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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala

Area of the park: 350 sq km
Year of Establishment: 1982
Best season to visit: The best time to visit Periyar National Park is between October and June.

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The Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is among a handful of national parks in the country that are both a tiger reserve and an elephant reserve. Stretching across the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in the Indian state of Kerala, it is perched atop the Cardamom and Pandalam Hills of the Western Ghats bordering Tamil Nadu. The park is also known as Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or Thekkady and is a protected area with an area of 925 sq km. One who visits this park is not going to miss a beat as this lively park is teeming with wildlife.

Elephants and Tigers rule, but other animals are ready to spring a surprise

The elephant and the tiger are the big two of the park and are a constant source of attraction among the visiting public. But others animals like the jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, and lion-tailed macaque are no slouch either as they have the ability to usurp the throne from the big two. The battle in this God's Own Country is intense and nothing is permanent; a new script is written every day, with someone's death meaning someone else's life. The park is home to 35 species of mammals, while there are as many as 265 bird species that call the park their home.

Climate of the park

The temperature of the park varies from altitude to altitude, and so does the vegetation which gets thinner and thinner as one move to the higher elevations. During the winter the maximum temperature hovers around 15 degrees, which goes up to 31 degrees in the summers. The annual precipitation of the park is estimated at around 2000-2000 m, much of which is accounted by the southwest monsoon which arrives in June and stays till September.


Being located at the center of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills, Periyar National Park is surrounded by mountains. The mountains along its north and eastern sides extends to over 1700 m in altitude while the ones along the west reach heights of 1200 m giving rise to a high plateau. The distinction of being the lowest altitude of the park is in the name of a 100 meter valley of the Pamba River.

The Pamba and Periyar Rivers, which issue from the forests of the park, are a major source of water for the wildlife of the park. Periyar Lake is another key attraction among the visitors who are taken in by its serene look and tranquil ambience. The lake measures 26 sq km and is enveloped by the sanctuary.


The dominant vegetation found in the park includes tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, and traces of eucalyptus. The landscape of the park is beautified by the presence of a large number of flowering plants; it has as many as 171 species of grass and 140 species of orchards.

Among the plants that are commonly found are teak, rosewoods, terminalias, sandalwoods, jacarandas, mangoes, jamun, tamarind, banyans, sacred fig, plumerias, royal poinciana, kino tree, and bamboos. The medicinal gloriosa lily is also found in some parts of the park.

In what is a little uncommon to national parks, there are a few regions inside the park that are reserved for the agriculture of crops like tea, coffee, and cardamom.


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Hotels & Resorts in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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RestaurantRestaurant Internet ServiceInternet Service Tea / Cofee MachineTea/Coffe Machine Business CentreBusiness Centre
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Health ClubHealth club BarBar Safe DepositSafe Deposit Baby Sitting Amphitheatre
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Tall Trees Resort
Kabini River Lodge
RestaurantSwimming PoolTea / Cofee MachineBusiness CentreHealth ClubSafe DepositInternet ServiceTravel DeskDoctor On CallBaby SittingBarLibrary AmphitheatreStd,IsdMoney Exchange

Club Mahindra Resort
Kabini River Lodge
RestaurantSwimming PoolTea / Cofee MachineBusiness CentreHealth ClubSafe DepositInternet ServiceTravel DeskDoctor On CallBaby SittingBarLibrary AmphitheatreStd,IsdMoney Exchange
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife in Periyar National Park


Periyar National Park is among the best destinations if one wants to sight the Bengal tiger in action. Being a tiger reserve the park has not only looked after its animals well, but made sure that visitors have a vantage point to sight these wonderful animals in their natural habitat. Another member of the park, the massively built powerhouse, the elephant, also enjoys royal status; in fact the park is considered a very important habitat for the existence of this big but generally docile animal which is an endangered species.

Mammals of the park

Including the tiger and the elephant, the park has 35 recorded species of mammals. The tiger count of the park stands at 24 as per a census done in 2008. Other mammals that can be spotted in the park include gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali's fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten.


The Park also has a high bird count and is home to above 265 species of birds, which include both endemic and migratory birds. Among the endemic birds the popular ones include the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Blue-winged Parakeet, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Crimson-backed Sunbird, and White-bellied Blue Flycatcher. Other birds that catch the imagination of visitors include the Black Baza, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Nilgiri Thrush, Little Spiderhunter, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Great Hornbill, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Oriental Darter, and Black-necked Stork.


Among the 45 species of reptiles found in the park, snakes (30) and lizards (13) have the highest share. Important snakes of the park include the king cobra, Malabar pit viper, and striped coral snake. Among the amphibian species caecilians, frogs, and toads are found in large numbers.

Fish and insects

The park is the origin of two major rivers, the Periyar and Pamba Rivers, as well as a lake and they are responsible to a large extent for the wide variety of fish, 40 species as per records, which are found here. The ones that deserve a mention include the Periyar trout, Periyar latia, Periyar barb, channa barb, and Travancore loach.

As for insects, 160 species of butterfly which includes the likes of lime butterfly, Malabar tree nymph, and Travancore evening brown, in addition to a wide variety of moths are residents of the park.


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Travel Info

How to reach

By Air: The nearest airport from the park is at Maduri in Tamil Nadu (130 kilometers or 80 miles away). The second best option is Kochi in Kerala (190 kilometers or 118 miles away).

By Rail: The nearest railway station is at Kottayam.

By Road: Kumily is the nearest town from the park and it is well connected with Kottayam (114 km) as well as other important cities like Ernakulam (153 km), Madurai(140 km), and Thiruvananthapuram(271 km); regular buses and taxis ply between Kumily and the cities.

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