Periyar wildlife sanctuary
07 Days 06 Nights
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Periyar wildlife sanctuary

  • Location : Kerala

  • Coverage area : 780 sq.km 

  • Main attraction : Elephants, Tigers, Spotted Deer 

  • Best time to visit : October to June

  • Nearby excursions : Kottayam (117 km) and the temple town of Madurai (140) km)

  • Nearby cities : Madurai, Kottayam

On the rims of Periyar Lake created by the British people, one can experience the best flora and fauna of Kerala – the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The primary location of the sanctuary is in an area between Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts. The place houses many animals like wild boars, bison, sambar, langurs and many more. It is also the reserves for tigers and elephants. Tourists come to the Sanctuary for its beautiful lake views, and its mountainous jungle scenery will take them to a magical land.

The Periyar sanctuary has tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests. The Sanctuary is mostly known for Elephants and Tigers, and it was Kerala's first tiger reserve in 1934. The total area of the Sanctuary is about 777 sq km, and it also called Thekkady. Travellers to the Sanctuary can explore the natural essence of the place and relax during the jungle mood.


Location of periyar wildlife sanctuary

The sanctuary is in Thekkady on the banks of the 100 years old artificial lake- Periyar lake. The area is protected by the government and is in between the Idukki and Pathanamthitta localities of Kerala. The place shares its boundaries with Tamil Nadu, and the region is surrounded by Cardamom and Pandhalam hills in the background. Mountains surround the north, and east boundaries of the Sanctuary and the west part is enclosed by a plateau which steeps down to the river Pamba.

The Sanctuary covers 357 square miles of land, and there are two main rivers, Pamba and Periyar running through the jungles which helps flora and fauna to blossom in this region. The place attracts many tourists annually for safari, rafting and other activities.


Geographical landscape of the national park

The geographical landscape of the Sanctuary includes tropical and deciduous forests and majestic landscapes. The geographical location of the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is 76°57' and 77°25' in the longitudes 9°16' to 9°36'N in the latitudes. The altitude of the sanctuary can be marked from 100 meters to 2016 meters. The Sanctuary is full of an exotic collection of plant and animal kingdom. The place is the habitat of the endangered carnivore, Tigers.

The lake keeps the climate pleasant and fresh throughout the jungle.


Nearby wildlife sanctuaries

There are many Sanctuaries near Periyar sanctuary. Some of them are Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, PepparaWildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.


The climatic conditions of the area

The sanctuary has a moderate climate throughout the year. The climate in Periyar is mild and ranges between 15C to 31C. The temperature goes highest in April and May, whereas the region experiences cold weather in December.The migratory birds and small animals can be spotted in the winter and tourists can go for boat cruises and rafting after rains. Rains are experienced from June itself. There is average rainfall in the Sanctuary till September. October to December also receives rains due to northeast monsoons.


Ideal time to visit the sanctuary

The best time to visit Periyar Sanctuary is around December to March when there is no probability of rains, and the temperature is mild. The migratory birds, animals and butterflies are easy to spot in this season. Even the plants are blooming, and one may get to see a lot of species of flora. Photographers should visit the Sanctuary in this season.


Types of animals that inhabit the wildlife park

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its, animal and insect diversity. The Sanctuary was built with the intention to protect endangered animals like tigers and elephants. Other than, this place is home to many animals and migratory birds too.

Mammals

There are 35 major mammals in the sanctuary inclusive of tigers and elephants. The most commonly found mammals of the region are a white tiger, flying squirrel, sloth bear, jungle cat etc. Periyar has got about only 24 Bengal tigers here.

Birds

There is a vast number of species of birds found near the Periyar lake and even in the sanctuary. Some of the common birds to be spotted are Malabar grey hornbill, white-bellied blue flycatcher, Sunbird, Sri Lanka frogmouth, black-necked stork, spider hunter, Nilgiri wood pigeon, brahminy kite and others. New species like steppe gull and Grey-necked bunting are also spotted.

Reptiles

There are 45 species of reptiles found in the park which includes turtles, lizards and snakes majorly. Some of the known reptiles to be found are a striped coral snake, bi-coloured frog, Asian toad, Malabar gliding frog and others.

