park

At a Glance Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though it’s a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar Lake. Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger.

In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.

Climate & Rainfall The temperatures vary depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15° Celsius in December and January and 31° Celsius in April and May. The annual amount of precipitation lies between 2000 and 3000 mm. About two thirds of the rainfall occurs during the southwest monsoon between June to September. A smaller amount of precipitation occurs during the northeast monsoon between October and December.

Flora Around three fourth of the sanctuary area is covered with evergreen and semi evergreen rain forests while a part of the remaining area is covered by damp leaves forest Eukalyptus plantation and grassland. The rest of the area is covered by Periyar River and Pamba River. The floral attractions of the park are approximately 2000 species of flowering plants, 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids. The tall trees of the forest rise upto a height of 130 to 140 feet!

Fauna Mammals
Approximately 62 species of mammals await to welcome visitors on their trip to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The most ferocious of these, undoubtedly is the Tiger. Many tourists visit Periyar just in order to get a glimpse of the Tiger that according to estimates number between 35 and 50. However, there is still a larger number of tourists who come here because of the Indian Elephants. The huge mammal is found in pretty large number in Periyar Sanctuary - around 1000.

Other mammals that manage to make their presence felt quiet decently amidst these two are Leopards, Otters, Nilgiri Langurs, Common Langurs, Bonnet Macaques, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Squirrel, Wild Boar, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse Deer, Nilgiri Tahr, Dhole (Indian wild dogs), porcupines, Gaur and Sloth Bears.

The birds of the park include around 180 species. Prominent among these are Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. Tourists interested in spotting a large number of birds need to carry along their binoculars.

Reptile population of the park is also commendable with around 45 species found. Out of these, a majority (30) of them are snakes. The rest of them comprise of 2 turtle species and 13 lizard species. Frequent sighting of King Cobras and Python, two extremely poisonous snakes is also an attraction for the visitors to the park.

There are 38 different fish types live in the water of protected area, out of which four are endemic to the Western Ghats. Salmon and Trout are some of the fish found here.

How to Reach Periyar Tiger Reserve is located in Thekkady, about 4 km from Kumili in Idukki district of central Kerala and is well connected by road transport from all the major towns of Kerala.

By Air
Nearest airports are Madurai (140 Kms.), Cochin International Airport (190 Kms.) and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (267 Kms.)

Kottayam is the nearest railway station from Periyar National Park which is only 114 Kms. away. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way to Periyar that includes tea estates and spice gardens. Other nearest railway stations are Changanassery (120 Kms.), Madurai: (135 Kms.) and Ernakulam (190 Kms ) etc.

Direct buses are available from Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Kottayam, Munnar & Madurai.

Travel Tips Visitors are advised to reach the gate half an hour in advance to complete the formalities for entry into the park.

Best Time to Visit March and April are the driest months of year, because of which the animals spend a lot of time near the lake. Even the tiger may be spotted near the waters in the Reserve during this period. June, July and August is the rainy season, during this period you can enjoy the greenery of the park at its best under the showers of monsoon.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Tours

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