Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Area Covered :
777 sq kms
Best Time To Visit :
October to April
Kumily 4 kms, nearest and by bus
Introducing Periyar wildlife sanctuary Kerala
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife reserves in
India. The sanctuary is located in the panoramic ranges of the Western
Ghats, in the state of Kerala which has been dubbed as 'God's Own Country'.
The sanctuary is among the few (one of the total sixteen) Tiger Reserves in
Life was for the first time thrust into this sanctuary in the year 1895.
With the construction of a dam in the same year the forest land received
protection from the ruling Maharaja. Spread over vast land area, the next
milestone was reached in the year 1978, when the sanctuary was approved as a
tiger reserve and included in the list of Project Tiger Reserve. Periyar India
is a great tourist destination that spreads across, in
the Thekkady region, encompassing great resources and the beauty of it all.
Periyar Kerala is located among the low lying Cardamom Hills of
the Western Ghats. The centre of attraction here is the artificial lake,
Periyar Lake, on which it stands situated. The lake stretches out for good
5,500 hectares. The sanctuary is spread over 777 sq kms, out of which 360 sq
kms are covered by the forests. The lake fringes are formed of marshes and
grasslands. The grasslands provide for the cover of the wild animals in the
sanctuary. The beautiful lake also sees a number of animals, that come to
bathe and quench their thirst. The forest, wherever it is dense, has a
canopy formed by the huge deciduous trees. The place is calm and serene,
except for the silence broken by the tourist. Even that gets lost and
mingled with the nature.
Flora and Fauna
The forest land is covered with deciduous, semi
evergreen and evergreen vegetation. These huge trees conform to the dense
forest vegetation. The grasslands are typically Savannah. A total of 171
species of grass and 143 species of orchids are present in the sanctuary.
Amongst animal species the most figured out are
the elephants. Elephant herds can be often seen here, having a good time at
the lake. The other inhabitants include Gaur, Wild Boars, Sambar Deer,
Bison, Barking Deer, Wild Dogs, Lion Tailed Macaque, the Nilgiri Langur,
Bonnet Langur and Tigers. The bird species include Hornbills, Storks,
Woodpeckers, Kingfishers, Cormorants and Darters. The reptiles that roam in
and around the marshes include Cobras, Vipers, Kraits among the snakes and
Monitor Lizards. The lake also provides breeding place for many aquatic
species including fishes and frogs.
Activities you can take part in
Boat Cruises :
The boat cruises in the Periyar Lake are
quite amusing. The boat cruises are ideal choices to explore the region
around. However, there may not be enough chances for wildlife encounters,
except spotting an elephant herd, but the cruise is still a wonderful
Relaxing in the lap of
mother nature amidst the lush forests alongwith hearing the echoing sounds
of the roaring tigers or a barking deer, can tempt any nature lover. If you
want to experience the same, come for Camping in Periyar National Park.
Periyar National Park offers excellent facilities for camping and it will
fully thrill you. Camping in Periyar National Park gives you a very good
chance of wildlife spotting as well as enjoying the amazing beauty of the
Periyar Wildlife : What is unique about camping in Periyar National Park Thekkady is that it is not
confined to any season or any adventure activity. While you are camping out
on the observation tower, be sure to carry your own bedding and food. Also
carry dull clothes, some warm and waterproof clothing, sturdy and
comfortable shoes and mosquito repellent. Binoculars are available on hire
but it is better to take your own along. Cameras and camcorders are allowed
but you have to pay extra charges for carrying them inside the park.
Elephant Safari :
Safari is a good option to view the animal world. In Periyar National Park
the forest department offers Elephant Safari accompanied by trained mahout
at reasonable price. In Elephant safari you can discover the wildlife as
well as the pug marks. If you want to experience some more fun, encourage
the mahout, probably he would take you off the beaten path to more rewarding
A journey on the back of pachyderm will take you close to the herds of
playful wild elephants, bathing and swimming in the Periyar lake. If you are
lucky enough, you can glimpse many of nature's wonders such as the tiger in
all its frightening beauty, a frightened and gasping sambar, closely
followed by a pack of wild dogs, cormorants drying their wings by the lake,
freshwater tortoises sunning on stumps jutting out of the water and a number
of other animals like Leopard, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Nilgiri Langur,
Sambar, Bonnet macaque, Gaur, Wild Boar etc.
