Location : Periyar, Idukki district, Kerala
Main Attraction : A wide variety of flora and fauna
Other Attractions : Periyar artificial lake, Periyar river
Best Time To Visit : April-October
About the Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the mountains, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a Project Tiger nature reserve. The sanctuary is also called Thekkady.? Periyar is a protected area majority of which is covered with untouched evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forest. The Periyar landscape can be sectioned into three parts: 13% damp leaves forest, 7% Eucalyptus plantation and 1.55 grassland. The remaining portion is occupied by the Periyar artificial lake, Periyar river and Pamba rivers. Around two thousand types of flowering plants are found here and around 350 types of medicinal plants have been recorded in the sanctuary. The sanctuary occupies an area of 775 sq km.
Mammals: There are around 62 kinds of mammals inhabiting the sanctuary. Tiger, elephant, gaur, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, Indian wild dogs, mongoose,langur, lon-tailed macaque, leopard and the endangered Nilgiri Tahr.
Avain Species: Three hundred twenty bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary. Some of them are darters, cormorants, kingfishers, the great Malabar hornbill and racket-tailed Drongos.
Reptiles: The protected area has around 45 kinds of reptile. Snakes, turtle, lizard, python and king cobra are a few to name.
Amphibians: Twenty seven kinds of amphibians houses in the protected area.
Fish: The waters of the protected area is a home to 38 kinds of fishes.
Insects: One hundred and sixty different kinds of beautiful butterflies are found here.
In Periyar you can enjoy elephant rides and cruises on the lake. The sanctuary has a Mangala Devi Temple which is in ruins. But it is still visited by thousands of devotees every year.
Spice village located just outside the sanctuary offers great accommodation in the lap of nature.
Another option is the Taj Garden Retreat which is located at a distance of? 14 km from Kottayam.
How to Reach
Air:The nearest airport is at Cochin (200 km)
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kottayam (114 km).