|Location :||In Kumily in the state of Kerala|
|MajorTourist Attractions :||Endangered Tigers, Elephants, Deers|
|Area Covered :||777 sq kms.|
|Established :||In the year 1950 as Sanctuary and 1978 as a Tiger reserve|
|Best time to Visit :||October to April|
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is set in the high ranges of the western Ghats in Southern India. Consisting of a National Park and a Tiger reserve, the Periyar wildlife Sanctuary preserves a beautiful lake in the heart of the sanctuary. The lake initially formed as a reservoir of a Dam provides drinking water to the wildlife for their sustainance. Along the sides of the lake are marshy tall grass land areas giving it an exquisite look. In the marshy land are sometimes seen the Langurs and the Macaque.
The forests that covers the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary are a mixture of deciduous, semi evergreen and evergreen trees. The evergreen trees are tall and occupy the moist valleys with the canopy. The Sanctuary, also known as Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary owes its origin to the Maharaja of Travancore who was an avid hunter and a great natural lover. Spice gardens and plantation estates surrounds the sanctuary.
The Periyar wildlife sanctuary attained the status of a national park in the year 1982 and it was declared a tiger reserve way back in 1978 to protect the tiger population under the project Tiger Plan, an initiative taken by the Government of India, to save the ever decreasing king of the Jungle.
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Flora : The National Park at Periyar boast of a rich and diverse Flora. The woody grass land to the center of the sanctuary as well as the tropical forests. The Savannah grassland and the thick vegetation bores different types of shoots and grasses. About 2000 species of flowering plants belonging to about 160 families and 823 genera were identified in the park premises. The major trees identified are Teak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood and Jacaranda. Other common trees are Mango, Jamun,Tamarind and the Banyan trees. The open grass land is filled with tall and nutritious grasses.
Fauna : Entire herds of Elephants can be seen swimming and drinking water in the Periyar lake. The young ones splashing waters on their mothers. The other attractions found at the sanctuary are Malabar Giant Squirrel, Malabar Horn bill, different variety of deers, stripe neck mongoose, egrets, lizards civet cats and the Brahmin eagles.
Avian Species : There are about 260 species of Birds and about 100 varieties of Butterflies that can be seen in the territory of the park. The major types of Birds spotted are the Blue-winged Parakeets, Great Indian Horn bill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Black-winged Kite,White-bellied tree Pies, Laughing Thrushes, Fly Catchers, Darters, Cormorants, Barbets and Plovers amongst the many. Water birds at the edge of the lake includes the cormorants, darters, plovers kingfishers, moorhen, egrets, and the Brahminy eagles .
Other nearby attraction includes Kumily, the growing plantation township in terms of tourism and the Cadomon hills. Apart from that Boat cruises can be enjoyed at the Periyar river.
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Well furnished hotel provide the required comfort needed for a relaxed stay after a hard day adventure in the wild life sanctuary. The well known are Spice Village hotel located outside the Sanctuary offering 52 air-cooled cottages in the middle of spice plantations. A multi-cuisine restaurant and a Heated swimming pool adds to its beauty. Other names of hotel are Taj Garden retreat and the Lake Palace Hotel.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airport from the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is at Cochin 190 km far. The other is at Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
By Rail : The nearest Railway Station from the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is Kottayam at a distance of 114 kms.
By Road : The nearest town from the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is at Kumily 4 km away, which is well-connected by roads to other major towns of Kerala.