Butterfly

There are multiple species of butterflies found in the Periyar region. Periyar has got the most abundant butterfly of South India, popularly known as Southern birdwing. There are ample of butterflies found in Periyar like a lime butterfly, Travancore evening brown, Malabar tree nymph etc. other than butterflies; innumerable moths can also be seen here.

The natural vegetation in periyar

The natural vegetation of Periyar is quite diverse, and one can see varied flora all around the Sanctuary. There are deciduous forests and tropical rain forests present in the Sanctuary. It is astonishing that there are about 171 species of grasses to be found in the park. There are multiple species of flowers found like it has been found that 140 species of orchids are seen in Periyar. Other then flowers, one can easily witness mangoes, jamun, teak, bamboos, sandalwood, sacred fig and other plantations in Periyar. Medicinal plants are also found in abundance in the park. The majority of grasslands in the area are covered with elephant grass covers. A particular sect is used as an agricultural region which has got tea, coffee and cardamom plantations.


Distance from major cities

The forest reserve of Palani is located at quite accessible distances from the major cities in India. It is the reason why transport facilities from any of these cities are available to reach here. Here is the list of the distances of the National Park from these significant cities :

  • Kochi ,120 km

  • Delhi ,2685.5 km

  • Trivandrum ,168 km

  • Ahmadabad ,2009.8 km

  • Kolkata ,2232. 5 km

  • Jaipur ,2635.9 km

  • Mumbai ,1499.2 km

  • Hyderabad ,1076.7 km

  • Chennai,569.3 km

  • Bangalore ,507.9 km


How to reach the National park ?

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By air

The nearest airports to the Sanctuary are Kochi (Cochin) which is about 200 kms away and Madurai’s Airport in Tamil Nadu which is at 140 km from Periyar. Tourists can take flights from major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi to Kochi or Madurai which is readily available.

By rail

The nearest railhead from Periyar is from Kottayam at 114 km.

By road

The roadways can be opted for to reach Periyar as it has got both states as well as private buses running from the cities like Kottayam, Madurai and Ernakulam.

Where to stay while touring kaziranga national park ?

There are many hotels available near the Periyar Sanctuary. One of the right places to stay in Periyar is at Elephant Route Resort which is just 2 km away from the Sanctuary. There are stunning views of lush green jungles and vegetation from the hotel. Some of the right places to stay at Periyar is Elephant court and Peppervine Hotel. Other than these hotel tourists can avail Greenwood resort and Spice village hotels also.

All about the safari rides

One of the best parts of Wildlife Sanctuaries is that they give safari inside the jungle. Some of the top safaris are elephant safari, jeep safari and boat cruise on Periyar Lake. The boat cruise is the most opted one by the travellers. Safari is the best way to spot the wildlife of Periyar. During heavy rains, the boat cruise might not be available. Elephant safaris provide the most exciting experience to people, especially kids. Tourists going for elephant safari can also get a chance to spot tigers too.

Things to do in sanctuary

There are plenty of things to do in Periyar. They are as follows -

  • Boat Safaris - Tourists can go for boat safaris along the Periyar lake. Tourists can take the pleasure of various safaris in Periyar. /p>

  • Bamboo Rafting and hiking - One of the unique things to do in Periyar is going for rafting on bamboo rafts. There are bamboo rafting and hiking option available for tourists in Periyar other than safari.

  • Wandering in Thekkady - People who are fond of walking can roam around Thekkady and can also go for jungle patrolling in the tropical forests of Periyar.

  • Conversation with Tribals - Tourists also gets the option to have a conversation with the tribes of Periyar and Thekkady, and there is plenty of sightseeing to do in Periyar.

Some fabulous places to visit near periyar sanctuary

Thekkady offers some fantastic places to visit near Periyar Sanctuary. Tourists can go for safaris in the Periyar, and there are even boat safaris available which should be visited by the holidaymakers. The elephant safaris are very popular among children. Tourists can go wandering around the city, and even go for hiking in the Periyar and Pamba. The place is full of lush green vegetation which makes it a pleasant stay at Periyar. Tourists can also go for street shopping in Thekkady.


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