Complete India Travel Guide

"Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary - The most famous Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tiger Reserve of Kerala invites you to sight a number of animals, birds and reptiles within its area. Once in Periyar National Park board a boat or a bamboo raft on Periyar Lake, and enjoy the trip for animal viewing becomes even more pleasurable."
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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala

Periyar Wildlife Sanctaury Thekkady, Kerala
Periyar Wildlife Sanctaury Thekkady- Kerala

Location of Periyar National Park

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Kumily, in the Idukki district of Kerala.

Best Time To Visit Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary

The best time to visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months of September to June. During the period from February and May sighting of animals becomes much more easier as the waterholes inside the forest areas dry up forcing the animals to come upto the lake to quench their thirst and wet their bodies. No wonder, animal sighting is enhanced between these months.

About Periyar Wildlife Tour

Set amidst the mountains of the Western Ghats at the border of Tamil Nadu, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 777 sq km out of which 360 sq km forms the core area. The park is one of the most renowned and famous sanctuaries in entire South India and can also be termed as the pride of Kerala Wildlife Travel.

The history of the Periyar National Park states that as early as in 1895, a dam by the name of the Mullaperiyar was constructed across the Periyar River giving birth to the Periyar Lake. In 1934, the Maharaja of Travancore appointed S.C.H. Robinson as the first game warden and it was his recommendation that converted the area around the lake into a sanctuary by the name of Nellikkampetty sanctuary. In the year 1966, the sanctuary was consolidated with the forest department and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was created. The sanctuary was finally declared a Tiger Reserve in the year 1978, a few years after Project Tiger was actually initiated. Also, in 1991, the park was brought under the Project Elephant.

This lake today covers an area of 26 sq km and is a major source of water for the resident animals and birds. Moreover, the beauty of the lake is also soothing for visitors. The park was earlier also known by the name of Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wildlife In Periyar - Enjoy Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Attractions

Flora - Around three fourth of the sanctuary area is covered with evergreen and semi evergreen rain forests while a part of the remaining area is covered by damp leaves forest Eukalyptus plantation and grassland. The rest of the area is covered by Periyar River and Pamba River. The floral attractions of the park are approximately 2000 species of flowering plants, 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids. The tall trees of the forest rise upto a height of 130 to 140 feet!

Animals - Approximately 62 species of animals await to welcome visitors on their trip to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The most ferocious of these, undoubtedly is the Tiger. Many tourists visit Periyar just in order to get a glimpse of the Tiger, that according to estimates number between 35-40. However, there is still a larger number of tourists who come here because of the Indian Elephants. The huge mammal is found in pretty large number in Periyar Sanctuary - around 1000. Other animals that manage to make their presence felt quiet decently amidst these two are Leopards, Otters, Nilgiri Langurs, Common Langurs, Bonnet Macaques, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Squirrel, Wild Boar, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Nilgiri Tahr, Dhole, porcupines, Gaur and Sloth Bears

Reptiles - The reptile population of the park is also commendable with around 45 species found. Out of these, a majority (30) of them are snakes. The rest of them comprise of 2 turtle species and 13 lizard species. Frequent sighting of King Cobras and Python, two extremely poisonous snakes is also an attraction for the visitors to the park.

Birds - The birds of the park include around 180 species. Prominent among these are Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. Tourists interested in spotting a large number of birds need to carry along their binoculars.

Things To Do During Periyar Wildlife Tour

Enjoy Boating - The Periyar Lake offers the tourists an opportunity to enjoy a boating trip on its water. A large number of animals make a beeline for the lake so as to drink water as such chances of animal sighting becomes more here. Also, sitting on a boat, the beauty of the park seems to enhance multifold and the animals, quiet used to their presence do not become conscious.

Enjoy Trekking and Camping - Trekking, especially night trekking, is also an exciting option for all those who have the energy level to carry of a difficult expedition. Permission has to be obtained for this purpose from the forest department. For night trekkers, the forest department also provides armed guards. Camping is done when tourists are on a Tiger Trail programme. In this, usually, five guides and two forest officials accompany tourists in order to guide them and also to prevent them from getting lost in the forest area

Enjoy Bamboo Rafting - Bamboo Rafting in the Periyar Lake is yet another exciting option for adventurous tourists. Generally, guides take tourists on a trekking expedition inside the forest area and bring them back on a bamboo raft. Spotting animals from bamboo raft is perfectly safe and few lucky tourists have even managed to sight a Tiger while on the bamboo raft!

Enjoy Elephant Ride - Sitting atop the huge Elephants, tourists can feel themselves like a king of the erstwhile era on a trip to explore the jungles. It is quiet a nice way to see animals from a close range.

Enjoy Walking Trips - Walking Trips around Lake Periyar is also possible and provides a satisfaction of roaming around in the park inhabited by numerous animals.

Enjoy Swimming and Angling - For those to whom the more is less, there is another option in form of swimming and angling. Both these activities, however, require prior permission to be taken from the forest officials.

Enjoy Bullock Cart Ride - Board a covered bullock cart and head out to discover the village life in close vicinity of the reserve. This is tremendously enjoyable for those who love the slow movement of bullock carts. However, this enjoyable trip can only accommodate a maximum of nine people at a time. The least number of people required for this half day package tour ( from 6 am to 2.30 pm) is atleast two.

Enjoy a Tribal Heritage Tour - The Periyar area is still home to five tribal communities. On your visit to the reserve, you can have the pleasure of being a part of two hour tribal heritage programme in which you can pay a visit to the tribal hamlets as well as a tribal heritage museum. The museum displays hunting traps, medicinal plants, vessels and furnitures. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm and the tour timings are from 8 am to 12 in the noon and then from 2 to 4pm.

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