Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar Park, 208 km from Cochin, 258 km from Trivandrum, and 32 km from Peermade, surrounds the uneven Periyar Lake. The lake is 26 km long and the park is over 675 sq km in area. This is the best sanctuary in the country for watching closely the Asiatic wild elephant.

Periyar / Thekkady is located on the borders of the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The destination is popular for its wildlife and spice plantations.

The picturesque hill town holds great opportunity for trekking in the mountains and hiking. Periyar is part of Thekkady. The neighborhood is an impetuous mixture of mystical mountains, extensive spice plantation and rich biodiversity. Holiday at this deciduous forest destination can satiate someone's senses.

Here tourists can lose their heart for a better known place like the Periyar Nature Reserve. One of the largest and most visited wildlife reserves in Kerala, the Periyar Nature Reserve occupies 777 square kilometers of the Western Ghats’ cardamom hills. One of the best ways to explore the sanctuary is by a boat ride. Traversing on the cascading waterfalls of Periyar Lake and witnessing the panoramic view of the sanctuary is an experience like never before. The 26 km square - the enormous long artificial lakes were created by the British in 1895 AD. The elephant safari is another option to explore the length and breadth of the national park. The elephant safari is for those who want to enjoy the indolent-looking demon. Strike a relationship with the guide and he will tell the wick of the reserve of fauna and flora. One of the largest parks in Kerala, tourists will be amazed at the large pool of the countless and mysterious life forms that stand here.

There are motor boats to take the visitors round the lake and along its creeks. As a first-hand report says, "From the safety of the boat one can closely watch wild elephants coming down to the lake in small parties and in herds, and occasionally, a lone bull... Periyar is perhaps the only place where elephants can commonly be seen swimming across a broad sheet of deep water.

"Gaurs are to be found in a few herds and may be seen in the open flat of Aiyappan-Kurukku, Edapalayam. They are very big in size though they may not look so in the vastness of the setting. One may see sambar early in the morning or in the evening; pig, dhole (wild dogs) on occasion and others. The monkey of the area is the black Nilgiri langur. Other animals include bison, wild boar, leopard and sloth bear. Fresh water tortoises bask on low stumps. Herons, egrets, darters and kingfishers perch on deadwood. The avifauna of the peripheral forests is rich: grackles, the Malabar grey hornbill, the pied great hornbill and fish-owls." Apart from the Tourist Bungalow, there are several hotels at Periyar. For information and assistance, you may contact Wildlife Preservation Officer, Thekkady.

The national park is best known for its tiger and leopard population. Other than these wild animals, there is a large variety of bird species as well. The bird species that are found here are Malabar Gray Hornbill, Nilgiri Flycatchers, Nilgiri Pipit, Red Chatterer and Blue Winged Parakeet.

It's special to see elephants in their natural habitat. At the Periyar Nature Reserve, you can just do it. During your tour of this wildlife sanctuary, you can have opportunity to spend valuable and fun time with elephants by showering, bathing and feeding them. It will be in the supervision of a naturalist. Later, you can enjoy a 15-minute ride in the Dubare Reserve Forest. The images and sounds of birds chirping throughout the park, the mesmerizing view of Western Ghats make Periyar a must-see destination for travelers.

Periyar is also famous for the spice plantation. Vandanmedu region of this sanctuary happens to be the largest producer of cardamom in India. It is one of the largest auction centers in the world of cardamom. Peerumedu, Kumily and Murikkady are the important centers of spice trade in Kerala. Within the forest, there are two holy places - Sabarimala and the Mangaladevi Temple. Due to the abundance of presence of holy temples, this place attracts both nature lovers as well as spiritual people.

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