Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar National Park was established in the year 1950 and is named after
the Periyar River. One of the renowned wildlife sanctuaries in the south,
Periyar is situated in Idukki district and spreads over an area of about
250sq km. The
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is certainly one of the few reserves, where one
can encounter the great Indian elephants in their natural habitat. The wild
is very much known for the tusk less elephants.
Another attraction of the wild is its splendid Periyar Lake amidst the
sanctuary, encompassed by the scenic wildlife near the Tamil Nadu border in
Kerela quite a captivating sight. This reservoir twist around the curves of
the dense hilly forest, providing a constant source of water for the
Spread over the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is
located 137 km from Madurai. It is covered with dense evergreen and moist
deciduous forests with extensive grasslands on the upper slopes.
Great Indian Elephant- a Royal Charm
One can enjoy the sight of frisky elephants in the Periyar Wild Life
Sanctuary whose population at present is around 800. Periyar reserves are
the virtual celestial home of elephants that makes an excellent wildlife
sighting and remains the key attraction. Herds of jaunty wild elephants have
made Periyar Lake their favorite hangout for amusement in the water where
they can be watched bathing and swimming.
Besides elephant the wilds are home to diverse variety of species, most
commonly found are - gaur, sambar, bison, barking deer, Nilgiri, languor,
panther, leopard, bear, jungle cat, small Indian civet and Malabar squirrel
macaque. The sanctuary also enjoys the large number of its aerial population
along with reptiles. The tiger and leopard can also be view when the water
bodies dry up and these elusive mammals come to river to quench their
thirst. At present there are approximately 40 tigers in the reserves.
Lake Cruiser Adventure
The beautiful lake trimmed its way through the dense forest of Periyar at
the bottom of the hill. The lake serves as a water reserve for the wilds
during acute summers and as a luxuriating ground. While taking a boat
cruiser through the enchanting lake enjoy the sights of elephants, gaur,
sambhar and one can even spot tigers. The best months for visiting the park
are from October to April. The ideal times for cruise is the dawn and dusk.
Elephant/ Jeep Safari
Elephant rides and jeep safaris are easily available to explore the great
wilds. The ride on an elephant is more to see than the boat voyage. The
forest can also be viewed from the watchtowers erected inside Periyar
Excursion to Tribal Village
Tribal villages situated around Periyar makes an excellent excursion. The
tribal people are expert fishermen and farmers. They also follow their
traditional practice of collecting honey from risky hill bees. Other
attraction is their tree lodging. These lodging are easy lookout for any
wild pig or elephant in Periyar that might damage the cultivated fields.
Kottayam -117 km and the temple town of Madurai -140 km are other
excursions from Periyar.
The nearest airport is Cochin -200km and Madurai -140 km.
The nearest railhead is Kottayam -114km.
The sanctuary is well connected only by road with some of the major cities
in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
There are direct bus services from Kochi, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and
Madurai. The main bus stand is at Kumily -3 Km. from where one can hire
buses or meter taxis for various places.