Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary


Periyar is better known for the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve in Thekkady. Situated high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the 16 Project Tiger Reserves in India. At the heart of the sanctuary is the picturesque Periyar Lake , a major attraction of the region. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir provides continuous water for the local wildlife. Periyar Wildlife Reserve is one of the few places where you can observe elephants in their natural habitats.

Periyar National Park is positioned amid the backdrop of the majestic Western Ghats in Kerala. The prime attraction of the park is the 5,500-hectare Periyar lake formed by the structure of an embankment on the Periyar river in the year 1895. The dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead weeds still protrude of the waters. Along the periphery of the lagoon are swampy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, since it provides both excellent cover and sustenance in the form of moist shoots and lush green grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur.

Facts and figures
Location from major cities :
Madurai (140 kms), Cochin (200 kms)

Known for :
Elephants, Tigers, Nilgiri Tahr

Climate & the best time to visit : The annual average temperature is in the range of 15 degrees to 31 degrees. The hottest months are April and May. Southwest monsoons brings a lot of rainfall during the June-August period. The mean annual rainfall is 2030mm.

The best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and June

Attractions in the Park

Avifauna, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Avifauna :
Many species of local and migratory birds are found in the sanctuary. The commonly spotted species are Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The migratory birds mainly come during winter season.

The vegetation here mainly comprises of tropical evergreen forests. Semi-evergreen forest cover is also seen in some parts of the park. Most of the areas near the lake are covered by marshy grasslands. One remarkable feature of the flora is that some trees even grow at a height of 130-140 feet.

Elephants are found in large numbers here. There are hundreds of them in the park. Other animals commonly seen in the park are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer and Indian Wild Dog. Though there are an estimated 40 tigers here, the big cat remains largely elusive. Four species of primates inhabiting the park are Rare lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Some numbers of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr are also found here. Among the main reptile species are Python, Cobra and the Monitor Lizard. The Monitor Lizard could be seen basking in the sun on most occassions.

Other Places to Visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary , Kumily :

Kumily is a beautiful little town located at a distance of 4-kms from Periyar. The place is most famous for its spice trade. The town also has excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.

Cradomom Hills
A great view of the lower landscape is available from Cradomom hills. Jeeps and taxis are regularly available to take you to the magnificent hills.

How To Reach

By Air : There are two airports nearest to the sanctuary. The domestic Madurai airport of Tamil Nadu is located at a distance of 140 kms. The Cochin International airport is located 200-kms from the sanctuary.

By Rail : Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.

By Road : The entry point to the park is Thekkady which is accessible easily by road from both the airports mentioned above. Taxis are available on hire to the park from these places.