(PNP) is a protected area in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, south India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The protected area covers an area of 925 km2 (357 sq mi). 350 km2 (140 sq mi) of the core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982. Tours to Periyar bring out all the beauty of the nature that you'd love to behold. Spot all the rare wild species comfortably (contradictory, but true) such as Bison, Sambar, Spotted deer, Stripe Necked Mongoose, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Leopards and Tigers.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar National Park lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. In the north and the east it is bounded by mountain ridges of over 1,700 m (5,600 ft) altitude and toward the west it expands into a 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) high plateau. From this level the altitude drops steeply to the deepest point of the reserve, the 100 metre valley of the Pamba River. The highest peak is the 2,019 m (6,624 ft) high Kottamalai. The Periyar and Pamba Rivers originate in the forests of the reserve.
The sanctuary surrounds Periyar Lake, a reservoir measuring 26 km2 (10 sq mi) which was formed when the Mullaperiyar Dam was erected in 1895. The reservoir and the Periyar River meander around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife.
Periyar, also known as Thekkady is best known for its wildlife, is a must-see for all visitors to Kerala. The Periyar Lake lies at the heart of the sanctuary, which is a veritable paradise for all wildlife lovers. Situated within the boundaries of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. Periyar is a park where one can witness playful pachyderms roaming freely with their family and friends, whose population is currently around 800. The population of tigers is also increasing appreciably. The landscape varies from hilly to flat grassland areas at the edges of the lakes. The vegetation is of moist deciduous type.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Project Tiger reserve in 1978 and is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in India. Its unique ecosystem which consists of thick moist deciduous vegetation, dense evergreen forests and the aquatic environment of the Periyar Lake make Periyar a unique and precious wildlife resource.
The animals you can see in Periyar Wildlife sanctuary are tigers, though they remain concealed in the dense jungle and elephants, which can be seen in herds and family groups along the banks of Periyar Lake. The interaction between the elephants in a herd and their behavior while they drink, bathe and engage in mock fights and play on the lake's edge is a fascinating sight. A boat cruise on Periyar Lake is a good way to observe the elephants from a short distance away, without disturbing them.
There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species. It is an important tiger and elephant reserve. A total of 24 Bengal tigers were counted across 640 square kilometers of the park in 2008.
Places to see in Periyar
The Animals Tigar:
Periyar is a veritable paradise of elephants. Herds of playful wild elephants can be seen near the Periyar lake, their favorite haunt for frolicking in the water. Periyars wildlife variety includes the tiger, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, the Nilgiri langur, wild dog, porcupine, lion tailed macaque, Malabar squirrel and sloth bear. There are approximately 40 tigers in the area as per the latest reports.
Some 260 species of birds are found at Periyar. These include darters, cormorants, ibises, gray herons, mynas, flycatchers, orioles, wood pigeons, kingfishers, kites, ospreys, thrushes, and an appreciable number of blue-winged parakeets
The Periyar Lake:
A boat ride on the lake will make your Periyar tour absolutely fantastic. Sighting the elephants from the boat is very easy, as they come in herds near the lake to frolic in the water. The lake is also the most ideal place to watch the birds. So take a boat ride and enjoy the picturesque surroundings of the lake.