Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Thekkady, Kerala, on the higher altitudes of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary was built after the completion of a dam in the year 1895, after which a reservoir was formed which runs around the placid contours of the well forested hills. This lake is a source of water for the wildlife in the forest throughout the year. Periyar Lake forms the major part of this sanctuary, as it is the best spot for the visitors to come across a number of wild animals.
Periyar Lake forms the heart of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Before the dam was constructed the banks of the river were densely populated with thick forests. After the construction of the dam the shallow forest area was submerged under the water. Even now, the dead trunks of the trees jut out of the surface of the lake. The area on the fringes of the lake is marsh land and is ideal for the growth of tall grassland, which is ideal for the survival large mammals. These grasslands provide the nourishment and excellent cover to large mammals such as elephants playfully sprinkling water and bathing in the lake.
The main attraction of Periyar Wildlife Reserve is the Periyar Lake, as the lake is the hub of activities for the visitors. One can take boat rides to checkout the outer fringes of the sanctuary. While riding in boat, you will come across a number of wild animals who come to drink water from the lake. One can always go on a safari on a jeep or elephant back. Guided tours are also arranged for the visitors. Bamboo rafting on the lake is also an adventure sport, which tourist like to engage them while exploring Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the middle of the mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. The sanctuary is situated such that the North and East directions are bordered by mountain ridges which stand as tall as 1700 m and towards the west side the terrains of the sanctuary expands into a 1200 m high plateau. Exactly from this point there is a steep decline in the altitude and it keeps on declining unto the deep valley of Pamba River, which is almost 100 m in depth. The highest peak which is located in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is Kottamalai, which rises to a height of 2019 m. Mullaperiyar Dam is a manmade landmark inside the area, which has become a part of the topography of this area. The temperature of the area differs from one part of the sanctuary to another, because of the difference of altitude.
The protected forest is covered entirely with lush green woods. More than three-fourth of the entire area of the sanctuary is with evergreen and semi-evergreen rainforests. Variety of species of tall tropical trees is found commonly in this area. A few of the common species of tropical trees are Hopea parviflora, Cullenia exarillata, Bischofia javanica, Artocarpus hirsutus, Vateria indica and Canarium strictum. The forest stores 2000 species of flowering plants and 170 different species of ferns. The Flora displays a large variety of plants here. There are a number of plants too, which are of great medicinal value.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is rich with wildlife, as it forms an abode for 62 different kinds of mammals, a few of which are endangered and are protected. The reserve is also famous among the visitors for the population of its tigers. As per the latest records, there are as many as 53 tigers living inside the reserve forest. Visitors who visit this sanctuary also come across herds of elephants that inhibit this place. There are as many as 900 to 1000 elephants which dwell inside the protected area. Other mammals which dwell here include gaur, Bison, sambar, Nilgiri tahr etc. There are 320 species of resident and migratory birds which flock here in Periyar.
Go through the article to known about Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
|Nearest Airport/Railway Station||Madurai Airport / Kottayam Railway Station|
|Nearby Attractions||Alleppey, Cradomom Hills, Kumily|
|Best Time to Visit||October to June|