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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in Godís Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.
Major Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park
Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.
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.
Other Attractions in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumily : Situated just 4-kms from Periyar, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fastly catching up just like the spice trade, the major occupation of this small town. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.
Cradomom Hills : Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills. Guide will approach you at offers of trips via jeep or taxi to the hills and if you can get a group together, these trips work out as a good travel value.
Boat Cruises : 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. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. To maximise you chances, take the 7.00 am boat. You can also consider renting your own boat.
Best Time to Visit Periyar
The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June.
How to Get there
Air : Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at140-kms are the nearest airports from Periyar.
Rail : Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.
Road : Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
General Info / Tips
Note : 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.
For further information contact : Field Director, Project Tiger,Kanjikuzhi, Kottayam, Kerala.
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