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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Periyar Wildlife SanctuarySituated on an area of 777 square kilometers in the Cardamom hills region of the Western Ghats the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest and most frequented wildlife reserves in India. 350 square kilometers area forming the core region was declared as a National Park in 1982. In 1895 a dam was built across Periyar River to provide irrigation facilities in Tamil Nadu.


It is visited by the wildlife enthusiasts with a view to spotting tigers and leopards. But sightings of these animals are all but assured. However, this place is ideal for watching other animals in their natural habitat. Other animals include elephant, wild pig, sambar, gaur, Malabar flying squirrel, stripe-necked mongoose and over 260 species of birds including blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri wood pigeon, white-bellied tree pie, laughing thrushes and flycatchers.


Located close to the border of the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the park makes an ideal base to have a sojourn while undertaking long journey across the Ghats between Madurai and the coast. It's also a convenient place for excursion to the Cardamom hills, combined with the well known pilgrimage center of the Sabarimala, a couple of tea factories, spice plantations, and spectacular view of the forest waterfalls all of them a stone's throw distance.


History

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 its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.


Major Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park

A part from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.


The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.


Other Attractions in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Kumily
    Situated just 4-kms from Periyar, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fastly catching up just like the spice trade, the major occupation of this small town. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.
  • Cradomom Hills
    Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryPeriyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills. Guide will approach you at offers of trips via jeep or taxi to the hills and if you can get a group together, these trips work out as a good travel value.
  • Boat Cruises
    Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary.Today the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. To maximise you chances, take the 7.00 am boat. You can also consider renting your own boat.



How To Reach

  • Air
    Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at140-kms are the nearest airports from Periyar.
  • Rail
    Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.
  • Road
    Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

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