Early morning and dusk are the best times for Elephant Safari as there are
good chances of viewing wildlife. Usually in the afternoons the wild animals
tend to disappear into the shade of the thick forests of this wildlife
sanctuary. Don't forget to carry a camera, as capturing the wildlife in
Periyar is a delight and you may keep them as souvenirs for lifetime.
Cardamom Hills :
The Cardamom Hills lying in the vicinity
offer great trekking routes which are filled with excitement and thrill.
The place is a known plantation site in the
state. The place is located some 5 kms from the sanctuary and features some
of the best spice gardens of Kerala. The town also provides a range of
Most of the accommodation facilities available are in the Kumily region.
There are deluxe and standard resorts and hotels that cater to the needs of
the tourists. Some deluxe providers include Taj Garden Retreat, Spice
Village, Spice Village Garden. The standard resorts include Cardamom County,
Aranya Nivas (KTDC), Periyar House (KTDC).
How to Reach
To access Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary by air one can reach up to Kochi or
Madurai. Kochi lies in the same state (Kerala) and is about 200 kms from the
sanctuary. Madurai lies a little closer about 140 kms and falls in the Tamil
Nadu State. The nearest railhead is the one at Kottayam, which is about 114
kms away. The nearest town to Periyar is Kumily, 4 kms from the park. A
number of state owned transport buses and private buses ply to the region.
Periyar wildlife sanctuary Tour Packages
Features : Starting from
Cochin, the package provides the touch and feel of major tourist
attractions. The sojourn is accompanied with tours to the famous hill
stations, beaches, historic places and backwaters of Kerala. Places to
be visited include Cochin, Periyar, Munnar, Kumarakom, Kovalam and more.
Features : Kerala Vacation
Package provides a customized tour to spend vacations at some prized
attractions of Kerala. The tour emphasizes on leisure and provides for
guided city tours including that of famous city Mumbai. The destinations
covered by the tour are Cochin, Kumarakom, Periyar, Kovalam and Mumbai.
Features : The tour is an
ideal way of spending the vacations at Kerala backwater destinations.
The package provides for a complete experience at famous lakes and
lagoons of Kerala. Cruises, boat rides, city exploration and beach
leisure are some of the events covered in the tour. It is an extensive
tour of some selected destinations like Cochin, Periyar, Kumarakom and
Features : This extended tour
provides for a mix of adventure and leisure. The tour showcases
important tourist destinations of Kerala encompassing hill stations,
beaches, plantations lands, backwaters and more. Local city tours,
adventurous treks, cruises and leisure at beach are some of the events
covered in the tour. The destinations covered include Trivandrum,
Munnar, Madurai, Thekkady, Cochin, Alleppey and Kovalam.
Features : The tour package
offers a complete road expedition of some renowned places in Kerala. The
tour package provides for a more close encounter with the local
population, culture and traditional beauty of the place. The rides along
the Western Ghats puts through popular destinations like Madras, Mysore,
Ooty, Guruvayoor, Cochin, Varkala and Kovalam. There is much adventure
to be had during the entire tour.
Features : The tour features
some selected places in the state of Kerala. It is a complete leisure
trip at destinations including Cochin, Periyar, Kumarakom and Marari
Beach. The package incorporates activities like boat safari, sunset
cruise, bird watching and beach activities.
Features : An extensive tour
through popular attractions of Kerala, capturing the beauty and
experience of backwaters, spice towns, hill stations, wildlife and some
popular shrines. The tour features most of the destinations of Kerala,
with the exception of Madurai. The destinations covered include Quilon,
Alleppey, Cochin, Munnar, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom and Kovalam.