Periyar National Park was established in the year 1950 and is named after
the Periyar river. Situated in Idukki district, it is spread over 250sq
km. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady surrounding the picturesque
Periyar lake, near the
Tamil Nadu border in Kerala, was designated a part of Project
Tiger in 1973 and is one of the Project Tiger Reserves in India. The reserve
has also bagged the India Biodiversity Award for outstanding management
of its 'protected area' in October 2012.
Periyar national park is famous for its scenic beauty.
It is covered with dense evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous
forests interspersed with grass lands on the upper slopes. Periyar is
probably one of the few places, where one can observe the elephants in
their natural surroundings. It is very much known for the tusk less
elephants. The animals found in the park are elephant, gaur, sambar, bison,
barking deer, Nilgiri languor, pig, tiger, panther, leopard, sloth, bear,
jungle cat, small Indian civet and Malabar squirrel macaque.
is a variety of birds in the park including the great Indian hornbill,
Indian darter, king fisher, black necked storks, butterflies etc. The
tiger and leopard are sighted when the forest water holes dry up and these
animals come and drink water from the river.
The best months for visiting the park are from
October to April. There is facility for boating. The ideal times
for cruise is the dawn and dusk. Elephant rides and jeeps are also
available. The ride on an elephant is more to see than the boat trip.
There is a special viewing platform inside the forest.