Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Located : Kumily, Kerala
Main Wildlife : Elephants, Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur
Area : 777-sq-kms
It is very famous among tourists as elephant and tiger reserve.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Short Review
Periyar National Park is situated in the hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala in SW India. The centre piece of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the 5,500-hectare Periyar lake formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar river in 1895. The dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. Along the fringes of the lake are marshy areas with tall grasslands.
This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, as it provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur near Aranya Niwas and the Liontail Macaque in higher areas.
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 birdlife 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.
Major Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park
It is visited by the wildlife enthusiasts with a view to spotting tigers and leopards. But sightings of these animals are all but assured. However, this place is ideal for watching other animals in their natural habitat.
Other animals include elephant, wild pig, sambar, gaur, Malabar flying squirrel, stripe-necked mongoose and over 260 species of birds including blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri wood pigeon, white-bellied tree pie, laughing thrushes and flycatchers. The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes.
The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.
In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary’s environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.
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.
Best Time to Visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June.
How to Reach
Air: The nearest national airports are Cochin (200 km) and Madurai (140 km)
Rail: The nearest major rail junction is Kottayam.
Road: Well connected by bus service to the major cities
General Info / Tips
After heavy rains, chances of good wildlife sightings are very slim as the animals only come to the lake, when water sources inside the forest have dried up.
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