ABOUT PERIYAR

Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala

Cardamom Club - Eco friendly plantation resort at Thekkady in Kerala, India.



Cardamom Club - Eco friendly plantation resort at Thekkady in Kerala, India.




Cardamom Club - Eco friendly plantation resort at Thekkady in Kerala, India.

Periyar, in Kerala, is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in south India. Though billed as a tiger reserve, Periyar is really famous for its wild elephants, 100-year-old artificial lake and its setting in the beautiful thickly forested Western ghats. This is not your best shot at spotting the Bengal Tiger considering there are less than 40 of them that inhabit an area of 777sq.km but there's plenty of other animals like the Nilgiri langoor, Nilgiri tahr, bison, deer, antelope and about 700 elephants to make the trip worthwhile. The Periyar Tiger Reserve consists of tropical evergreen, semi- evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Its legal status as a National Park is still pending and only one notification has been issued. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1978 and the first research started in 1991. The results indicate 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. The core area is 350 sq.kms. The final notification of the buffer area is pending. The national park and the tiger reserve is rated as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for wildlife photography, bird watching, elephant herds and tiger watching.

The Flora & Fauna in the Periyar National Park

Some of the deeper valleys contain tropical evergreen forest with extremely thick tree cover that even bright sunlight finds hard to penetrate. These trees that have grown to amazing heights of up to 130-140 feet seems to having being there forever. The few level areas in the park contain marshy grasslands near the edges of the lake and other water bodies. Spread out across the park are also patches of semi-evergreen forest used as important cover by many of the animal species.

Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary Kerala 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 in the Periyar national Park. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee's Golden Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.