INTRODUCTIONThe Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves in Thekkady is amidst jungles of Periyar and it is distributed over an area of about 777 sq.km.The splendid artificial lake formed by the mullaperiyar dam across the periyar river adds to the charm of the park.
In the year 1978 the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve. The configuration of landforms with scenic beauty and diversity of wildlife are the main notable features of this sanctuary which attracts tourists from all over the world. The other feature of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is that it is a noted adventure tourism destination.
HISTORYIt was only after the construction of the Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar river in 1895 the history of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was started. Initially the area around the lake was referred by the name Nellikkampetty sanctuary by S.C.H. Robinson, the first game warden and he was appointed by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1934.
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.
ORIENTATIONPeriyar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Kumily, in the Idukki district of Kerala.
BEST TIME TO VISITThe best time to visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months of September to June.
PLACES OF INTERESTS
The FloraThe Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is noted for its flora which is of evergreen and semi evergreen rain forests occupying atleast 3/4 th of the sanctuary. The majority of plantation here is eucalyptus.
There are atleast 2000 species of flowering plants, 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids. The Periyar River and Pamba River occupies the rest 1/4 th of the sanctuary.
The FaunaThe fauna of the Periyar sanctuary includes Elephants, Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and Tiger. The recent study shows that there are at least 40 tigers in the Periyar national Park. You also get to see the rare varieties of animals like lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee's Golden Langur, Common Langur Nilgiri Tahr and Bonnet Macaque.
The ReptilesThe 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.
The birds of the park include around 180 species. Prominent among these are Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes.Spotting is easier with binoculars.
Things to do
Boat RidesThis is one of the major attractions of the sanctuary for a boat ride across the Periyar lake helps you in seeing animals like Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer.
For night trekkers, the forest department also provides armed guards.
Tribal Heritage TourThere are few tribal people living in this community. On your visit to the reserve, you can have the pleasure of being a part of two hour tribal heritage programmed in which you can pay a visit to the tribal hamlets as well as a tribal heritage museum which displays hunting traps, medicinal plants, vessels and furniture's.
ShoppingThe places in and around the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for fresh spices like nutmeg, fenugreek, black and white pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, anise seeds and cloves. Some of the few outlets here are Hill Top, Kerala Spices, Cee Pee Spices, Indian Spices along with Spice Court and Crescent Spices in Kumily.You can also buy the Periyar Tiger Reserve t-shirts with images of elephants, birds and tigers.
Falling Leaf Restaurant
Taj Garden Retreat
Periyar's Spice Village
Coffee Inn & Snack Bar
V & V Estate, Spring Valley,
2.A Luxury Resort
K.K .Road, Kumily, Thekkady,
+91- 4969 – 222355
4.Saj Jungle Village
5.Aranya Nivas (KTDC)
Idukki - 685536,
K.K .Road, Kumily, Thekkady
Phone: 04869 222752,224382,222753
7.Woodland Prime Castle
Thekkady Rod away
HOW TO REACH
Kochi (Cochin) at 200 km or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at 140 km are the nearest airports from Periyar.