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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Destination : Kumily, Kerala
Duration : 777-sq-kms
Nearest Access : Kumily (4-kms)
Best time to visit : October to April
Main Wildlife Found : Elephants, Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur

About Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
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.

Fauna :
Periyar's sylvan environs offer a refuge to many mammals, reptiles and amphibians and around 320 avian species. The threatened lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur occur here, as do the Flying and Malabar Giant Squirrel. The elusive Nilgiri Tahr is also present in this park. One can watch herds of Elephants swimming in the Periyar Lake. This lake was constructed by the Britishers in the year 1895 by constructing a dam across Periyar river. Now one can see most of the wildlife around this lake by boat launches. The lake also has a sizable population of turtles like Travancore Tortoise and the Black turtle. Periyar is also home to leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, monitor lizards and a variety of snakes and birds. The birds include darter, cormorant, grey heron, ibis, great malabar hornbill and grey hornbill, kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket tailed drongos, parakeets, including the unusual blue winged paraket and fly catchers. The animals are viewed from motor launches on the lake and from watch tower.

Flora :
Due to the presence of large water bodies Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a bird watcher's delight. It attracts large number of birds both resident as well as migratory the reason being the presence of astonishingly vast flora.

The forests are tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen 'sholas', the last occurring in the moist valleys and characterised by tall trees and a closed canopy. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands. Periyar's rich bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. The Indian Python and King Cobra are among the reptilian fauna. Periyar has a few Nilgiri Tahr, good numbers of which may also be seen on a day excursion to nearby Eravikulam National Park near Munnar.

The Geographic location :
Pench Jungle CampPeriyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The park 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 perennial source of water for the local wildlife. You may even get a glimpse of the tiger during this season. A summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancore, set along the lake, is a hotel and a fine place to stay.

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 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.