Periyar National Park is located in Thekkady , Kerala . Area of Periyar National Park is 3,728 sq km , best time to visit Periyar National Park is between September to June.
Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady is a prime example of nature’s abundance, featuring stunning scenery and a diverse wildlife population. The Periyar National Park is considered the best protected sanctuary for elephants and tigers in this breathtaking location in Kerala. The Periyar National Park is one of the most well-known national parks in South India, located high in the Western Ghat mountains. The protected area covers an area of 925 square kilometres (357 sq mi). The rest of 350 sq km (140 sq mi) of the core zone was proclaimed as the Periyar National Park in the year 1982.
The park is embellished with a lovely lake at the centre of the sanctuary, which is an artificial 100-year-old lake at Thekkady, which is mostly noted for its wild elephants and densely forested Western Ghats woods. Many of Periyar’s profound valleys include tropical evergreen forest with incredibly dense tree cover, allowing few sun rays to penetrate. These trees may reach incredible heights of up to 130-140 feet when completely mature. Some of the regions in the park have marshy grasslands near the shores of the lake and other water bodies. The term “responsibility” refers to the act of determining whether or not a person is responsible for his or her own actions.
Previously, during the reign of the Pandayas in the 12th century, a dam named Mullaperiyar was built across the west flowing river Periyar. As a result, it developed an artificial lake in the region that now serves as the sanctuary’s focal point, further boosting its attractiveness. The topography and characteristics of the valley altered dramatically as a result of the construction of this lake.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the reserve served as a hunting ground for the Travancore rulers, and it now encompasses the majority of Southern Kerala. In 1899, the region was proclaimed as a forest reserve named the Periyar Lake Reserve with a purpose of safeguarding the hunting territories of the monarchs from the invasion of tea plantations. Further, in 1934, the lake reserve was transformed into a wildlife sanctuary, the Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary. The Game Sanctuary encompassed an area of around 500 sq km. In 1950, some more space was added to construct the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary was incorporated in the Central Government effort known as Project Tiger in 1978 and was dubbed Periyar Tiger Reserve.
In 1992, the reserve also became a part of Project Elephant when it was formed by the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests to safeguard the free roaming populations of wild Asian elephants in several states of India.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Other creatures present in the Periyar Sanctuary include wild pigs, sambar, gaur, mouse deer, dole or barking deer, Indian wild dog, and tigers. The Periyar National Park presently has an estimated population of 40 tigers. Periyar also has the uncommon lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee’s Golden Langur, Common Langur, and Bonnet Macaque, as well as the other four major primates. Periyar is also said to be the home of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely seen yet appreciated for its presence.
Periyar National Park’s Flora
The Periyar Tiger Reserve comprises of tropical evergreen, semi- evergreen and wet deciduous woods. The Periyar sanctuary is home to 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes, and 112 species of butterflies.
Major Attractions in & Around the Park
The Periyar National Park has numerous important attractions in it, such as the Mangala Devi temple, Periyar Lake and Cardamom hills amongst others.